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    mural_CNX.jpegHow good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

    I’ve been involved with different kinds of peacebuilding efforts in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A recent project I worked with sought to transform communities through murals. The project found street artists in the community and asked them to paint in the daylight, safe from arrest.

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    Mark 12:31

    It’s not every day that the Consul General of a Middle Eastern country asks to come for a visit to the Hong Kong Christian Council (HKCC). When the Consul General arrived with his staff, he explained that he was new to his position and was troubled by events around the world involving violence and terrorism. He was concerned about the rise of ‘Islamophobia’ or anti-Muslim sentiment. He wanted to reach out to other religions in Hong Kong to get to know them and to build better relationships. In our conversation, he learned that the HKCC also actively seeks ways to build friendship and engage in dialogue with other world religions.


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    Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people. John 9:16

    The Loaves and Fishes Dining Room is the meeting place every Saturday in the Disciples of Christ Church in Luque, Paraguay near the Asuncion airport. The church opens its dining room to welcome 50-70 children and adolescents to serve them with joy and excitement. It is a low-income community, with dusty unpaved or muddy roads, where the courtyard of the church experiences the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes.


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    But those who hope in Godwill renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31


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    Migrant_Posada.jpg

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    And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

    Mary was riding on a burro and Joseph was walking beside her as they traveled by the Nogales border wall in search of shelter during the Migrant Posada. Posadas recreate the journey from 2,000 years ago as Mary and Joseph are refused lodging at various stations along the way and are finally welcomed in at the end of the procession. A cold rain was falling this day, but for a brief moment, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared.

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    In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

    Sharing and giving are important aspects of life at the Christian Hospital in Mungeli (CHM). Sharing a skill, a story, a relationship with Christ, or an experience seems to be natural to those who grace both campuses.


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    How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

    I had the misfortune of misplacing my phone on a microbus. This is by no means an unheard of situation in the chaotic world of Cairo public transportation. After a few days of mourning my pocket-sized computer, the silver linings surpassed the size of the storm cloud quickly.


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    And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20

    According to a global survey of the affordability of houses in more than 350 cities last year, Hong Kong was the least affordable community to buy a home in the world—a title it has maintained for the past six years. According to the survey, the price of an average flat in Hong Kong is 19 times the city’s annual median income.


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  • 01/09/17--14:07: April 2017: Never Enough!
  • “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’:  the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire…” Proverbs 30:15-16


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    For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..." Matthew 25:35

    Greetings from the Dominican Republic! Global Ministries’ partner, Servicios Sociales de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID) has been working in the Dominican Republic since 1962. Now with programs and initiatives in Haiti, communities throughout all of Hispaniola benefit from the ministry of SSID. With a team of regional and local leaders, SSID fulfills the biblical call to care for the poorest of the poor. SSID recognizes the need to fulfill God’s desire to care for one another.


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    “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

    One rainy afternoon, Alberto, the local pastoral intern, and I were Bible sharing with the few youth who came. Suddenly, two strangers walked up to the church door. Greg, a Brazilian, and Joyce, from Malaysia, were traveling all over Southeast Asia. The two traveled light; each with just a small backpack.


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    "Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble."   1 Peter 3:8

    A few months ago I accompanied international church guests to the Reformed Church in Hungary’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In the city of Debrecen, I was crowded into a large tent surrounded by a mixture of Hungarians and internationals, listening to speakers reflect on being reformed. Speakers from Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Taiwan, Scotland, Lithuania, Germany, Spain, and Greece spoke about how they see the spirit of the reformation shaping their personal lives and the ministry of their church today.


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    Tapaeko__Niko.jpgDownload PDF Bulletin insert

    The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
    Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.
    When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matthew 13:44-45

    Attending the UCC General Synod and DOC General Assembly this year opened my eyes to the similarities that exist in mission worldwide. The rallying call from pulpits and resolution after resolution aims at the heart of God’s Kingdom. The writer of Matthew’s gospel gives us a definition of the Kingdom of God that resounds in what we do every day. We - like the farmer, the merchant, the fisherman - search daily for things that provide us with a living, a life. And when we find what produces the abundance of life, we shift anchorage, to use a Pacific/Oceania terminology.

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    Be strong and take heart,
        all you who hope in God.
    Psalm 31:24

    Many tourists share their stories of unparalleled relaxation and breathtakingly beautiful accommodations while visiting the motherland. To them, Cape Town is paradise. Yet scores of South Africans struggle daily from the unaddressed injustices that flow from apartheid. Underneath the city’s glamorous surface are the often-unreported realities of Cape Town citizens who live in unspeakably horrible conditions.

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    And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you." Luke 22:19-20

    Churches of the Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo (CDCC) share in communion on the first day of every week. For Congolese Disciples, the fellowship and breaking of bread has cultural and spiritual significance. It is foremost an expression of unity in the faith, recalling a shared experience of baptism. Communion also complements the cultural practice of sharing a meal in community, where each person is offered a fair portion.

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    We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

    I traveled from San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, to Managua, Nicaragua by bus. As we arrived at the Salvadoran side of the border with Honduras, a police officer entered the bus to make a check. I was focused on writing in my diary and did not pay attention. I think that made him suspicious and I was asked to dismount the bus for a check. I got off the bus, picked up my suitcase, and went to an office where three policemen started interrogating me about who I was and what I do. I told them that I am a missionary and pastor. Checking my luggage, they found my prayer cards that corroborated what I was saying. After a while, I was released and I left very angry about their rude treatment.

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  • 10/25/17--12:40: December 2017: Anticipation
  • When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.  1 Corinthians 13:11

    “Wait with anticipation” is the age-old theme of Advent. As a child I remember waiting with anticipation for Christmas morning when my brother, sister, and I would fly downstairs to piles of bright gifts beneath a spruce covered in glitter and glass ornaments. Sunday School had taught me there was a connection between God’s gift of love in the birth of Jesus and our giving gifts to one another. But in a youngster’s imagination, that meaning became murky—there was always a disconnect between the message of a baby born in a stinky manger (surely it stank as any livestock owner knows) and the glitter of toys.


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    “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
    Psalm 94:19

    Yesterday morning, after we told an acquaintance here that we had left the United States to live and work in Lebanon, he told us bluntly, “You made a big mistake. Are there no churches in America that you came here? This country will not straighten out. Not for a long time.” Later, we told another couple the exact same thing. Their reaction was the opposite. “What? You moved to Beirut? This is wonderful news! You have put our minds at ease.”


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    So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

    Happy New Year! Lunar New Year’s Day, also known as Korean New Year or Seollal, marks the first day of the Korean lunar calendar. This year, the year of the dog, the holiday will be celebrated in mid-February. Businesses and offices are closed, and subway trains and streets are less crowded. While many Koreans travel to visit family and friends, members of the Filipino community gather to celebrate the Anniversary of KASAMMAKO (The Unity of Filipino Migrant Workers Association in Korea).


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    I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10b

    Joy comes in participating and witnessing healing, growth and new life. This is the core of the message of Jesus that is fully revealed during the Season of Lent and Easter. 


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