Missionary Stories

Life in an Urban Center

West_Timor-CCA_presentation.jpgWhat does an air-conditioned room with power-point presentations in an urban center have in common with a rural, dirt-floor church and a circle of plastic chairs?  The two are both venues for grassroots theological education in Timor-Leste.

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From Zero to Hero

Thailand_-_Gregory_Spr_2017_IMG_0944_(2).JPGToday I went with a team of pastors and elders to visit a remarkable gentleman. Pastor Paul Smith is a retired missionary who used to hold the position I have recently been assigned to. Yes, my duties have just now changed. I am now beginning to work as a bi-lingual pastor in a Thai church. One of this congregation’s ministries is a Sunday morning worship service in English. Such a thing is not so uncommon in Bangkok, but it’s a little unusual when most of those attending, and almost all of those ministering, are actually Thai by birth. Some westerners also attend the English service, as well as people from other Asian countries—last week there were around 20 Korean university students visiting from a Korean-speaking church in the area, and they came with a Korean missionary couple whom I already knew through connections with the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT), which is Global Ministries’ partner organization here. There are well-off people and people who have almost nothing.

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Faith in Politics: A Reflection from Indonesia

Indonesia_-_CN_newsletter_photo_Spr_2017.jpgWe returned to the US just one day after demonstrations were being held at airports across the country to protest the Trump administration’s immigrant ban. It was difficult to breeze through customs and immigration at Logan International in Boston knowing that others, by the circumstance of birth alone, were being turned away. The body politic in this country— the ability to live together as members of one community—is being tested. Parallels with issues in Indonesia are striking: tolerance of difference and the role of faith in politics is being tested there as well.

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Bright Promises for Christian Hospital in Mungeli

India_-_T_Henry_Spr_2017_Pic_1.jpgWe, at Christian Hospital Mungeli, have had a very productive start to the New Year. Let us take you briefly into our small community made up of a Hospital, a Nursing school and a Primary/Secondary School operated by the Church of North India.

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Transitioning back to Lospalos

East_Timor_-_T_Liddle_Spr_2017_pic4.jpg…we walk by faith and not by sight.  2 Cor. 5:7

On Tuesday I was at one of the weekly home worship gatherings that form a core part of the pastoral ministry for the Protestant Church in Timor Leste(IPTL). The house where we were was typical of many in Timor Leste: a simple corrugated iron shack with a rock foundation and a dirt floor. Such houses don’t have windows so the host had left both the back and front doors open to allow light to shine on our gathering. Out the back door I could see the neighbor processing food gathered from the surrounding forest. Through the front door I could see inside our host’s kitchen. A mound of earth with a fire on top was cooking something in a smoke-stained kettle. Our gathering included two moms and ten children, ages 5 to 17. Alberto, the pastoral intern, was sharing a reflection on Matthew 5:13-14. He proclaimed to the gathered community: “…You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world.” As I heard that, I was reminded how often the Bible draws our attention away from the rich and powerful and toward the poor, the meek and those who mourn (Matt. 5:3-5). And that is where our attention has been as we settle back into our ministry in Lospalos.

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Exciting Things Happening at Christian Hospital Mungeli

India_-_Henry_Spr_2017_pic3.jpgThe few months after our Christmas update have been filled with exciting visits from friends around the world. From San Diego-based nursing students to dear friends of Dr. Anil Henry’s, Immanuel and Zarreen Babu, CHM has seen no shortage of visitors.

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Leah in Thailand!

Thailand_-_Dewey_Spr_2017_pic1.jpgI’m having a great time learning and teaching these elementary students in Thailand! They are learning a lot and I am learning a lot about Thai culture. It's been an amazing experience here. Christmas and holidays were such fun!

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Love Broke the Cross

Thailand_-_YWCA_Camp_Bangkok_2017.jpgDuring the month of March, I’ve been working at the YWCA Summer Day Camp for elementary aged children.  (March and April ARE the summer months here.)

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Change is Coming

Sri_Lanka_-_Jepson_Kinerk_Spr_2017_pic1.jpgSpending most of one’s life in the northern United States makes it hard to focus on a spring newsletter when every day seems to be mid-summer! But we’ve had a bit of the rainy season that is about 6 weeks late in our part of Sri Lanka, and it has been cool enough some nights to turn off the fan after midnight!

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Strengthening Pastoral Commitment

Last week I was talking with a pastor friend in Minnesota who I check in with occasionally for support and reflection. I asked him what it was like being a pastor in America these days. He said, “…Actually, the task of the church has never been more clear.” He went on to talk about how he sees that task amidst the current events unfolding in the United States. Here in Timor-Leste, I feel a similar clarity in terms of the task before our partner church, the Protestant Church of Timor-Leste (IPTL) and by extension, our role as Global Ministries mission personnel.

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