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Already and Not Yet

Reflect on our role in God's restorative work, and recognize both renewal and continued brokenness. Be encouraged by stories of challenges and successes in the pursuit of shalom.

Interdependence and Hope: Be the Second Chicken

It all started with a science experiment and a group of chicks.  I grabbed one chick and eyeballed it like I was a hungry hawk. When placed back in its box the chick played possum for about a minute seeking a way for self-preservation. Then back up the chick popped, demonstrating a cycle of fear and recovery.

I repeated the experiment, but this time with two chicks at the same time!  This time both chicks remained immobilized for about five minutes - another demonstration of the fear and recovery cycle.  

Rebuild, Renew and Restored

People on the move due to insecurity in their countries have many anxieties and uncertainties in life. Uganda hosts more than one million refugees that have no hope or plans to return to their home country. This prohibits them thinking positively about going home. Where would be the best place to live and experience the joy and sense of belonging? We have heard refugees asking, “How do we start thinking of going home amidst the lack of commitment to peaceful co-existence due to tribal and ethnic differences in the governing structure?”

Being Christ to All in a Coronavirus Context

Over the past two weeks rhetoric has heated up with regards to race.  I heard one woman question whether COVID-19 was passed through Chinese food.  I’ve heard from Chinese friends that they’ve been targeted with derogatory remarks (and in other cases physical attacks).  Most disturbing, I’ve heard that the Christian community is not immune to spreading these sentiments.  As we discuss this let’s start with the basic fact that there is

Turning Things Upside Down

Hundreds of protestors gathered at the steps of the Colorado State Capitol to protest Columbus Day and called to abolish the holiday. The protest was about the historical conquest of North America by Europeans, and to call attention to the losses suffered by the Native American peoples and their cultures.

Love / Hate / Indifference

The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference - Elie Wiesel

I heard this quote a few years ago and kept it in my back pocket. It rears its ugly head often; in my life, in relationships, in the news about ignored human rights/ land rights/ what else rights, another murdered Indigenous girl, more newcomers struggling to resettle because of a lack of resources, oh, the list goes on. It’s been so in my face lately. Allow me to share an anecdote.

The Cry of the Future: A Groaning Creation

As we embark into this new year, the new journey, the new decade it is with a sense of urgency that the people of God are awakened. In our world today we there are wars and rumors of wars, calamities happening across the land; Australian fires, earthquakes, floods, and the likes. Hatred and bigotry spewing like never before; children and adults locked in cages bound by walls, young black women being kidnapped by the droves, with no explanation as to where they have gone, sex and human trafficking at an all-time high, and what is our response?

Waiting in the Time Between

I will stand at my watch
    and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
    and what answer I am to give to this complaint. - Habakkuk 2:1 (NIV)

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord. - Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)

Stable Hospitality

In the fall, we gifted our outgoing Board Chair with a snow globe featuring the nativity scene with Mary, Joseph and Jesus. As the present was unwrapped, someone around the table – reflecting on the nature of our work to address the lack of safe, specialized and supportive housing for trafficked survivors –  commented,“They didn’t have anywhere to go either.”

"Eid Mubarak"

During the first of my three years in Jordan, and every year after, I was overwhelmed by the love and hospitality shown to me by my Muslim neighbors during traditional Christian holidays. Each year at Christmas, Palm Sunday, and Easter, my friends and colleagues wished me “eid mubarak” or “blessed feast/festival.” Normally, I heard this phrase around Eid Al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two Islamic holidays. But, it was also used, to my surprise and delight, to wish me a Merry Christmas or Happy Easter.

Baptism and the Fear of Uncertainty

I recall a conversation with a friend from my Calvin Seminary days. He was a Calvin College student. I went over the college since I was one of two African Americans at the seminary in the late 1980’s. My friend was a biracial child, who along with his sister adopted into a wonderful white Christian Reformed family in Grand Rapids. He shared with me the struggles his parents encountered when they wanted to baptize both children into the faith at their church.

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