During recent meetings in Orlando I (Marti) spent time with a Pioneers worker who is stepping into a new role coordinating ministry efforts serving refugees in Europe. As a missiological opportunity, she believes, the current flood of refugees is as significant for this generation as the fall of Communism was for those of us coming of age in the early 1990’s (can you believe it’s been 25 years?) When the long-closed doors for ministry in the Soviet Union opened up, I was among those who walked through them, sent by the ministry with which I served. So was Janet.
» Read what Janet says about the refugee crisis and get the latest on what’s up with us in the July 2016 Prayer Letter.
Looking for some light summer reading? (ha!) CIU’s School of Intercultural Studies Published this on on their website:
Cultural Training for 21st Century Mission
What does it take to equip Christian cross-cultural workers—missionaries—to go out into other cultures ready to learn, build meaningful relationships, and be effective in ministries central to the evangelical understanding of mission, such as evangelism, discipleship, and the planting and development of viable, contextualized churches? With today’s pressures and priorities, what are the minimum standards or best practices? The significance of these questions may be clear to the aspiring missionaries, their supporters, and the organizations that send them, as their purpose and ministry are on the line. Answering these questions, however, is more difficult due to factors such as a diversifying mission force, the rising cost of training, and the demand for shorter mission commitments.
How, through pre-field or on-the-job training, can Western Christian missionaries be equipped as skilled cultural learners? More specifically, how might missionary trainers equip today’s and tomorrow’s missionaries to conduct cultural studies that can help them intentionally learn as much as they can for their own sake and the sake of others?
CIU graduate student Marti Wade explores these questions through her recently completed MA thesis (Intercultural Studies). Through synthesizing the recent literature as well as analyzing interviews from cultural trainers from 10 different mission organizations, she helps us move forward on this critical question.
Read Marti’s complete MA thesis HERE.
I let the whole newsletter-writing thing get away from me these last couple months. With five other publications to keep rolling, talks to deliver, and two graduate classes to keep up with, I have felt “all out” of words. Now, though, with a major project wrapping up, I finally feel as if I have a chance to breathe. Besides, I want to make sure our friends and supporters get a heads-up on next steps we’re pursuing while they are still in process.
Read our April Newsletter. I also seized the chance to post a couple of longer pieces about these topics on my personal blog, Telling Secrets. Take a look:
I did get out a January newsletter! It was a little rushed. January came in with a rush, after all. But you can take a look. Or see the somewhat more graceful version with more pictures which we sent out over email.
I have been toying with the idea of sending simpler but more frequent updates. I’m not at all sure that people want to hear from me every week or two. Yet for those who do, it would no doubt be encouraging to hear things like this: that the outcomes of the situations I asked for prayer for suggest that some of you really prayed, and that God honored your prayers.
- The Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills workshop was fantastic. And not as painful and tear-inducing as I feared… just very practical, and simultaneously, very foundational. I’m glad I went.
- The emails I sent out about my thesis were received remarkably well. In fact, most of the ones I sent that Sunday night (!) got Monday responses… from busy mission executives. God’s grace for sure!
Thanks for praying, people. I really appreciate it.
We skipped the end-of-the-year newsletter this year in favor of Christmas cards and lots of Facebook updates. We’ll send another newsletter after the holidays wrap up!
Maybe, though, you were expecting an invitation to make a year-end gift. Don’t let our silence on this topic keep you from doing that… Your prayers and gifts really do make a difference, and year-end donations really help us through slim months that are bound to come!
The big rainstorm that came through South Carolina at the beginning of October and dumped 1-2 feet of rain in just a few days did not hurt us directly, but did cut us off from the world for several weeks. Chris works six miles away as the crow flies. With road closures, the drive was taking him an hour and a half and required him to camp out at the hospital on his shift nights. We were so happy when the road opened up! Thanks for praying for us and our neighbors.
» Read more about how we weathered the floods and some tentative observations about local culture.
You might also check out latest newsletter. It includes updates about Marti’s researcher and writing projects and a closer look at Chris’s work as a hospital chaplain.
In the last installment of our family update we reported that two days before we left Oregon on a 3.5-week journey to South Carolina, we got a call from the hospital whose invitation to join their chaplain residency program had motivated the 3,000-mile trek in the first place. The program was off. We sensed God’s guidance to go ahead with the move anyway.
Two days after we pulled into town, Chris learned that the hospital had just created two new positions for the chaplains they had to have, residency program or no, and they wanted to fill them fast. Before the week was out Chris had met with the staff, filled out an application, been interviewed, was offered a job, and took it. We’re praising God for providing!
- A job where Chris can take his next steps as a chaplain and minister to people in need.
- A great place to live on campus at Columbia International University.
- A warm welcome and the start of friendships on campus, in the community, and in a local church.
Read more about our trip across country and what we’re doing now in our September Newsletter.