Missionary Stories

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)

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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.

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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%.

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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.

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Children’s Trial Against Radiation Exposure

   Nine years had passed since the nuclear disaster in Japan. It was a grey and dreary day as I got off the bus in front of the Fukushima High Court to meet my friend Terumi who is one of the co-representatives of the “Children’s Trial Against Radiation Exposure.”

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Foot Washing in a Time of Hand Washing

How do you create community during the time of social distancing? I have been in the Philippines for a little over two weeks and during this time the global situation and reaction to the coronavirus COVID-19 has dramatically changed. And the Philippines is no different. We are all navigating the new landscape of what a pandemic looks like for our daily lives. Our routines have been altered, businesses we frequent are closed for the foreseeable future, and folks are hunkering down at home. Spending unprecedented amount of time with lucky dogs, their families, new babies, and Netflix. This new landscape for me also comes with a literal new landscape as well. I’ve only been in Cebu for 4 days (the city and island I will be based out of for the duration of my time here). This is the crucial time to build those initial relationships, establish community, and develop rapport. My own supervisor is not here due to the travel and movement restrictions. Currently we are on “community quarantine” which limits domestic travel in and out, reduces or closes businesses, and creates police checkpoints throughout the city. All of this in the very necessary and important step of creating “social distance”.

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Building Ties

I have heard many people talk about wishing that they could go on a cruise or live on a tropical paradise.

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The Journey to Haenam: Teaching English

Note: 

Thomas Smith is serving in Korea which is categorized as a Level 3 country dealing with the COVID 19 virus. Global Ministries has been in regular contact with both Thomas and the partner and received this note about his well-being:

As you must be already following the news, the COVID 19-situation in Korea is getting serious. There are numerous actions taken and many international gatherings cancelled or postponed in Korea.

Thomas, who is doing his volunteer work in Haenam (Haenam Yanmuri Church), in the field of English Ministry, is adapting and enjoying his work! Haenam, is noted as one of the ‘clean zones’ of South Korea without any positive diagnosis on COVID 19. Last weekend, our whole department went to Haenam in order to show our support to the congregation and especially to Thomas. We all shared the impression that he was ‘in his element’!

_______

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Update from Korea: Busy Times

The autumn at the Ecumenical Office of the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of South Korea has been a very busy time for me. 

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Update from Korea

I am a Global Mission Intern, living in Seoul.  I work with our partners in the Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea in their ecumenical office.

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