Pray: Natural Disasters

If you are like me, you are excited to welcome the New Year, to put last year to rest and start fresh. It is no understatement that 2017 was a very difficult year, especially in terms of natural disasters—wildfires in California, hurricanes throughout the gulf of Mexico and Caribbean islands, and monsoons that ravaged Nepal, Bangladesh, and India affected thousands. Families were displaced, left without power or shelter, as well as necessities that we often take for granted. While many of us are starting the year fresh by making resolutions, there are many who are being forced to make a fresh start because a natural disaster destroyed the life they had built for themselves and their families this past year. It is in the midst [...]

By | 2018-01-10T13:24:17+00:00 January 8th, 2018|Categories: Pray|Tags: , , |

Prayer: Ethnic Violence & Genocide

But the truth is that genocide by no means happens suddenly. It is rather like a slow-growing cancer. We often don’t recognize the early symptoms, and sometimes we just don’t want to. Like cancer, genocide grows in stages. It begins simply with the way we start to classify ourselves in contrast to other groups, and then discriminate, persecute, and eventually try to eliminate them.

By | 2017-11-08T09:50:05+00:00 November 8th, 2017|Categories: Pray|Tags: , , , |

Prayer: Orphans

The first time I watched the movie Lion, I was sitting on a plane between my two kids, on our way from India to the U.S. I was utterly drawn in, recognizing in so many scenes the world I was just leaving: the crowded, lively streets; the dhabas (food stands) with their deep-fried goodies; the familiar accents and casual head bobbing. The story is about a small, poor boy, Saroo, who gets separated from his family, and, not knowing his last name or the village he is from, is unable to find his way back. After many days on his own in a foreign city where no one understands his language, he ends up in an orphanage and is later adopted by an Australian family. I loved, in [...]

By | 2017-09-21T13:08:12+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Categories: Pray|Tags: , , , , |

Pray: Addiction

Just one more ooey-gooey sugar-glazed donut! One last episode of Downton Abbey tonight (errr…this morning). One more time checking Facebook, just to make sure I don’t miss anything important. We know overdoing these things is not healthy, but it seems so hard to stop! For those of us thinking the word “addiction” has nothing to do with us, let’s try staying away from sugar or caffeine or TV or social media for a month. Of course, downing six cups of coffee a day or binge-watching Breaking Bad has a different affect on our bodies, minds, and environment than consuming drugs or alcohol, but we all have idols we find hard to say “no” to. Some of us fight the siren song of sugar or Instagram [...]

By | 2017-09-05T20:07:01+00:00 August 1st, 2017|Categories: Pray, Rahham|Tags: |

Pray: Fatalism

I’ve just spent a month in Africa teaching the TCT program. One of the big things we look at during trainings are the beliefs that keep people locked in poverty. There are many. The South Sudanese team shared some really powerful lies that keep them in poverty, such as, “We are a baby country, so everyone should just give to us” and “We are the land of Cush that was cursed in Isaiah 18; we are cursed.” While these lies and their impact are incredibly sad, it was fun to watch the team search scripture to find the truth to counter each of those lies and recognise it isn’t what God says about them at all. […]

By | 2017-09-08T10:12:51+00:00 July 4th, 2017|Categories: Pray, Nurturing Truth & Confronting Lies, Truth Centered Transformation|Tags: |

Pray: Refugees

My earliest memory of being aware of refugees even existing simply involves sitting in a living room with a family I couldn’t talk to (because we didn’t speak the same language), and being served my first cup of Turkish coffee in a beautiful, tiny demitasse cup. I was about 16, and I had no idea what this family had experienced or how they had landed in a town near me. I still don’t, not specifically. But they changed my life with their hospitality, at a time when my world was very small. Over time, God has provided more and more touch points for me with refugee families. Opportunities to help set up apartments, welcome families, and walk with them for a time. Opportunities to hear [...]

By | 2017-09-08T10:13:00+00:00 June 6th, 2017|Categories: Pray, Learn and Apply, Focusing on the Vulnerable|Tags: , , |

The Church is Capable

For years the church members of Tu Pi village had waited for someone to come help them. They were extremely poor—at least three months a year they had to scavenge for food. The village was a three-hour walk from the nearest road, meaning that they had little contact with anyone outside their community. The village had no school, no medical facilities, no market, no electricity, no toilets or wells. Gathering water required a two-kilometer walk. With little discipleship, the church members lived much the same way as the rest of the community— growing tobacco and rice to make rice wine. It made life bearable at least. Then they heard a rumor that there was a program for churches that was causing communities to move out [...]

By | 2017-09-13T09:52:05+00:00 May 3rd, 2017|Categories: Stories, Truth Centered Transformation|Tags: |

We Rise Together: Women Supporting Women

Of all the different issues we could talk about as we focus on women this month, the one that keeps coming to my mind is the way we women think of ourselves and view other women. The abuse, oppression, objectification and devaluation of women is a priority topic here in India, and most of the time we think about how society in general or specifically men relate to women this way, which, of course, is extremely important. But as I was listening to stories upon stories from the Ending Gendercide team members, the idea that women work against each other kept jumping out at me. Why is that? Why do we keep undermining each other? Why do we want others to suffer what we have [...]

By | 2017-03-07T05:30:21+00:00 March 7th, 2017|Categories: Ending Gendercide|Tags: , |

Prayer: Poverty

Poverty is complex. How we address poverty is tricky. To wildly over-simplify things, we can think of poverty in two categories: generational poverty—poverty that you see around much of the majority world; poverty that you are born into and never seem to get out of, and situational poverty—poverty that comes from an outside event, like a natural disaster or a health crisis. The causes of each are different and so, naturally, the solutions are different. For now we will just look at the first—generational poverty. Imagine a poor rural village in the majority world. What do you think are the best ways to help them? For years I would have said give resources and train them in the basic life skills that they are missing. [...]

By | 2017-01-31T05:30:24+00:00 January 31st, 2017|Categories: Learn and Apply|Tags: , |

Prayer: Persecution

Christmas is approaching. It’s a season when Christians all over the world love to share about their faith. Unfortunately, that also means that it’s a time when persecution increases. I live in what is labelled a ‘closed’ or ‘creative access’ country. Basically that means the church here faces persecution, and while it’s definitely not as bad as it once was, it’s been a constant theme for me for the past 20 years. People are chased by the police, forced to hide or disguise themselves. People are beaten, their homes and fields are burnt, their families reject them, and they are thrown out of their villages. These are real, painful things. I know what it means to be scared, and I certainly don’t want to minimize [...]

By | 2016-12-06T05:30:10+00:00 December 6th, 2016|Categories: Learn and Apply, From the Directors|Tags: , |
Reconciled World