June 2010

Mark as Gospel: Conflict with the Religious Authorities (2:13-3:35)

The episode involving the paralytic set Jesus on a path of conflict with the religious authorities, though the situation is more like smoldering embers that will burst into flame later. For now, the guardians of tradition are perplexed, irritated, and perhaps wounded at Jesus’ disrespect for their position. In the following stories, Jesus will consciously stick his finger in that wound, unafraid to provoke a reaction in exchange for gains in proclamation of his kingdom way. These leaders become a foil for his teaching, and in the heat of the conflict Jesus’ rhetorical flourishes are all the more stunning. 

CUDA View: Friendship

Have you given much thought lately to the reason missions is important? How do we view those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus? In our churches there exist many answers to these questions. Lost, seeking, potential new brother/sister, another number on the roll, or fallen? Sometimes it seems like those are the only options available to us. As if people were unworthy of our time or friendship unless they are interested in a Bible study or coming to church with us.

Going to School

A few weeks ago Abraham approached me and asked if I was willing to volunteer a few hours a week at one of the national schools in Porvenir. I was excited about the prospect of doing something with my limited Spanish and that would allow me to create and build new relationships and opportunities for sharing the gospel. I met with Abraham over lunch to discuss the details of working with the school, and then we visited the school, met with the director, spoke with the English professor, and agreed on times that I was available to come and lend my English expertise to the students. 

Crossing Cultures: The Peruvian Poor

Poverty is a global reality. Every country has some percentage living below the poverty line, as defined within their economy and cultural norms. Despite the fact that Peru has a strong economy and is a growing force in the world market, the percentage of the population that is considered poor remains in the 30% range, in comparison to the US’s percentage of about 12%. 

Missionary Mom: Momentum

Things are happening around here. It is very exciting to be a witness. You all pray for us back home, and I want you to know that God has answered many of those prayers. Months ago, Larissa wrote an article about our work feeling like a roller coaster. I really liked her analogy. Sometimes it seems like it takes forever to climb the hill. We have definitely been there. But once you peak and start coming down, it goes really fast. Life seems fast right now. A roller coaster ride is full of multiple up’s and down’s, but for now I am feeling the adrenaline rush that comes with the ride down. Many of the things I mention in this article are a repeat of news in other articles. But I wanted to share with you, from this missionary mom’s perspective, what it feels like.