These past few days I've been excited to host a good friend from OMF in the Wheaton area. David Gould is an architect from England but has spent over a decade serving in Singapore and across East Asia with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF), which was the mission agency my family served with for many years as well.
The reason I was so excited is that David is OMF's first Creation Care Advocate, which is a full-time role dedicated to helping OMF missionaries and churches across the world become better prepared to deal with the environmental challenges their communities are facing.
David and I visited the Transformational Development graduate class taught by Dr. Susan Greener at Wheaton and had a great discussion with students from around the U.S. and world. David also came to my church on Sunday, Wheaton Chinese Alliance Church, where he spoke at a missions committee sponsored luncheon about the growing importance of creation care in missions across Asia.
Then on Monday evening David and Ben Bacheller, the creation care specialist on staff with evangelical mission agency TEAM, spoke on a panel hosted by the A Rocha Wheaton organization at Wheaton College. They both then went on to the Moody Bible Institute Missions Conference in Chicago, IL.
As a missionary-kid, I'm very encouraged that more and more evangelical missions agencies are working seriously to integrate creation care and climate action into their priorities and programs. Here are some quotes from David Gould's presentation:
"You cannot argue your way out of climate change in East Asia."
"Climate change and unsustainable development are two of the greatest challenges impacting the peoples of East Asia today."
As the promo poster for one of the talks put it: caring for the environment is loving those who live in it.
Resources on the place of creation care and climate action in Christian mission:
The Cape Town Commitment (Section 7a), which focuses on issues of creation care and climate change: http://www.lausanne.org/content/ctc/ctcommitment-2#p1-7
Lausanne's growing creation care efforts, regional forums, and resources since Cape Town: http://conversation.lausanne.org/en/home/creation-care
OMF’s creation care page: https://omf.org/creationcare
TEAM's creation care page and opportunities: https://team.org/ministry-areas/creation-care