Missionary Stories

Final Report from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I just wanted to send all of you a final and brief report of my experience as a volunteer mission teacher for Global Ministries in the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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It has only Just Begun

Dear friends

It is astonishing to find that we are almost at the close of the year.  It is now cold and crisp in Rome, where beautiful Christmas lights invest the plainest streets with excitement and hope. 

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In the Land of Cedars

Since October 17, Lebanon, the “Land of the Cedars,” seems to be in the midst of a popular uprising that some call a revolution. Yet there is so much more in the current crisis than what meets the eye. There has been a spontaneous (it seems) outburst of rage against the acceptance of corruption as an inevitable fact of life; against the dependence on stop-gap measures to keep utilities (sort of) rolling along, as has been the case in the three decades since the end of the civil war; against the lack of a system of holding people accountable (hardly an institution in this country, public or private, functions without some “irregularities” in operations or hiring); against the partnerships of local groups with outside powers, each having its own agenda; and against what underlies it all: the deeply entrenched patronage system in the country (thanks to the Ottomans, then the French, then the Lebanese themselves).

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Advent / Christmas

Dear Family and Friends:

As we prepare to celebrate the 8th Christmas since we began our mission service appointment, in support of the witness of the Christian Churches of the Holy Land, we send you warm greetings from Bethlehem, where we are based.

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A Different Kind of Day

I have been in Lampedusa for a week. Much of that time has been filled with orienting myself to the community and the work that is to be done here. Within my first 24 hours, there was a “landing” to attend to, meaning that the Italian Coast Guard had picked up migrants in distress on the sea. Fifty young Tunisian men and boys were on board a ship that was in trouble, but all were brought safely to the port. My job, along with Mediterranean Hope staff members, was to carry water, snacks, and blankets to the Coast Guard dock to offer a tangible welcome to those in transit before they were taken to the area reception camp for governmental processing.

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Erntedank – Thanks for the harvest

It’s that time of year again: this coming Sunday is Erntedankfest – a celebration of thanksgiving for the harvest.

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What Are You Doing Today about the Future?

Today (Sept. 21), at one of the events celebrating the 28th Independence Day of Armenia, the announcer posed this question to the audience in Gyumri, the second-largest city: “Each of us must ask this: ‘What am I doing today to ensure that Armenia has a future?’” That’s a good question to ask about any endeavor in which you are involved. But it should be on the lips of Christians everywhere regarding the church and its calling in this world.

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Is Building Worth It?

Wending our way through the narrow streets of Bourj Hammoud (just outside Beirut) this week, my son and I stopped at the shop of a childhood friend of Maria’s. Usually when I pass by this fellow’s tiny workplace he’s busy at one of his sewing machines, assembling parts for shoes that are manufactured there.

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Peacemaking, Piece-by-Piece

The very last day of January saw an amazing thing happen in Lebanon. The country, whose people had gone to the polls nine months earlier to elect a new government, could finally say that they had one.

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Update from Italy

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our brother, whose family became sojourners in a time of violent unrest.

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