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

October 2015: Touching the Heart of the Dragon

He awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be Still! And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39 

The second day of our church-wide retreat, we went on a sightseeing trip around the city of Trang. First was what looked like a peaceful boat ride in small rowboats. We entered a cave which quickly got smaller and tighter, and the boatman told us that we were going through the “belly of the dragon.” We needed to take off our shoes and lie flat on our backs for at least 20 minutes. The boat hit the sides of the “dragon’s belly” countless times, the boatmen were lying down, too, pulling us through by grabbing the rock above us or on either side of us. Then the dragon “bit” some of us in the stomach, including me—that is, we had to kind of scrape our bellies past the rock overhead.  Just as the cave began to widen again, the boatman told us to touch a big round rock hanging down on the right side of the boat, the “dragon’s heart,” he said. Not long after that we started to feel a breeze and see a little more light, and then we glided out of the “dragon’s mouth.”

Read more
Add your reaction Share

September 2015: We are One Family

Every ethnic group in heaven or on earth is recognized by God. Ephesians 3: 15

Here at the YWCA of Palestine, we are celebrating the completion of our report on the international conference on Women’s Freedom, Peace, and Dignity in Palestine. The conference was attended by people from all around the world who are working on issues related to women and violence and women’s leadership.  A number of staff and board members from Global Ministries as well as the Executive Minister of the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries attended this historic conference and helped contribute to its success. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

August 2015: Akpekakaka

Let the kindness of the Lord our God be over us. Make the work of our hands last. Psalm 90:17 CEB

Akpekakaka means thank you greatly in Ghana. The students at the school are so grateful for the many ways Global Ministries has supported them in school and at home. I am teaching English in the Activity Centre, a two-year program for teenage mothers located on the grounds of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Headquarters in Ho, Ghana. The program has 10 – 15 young women from around West Africa every year and focuses heavily on skills training and entrepreneurship so graduates can support themselves and their family.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

July 2015: Giving and Receiving

I’m a friend to everyone who honors you, O God, and to all who keep your precepts.  Psalm 119:63 CEB

The Latin America Biblical University (UBL) was my home for three months as a volunteer earlier this year. The University is a shining light for Protestant students to explore innovative and challenging perspectives of the Bible. In the midst of conservative tendencies in churches throughout Latin America, students at UBL are challenged to re-encounter the Good News of the Gospel.

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