Posts Tagged "community"

new missions paradigm

The Need for a New Missions Paradigm

Christianity Today recently posted a groundbreaking article by Amy Peterson called  Farewell to the Missionary Hero, and there are a few reasons why I feel it is extremely timely and essential to the movement I’m trying to build around a new missions paradigm. I’ve been noticing a trend lately in modern missions that excites me, a trend rising up out of the desire for the authentic, un-romanticized accounts of missionary life. This trend is a gathering hunger for a shift in the way we think of and do missions. This new missions paradigm is a hunger for a breakdown of the harmful stereotypes

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How to Make the Ruins Beautiful

I lived my life in emergency mode for so long I almost forgot what it felt like to have some peace.  There was always a problem to solve, a sick kid who needed taking to the hospital, a government office who didn’t understand our heart, a mama who needed a hand held while she took an HIV test, a landlord who wanted to raise our rent, a donor who needed an explanation. They say Africa is not for the faint of heart for a reason. And while I might love her dew and her dust, her people, the suddenness of

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How to Be Authentic

Tragedy happens.  I don’t believe anyone who woke up the morning of the Boston Marathon believed that they would lose limbs, or worse, loved ones. And yet deeper than the scars on their bodies, the scars they will live with from that day, are the ones on their hearts. And yet many will get up and move on, without considering: The heart requires bandaging as well.  And it got me thinking about something I’ve been mulling over for a while. Being in ministry I understand the pressure to have it all together. To keep things hidden.To hope that everyone else

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How to Become Grateful

When the mommy brigade takes over Panera with their newborns I want to run. In fact I do run, right out the front door. Tiny heads with tiny hats on them. Little animal-eared sweaters. Most days it doesn’t affect me. Most days I don’t feel like the air has been squeezed out of my chest. But today I do. Sometimes we don’t understand why.  Why so many around me this year carried that hope in them, that new life, only to have it be snuffed out. Why good people, the best people, lost the most precious thing in the world.

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How to Say Goodbye

“By changing nothing, nothing changes.” -Tony Robbins Five years is a long time. It’s a lot of sweaty bus-rides. It’s a lot of roach killing, and mouse killing, and eating posho and beans. It’s a lot of swatting mosquitos on your legs, and running out of water just as you soaped up your body. It’s a lot of pouring out your life.  And it’s a long time without air-conditioning, that’s for sure. A lot of time to fall in love with a place and it’s people. And even more time to love the reality vs. the rosy colored version. It’s

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When Love Covers Death

As we sat in the knee-high grass legs itchy, sun scorching, and the sound of worship heard over the wailing I concentrated on the yellow weeds at my feet growing wild and thorny. I wonder if someone planted them here.  I’ve been here before. Death a part of my existence here in East Africa. No matter how many life-breathed words over cold, clammy bodies, the caskets seem to pile high. Tiny crosses engraved in the black cloth. Aids a raging killer. But it is different this time. Years ago they would have been alone. Years ago they would have crumpled

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How to Surrender

Most often my days start with problems. A myriad of needs. Things which have “gone wrong.” The water has run out. Again. People who need my help. A mama needs more money for food to feed her kids. A girl who runs away from home because she still feels strange in the safety of love’s arms. How to build a jewelry program so she doesn’t have to sell herself for bread. How to fill the holes when we don’t have enough people to fill them. A mission to heal this nation which seems too large and too undoable.  All day

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What Six Years Has Taught Me

Six years. I ask God sometimes, “how do you do it?” How do you hold each of us in your heart? With equal importance. With so much love. Doesn’t it hurt? Don’t you buckle under our sea of faces? An organization is just made up of people. Faces. Names. Friends. Ones who are loved. And it is only as strong as it’s relationships. And just when you think there is not enough space in your heart for one more. One more person. One more story. One more face. One more friend. You fall in love again.  I cannot say what

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How to Persevere

This thing called peace. How we search for it somewhere out there in the deep blue horizon, on the helm of sailboat, in the bottom of a glass, in the perfect dress, or in the next adventure. Peace is in a moment where we can feel God’s love speaking to us in silence, in nature, in a moment of need.  In His affirmation of who we are. When I get really tired, when I wear myself out with all this world-traveling, and speaking up for the oppressed, and meeting of other people’s needs, and when I feel guilty that I

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How to Live in Two Worlds

When I come back to America, it’s often hard for me to describe what exactly I do. To say that I experience culture shock is an understatement. I am both in awe and terrified of Walmarts, large crowds of people, loud restaurants, and escalators. I seem to be perpetually cold because my body is un-accustomed to the simple luxury of air conditioning. I always want to sit outside because it seems more comfortable to me and any time I see a black person I want to run up and throw my arms around them like an escaped mental patient. I

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