Since ive gotten to Brasil Ive been working through Concepts Of Mission devotional by Glory E. Dharmaraj Ph.D. and I wanted to share the prayer from page 20. This morning, to me at least is very comforting and telling of how we feel (or maybe its just me) as missionaries in the 21 century
God of mission, you have promised that you will always be with us. Though we are filled with fear, uncertainty or anxiety at times, your assurance, comfort and guidance strengthens us when we step out for mission. Thank you. Now we pray that you would open our hearts and minds to the new things you create and the unexpected ways in which your Holy Spirit operates. Help us to greet with joy your new ways and the new experience you provide. Amen.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Made it safe and sound!! Made already few friends and a couple mistakes (replying Spanish isnt helpful)but i guess thats what happens when you’ve only been in country for a couple hours. — in São Paulo, Brazil.
Still at the Shade and Fresh Waters national training event at Universidade Metodista de São Paulo met and hung out with some seminary students, who have been extremely hospitable to me, we even went to a basketball game at the university it was like a big game of charades trying to understand each other. with the help I tried to teach ultimate frisbee to the Brazilians lol #DISCBRO4Life
Had great day getting lost!! I tried to turn in some papers to Polícia Federal in São Paulo because i was giving strict orders to do so. so I basically stumbled around trying to ask someone for help and found the General secretary of Children’s ministry here in Brasil and just showed her my paper and then scratched my head. (half hour later) I went in a taxi clear across the city with a young lady from the Iglesia Metodista de Brasil- Oficina Nacional named Vera Silva!! As soon as the taxi arrived she started talking to me in Portuguese asking basic get to know you questions…. I think, struggling to get the few words I do knew out of my head but mostly replying with não entendo ( I dont understand). until she brung out her English/Portuguese phrasebook. which help out a lot!! we went over colors, and numbers, sports, basic sayings, and clothing ideas in both Portuguese and English, even got the taxi driver to chime in once in awhile trying to learn a few new words. So once we got to the Polícia Federal She found out basically it was a wasted trip because A)I dont have all the paper work they wanted and B) I could have done this all in Manaus, which I was worried about to begin with. On the way back to the Oficina Nacional Vera said i needed to pick a time de futebol (soccer team) or ill never fit in here in Brasil, and that i should root for her team SPFC. I dont know, I feel like I need an Underdog team to fix with all my other teams lol.
made it to Manaus last night. going on a city tour in a couple of hours
Had a fun day of just riding about the city visiting the 4 local Methodist Churches in the area!! and met an another young missionary from Rio named Max. oh and going to church again tonight. tomorrow evening im going to take part in a youth soccer game and im such im going to get my butt kicked. Friday ill get taking a 2 hour boat trip up the river to met with a new methodist community. it has been a pretty full day
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Thomas Kemper Address to Global Ministries Directors
A Covenant of Hope in Mission
Welcome and Contextual Matters:
I. A Covenant of Hope
II. Mission Covenant and Theology
III. Realities of the Hour
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Saturday, October 20, 2012
“Jesus seems to be… one in whom the presence of God is not an other, so I would say that the self in Jesus is the unity and synthesis of his own personal existence as a human being and the presence of God.”
|—||John B. Cobb Jr, Fully Human, Fully Divine, & All Process! Christology with John Cobb, 45:30ff|
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Basic Brazil Facts
First, we start with some basic Brazil facts. I didn't know a lot of these things!!
- The largest country in South America.
- The only Portuguese speaking country in the Americas.
- The largest Portuguese speaking country in the world.
- The fifth largest country in the world.
- Brazil has the eighth largest economy in the world.
- It is the furthest east of any country in the Americas.
- Has the second highest number of airports in the world.
- Has the third largest road network on earth.
- Has the 10th largest railroad network on the planet.
- Brazil is the longest country in the world, and spans approximately 2800 miles from north to south via land.
during the 1990’s, there was A LOT more poverty in Brazil but from talking with and reading a few things, Brazilian remained very optimistic and generous. (they still are from my experience) At that time, inflation as ramp-it , and the currency regularly changed.
Brazil is now:
- One of the fastest growing economies in the world today and currently has an average annual GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate of 5%.
- One of the few countries that have successfully managed to reduce economic inequality in their population in recent times, when inequities are growing in so many other places.
- One of the world’s leading producers of hydroelectric power.
- 100% energy independent! That is quite an accomplishment! Brazil became energy independent in 2006, making a full turn around from years past when imported oil was as high as 70% of the country’s needs. Ethanol Baby
Ah, the Brazilian rain forest is truly a miraculous . What an amazing experience to be there, and to feel the sheer magnitude and beauty of Mother Nature. It’s an experience I’ll never forget, and hope to have again soon!
- Brazil has the greatest biodiversity of any country, and the most species of plants, freshwater fish, and mammals.
- It is third in the world for numbers of species of birds, and fifth in the world for reptiles.
- Brazil has the most species of monkeys in the world.
- The Brazilian rain forest is 60% of the Amazon Rain forest.
- Brazil contains 25% of the world’s rain forests.
- Amazon basin gets 7 feet or more of rain a year.
- The Amazon river is second longest in the world, BUT it is the largest river in the world in water volume.
- Brazilian women attained the right to vote in 1931, before women in Switzerland, France, Italy.
- Most Brazilians don’t marry until their late twenties.
- As of 2007, Brazil has the second highest Christian population in the world.
- Brazil has won the soccer world cup five times, more than any other nation.
- Every Brazilian city has at least one soccer stadium!
- Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue, located in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.
These are the kinds of Brazil facts you may not hear very often, if at all, unless you dig a little deeper into what is happening there.
- Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations AND the G20.
- Brazil was named for the Pau Brasil tree, also known as Brazilwood. Previous to this name, it was known as the Ilha de Vera Cruz (Island of Real Cross) and Terra de Santa Cruz (Land of Holy Cross).
- May 2010 Brazil opened the first international Brazilian TV station.
- Brazilian soap operas and football are quite popular in Portuguese speaking Africa.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Learn Brazilian Portuguese: Lesson 2: Salutations in Brazilian Portuguese: Today I tried to learn some more salutations in Brazilian Portuguese. here is what i found
Monday, September 24, 2012
So my shoes have finally giving out (they have served me well) and im looking for some new ones. In trying to find socially responsible shoe company; like sweatshop free.
I know Toms/Bobs and vegan shoes are all the rage right now on college campus but what are my other options?? Honesty I’m looking for some sort of athletic shoe that I can walk around in and be able to stand up to me playing some soccer in with the Kids of Brazil. Maybe Tom-esk style of shoe would be the best option it help out some people too right? I had some ideas one what I was looking for but I found some unfortunate news looking up things online I found more information about what is now called "one for one" companies which made me a little perturbed. A ‘one for one’ product means that for every shoe you buy they also give out another pair. That is why they are at a marked up price (which is fine). But it got me thinking, does that really help the people who gets the shoes? I mean I’m glad kids are able to protect their feet. but who makes Toms in the first place? Is it the people receiving said donation? Do they get to be part of the system? ie getting a job or resources?? or are they just being handed a pair of shoes?? The sad news is no they are not; and they are just handed out what is worst is that there is an applications process to receives said shoes. Which begs to questions does the people who really need who really need shoes have access to the internet or even understand English to fill out the proper paper work to become a giving organization??
I did find a really cool company called http://www.solerebelsfootwear.co/ I totally would have bought them but they are out of my price range: #YoungMissionaryProblem awesome though http://www.solerebelsfootwear.co/products/urbanrunner-pure-vol-3-black
Athletic Name Brands….
I read a book called Where am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes.he highlights where our clothes come from even traveling and trying to find the places his favorite clothes were made. Timmerman tries to explain that working in the garment industry is one of the better jobs to have. Everywhere that Timmerman went he asked the factories workers if they wanted Americans to boycott products made in their countries in protest of their working conditions. They all answered 'No' in some way or another explaining that without us buying their products, the factories would shut down and there are few other work options available. Namely scavenging/begging and he didn’t bring up prostitution (which is a whole other issue). I still have a personally a problem with big corporations making money off of exploiting people.
Most of us have heard about Nike and Adidas/Reebok [insert brand name] Sweatshop in some far off country. But do we know the whole story? I’m not sure we do. We here in the US don’t always see how People flock to areas where they know a factory is going to be built in order to earn a wage. The Human migration to factories is common among 20 something’s looking for a job in order to be close to the factory. This massive urbanization and influx of people crates slum conditions. needing a place to stay where it is cheap but also many of the Migrant workers frequently send their wages back to their families in their home country, which further spreads influences and money brought about by the factories. These employees are willing to do work at any cost. Since most of the economies of the small countries were centered on their market system, the introduction of large factories owned by a wealthy corporation greatly increased their flow of money into the country. We always hear about work long days, sometimes exceeding 14 hours, and earn pay far below a "living wage"(ß not Minimum wage read about it). Nike and Adidas/Reebok expressed that they do not have any control over the factories. However, Adidas/Reebok has begun to pressure its manufacturers to improve working conditions Nike too kinda. I couldn’t find anything solid on Skechers expect their made overseas. Puma needs some work too but there working on it. I guess this stuff really matters to somebody or at least the idea of it is catching on
The Another article (here) is A LOT newer it talks about Nike’s value, their CSR practices and their target audiences for Air Jordan shoe, which will bring $1Bn in revenues. Which happen to be urban males living paycheck to paycheck; In fact, shoe launches are usually timed perfectly to the exact day customers receive their paychecks. (Source story: ). Marketing or injustice??
Made in the USA…
A lot of people here at least in West Virginia are on a Made in US kick, you can even take a pledge (kinda like Fair Trade companies but for ‘Merica) not that it matters to me where my clothing is made or manufactured but what concerns me is the wellbeing of everybody involved not just the corporate Big-Wigs. I looked into New Balance knowing that they are more of a running shoe and I found out they are mostly made in Maine and Massachusetts or so they say. Even thou some claim this to be false (oh well) But it got me looking into living wage in New England. And the difference between unions verse right to work states (here) and thankfully both locations are Unionized or at least can be based on their states workers policies have the potential for better working conditions and living wages in the area by coming together and working for each other’s benefit (I don’t know seems kinda biblical to me) , where-as Right to work states can’t guarantee that at all. Anyways
New Balance (maybe)
What I bought
I feel like I just settled.
Not exactly what I wanted but it does fit into what I need. The new trend in shoes is to be light weight using bright colors as accents. Which I didn’t want (it’s harder to find than you think) because I feel it will further me from the people working with faulting wealth or status as an American with my shoes. which still might be the case this whole post is still kind of the example of me having choices and the luxury to choice where I buy my products. #Youngmissionaryproblems
Im not sure what can be done about this issue... i didnt even think it would lead me down so many other paths. I don't know that the shoe I have chosen is actually the best option but i guess its a start.
A PRAYER FOR JUSTICE –By Rev. Jason W. Coulter, Pastor, Ravenswood UCC, Chicago, inspired by Psalm 144:5-8
One: God of Grace, God of Glory, we call upon you, humbly asking that you be
with us in our time of need;
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and show your presence among the people.
One: Our world is broken, the earth cracked and shattered, and destruction lay all around. Our humanity is ruptured and relationships are torn asunder. We fail to recognize the face of our sister and brother and turn a blind eye to their suffering.
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and reveal your kindness and mercy.
One: We live in a world where the few have so much and the many so little, where the basic needs of food, water, shelter and medicine are distributed to those who already have, instead of those in need.
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and demonstrate your compassion.
One: In our world, the greedy and entitled use their positions to enrich themselves at the expense of others, corruption runs rampant, and power is employed by the wealthy to exploit and oppress.
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and impart your justice.
One: Across the nations, violence is too often the means by which problems are addressed. Fist, gun and bomb are the tools of the trades that traffic in death and destruction.
Many: Come down from the mountain top, O God, and share your peace.
One: Come down from the mountain top, O God, incline your ear to our human
Many: Hear our prayer, O God, for we know with you all things can be made new.
One: What is broken can be repaired, what is ruptured can be reconciled.
All: Inspire us to be your agents of change, working for justice and mercy and
bringing healing to a world that needs it. Amen.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
a prayer from a good friend of mine "God of wisdom and light, as we offer ourselves and our gifts this day, we pray that you will help us grow hearts of generosity and not selfishness, compassion and not resentment, contentment and not envy. Help us to see the abundance you have given us, and help us to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have; on abundance and not scarcity. Help us to see we are rich in your love and grace and in so many other ways. We pray it in the name of Jesus, who gave all for us. Amen."-Stephen Govett