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Update!

April 12, 2016

Hello!

I know, it’s been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog. Sorry about that! Part of the reason for the silence has been that I have been on furlough since December, which means that I have been back in the states traveling, talking with current and potential partners, and spending as much time as possible with my new niece and nephew. It has been a wonderful few months of resting and sharing about what God is doing in Nairobi.

But the time has come for me to start looking forward again, as I begin to make the transition from the CMF team in Nairobi, to the CMF team in Zomba, Malawi. Part of that transition involves moving my blog to a newer (and nicer!) place.

This means that my new blog can be found here. This will be the last time I post anything on this blog. So go over to the new blog and continue on this awesome adventure in ministry!

A Visit to Lodwar

September 30, 2015

At the beginning of September a team of CMF staff returned to Lodwar in northern Kenya for various ministry tasks. The majority of the team was tasked with updating sponsorship photos at the MoHi school in Napuu, a small community outside of Lodwar. I went along with the team in order to visit our approximately two-hundred and fifty microfinance clients in and around the area. Read more…

Ebb and Flow

August 20, 2015

After a whirlwind few months of hundreds of visitors and their work, August started with a dead stop to the craziness. Because August is a vacation month for the school system here in Kenya, Missions of Hope sent its almost fourteen thousand students home for a few weeks of rest, and we also took a break as visitors stopped coming while the kids are on leave. Read more…

Shagalabagalah

June 16, 2015

It’s that time of year again, when the Missions of Hope centers thrive with visitors and chaos. As June gets under way in full force church teams from across the states descend on MoHi to join in the ministry here. As I sit here in the Pangani office writing this, three teams are on the ground in Mathare. One team is at the boarding school doing VBS and encouraging the kids out there. One team has set up a medical camp in one of the communities, and another team is currently running a VBS right here at Pangani.

The air here is alive with hundreds of screaming and laughing children as they run around playing games and singing songs. It is pure chaos, and such a wonderful sound.

The Swahili word for chaos is shagalabagalah, also coincidently the longest word in the language. It is a great word for how the summer months go here. It is a chaos, but a wonderfully orchestrated chaos that sees hundreds of people interacting with the ministry on the ground here and checking out what God is doing in this valley

The team here is also currently hosting nine interns who have given up their summer to walk alongside our staff and learn what it means to be a missionary in Nairobi. Our team itself has grown by four people who have each dedicated at least a year of their time to jump in and get their hands dirty as we try to build the Kingdom of God in Mathare. What a great time to be here!

There is shagalabagalah everywhere. But it is in the chaos that people are discovering anew how big their God is and what his vision is for this part of the world.

So pray for us! Pray for the team here, that we will be able to continue extending grace and hospitality to all of our visitors as they arrive and depart. Pray for the interns as they find their small corner in the ministry going on here. Pray for the new teammates as they seek to settle into a new and very foreign culture. And pray for our visitors as they come and go, for their safety and that this experience will impact them in huge ways.

Language Learning

April 18, 2015

For the last two months I have been working with a personal language tutor in Nairobi in order to more properly learn Swahili, the official language of Kenya. Up until this point, I have been able to get by with a few sentences and some well-placed words and grunts. Read more…

Terror and Amazement: Reflections on Easter in the Midst of Terrorism

April 2, 2015

The last words of the Gospel according to Saint Mark are striking. In a gospel, literally a story about the “good news,” Mark ends his good news with the women followers of Jesus running from the empty tomb and the first proclamation of the resurrection in fear and amazement. This gospel ends with the phrase, “…for they were afraid.”

The good news ends with terror and amazement. Read more…

Girard, ‘Community’ and Scapegoating: Practical Applications in Mimetic Theory and MeowMeowBeenz

February 3, 2015

***Warning: This post contains possible spoilers for season 5 of Community***

Among the anthropological philosopher Rene Girard’s greatest work, arguably, is his study of mimetic theory and scapegoating among humans. According to Girard and attested throughout history, humans are a naturally violent species. As the centuries have passed however, we have attempted to civilize and socialize ourselves, stripping away, or at least covering up our violent natures. However Girard points out that communities of humans still experience a buildup of tension and repressed violence. If no controlled outlet for violence is used, chaos can break out. The scapegoat theory, therefore, offers a violent outlet for a community, a way of releasing our violent natures in a ritualistic and traditional way that everyone can agree on. All of the sins of a community, everything that is wrong with the world is placed on the scapegoat, so that scapegoat must be punished and expelled through death. Once blood has been shed, the community can return to normal. This scapegoating has changed throughout the years, from human sacrifice to animal sacrifice, to the sacrifice of wars and the scapegoating of religions or ethnicities or sexualities or genders. Read more…