Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I want to let you know about the next adventure in my life and to invite you to partner with me in it. From January 25 to February 8, 2009 I and my friend, Jeff Fussner, will be in Bougainville to teach a two week course at the Bible College there. I will be teaching practical message preparation (aka: homiletics). It’s a great opportunity for me to share my 30+ years of experience with developing pastors and to learn from them as well.
So....where is Bougainville? It is a remote island in the Solomon Island chain near Papua New Guinea (PNG). I’ve been telling people that we fly into PNG and then go somewhere more remote. The people of Bougainville have been the subject of oppression for sometime and in the last decade have won a measure of autonomy and relief.
I will be posting updates here as the time draws nearer and a detailed report once I return.
Funds needed: $1,800.00
Raised to date: $1,840.00 We've exceeded the goal by $40.00! - thanks for your support! WOW! Extra funds will be put to use to help students at the Bible School.
Area: 3,590 sq mi (slightly smaller than Jamaica) The most northerly of the Solomon Islands but arbitrarily linked in colonial times to PNG.
Population: 160,000 about 20,000 lost their lives in the fighting during the 1990’s. An additional 40,000 became refugees.
Economy: A large copper mine opened in 1972 provided 35% of the national income to the PNG central government but severely damaged the ecology of the island. The mine was closed in 1989.
Politics: Local opposition to incorporation in PNG at independence in 1975 led to a war for Bougainville’s independence in 1988. After intense fighting, a cease fire was finalized in 1998. In 2000 negotiations about the future status of Bougainville commenced.
Religion: Almost entirely Christian. Roman Catholics 80%, United Church 10%, also Seventh Day Adventist. Many are nominal with much syncretism.
(Data taken from Operation World 21st Century Edition)
FOR MORE ON BOUGAINVILLE AND THE HISTORY OF THE CONFLICT THERE: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/jfadt/bougainville/bv_chap2.htm
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Today's slideshow can give you a bit of an idea of how hard we worked and how much harder the lives are of those who live this everyday.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
It was a wonderfully warm and mostly sunny day until late afternoon when it threatened rain and thunder rolled off the mountains.
A bit of explanation of Ackie (spelling unsure). It is a fruit that grows down here and when cooked tastes and has the consistency and appearance of undercooked scrambled eggs. Can’t wait to try them.
We’ve had a few taste adventures. There is callalu - which is a leafy green vegetable which doesn’t taste quite as sweet as spinach but not as bitter as collard greens. Then there are star apples that taste nothing like apples. They are more like a cross between a mushy melon and a grape with enormous black seeds. But they are quite tasty. We will also be having real yams - they have one in the pantry that is 7 inches in diameter and about a foot long and it has been cut in half! We will also be trying bread fruit which is grown right here in the yard.
Another new experience was the frequent blackouts and brown outs yesterday. The lights began to fade and then just go out about mid-afternoon and continued until well after dark. Carl and Barry were trying to do some welding which was really difficult to do when the voltage kept changing. This is also the explanation for not sending out this update last night. It was ready, but the connection was not cooperating. So my apologies for being a bit late.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Here's a quick look at the church experience - it was much longer, and more meaningful than the video can convey, but it will give you a taste.
The afternoon was spent with the kids. Some swam in the pool, others went to the ocean and took beautiful photos.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
O.k. - I was sitting - and there were lots of other people doing the same thing - but it probably was my best feature - I've raised $880 and glad to have done it.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Well, it is going to happen. I will be going bald on March 16th. My "friends" have been adamant that the $1,000.00 bounty on my locks will be met. If you would like to be part of the fun and make a difference for the future of some of our children, here's the steps:
1: go to http://www.stbaldricks.org/
2: click on "get involved"
3: in the HELP THE CAUSE window click "Make a Donation"
4: in the search for a participant window type:
5: follow the "donate now" link
You can donate on line with a credit card or download a form to make a donation by mail.
Thanks for your willingness to make me look ridiculous and to help fight childhood cancer.
For the background on this, see my previous post below.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
How do you like my new look? Actually it's an intentionally poor photoshop of what I might look like bald. And I could be, if you are like my friend and co-worker Judy who said, "I'd pay to see that"!
On Sunday, March 16th, there's an event here in town put on by the St. Baldrick's Foundation. They raise funds for children's cancer research by getting people to shave their heads. Last year they raised over $12 million. I am willing to do my part, but I don't come cheap.
If I can get people to donate $1,000 to St. Baldricks in my name, I will, on March 16th lay it all down - at least all my hair! Then I will post a picture of the real-deal here on my blog for all to enjoy. I may even be able to get a video of the golden moment.
My greatest fears are 1] that my hair will never grow back in or 2] it will finally come in gray. But this is a great cause I care deeply about. I'm doing this for my friends Doug, Kim and Stephen because of Hawk. I'm doing this because of Laura and her mom and dad. I'm doing this for Ashley who lost a leg, but gained our deepest admiration. I'm doing this for those other kids I don't know, but my heart still breaks for them and their families. And though they are not children I'm doing it for Marcia's dad, Mo and Shirley and Claire and Kim and Bill and for my mom who has been a cancer survior for going on 30 years now.
Check out the website at http://www.stbaldricks.org/. Then leave me a comment if you would "pay to see that"! As soon as I am registered as a participant, I'll let you know. If I can make a difference in one of these kid's lives, then bald is truly beautiful - but hopefully, not permanent.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Today I was in one of those purveyors of Jesus paraphernalia. While browsing through the various offerings, I discovered that Jesus junk had sunk to a new low. First it was a 25' carpenter’s tape measure with "Build On The Rock" printed on the side. Other than being way overpriced, it was merely amusing.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Here’s a brief sampling....
"I am alone, surrounded by unbelieving activists and inactive believers."
Some people do a great job of refining and expressing the muddy thoughts I’ve had floating around inside my skull. Shane is one of those guys. I’m frustrated by my own inability to connect the real gospel with the real world. As a born and bred evangelical I’m cloned to treat the world as if we can solve all the world’s problems by reading the Four Spiritual Laws.
I’m coming to believe that sharing, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life" is a paraphrase of James 2:16 ("Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,"). We are missing a huge part of the Gospel when we fail to combine both the life giving Word and life giving bread (or shelter, clothing, clean water, etc).
I’m not exactly sure where this ends up, but I’m on an exploration of what it means. We are going to be partnering with an elementary school that experiences a 70% poverty rate. We are also working with a clearing house of material needs to the poor of Lansing. It’s not enough, but it is a start.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
It was an amazing time with the grandkids. They are every bit as fun as all those old people used to tell me they would be. But as a bicynicalist, I won't turn maudlin on you. I'm back and back to blogging.
(Can anyone get the obscure connection to the pic?)