Missionary Stories

Arriving in Fiji

I have had the opportunity to work with the Pacfic Council of Churches in Suva, Fiji during these past few weeks, and have continued to plod along through work even as the island has been put under pressure by the threat of COVID-19. Throughout these stressful times PCC has remained active in local communities in a variety of ways and remaining involved in as many ways as they could conceive. I suppose I should be going at this more narratively rather than starting in the middle. 

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Amidst Uncertainty

During this pandemic there are few things that I do routinely. The most consistent thing might be the inconsistency on how I approach each day. While I do many of the same things or activities each day they happen at all sorts of different hours with varying intensities.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Taking Root and Growing

I have heard many people talk about wishing that they could go on a cruise or live in a tropical paradise. Many have wished they had the opportunity to own an island getaway. And now here I am living in an island paradise.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

The Value of Dignity

This is my second year working at the J.F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, where I serve as chaplain and associate professor of Christian Studies. My family still lives four hours away in the city of Kobe. When my son graduates from high school this June the family will move to Tokyo. I am very much looking forward to all of us living together again.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Learning Across Borders

Every year, I take my seminar students to the Philippines as part of their course in social work at Doshisha University. For many of the students it is their first experience in a country where most of the population is poor.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Responding in Love

On January 12, 2020, after 43 years since its last eruption (1977), the Taal volcano erupted. An Alert Level 4 was issued and residents within a 14-kilometer radius were ordered to evacuate. This affected towns surrounding the volcano in the province of Batangas and about 459,300 people.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Waiting Patiently and On Arrival

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Read more
Add your reaction Share

Community and Interdependence

Larsen__Andrew_image0.jpegWhen I contemplate the upcoming partnership with the United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP), I always go back to one of the core values of Global Ministries: Community. While this might be an obvious choice when reflecting and anticipating my time in the Philippines, I appreciate how Global Ministries words the value of community. Community is “Building interdependence and unity among all of God’s children.” The key word being ‘interdependence,’ which recognizes that my sanctity and well-being is inherently tied up with my siblings in Christ. It's an understanding that our world is much smaller than we ever realize or sometimes hope it to be. Because if our communities are interdependent, then people across oceans, across cultures, across religions, and so many other spectrums, become significantly more important. It is what makes the bright and vibrant contrasts of our amazing, messy, beautiful world.

Read more
Add your reaction Share

COVID-19 in Hong Kong

Dear Friends,

In late December, Hong Kong was becoming aware of reports from mainland China about a dangerous new virus that was rapidly spreading, especially in the Wuhan area. Immediately, this brought back memories of the panic of the 2003 SARS epidemic. Over 1700 people were diagnosed with SARS in Hong Kong and 299 died. That is a death rate of 17%.

Read more
1 reaction Share

Covered in Prayer

All over the world, people battle serious illnesses, terminal diseases, and life-altering circumstances.  Some have a wonderful support system of family and friends, whereas others have less support or seem to walk their journey alone. In Eswatini, the Prayer Shawl Ministry reminds those men and women that there is a group of women who journey with them through prayer regardless of their support structure.

Read more
Add your reaction Share