During 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.)Read more
Spending 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!Read more
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.Read more
Lectionary Selection: John 9:1-41
Prayers for East Timor:
A Man Blind from Birth Receives Sight
“The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s work might be revealed in him.”
Each day in Clinic Immanuel Lospalos, as we address people’s health concerns, continue to help us provide any physical healing that we can. But people also come to our clinic seeking spiritual healing. God, continue to help us provide patients with another way of “seeing” illness, helping them understand that illness is not just something that someone else, living or passed, makes happen to them.
This way of seeing also holds people accountable, and so help us as we teach people each day how their behaviors directly affect health.
For the mind-body-spirit medicine that is reaching people every day in our clinic in Lospalos, we pray. For the possibility to continue the teaching and healing that happens here, we pray. And for the vision of our partners, the Protestant Church in East Timor, to see how best to support the continued work of Clinic Immanuel, we pray.
Lectionary Selection: John 9:1-41
Prayers for India:
Our heavenly Father, we gather before you on this Sabbath day and praise your holy name for you are the greatest healer of all. Your almighty power has given sight to many who were born blind. Blind, not due to their parent’s or their own sins, but blind so that Your power could be shown in them. Let us remember Lord that in every handicap or disease or calamity, it is your healing power that performs miracles. We are just the hands that do the work but the healing comes from you alone O God, your Holy name be praised! We thank you for the week of Feb. 12-19th when we celebrated the ‘Healing Ministry Week’ and ‘Healing Ministry Sunday’ together as one, all over India, remembering and upholding all those who work in various capacities and our partner institutions involved in this ministry of healing. Thank you Lord, for making us instruments of healing through prayer, faith and togetherness, in partnership with the church.
We also pray for those of us who have chosen to be ‘blind’- blind to the sins of this world, blind to the needs of others, blind to our brothers and sisters in Christ. You came into this world so that the world could see, O God of Light, we pray that You give us the power to see and be sensitive to the cries around us.
We pray for India as she is going through a phase of change and is working towards a clean and transparent economy. We pray that the government’s efforts bring fruit so that corruption and inflation are reduced and the marginalized population is benefited.
In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen.
In a statement issued on International Women’s Day 2017, Global Ministries' partner the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) urged its member churches and councils to join in with those working towards the dignity and equality of women in all walks of the contemporary world.
“Despite the fact that the world has been changing with significant progress in socioeconomic and technological fields, an overwhelming majority of women are denied opportunities to lead a better life. They face persecution and violence in manifold forms in their daily lives. In many places in Asia, women experience daily threats to their dignity and rights as they are trafficked, physically, sexually and mentally abused, victimized in conflicts and face the primitive practice and culture of ‘honor killings’,” Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary of the CCA, stated.Read more
“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.Read more
Just one? Only one day a year?!
If enough people sing and march on March 8th this year, will we change the world and not have to do this again?
Why is it necessary to choose one day and assert – or advertise – that women are people . . .
human beings who may not match male strength and size on the average, but are equally capable of being
thoughtful, intelligent, capable.
When men were hunters and warriors, women took care of home, bore and raised children,
prepared the next generations for the future.
Now there are more roles for men, and . . . there are more roles for women,
yet too many people still think of home as where women belong – not in offices, factories, laboratories.
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 17:1-9
Prayers for Thailand:
God of change,
When our life gets tangled by the mess of darkness we look to you for a vision of freedom.
Help us take responsibility. Empower us to do your work in the midst of injustice, death, failure, and defeat.
We ask that you hold the people of Thailand who grieve the loss of their former King Rama IX in October 2016 closely and give them the grace of the Holy Spirit to move through a time of uncertainty and transformation with love.
Accompany the people of Thailand who experience the long term reality of refugee plight and seek ways to provide aid to situations all hoped would be temporary.
We pray for your mercy and wisdom for all of these things through Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, whose power uplifts us. Amen.
Well, America has a new president, and it’s a new year. Here in East Timor, we have settled in to our new normal here in Lospalos, none too soon. It has been a more painful than usual transition period for us, despite returning to a familiar place. We did expect a rocky path back to Timor. But as you know, when you are actually experiencing things, not just imagining how they might be, well, reality sometimes hurts.Read more