PANAMA”PUENTE DEL MUNDO, CORAZON DEL UNIVERSO”

It’s not about the ships.

The important thing is how cargo gets from one part of the world to another.

Sometimes the best way is on a ship that passes through the Canal.  But not all cargo stays in ships as it goes through the Canal.   The canal administration understands that is a node in a flow of global commerce from everywhere to everywhere.  The canal is an important part of Panama’s brand:  “Bridge of the World, Heart of the Universe.”

Panama is about connectivity between humans.   But the Canal doesn’t produce the Continue reading “PANAMA”PUENTE DEL MUNDO, CORAZON DEL UNIVERSO””

Finding theology: I’d like to straddle the fence, but from which side do I climb up?

I am tired of what theology does to my social life!  Perhaps my weariness is one reason why I accepted the invitation to assist in the birth of a Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection.

Theological positions are important for some people.  Not long ago, a good friend warned me over coffee about the dangers of “Open Theism.”  I was unaware of Open Theism.  So Continue reading “Finding theology: I’d like to straddle the fence, but from which side do I climb up?”

Year end giving in my 40th year of Christian service.

I am not sure how I feel about the heavy traffic of e-mails I get with Christmas greetings mixed with an appeal to me to give money to everyone’s favorite charity.

I admit it is part of the system that has defined “missions” from the American church to the rest of the world and that we have done some good.  This system has made it possible Continue reading “Year end giving in my 40th year of Christian service.”

Polycentric Missiology, by Allen Yeh

I wish we could sit down and read Polycentric Missiology together.  We might find ourselves talking together about what difference mission makes. Hopefully, our conversation would take us beyond celebrating or condemning missionaries who went out from a “Christian” North to a pagan South. Instead, we would talk about how the world changed in the 20th Century and reflect on the surprisingly decisive role that Christian mission played.

I would really be excited if reading it together, you might also find a way to help me resolve a long-standing frustration of mine.  When we first went to Brazil as missionaries, I discovered the world was not really organized in the way the “missions” narrative I learned from had portrayed it to me. I can’t say that was the frustration.  After Continue reading “Polycentric Missiology, by Allen Yeh”

Latin America as mission field: Postcards from the Hotel Tivoli

I went to Panama for the Global Consultation of the Mission Commission, of the World Evangelical Alliance.

To help the participants from 80+ countries who will meet in Panama, October 3-7, 2017, I wrote this little piece as background from a previous Consultation: the Panama 1916 Congress on Christian Work in Latin America

The  2016 Global Consultation of the WEA Mission Commission took place in Panama City October 3-7, 2016, around the theme of “Polycentric Mission”.  The place chosen for this major missions consultation invokes the memory of an earlier event in modern mission history: the Congress on Christian Work in Latin America (CCWLA), held in February 1916 at the Tivoli Hotel, pictured above. Continue reading “Latin America as mission field: Postcards from the Hotel Tivoli”

Brazilians transforming the future of global mission

Martureo Assessment September 2016

I have just finished doing an assessment of the work done by Martureo over the last couple of years. This has helped me figure out where I can contribute in my new responsibility as Executive Coordinator.  When we finished this Assessment, we were actually quite amazed at how active the Brazilian Center for Missiological Reflection, Martureo has already been, and are encouraged by the response. Continue reading “Brazilians transforming the future of global mission”

Never Forget — Sept 16, 2001

“Never forget” is our September 11, 2001, motto, especially if we were old enough to experience that awful day.   I do wonder, though, why is it that holding onto a horrible memory so important?

One vivid memory I have is that, for a few moments, everyone could see that the economic, political and military powers that rule the world might not be invincible after all. Continue reading “Never Forget — Sept 16, 2001”

The morning after Rio 2016 — everyone goes home (?)

Olympic travelers were told to get to Rio’s Galeão airport 6 (yes that’s 6) hours ahead of their flights today.  The airport is expected to be crowded today.   But not as crowded as the streets of Rio.  Rio traffic is notoriously congested, full of people who live there and want to get where they need to go.  engarrafamento-brasil

Those airport instructions, just like the geography in my blog title, have little to do with Brazilians. Continue reading “The morning after Rio 2016 — everyone goes home (?)”

Day 4 –Visibility of exploitation

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio are in full swing.  The visibility of the Olympics on NBC is limited.  You could get the impression that the USA is taking home all the nbc-2016-olympics-logo-riogold!

Some Brazilians are making visible some hidden aspects of a global event.  They both see and and represent the Olympics through religious and evangelical commitments.  (I have written about these commitments in posts over the last three days, that you can read, if you are interested). Continue reading “Day 4 –Visibility of exploitation”