President represents Adventist missionaries
at international missionary conference
By: Kristi Spurgeon
The year was 1910.
The place was Edinburgh, Scotland.
The subject was missions.
Edinburgh 1910, as it’s known, was the first worldwide missionary conference representing most denominations. That groundbreaking conference led to the formation of several international missionary councils, including the World Council of Churches.
Fast-forward 100 years.
The World Council of Churches is now planning for Edinburgh 2010 and Jon Dybdahl, Walla Walla College president, is the sole Seventh-day Adventist representative on the planning committee. Dybdahl was appointed by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
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Edinburgh 2010 is the proposed hub for an international round of initiatives and events geared toward finding direction for Christian mission in the 21st century and challenging global missionary movements.
“I’m excited that I’ve been invited to be a part of this,” says Dybdahl. “I’m curious to see what will happen and how it will all work out this time.”
He says the upcoming conference will not be centered strictly in Scotland, but will include satellite meetings and events around the world. “It will truly be a global conference,” says Dybdahl, and all major Protestant denominations will be represented.
Worldwide there are approximately 700 long-term Adventist missionaries, making the Seventh-day Adventist Church one of the leading sponsors of international missionaries.
Dybdahl says he is honored to represent the missionaries of the Adventist church. And he has plenty of missionary experience to stand on. The son of missionary parents, Dybdahl attended Far Eastern Academy in Singapore. After completing his theological studies at Andrews University, Dybdahl and his family moved to Thailand where he served as a pastor and evangelist, and founded Chiangmai Academy before spending two years at Southeast Asia Union College. After that Dybdahl taught at WWC for 13 years, but then returned to Thailand to help found Mission College. He later moved to Andrews University where he helped train Adventist missionaries.
Dybdahl will attend the next formal Edinburgh 2010 planning committee meeting on July 4 and 5 in Edinburgh.