October 2020: Healing Presence

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God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29

As I walked into the Dzake Clinic, I was greeted by patients waiting to be seen. I took my seat at the triage table and checked in my next patient. He was a beautiful 12-month-old named Samson. His grandmother brought him in because he had been vomiting and was not able to eat.

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September 2020: Sharpening One Another

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Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.  Proverbs 27:17

In 2020, the world is frayed. COVID-19 influences every aspect of our public, private, and professional lives. Groups of people who have never faced structural challenges now find themselves constricted for the first time. Those who have found themselves jumping over hurdles to survive are beginning to see that those hurdles are getting taller each day. Many regions affected by COVID-19 lack essential resources such as medical supplies, hospital bed availability, and staple foods. Misinformation runs rampant, and a lack of following safety precautions threatens local stability and livelihoods, especially for those people who already face disadvantages in society.

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August 2020: Replace Anxiety with Prayer

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Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6

If there’s one thing I learned during seven years as a pastor among the Timorese people, it’s that prayer is a simple, effective way to cope with anxiety. They take their cue from St. Paul. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul admonishes, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6)

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July 2020: Amidst Uncertainty

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Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. 
Ecclesiastes 11:7-8

With the current pandemic-stay-at-home-quarantine situation, I find that some days I am incredibly annoyed by the smallest of things. An entire day can be turned upside down by a simple gesture over digital communication. Yet on other days, I feel ‘productive’- practicing a new skill, reading a book, cleaning out my email inbox, or doing my laundry by hand with the courtyard hose.

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June 2020: After the Struggle

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I can do all things through God who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13

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May 2020: Healing a Community

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Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
Jeremiah 17:14

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April 2020: A Safe Port

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Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
I John 3: 18

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March 2020: Holy Waters

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Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
Matthew 3:15

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February 2020: Diversity and Dignity

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Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.

Matthew 19:13-15 

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January 2020: Si Dios Quiere - Finding Time to Rest

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God said, "I will go with you. And I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14

I immediately fell in love with the Dominican Republic and its unique blend of Latin and Caribbean cultures. Beautiful beaches, lively music, warm hospitality, and God at the center of everything. A common farewell includes “si Dios quiere,” for example “if God wants it, I will see you in the morning.” I have always been comforted by this aspect of Dominican culture.

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