Around the World In Seventy Six Days

Into the Global South

ImageOn May 1, 2012 I am embarking on a journey around the world in the global south. I am travelling with my long time friend Bob Kuhn. Our friendship, together with David Bentall, is featured in the book The Company You Keep and those who have read this may not be surprised that two men in their fifties are even thinking about an itinerary like this.

Not for sightseeing

We have two objectives, well maybe three. The first is a desire to meet Christian leaders in the global south, listen to them and ask them to speak to us as leaders in the north. There is no question that followers of Jesus are experiencing a movement today in the southern hemisphere that those in the north long for. God is far from dead in the global south.

Pastors, ministry leaders and Christians serving with government or in the marketplace will be interviewed and we will tell their stories. We will find them in the center of some of the world’s largest cities and in remote villages where people struggle to live daily due to the effects of complexity of poverty. As well as writing a new book about our adventure I will be sending short video reports to MyVu that will be featured by Crossroads Communication across Canada and available online. The congregation at First Baptist Vancouver will be following me around the globe through video messages I will be sending back for each of the Sundays I am away.

Our second objective is related to Bob.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over six years ago.serving as an ambassador for World Parkinson Congress 2013 to be held in Montréal.  This world-renowned event drawing 3 – 4000 of the best researchers, clinicians and leadership in the Parkinson’s community from around the world. We will be meeting with leaders of this specific community, inviting them to come to Canada to participate in WPC 2013. Bob is a blogger and will be sharing our journey on Positively Parkinson’s along the way.


The third objective is to deepen our friendship together and have fun being surprised by the works of God through the people we meet.

Not for the faint of heart: Our itinerary

What would you ask?

If I could take you with me, what questions would you ask of leaders in the global south?

What would you like me to find out on this journalistic journey?

3 thoughts on “Around the World In Seventy Six Days

  1. I would like to ask the leaders of the global south what they see as being the number one weakness and the number one strength of leaders/the Church in the global north. And, similarly, what do they see as the number one weakness and strength of leaders/the Church in the global south.

    Of course, these categories of global south and global north are so varied and often under-defined, so may not be relevant. Answers will surely vary and be uniquely contextual and situated. Perhaps, too I would ask the leaders in these particular locations and contexts if they consider the concept of global south/north to be a relevant descriptor of their spatial, social, and experienced contexts. I would be interested in how they geographically/conceptually locate and orient themselves in the world. How is the Christian network of relationships, partnerships, and interactions experienced by a leader in Peru? Which are the strongest cross-national and cross-cultural bonds? How do these shape and support the church in Peru? What can the church in Vancouver learn from the way the church in Peru networks and connects with its neighbours both near and far? My educational background in human geography would certainly guide my interests and questions!

    Bless you Carson. We are behind you in prayer!

  2. I would ask the leaders of the global south, if they could change their country/city to be like any other country/city in the world, which would they choose? If they would not like to change their country/city, then I would ask if there were specific features of their country/city they would like to change. I think asking big questions like that would help give a good perspective on what the main issues are that they face everyday, as opposed to what we might think they are struggling with.

  3. There seem to a few things to cover here Firstly, there is a whole cetnorsavion to be had about who is a leader and the fact that everyone needs to be a leader from time to time but unless this is a group with which I have worked on a number of sessions in the past, this is probably not the time to to deal with this. Instead, I would be more pragmatic and try to give short quick reasons why it is still important to talk about the leadership competencies.The most straightforward one for me is to explain that focusing on leadership competencies during the action learning session helps us to be be more effective as a group. By choosing to work on specific aspects of our behaviour during the discussion, we will improve our own individual performance which will have the net effect of helping us to work more effectively as a group. I would also stress that because we will all be listening for examples of how other group members are performing against their leadership competencies, it will improve our listening skills and help us to be more constructive and supportive of one another.If it feels like the term leadership competency’ is too loaded then I think you could re-position the term as being an interpersonal work competency’. Later on at the end of the session (or when the group next meets and after having had a chat with the sponsor) you could highlight the competencies and use the opportunity to ask questions that help the group understand how those competencies link to leadership and how leadership links to their role.

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