August 2017: Shifting Our Anchorage

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.
When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matthew 13:44-45

Attending the UCC General Synod and DOC General Assembly this year opened my eyes to the similarities that exist in mission worldwide. The rallying call from pulpits and resolution after resolution aims at the heart of God’s Kingdom. The writer of Matthew’s gospel gives us a definition of the Kingdom of God that resounds in what we do every day. We - like the farmer, the merchant, the fisherman - search daily for things that provide us with a living, a life. And when we find what produces the abundance of life, we shift anchorage, to use a Pacific/Oceania terminology.

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July 2017: Reformation for All

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"Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."    1 Peter 3:8

A few months ago I accompanied international church guests to the Reformed Church in Hungary’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In the city of Debrecen, I was crowded into a large tent surrounded by a mixture of Hungarians and internationals, listening to speakers reflect on being reformed. Speakers from Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Taiwan, Scotland, Lithuania, Germany, Spain, and Greece spoke about how they see the spirit of the reformation shaping their personal lives and the ministry of their church today.

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June 2017: Adventures in Hospitality

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“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

One rainy afternoon, Alberto, the local pastoral intern, and I were Bible sharing with the few youth who came. Suddenly, two strangers walked up to the church door. Greg, a Brazilian, and Joyce, from Malaysia, were traveling all over Southeast Asia. The two traveled light; each with just a small backpack.

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May 2017: ¡Saludos de la República Dominicana!

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For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..." Matthew 25:35

Greetings from the Dominican Republic! Global Ministries’ partner, Servicios Sociales de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID) has been working in the Dominican Republic since 1962. Now with programs and initiatives in Haiti, communities throughout all of Hispaniola benefit from the ministry of SSID. With a team of regional and local leaders, SSID fulfills the biblical call to care for the poorest of the poor. SSID recognizes the need to fulfill God’s desire to care for one another.

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April 2017: Never Enough!

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“There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:  the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire…” Proverbs 30:15-16

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March 2017: The Right to Housing

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And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20

According to a global survey of the affordability of houses in more than 350 cities last year, Hong Kong was the least affordable community to buy a home in the world—a title it has maintained for the past six years. According to the survey, the price of an average flat in Hong Kong is 19 times the city’s annual median income.

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February 2017: Disconnect to Connect

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How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

I had the misfortune of misplacing my phone on a microbus. This is by no means an unheard of situation in the chaotic world of Cairo public transportation. After a few days of mourning my pocket-sized computer, the silver linings surpassed the size of the storm cloud quickly.

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January 2017: Sharing and Giving

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In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

Sharing and giving are important aspects of life at the Christian Hospital in Mungeli (CHM). Sharing a skill, a story, a relationship with Christ, or an experience seems to be natural to those who grace both campuses.

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December 2016: Migrant Posada

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And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Mary was riding on a burro and Joseph was walking beside her as they traveled by the Nogales border wall in search of shelter during the Migrant Posada. Posadas recreate the journey from 2,000 years ago as Mary and Joseph are refused lodging at various stations along the way and are finally welcomed in at the end of the procession. A cold rain was falling this day, but for a brief moment, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared.

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November 2016: Right Here and Now

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But those who hope in God will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

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