Reflecting on Lausanne

Roy Peterson (Seed Company CEO) and his wife Rita are delegates to the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa – happening now.

We’re asking hundreds of people to pray daily with the Petersons during the 10-day event. Will you join in this strategic prayer initiative by signing up here?


The Lausanne Movement has impacted my life. There have only been two. In the early 70’s, at the First Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism, Dr. Ralph Winter rocked the missions world with his focus on unreached people groups (UPGs).  The spotlight was on the people groups of the world who had virtually no way to know Jesus in their heart language and culture. And the spotlight on this critical aspect of the Great Commission has continued growing brighter and brighter. I was a brand new follower of Jesus at the time and do not recall knowing about this first gathering, but that did not stop God from using it in my life.

Within a few years, Dr. Winter’s insights were hitting the mission world in the United States. At the time, I was serving on the missions committee in our local church. I began praying through the early editions of Operation World, reading missions periodicals influenced by Ralph Winter and listening to presentations about the unreached peoples. I also began giving financially to missions focused on the unreached.

Praying, reading, serving and giving…

My heart was being shaped by this UPG movement from Lausanne I. By 1986, Rita and I were applying to Wycliffe Bible Translators for an assignment overseas to serve people who still didn’t have God’s Word in their language. In 1987, we left our business careers and entered Wycliffe training.  And in 1988, we moved to Quito Ecuador to support the Wycliffe translation efforts in the Amazon region of South America.

One year later, in 1989 — 15 years after the first Lausanne Congress had taken place — , the second took place in Manila, Philippines. We were actively serving Bible translation in Ecuador and knew of this global conference from a distance. But there were two world leaders of the translation movement spending time together at Lausanne: one from Wycliffe, the other from United Bible Societies. During that Lausanne II, they determined the Lord wanted them to call together all the Bible agencies of the world to collaborate and work more synergistically in the areas of translation and distribution.

From that vision at Lausanne II, the International Forum of Bible Agencies was born. The 20th anniversary was just celebrated this year, and The Seed Company had a small part in hosting that event here in the USA. Collaboration among Bible agencies is at an all-time high and growing with each passing year. I have had the privilege of participating for the last 14 of those 20 years.

And now, because of that privilege of participating in the International Forum of Bible Agencies, Rita and I have the amazing honor of going to Lausanne III in Cape Town, South Africa. We believe it is reasonable to assume that there may not be another Lausanne during our career lifespan. And God is giving us the privilege of being there. In just a few days we will begin the journey to discover what He may want to do in us, and through this amazing movement. I invite you to come with us through your prayers and allow this movement to start to impact your life.

We hope to be sending written and video posts each day.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Roy (for Roy and Rita)

1 Comment to Reflecting on Lausanne

  1. October 19, 2011 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    Thank you Roy. Even this week on the first anniversary since Lausanne III, the spark and the excitement at what God only can accomplish is burning in our hearts here in India. Thank you for what you are doing to further His Kingdom around the world.

  1. By on October 21, 2010 at 1:12 am

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