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.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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.

Save

Save

Save

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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?” 

 

Save

Read more
Add your reaction Share

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.

 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

April 2016: Hearts Ablaze

…inspired by [the prophetic utterances] you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience. I Timothy 1: 18b, 19a

The nation was afire with anger. People took to the streets this past summer to protest the passing of the new set of security laws proposed by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Non-violent demonstrations were also held on one day in August in 350 locations all over the country. It was the young people who stood at the forefront of this movement.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

March 2016: Through the Eyes of Children

What you have learned and received, and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

Cannon_-Kahala-REG.pngThe beauty of life can be seen through the eyes of children all around the world. Just a short walk from the Christian Hospital Mungeli is the Rambo Memorial English Medium School (RMEMS). There the vibrant energy of young people, from nursery to 12th grade, pulses. Each day the students learn to cherish life, respect each other, and embrace the unique learning opportunities that are available to them outside, as well as inside, the walls of their school.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

February 2016: Partnerships for Peace

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. I Corinthians 14:33a

Life in Israel/Palestine can often seem full of chaotic confusion. I have been working with the teachers, administrators, and staff in the schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Schools serving Palestinians is the mission emphasis of the ELCJHL.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

January 2016: Farming God’s Way

They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8

The Growing Nations project of the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa (LECSA) is located in the hot and often arid Maphutseng valley. LECSA trains people in Conservation Agriculture (CA) or, as they say, “Farming God’s Way”: minimal disturbance of the soil (no plowing), keeping the soil covered, and crop rotation.  The transition to CA is not always easy, but for those who persevere, after a few years, like the tree in Jeremiah’s illustration, they no longer fear the heat and drought for they know their crops will still bear some fruit.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

December 2015: Protecting Migrant Humanity

For in God we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28a

I heard the sounds of a marimba band playing from afar and thought, “This is the Guatemala I know.” We had traveled to Tecum Uman, Guatemala, to attend the first Bi-national (Guatemala, Mexico) Conference on Migration, Children and Border. But Tecum Uman didn’t look anything like the Guatemala I know.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

November 2015: Muslim and Christian Youth Want Peace

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. I Corinthians 14:33

A Muslim man, and a Christian woman with the Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) organized a three-day peace workshop. Twenty Muslim, Christian and Hindu young people met to discuss efforts that have been made to bring about peace in their communities.  “People want to forgive, but not forget,” said a villager from a community where Muslims and Christians are learning to live in peace again after fifteen years of periodic violence.

Read more
Add your reaction Share
United States and CanadaLatin America and the CaribbeanAfricaMiddle East and EuropeSouthern Asia East Asia and the Pacific