Monday, September 26, 2011
It's hard to believe that I've been home for almost four weeks. When I look through the photos I took in Jos, Nigeria last month, it seems like I was there yesterday.
For those of you in northern Colorado who want to know more about my trip and all the new and exciting things happening at Faith Alive, you're invited to attend one of my presentations on Sunday, October 16 at First Presbyterian Church (531 S. College in Fort Collins) from either 9:30-10:30 am or 11 am-noon. I'll also have a smaller gathering at my home on Tuesday, October 11 from 7-8:30 pm for those who can't make either of the Sunday presentations.
Please let me know if you'd ever like to me to come to any existing groups and talk about Faith Alive.
On another note, many Nigerians remember Mollie. She travelled with me there in 2009. Join me in praising God that she and her husband just had their third healthy child--a girl named Charley Mila.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Last month, I blogged about meeting Pamela Brown-Peterside, a new member of the Faith Alive family. She currently lives in New York City and works at Redeemer Presbyterian Church as a Director of Fellowship Groups, a similar position to mine more than ten years ago at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins. But we have another common interest—writing. Check out her blog at http://citypsalm.wordpress.com.
She writes about Faith Alive in her September 13, 2011 post, saying that her visit there far exceeded her expectations. She says, “In a city rife with religious and economic tension, at Faith Alive, Christians and Muslims work side by side and are treated equally as patients without discrimination. Thus, Faith Alive stands as a beacon not just of a radical example of showing God’s love to the least of these, but as a symbol of reconciliation.”
May the city of Jos, the Plateau state, the country of Nigeria and the rest of the world see the light.
Monday, September 12, 2011
While on a completely different scale, yesterday I remembered the events of September 11, 2001 in America and learned about two new explosions in Nigeria. I’ve read conflicting news reports about what happened, but it sounds like two bombs exploded around 8 pm in a popular bar area of Jos, badly wounding people’s bodies and sense of security.
This struck a little terror in my heart until I heard Dr. Chris say that the Faith Alive family is fine. His words of assurance apply not only to Jos, but to all of us trying to make sense of tragedy: “The devil is at work, but He (God) has assured us of victory.”
(FYI: I'm back to posting only on Mondays.)
Monday, September 5, 2011
Don Simmons, a friend I met during my official equipping ministry days, gives great advice about what to bring home from a mission trip instead of guilt. Here are his suggestions:
1. RESOLVE. The deep gut strength/feeling to DO something about poverty in the world and where you live.
2. ARTICULATION. We can often miscommunicate our message because we “feel” it more than we can express it.
3. REALISTIC STRATEGY. You will need to be thinking of a realistic strategy to educate, engage and equip others on what you have learned.
4. HOPE. You know it now: God loves and cares for Africa just as much (and possibly more because they are poor) as he loves and cares for people in the U.S. If you focus on the hopelessness and not the HOPE, you’ll miss the point. If you focus on poverty and not the richness of God’s promises, you won’t be able to do much about poverty.
5. DESIRE. Pack some desire to go to other lands, other cultures, other neighborhoods. Let Africa be your “appetizer” for the buffet of God’s world and His people. Pack that desire to take others with you and open their eyes as well.
Don goes on to say, "The amazing thing about travel that I love is that it is the one activity that allows us to get a good look at how BIG God is, and how BIG our family is. Pack away all those new friendships, tuck away those treasures and pull them out often and pray for them, think of them, and remember what you learned from them. Isn’t it amazing that you went to be the giver yet you return very much the student?"
(Don’s website is http://www.creativepotentialconsulting.org/background.htm.)