Missionary Stories

Unbind

John 11:1-45

Israel_Palestine_-_McGrail_Mar_2017_Pic1.jpgIn our Gospel story about Lazarus, Jesus comes late to Mary and Martha's home. Mary chastises him for not getting there sooner because he might have been able to do something to prevent their brother's death. 

I identify with this passage because we who are activists working on a just peace in Palestine hear about tragedies here after they have occurred. So there is always this sense of deep sadness that if we had been able to come earlier, done something more, we could have prevented this. If only we could have done more to stop the violations against human rights, to have challenged the narratives that say this land belongs to only one group, signed more petitions, divested or invested more, just done more period.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Holy Resistance

Israel_Palestine_-_McGrail_We-Refuse-to-be-Enemies.jpgMatthew 5:38-42

“When Jesus said love your enemies he probably meant don’t kill them.” So the bumper sticker says and our Gospel text from Matthew 5 too. Jesus is interpreting the law for a new group of exiles who are feeling more persecuted than blessed; he is giving them a set of instructions on how to be co-creators for God’s kin-dom.[1]

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Volunteering with Perichoresis

From February 20-27, 2017 I had the pleasure to volunteer in Katerini with the Evangelical Church in Greece’s affiliated refugee-aid non-profit, Perichoresis. I first served with the ECG in Katerini in August 2016 after meeting Alexandra Nikolara, the team leader for refugee aid work there, at a Consultation on Migration hosted by the Reformed Church in Hungary in June 2016. I was moved by the work that her church is doing for people on the move and I knew that I had to get involved with them and see what refugee aid work looks like in a different context. On my first trip to Katerini, in August 2016, Nikolara’s team was six people – on this trip, her team now numbers around fifty. The work used to be done under the umbrella of the local ECG congregation there in Katerini, but the need for their services has continued growing and so they have restructured their work and are now a church-affiliated non-profit.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Accompaniment

Hungary_-_Bailey__Kearstin_Spring_2017_Photo_Jan_24_23_27_59.jpgMy placement in Budapest, Hungary looks much different than what many may initially think of when they hear that I’m serving the church as a missionary. My work is rooted in a deep sense of critical presence and accompaniment that are key to the relationships that I have developed here. This accompaniment is realized in a multitude of ways; some days I am literally accompanying someone to a meeting, other days I am accompanying the people that I serve in spirit as they go through a rough time, and a few months ago I was packed into a bus with international church guests as I accompanied them to the opening of the Reformed Church in Hungary’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

How the Light Gets In

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There’s a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
Leonard Cohen

Read more
Add your reaction Share

In Response to Fear

Egypt_ME_Trip_-_Gilbert.JPG“Terrorism has no religion; it has no homeland.”
-Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, CEOSS General Director

I had the pleasure of visiting St. Mark’s Cathedral a few months ago with members of a delegation from Global Ministries, Week of Compassion, and One Great Hour of Sharing. The grounds of St. Mark’s house the offices of BLESS (the Coptic Orthodox Church Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical and Social Services), the Coptic Orthodox counterpart to CEOSS.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Relics

Cairo is full of relics. From the bones and possessions of saints and miracle workers to a cave that is believed to have housed the holy family as they fled to Egypt to avoid the wrath of king Herod. In my time here, I have had the opportunity to drink from a source that is thought to have nourished Jesus in his infancy, and held the chains and shackles of martyrs. However, these are not the relics that motivate or inform my daily work.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Disconnect to Connect

Three weeks ago, I had the misfortune of misplacing my phone on a micro bus. While not common, 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 that organized my life, the silver linings surpassed the size of the storm cloud quickly.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

There is No Way to Peace, Peace is the Way

December 4, 2016

St. Andrews Scots Memorial Church

Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 3:1-12

“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots…and the wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them” says the prophet Isaiah on this second Sunday in Advent, Peace Sunday.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

A Future Not Our Own

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Psalm 85:10

When I lose heart, this quote attributed to Oscar Romero reminds me that God may be trusted to bring the fullness of God's realm, and charges me to not neglect my share in "the magnificent enterprise."


Read more
Add your reaction Share
United States and CanadaLatin America and the CaribbeanAfricaMiddle East and EuropeSouthern Asia East Asia and the Pacific

Contact Information