The global economic turmoil among governments that has caused cuts to social programs and pensions has hit the boiling point in a few more countries. It may be the most pronounced in Britain at the moment. Though the death of Mark Duggan, an apparent typical citizen participating in a planned anti-firearms operation has been noted as the spark that set off the rioting according to Fox News, it has also been pointed out by CNBC that cuts to social programs and austerity have been the fuel that has been feeding smoldering anger among poor and financially struggling British citizens since June.
Other countries which have been responding to economic issues include China, which saw cab drivers rioting last week because of increased gas prices, as well as Israel seeing demonstrations in Tel Aviv on Saturday because of increases in the cost of living and property prices. In addition,the Financial Times reports that Germany is at risk of national rioting because of Angela Merkel’s proposal to introduce eurozone bonds on behalf of financially troubled eurozone countries.
Meanwhile, all the economic clatter has not deterred missionary Eric Foley from continuing his efforts to reach out to North Koreans and encourage that country’s persecuted Christians, even organizing his ideas in such a way that Christians of the free world can benefit from his ideas regarding church planting and discipleship, according to the Christian Newswire.
Foley credits North Korea’s ruthless dictator Kim Jong Il, who is not known for contributing anything to Christianity other than persecution, as the catalyst for his ideas. But according to Foley, also the pastor of W Evangelical Church of Colorado Springs and Seoul, Korea and author of Church is for Amateurs: A Guide for ‘Fourth Order’ Christians like You on How to Plant and Lead a Lay Church, it’s that relentless persecution that caused Foley to develop a new strategy of church planting that he is bringing from his work with North Koreans to unpersecuted Christians in the rest of the world.
“When you’re discipling North Koreans, you realize quickly that the tools that are fundamental to Christian discipleship in the West just aren’t available to help you,” says Foley. “Church buildings are illegal in North Korea. Paid, full-time pastors become ‘instant inmates’ in North Korea’s concentration camps. When more than two or three gather together — even in somebody’s home in the middle of the night — the police show up. And Bibles are confiscated instantly, and the people who possess them end up dead.”
Foley’s ten year work with North Korean underground Christians led him to a conclusion that he says “floored” him. “It turns out that our modern western way of making disciples and being church is the historical oddity,” says Foley. “The North Korean situation of empty-handed discipleship in the face of intense persecution is the norm.”
Foley planted churches in the United States and South Korea using what he calls “persecuted church principles for the free world.” After frequent inquiries from intrigued onlookers, he compiled the lessons he had learned into a twelve-point strategy he says is designed to make it possible for committed lay Christians to plant a thriving church — one without buildings, pastors, weekly offerings, and musical instruments, where members learn how to become “living Bibles” by memorizing Scripture rather than relying on printed literature. In addition to Church is for Amateurs, he also authored an extensive reference work on his discipleship model, The Whole Life Offering, which became available earlier this year.
Both books are available for purchase at www.seoulusa.org/resources, and more information about his ministry can be found at http://www.wholelifeoffering.com/#/home.