Monday, August 29, 2016
Visiting Abu Dhabi is like visiting the future. Modern, large, creative architecture. A physically clean city with zero crime. 100% car culture meaning taxi cabs, private cars and no public buses or subways. A proactive government that is investing in many ways for the future of the country. The ability of the city to attract world class cultural and educational institutions and multinational corporations. The gravitation of grand hotels and huge malls among daily living. Escalators that turn on when you step on them. The intentional collection of people living together from all over the world. Even with lots of reminders of the ancient world - the Grand Mosque, traditional Emirati clothing, the smell of oud - I was captivated by the futuristic in this city. Coming home to Dulles airport was quite anticlimactic.
Leaving your kid 7000 or 70 miles away is difficult. But the Lord has so been so clear in this, we continue to be in awe of the opportunity. She was born for this chance to flourish in the global future of a place like Abu Dhabi.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Photo: Acate, Italy. July 2016.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Monday, August 15, 2016
There's a new kind of leader who believes kids matter more than adults.- Reggie Joiner
Maybe you're thinking that the statement, "kids matter more than adults," is a little extreme. If you're an adult, you might be even slightly offended.
Before you discredit the idea as too radical, think about it. Even your dog figures this out pretty quickly. When a new baby arrives, everyone's status changes.
I'm not trying to devalue any human at any stage of life. The statement isn't intended to imply that an adult's life has any less value than a kid's life, nor that the world should in any way revolve around a child. What does it suggest is that if you want to affect the way a generation sees the world, then it makes sense to start influencing their character and faith when they are young.
Friday, August 12, 2016
::: The Hard Work of Rest
::: Hey Church, We're Just Not That Into You
::: Cynicism is the status quo's most powerful ally. - @jnovogratz
Photo: Late night leaders. Ragusa, Italy, July 2016.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
And then, the next day, someone decides that they would love to get baptized. 10km to the west of where you were the previous day, but the same water, the same sea. It's yelling and clapping and screaming, a small celebration with 14 people, cheering on a public declaration of a dedicated and redeemed life.
Monday, August 08, 2016
This year, we've expanded this number to be 40 instead of 30, because you know how much more Biblical the number 40 is. In either case, that kind of time frame allows emotions to settle. If your experience has changed you, your convictions will last past this time and prove to be beyond emotions.
Calling and vocation are topics best navigated with intention and not by accident. When we hope our students figure out what they are good at or we hope that they bump into the right kind of leaders to lead them or we are unclear about a theology of place, we are navigating these topics by accident. Instead, you should have a plan to help your students think about the future and how they will contribute to it. One of the best ways to start is to help them deeply process what are convictions versus what are emotions.
You can do this too. Encourage your students to let God's leading burn in their hearts for a month. Host a dinner with them after that month and celebrate how you all have changed.
Friday, August 05, 2016
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Saturday, July 30, 2016
Friday was debriefing day so we spent most of the morning discussing the week in detail. Unfiltered debate and missional imagination were key pieces of this.
We spent a little bit of time on the beach in the afternoon also working through more thoughts about the trip using the questions below.
In the evening we went to a worship gathering at a center in the town of Ragusa. Fitting end to our time here.
We devote a whole day to debriefing because it is that important.
1 Write about - What did you love/hate
2 Story on an index card
3 20 second, 2 minute, 20 minute
4 Write about - When did time go fast (generative)
5 Listing important people that you met
6 Envelopes - Tess has these
7 Write about - Something new you learned about God
8 Highlight points on thank you cards
9 Encouragement notes to others
Thursday, July 28, 2016
The common term here is refugee 'camp' although 'camp' isn't quite an accurate word. In Catania, the camp was a 3 story residential building right next to our hotel with dorm style rooms, a common sitting area, and a kitchen. This afternoon we visited another camp that was outside of Modica in the countryside. This was an old rectory of a Catholic church and we spent time visiting. I also listened to a conversation between Ryan, one of our hosts, and F who is here with a missions organization and one of the key players in this work in this region. The challenges are great involving cultures, worldviews, relief vs development and systems, among lots of other things.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Checked out of Catania today after morning in the fish market and hanging in city center.
Drove to Ragusa where we checked into our remaining lodging. We then met up with a friend in Acate. This friend has lived the refugee life and like most of them told us a sobering story. His hospitality was second to none though and it was humbling to be hosted in that manner. Americans don't accept hospitality that well.
Dinner was with a contact who has been helping with a system for when people actually get off the boats.