Cultural Intelligence is a crucial skill not just for short term mission teams, but for everyone in today's society.
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When I was asked to join the steering committee for the 2008 Sea to Sea ride, I was skeptical. Hundreds of middle to upper income white folks taking the summer off of work to ride bicycles that cost more than some people make in a year was going to “end the cycle of poverty?”
It’s one thing to do things for people, or give things to people... but it’s a tremendously people-building thing to work with people to build self-reliance!
At World Renew we talk a lot about asset based community development; that is, discovering the assets that God has already placed in a community rather than focusing on perceived needs. This approach works with churches, too! What hidden assets might be in your church, just waiting to be deployed for missions?
Over the past decade or so of working with churches, I've noticed a curious tendency for leaders to think of things in either/or terms. For example, "should we invest in local outreach OR global missions?" "Should we reach out to get new members OR should we take care of our own members?" My answer to many of these questions is, "yes."
There’s lots of talk these days about church as institute vs church as organism. Conceptually I understand the difference, but in practice, I suspect it’s not so easy to separate the two. Which leads me to a bigger question, what exactly is “church?”
"There are so many things happening in this congregation in the last three months that the community is abuzz about who the new donor in town could be. But there is no donor—the people have just been woken up by the Gospel of Jesus Christ!"
This reflection from Zach and Sharon Segaar-King, missionaries in Haiti with Christian Reformed World Missions, was written on the third anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. I wonder, what can we in North America learn from this?
As we drove down a lakeshore road en route to Lichinga, Mozambique, to meet with World Renew partner staff and interact with people on the frontline in health and HIV care in remote Cobue, I found myself drifting way back in time, reflecting on my life as a young girl in rural Malawi.
World Renew (formerly CRWRC) celebrated 50 years of ministry in 2012. In 2013, Christian Reformed World Missions will celebrate 125 years of ministry. That’s a long time! How is your church emphasizing missions these days? If you are looking for some up to date inspiration, here are some ideas:
As we wrap up our efforts for 2012 and get ready to plunge into the new year of church mobilization, what is most urgent to accomplish? What can we do that will make the greatest long-term impact for global advance? Ellen Livingood shares her priority lists for churches and agency mobilizers and would love to hear what’s on yours.
In just a few weeks I’ll be participating in an evaluation of Christian Reformed World Missions’ work in Nigeria. One of the questions we’ll be asking is, “Is there still a role for Western missionaries in Nigeria? If so, what should that role look like?”
I love reading missionary newsletters, as you can probably tell. Last week I posted about a church that was started out of a literacy class meeting underneath a tree in Uganda. This week, I’d like to share with you some words of wisdom from Gil Suh, who works with Christian Reformed World Missions in Cambodia.
I love reading newsletters from overseas missionaries and staff. Sometimes, I read a story like the one shared by Edward Etanu Okiror below, and I wonder . . . could a church "spring up" like this in North America? Edward works for World Renew in Uganda.
As trustworthy stewards of God’s assets we must conscientiously and carefully manage the time, talents, and treasures that have been entrusted to us. A simple model for giving wisely out of both income and assets is termed “Ten Plus One”
"The original author of this challenge was Christ. He said, "Love your neighbor." Now, we can stretch that out to include a lot of people, but I don't think there's any way to shrink it...He says neighbor. So, for all of us who follow Christ this is not a challenge...it's a mandate."
As many children set off for school in my neighborhood this month, I enjoy watching the anticipation on their faces as they walk by with new school bags and clothes. That same emotion runs under our work this month organizationally as CRWRC begins the official launch of our new name, World Renew.
I live in the country with the highest murder rate in the world.“Where’s that?” you ask. “Iraq? Afghanistan? Mexico?”
Churches are bombed, governments are overthrown, terrorism rises, murders and kidnappings increase. Did you know that CRCNA has a crisis management team that monitors and evaluates these sorts of situations to help keep missionaries and volunteers safe?
When I first chose to go on a January class term to Uganda, I was a bit apprehensive. Not because I was nervous to fly across the ocean, face the mosquitoes, or ride down the (sometimes very) rough roads, but because I had no idea what to expect. I had taken enough development classes to know the disaster stories...
This past week a neighborhood teenager put a message on Twitter that said, “You know you’re living in a ghetto when the church vans come in for spring break.”