Missionary Stories

Making Myself Available

When I wrote last time, I had just arrived in Zambia as a Global Ministries volunteer with my husband at the United Church of Zambia University.  I came to staff their functional but previously shuttered computer lab.  

Read more
1 reaction Share

Trying to Walk the Tightrope

Something is always happening here at the United Church of Zambia University.  I have been sent to this Global Ministries mission partner to teach in the theology department.  I have been entrusted with a full teaching load this semester, so I am in contact with students all the time.  

Read more
1 reaction Share

Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) Celebrate 5th Graduating Class from Maman Sandra Gourdet Women’s Vocational Center

The Maman Sandra Gourdet Women’s Vocational Center (the Women’s Center) opened in 2015 with the goal of providing a place where women can receive training in productive skills. Global Ministries supported the construction of the Women’s center to advance its core values. The Women’s Center recently celebrated its fifth graduation, and has now graduated more than 100 women from throughout the Equator Province.

Read more
2 reactions Share

Gender Equality For A Better Salone

On the 26th of September I traveled to the city of Kabala, located in northern Sierra Leone. Once there I participated in an unforgettable General Assembly of the Council of Churches of Sierra Leone (CCSL). This event reunited CCSL staff working in different offices throughout the country, as well as partners, ministers, and families. I admired many aspects of the General Assembly, and particularly the genuine interest of participants in working together, staying connected, and responding to crises and injustices. This gathering made it possible for me to share conversations and laughs with a variety of dedicated people who continuously use their gifts and skills to enhance the mission of CCSL. The General Assembly in Kabala didn’t feel like the typical conference that I’ve become familiar with in the U.S. Instead, it was more like a family reunion. There was a strong sense of support and oneness that bonded the large body of people together, especially between the high numbers of CCSL staff in attendance.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

CDCC Welcomes End of Ebola Crisis, But Remains Vigilant

On July 24th, The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the end of the Ebola crisis in DR Congo. The Community of Disciples of Christ in Congo (CDCC) welcomed the news after employing an “all hands on deck” approach to the May 8th announcement that the Ebola virus was present in the Equator Province. 

Read more
1 reaction Share

Advancing the Human Rights of Persons with Albinism

June 13th was International Albinism Awareness Day. If you didn’t know it, be sure to put it on your calendar next year. To be honest, I wouldn’t have known it had I not walked past Mbandaka City Hall. After noticing the ceremonial set-up, I took a closer look at the banner hanging below the neatly arranged plastic chairs. The banner in French proclaimed “World Albinism Awareness Day, Theme: Accepting Persons with Albinism Because We Are the Same, Our Motto: Solidarity and Integration”. It was wonderful to see the city embrace the cause of battling the stigma of albinism, and officially locking arms with a minority population that is often spurned by the community.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Peace and Cassava Leaves

Last September, I arrived in Sierra Leone to serve on the staff of the country’s Council of Churches and join efforts to advocate for girls and women. In the past 10 months of working in the Tonkolili District, I have gained a deeper awareness of and appreciation for the love of God as made known through the peace and justice ministries of the Council.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Theology Class

First day of a new semester.  I have been assigned to teach three courses this term - none of which I really feel quite ready to teach after 25 years away from the academic life - but this is why I have been invited to come to the United Church of Zambia University theology department, and I have promised to give it my best effort.  Half the students are not here yet.  The class is supposed to include about 35 young-ish men and women.  Most of the students are working on their second careers, most of them hoping to enter the UCZ ordained ministry, though a few will become police, army or hospital chaplains, maybe social workers, or something similar.  But, half of them are not here yet.  Still traveling to Kitwe from far away - most people do not realize how large Zambia is - and some still collecting money to pay their registration fees.  The UCZU is not expensive by North American standards, but it costs more to attend here than most young Zambians can comfortably pay.  For whatever reason, about forty percent of the class is not present or ready to start the new semester.  I am heartbroken because my initial lecture lays the foundation for what theology is all about and what tools most of us employ to think theologically … and half of my class is not here.  I will have to re-teach later the lessons about openness to extra-biblical theological sources.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Summer Update-Kenya

Greetings in the most Precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Who are our neighbors?

Everyday on my way to and from work I always saw the same mother and child sitting on the ground on the corner, not too far from my house.  I could not help but notice her skin was full of blisters and she always held an umbrella over her head. One day she was no longer sitting there. Every day I passed her by and never thought about the deeper implications of this woman with albinism might face.

Read more
Add your reaction Share