By Professor William Lawrence Svelmoe
“Cam” Townsend is rightly referred to as the visionary founding father of the summer season Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and the Wycliffe Bible Translators. This joint attempt is now the biggest Protestant project association on the planet, a project which has dramatically replaced the tradition of what was once referred to as religion missions. Townsend revolutionized Protestant missions through emphasizing that missionaries had to research the language of the folks to whom they have been despatched and to reside between them so one can comprehend their groups. His approach under pressure education the missionaries in public well-being, easy schooling, and agricultural talents. The validated luck of missionaries who Townsend’s plan ended in SIL/WBT impression within the better societies within which the association was once current. Townsend used to be non-dogmatic in looking allies to pursue his ambitions, together with neighborhood political events and tool buildings, lecturers, and different non secular faiths, expanding the impression of his workforce to the purpose that SIL/WBT grew to become a significant component within the nationwide affairs of the international locations within which they have been lively, fairly in Latin America. The very good fortune of Townsend’s equipment ended in hassle along with his base within the usa. As conservative and evangelical monetary backers and potential missionaries observed the association and Townsend operating amicably with Roman Catholics, leftist political teams, and atheist and agnostic lecturers, the SIL/WBT bumped into hassle at domestic.
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Additional info for A New Vision for Missions: William Cameron Townsend, The Wycliffe Bible Translators, and the Culture of Early Evangelical Faith Missions, 1917-1945 (Religion and American Culture)
Without being stirred and challenged out of indifference and love of ease and plenty to a life of selfdenial for Him. . I want to go out as a missionary to escape the danger of becoming satisfied with a life of ease and comfort; I want to go because South America needs Christ desperately; because Christ has commanded me to go; because He has been leading me in that direction and I believe I could not be in His will if I didn’t go; because the love of Christ constrains me; and finally because He is coming soon and opportunities will cease.
Townsend estimated that the Indian weighed one hundred pounds, and he knew his trunk was twice that. 10 Townsend and Robinson spent their first several weeks getting acquainted with the missionaries in the city. Everyone wanted the new recruits to come to dinner, and Townsend, whose love for food belied his slender frame, studiously recorded gastronomical matters in his journal. On their first Sunday in the city, the two were invited to lunch at the Allisons’ after church. William Allison was the director of the Presbyterian mission in Guatemala.
16 When Albert Bishop initially asked Townsend and Robinson where they wanted to work, Robinson requested that he be permitted to work with the Indians. He had already decided to make missions his life work. Townsend, planning to stay for only one year, chose to work with ladinos, among whom he could perfect his Spanish. 17 On October 17 the three missionaries boarded a mule-drawn stage for the trip to Antigua. There was only enough room for their personal belongings in the stage. Before Townsend could question how the bulk of their gear (including his four thousand tracts plus numerous New Testaments) would get to Antigua, he saw the ubiquitous Indian porters carefully loading their heavy packs onto their backs.