February 2017: Disconnect to Connect

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How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

I had the misfortune of misplacing my phone on a microbus. This is by no means an unheard of situation in the chaotic world of Cairo public transportation. After a few days of mourning my pocket-sized computer, the silver linings surpassed the size of the storm cloud quickly.

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January 2017: Sharing and Giving

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In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

Sharing and giving are important aspects of life at the Christian Hospital in Mungeli (CHM). Sharing a skill, a story, a relationship with Christ, or an experience seems to be natural to those who grace both campuses.

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December 2016: Migrant Posada

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And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Mary was riding on a burro and Joseph was walking beside her as they traveled by the Nogales border wall in search of shelter during the Migrant Posada. Posadas recreate the journey from 2,000 years ago as Mary and Joseph are refused lodging at various stations along the way and are finally welcomed in at the end of the procession. A cold rain was falling this day, but for a brief moment, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared.

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November 2016: Right Here and Now

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But those who hope in God will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

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October 2016: Loaves and Fishes

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. John 9:16

The Loaves and Fishes Dining Room is the meeting place every Saturday in the Disciples of Christ Church in Luque, Paraguay near the Asuncion airport. The church opens its dining room to welcome 50-70 children and adolescents to serve them with joy and excitement. It is a low-income community, with dusty unpaved or muddy roads, where the courtyard of the church experiences the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes.

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September 2016: Loving Our Neighbor

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

It’s not every day that the Consul General of a Middle Eastern country asks to come for a visit to the Hong Kong Christian Council (HKCC). When the Consul General arrived with his staff, he explained that he was new to his position and was troubled by events around the world involving violence and terrorism. He was concerned about the rise of ‘Islamophobia’ or anti-Muslim sentiment. He wanted to reach out to other religions in Hong Kong to get to know them and to build better relationships. In our conversation, he learned that the HKCC also actively seeks ways to build friendship and engage in dialogue with other world religions.

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August 2016: Community Murals

mural_CNX.jpegHow good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

I’ve been involved with different kinds of peacebuilding efforts in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A recent project I worked with sought to transform communities through murals. The project found street artists in the community and asked them to paint in the daylight, safe from arrest.

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July 2016: Sharing Experience

Bailey__Nathaniel.JPGAs water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:19

One warm and windy Friday afternoon, my Jordanian and American friends drove from Amman into the countryside for a picnic. The winter rains were finished, and it was time to settle into the sun.

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June 2016: My Justice

Byrd__Phyllis.jpgTaking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. Luke 9:16

My father, Charlie Byrd, was born and raised in the southern part of the U.S., educated up to third grade, the son of a Baptist Minister, and lived through the Great Depression. When he came home and greeted us after work, he would exclaim “my justice!” My mother’s usual response was “I made ____ for dinner.” I soon understood that “my justice,” according to the “gospel” of Charlie Byrd, meant “What’s for dinner?” 

 

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May 2016: Singing the Same Song

Kabat__Lauren.jpegFinally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.   2 Corinthians 13:11

Holding hands in a circle and singing “Shalom chaverim” to the starlit sky, I looked around at our group, our eyelids heavy after a busy week of games, crafts, workshops and singing. As we sang, my mind wandered to my own summer camp experiences where I first truly saw the face of God. It was there as a staff member that I felt called to apply to Global Ministries. On a different continent, in a different culture and surrounded by people I had just met, we sang this same song. There, too, I felt the presence of God.

 

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