Chapter 1 – My Odyssey
Mark (Skip) Elliott, editor of the East-West Church & Ministry Report, completed a presentation about his recent trip to Siberia and Central Asia. Sitting around the table with others during the discussion, I was intrigued when Skip said, “Since there was so little about bribery available, I asked a few people to write articles for the East-West Report and published them.”
I missed most of the rest of the discussion because that comment sent me off on another train of thought. I knew that many missionaries agonized over whether or not they should give bribes. Knowing that missionaries frequently discuss it, I immediately decided to write something about missionaries and bribery.
Rather than writing in third person as usual, I am writing this beginning chapter in first person. This chapter is a description of my journey to the position which I hold at this time. Other people have reached different positions, and I may change my position at some time.
Minutes after reaching home, I found the three articles in the 1997 East-West Church & Ministry Report. They have titles ranging from “Bribery: Out of the question” to “A case for bribery: Giving versus taking” (http://www.eastwestreport.org/articles/ew05101.htm). A few minutes later I found another article, one written for short-term healthcare missions (http://csthmbestpractices.org/ConsensusDocuments/Bribery1.2.pdf). Although I tried several search engines and various forms of “bribe” and “missionary,” I found little else available on the Internet. Several blogs by missionaries mentioned bribery, but I found nothing systematized, such as organizational policies or guidelines.