Missionary Stories

A Missionary's Job Is To...

Chile_-_Elena_IMG_9787_Spr_16.jpgToday I dug out my 1996 journal from the box in my closet.  I am re-reading the entries from my first year of service with the Pentecostal Church of Chile on behalf of Global Ministries.  An entry from January during those first few days in Chile says: "In these moments of 'beginning again,' I ask you, Lord, to be with all those with whom I will walk.  Prepare the way before our feet."

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Easter is Upon Us

Ecuador_-_Cooper_Hebert_pic1.jpgEaster is upon us and the Christmas holidays of 2015 are a far distant memory.  Yet, I would like to share a little of our Christmas cheer.

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Arrival of a Mission Group

Mexico_-_Handy_Spring_2016_pic1.jpgA mission group arrived on Friday. This group was different! They looked just like other groups who visited Las Memorias, mostly white people, with big eyes overwhelmed and afraid. They stand all huddled together as they take stock of the residents gathered in the room.  This is just like the other groups - coming here to see us, hold a service and then feed us.  They leave feeling good about themselves for having crossed the border and walked onto the property we call home.

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Accompany

Guadeloupe_-_Guy_IMG_2130_Spr_2016.jpgI met S two weeks after her arrival. She was scared. She was tired. She was frustrated. She was heartbroken.

It was her first time in prison. She was separated from her family (including her four kids) and her imprisonment was sudden and unexpected. Beyond that, she was in Guadeloupe – a place that is not her home and is far from her family and friends. She was entering a time of despair, wondering when light would shine through the darkness.

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Go where your best prayers take you

Haiti_-_Fonderlins_IMG_1504_Spr_2016.jpg“Go where your best prayers take you.” - Frederick Buechner

Tim and I were living and working in Asia when the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami tore a path of destruction across many countries in that part of the world.  Tim was quickly asked to work with the rebuilding in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, the area closest to the epicenter of the underwater earthquake that set mountainous waves of water in motion.  My work with creating partnerships between churches from around the world and churches within Asia and the Pacific took on a more intentional focus as countless congregations joined together in the rebuilding of homes and lives.  It was a tremendous time of ministry and we were especially proud to be a part of Global Ministries’ recovery efforts in Banda Aceh.

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Grateful

Paraguay_-_A_MISIONERO_RVDO._GEORGE_E._WILEY_JR_(1).jpg“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building”
(1 Corinthians 3:9)

We are grateful to God for giving us the opportunity to be faithful collaborators of the work that God has with this Paraguayan land.  Lands where there are an indigenous people who continue with their traditions, customs and dialects.  Places where humble people who speak Guarani and Spanish, take mate and tereré.  A people who experience a God of mercy in the midst of complex and difficult times, because the Lord’s presence fills us all with hope, confidence and trust that there are new possibilities and opportunities for the people and the Paraguayan communities.  God cares for them and uses the people to continue to bless them in the midst of their daily realities.

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A Persistent Reality

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are,29 so that no one[i] might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption…” 1st of Corinthians 27-30 (NRSV)

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The Struggle Continues Following the Death of Berta Cáceres

Job 37:23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.

Psalm 9:8 NIV  He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.

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February 27, 2010

P5270347.jpgAt the start of the weekend, we piled into the living room, introducing ourselves, looking over the schedule and reviewing the emergency procedures in the event of a fire or earthquake.  “Of course, we will care for those who have fears of earthquakes, so do not worry,” a group leader assured the staff.  Everybody nodded in solemn understanding.  The atmosphere in the room became still and I could see their faces change just slightly.  I reasoned that in that few seconds before shifting topics, each person could not help but recall a memory made on February 27, 2010.

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Paris climate summit ignores the reality of Nogales

Mexico_-_Nicholson_Morning_haze_Dec_2015.jpgThe neighborhood where I live in Nogales is called Bella Vista (“Beautiful View”).  The view disappears in the haze on these winter mornings as desperate impoverished people burn whatever they can to ward off the cold.  This toxic reality of corporate “free trade” was not addressed during the recent “Climate Change Conference” in Paris.

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