When I think Roger and June Hedlund, the word that comes to me is ENABLER. I was an unknown young youth worker who had written a New Testament studies Th.M. thesis on Exegetical Arguments for Universalism at Fuller Theological Seminary. I wrote a much larger thesis than was required because I wanted to get it published. But once I returned to Sri Lanka in 1976 I came to realise that no publisher was interested in publishing a somewhat technical New Testament study by an unknown Youth for Christ worker. After many years of trying, I came to the sad conclusion that I will probably not find a publisher for this my first book.
Enter Roger Hedlund: encourager and enabler of South Asian Christians! Our mutual friend and teacher, Dr Arthur Glasser from Fuller Seminary had told Dr Hedlund about my work. He took on the project and through his organisational contacts, he helped get my maiden book A Universal Homecoming? published in 1983. Fifteen books later, there is still a very special place in my heart for my literary firstborn.
This is typical of what Roger and June Hedlund have been doing for decades. Rather than pushing their names into the limelight, they gave themselves to initiating and encouraging people and projects that they considered to be of missiological usefulness to the Church in South Asia. This is the kind of leader we need so much today in our region. Alas, much thinking about vocational fulfilment among Christian leaders has recognition and prominence as a major value. My generation seems to have given some bad examples to our younger leaders to follow! May God raise more enablers in South Asia!
Teaching Director Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka
President of the Council, Colombo Theological Seminary
29th September 2015