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Curtis' Mission

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Native Missionaries

Curtis' companion, Elder Costa, is a native Brazilian.

With 80%+ of the 60,000 LDS full-time missionaries still coming from the United States and Canada, efforts to encourage large-scale missionary service as the standard for young men worldwide have experienced only limited success. Mission service rates for eligible young men are approximately 25% in the U.S. and Canada and less than 10% in most of the rest of the world. In the Eastern Hemisphere, only Mongolia produces enough missionaries to meet local needs.

Compared to native missionaries, foreign missionaries are always the last to enter and the first to leave in areas of political unrest or restricted religious freedom. Local missionaries are frequently permitted in countries or areas where foreign missionaries are forbidden or restricted. Native LDS Ukrainian district missionaries opened cities in Crimea to missionary work at a time when they were forbidden to foreign missionaries.

There are many effective ways to inspire large-scale full-time missionary service for native missionaries, although these methods may not be well-understood by most Latter-day Saints. A landmark book in this regard is "Revolution in World Missions" by K.P. Yohannan, an Indian-born Protestant missionary who has singlehandedly organized the "Gospel for Asia" foundation and fielded a force of over 10,000 full-time native volunteer missionaries currently serving in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and other nations of Southeast Asia. Yohannan's missionaries establish an average of 5 churches a day -- over twice the number established by LDS missionaries worldwide. Although not all of Yohannan's points are directly applicable in an LDS setting, there are many valuable items nonetheless.

  • Revolution In World Missions
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