August 2020: Replace Anxiety with Prayer

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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December 2019: Thapelong, Cabbage, and the Divine

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On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

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November 2019: Comfort in Our Troubles

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Praise be to God, the God of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Last year, the Forum for Development, Culture, and Dialogue (FDCD) in Lebanon began implementing a winterization project in Syria in partnership with Global Ministries. FDCD received many urgent requests for assistance in the areas of Aleppo, Hama, and rural Damascus as Syrians were preparing for a harsh winter. While food supplies are always an enormous need, families were very concerned about the cold winter ahead and the health of the household, children specifically. This is due to the fact that there are few organizations focused on helping Syrians prepare for winter. We planned to distribute 500 sets of children’s clothes, 400 blankets, and 200 heaters, assisting over 1000 families as colder months approached. FDCD also provided assistance to volunteers helping in distributions, extending the impact of the project.

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