Originally published as Review: Don Mosley's Faith Beyond Borders
by Kevin Stoda
In this review I have chosen to share portions of three vignettes from Faith Beyond Borders to highlight the ubiquity of stories that we now see streaming across our news media these days--i.e. as refugees stream into Europe and knock again on Americas door asking for help.
In 1999, just prior to going to work in the Middle East for the first time, I visited an intentional community named JUBILEE PARTNERS in Comer, Georgia. The community was a spin-off led by some of the original founders of Habitat for Humanity and others from the community of Koinonia Partners in Americus, Georgia.
"Koinonia Farm was founded in 1942 by Clarence and Florence Jordan and Martin and Mabel England as a 'demonstration plot for the kingdom of God.'" Koinonia has been a community that has from its inception been at the vanguard of the civil rights movement in its corner of the South. For example, due to Koinonia's "commitment to racial equality, pacifism, and economic sharing ... bullets, bombs, and a boycott [were brought to it] in the 1950s as the Ku Klux Klan and others attempted to force us out. We responded with prayer, nonviolent resistance, and a renewed commitment to live the Gospel. We created a mail-order business, which continues to sustain our community today."
Jubilee Partners was founded in the mid-1970s in the woods outside of Comer, Georgia by Don Mosley, an original founder of the Fuller-led Habitat projects in Africa earlier in that decade. His family, friends from Koinonia, and other committed partners have been consistently attempting to live out a Christians life more faithful to the gospels and the Sermon-on-the-Mount than they see mirrored by the society around them. Jubilee Partners are intent on improving the world which creation has given them.
In Don Mosley's book, Faith Beyond Borders , Mosely looks at how this tiny community of Jubilee Partners in rural Georgia has not only reached out and embraced peoples arriving to the United States from all corners of the globe, but it has been busy seeking to change hearts and minds through face-to-face contacts at critical junctures over the past 5 decades. Mosely, himself has been involved to missions to North Korea, Africa, and the Middle East, including when Jubilee spearheaded aid to children and hospitals in Iraq in the 1990s and again in the year before the USA invasion of that land in this century.
In this work, Mosely takes time to describe these activities and the persons he meets along the path of his personal and community-oriented journeys in Faith Beyond Borders. By the way, the subtitle of Mosley's book is "Doing Justice in a Dangerous World". This is in reference not only to dangerous corners of the world politically where he and his supporters have been active, but it also refers to the dangers that Mosely has faced when trying to speak truth to power at home in America or abroad.
In Faith Beyond Borders:Doing Justice in a Dangerous World, Mosely begins by sharing about the community of Jubilee's most prominent global mission: Embracing and assisting in training and resettling refugees arriving to the USA since 1980 when the first large groups of Boat Peoples from Cuba and Vietnam needed to be settled in America.
In over 30+ years, since that time, Jubilee's main on-site project in Georgia has been to serve refugees arriving from war torn lands across the globe: "Over 3,000 refugees from more than 30 countries have come to Jubilee, eager for a new beginning but often scarred and exhausted by their ordeals, anxious about how they will survive in this new culture, and frequently unable to speak much, if any, English."  Mosley is able to describe the process of assisting with acculturation in his books while at the same time indicating that these refugees--of whatever faith (Muslim, Christian, and indigenous cults)--have impacted the community of Jubilee and its mission to America (and the world) over the nearly 40 years of Jubilee Partners existence. Many chapters in Faith Beyond Borders start with anecdotal sharing from or about one or more of the refugees whom have passed through Jubilee over the years.
Here is an excerpt that clarifies Mosley's narration style and represents one of his main messages in Faith Beyond Borders to his readers:
"Tall and gracious in manner, Sougui Adji reflected his aristocratic background. His grandfather had been the chief of the Ted people, almost a million of whom live in Chad, Niger, and Libya. His uncle had served as president of Chad from 1979 to 1982. Sougui, and his wife, Ache, came to Jubilee in 2007, already speaking fluent English and always happy to stop whatever he was doing to engage in conversation.
Sougui proved to be a treasure trove of information about northern Africa. A Muslim who had experienced long years of friendship with Christians in Africa, he was able to bridge many cultures with ease. Consequently, he had served as advisor and guide to national Geographic Society projects and to other groups that came to make documentary films or do research for books about the region.
Chad lies in the center of one of the world's most dramatic examples of climate change in recent years. The northern part of the country is classic Saharan desert: vast stretches of sand and rock, broken at rare intervals by oases with their precious water supply. The capital city, N'Djamena, lies at the southern end of what used to be Lake Chad. In the early 1960s, the lake covered 10,000 square miles--the ultimate oasis in the middle of the world's largest desert.
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