February 24, 2008

study & group prayer guide for Transform Me!

Posted in MCC resources at 12:33 AM by alexlozada

Draft version of the study & group prayer guide Transform Me! for the week following Sunday, March 2.

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February 21, 2008

limited technology, unlimited love

Posted in cross cultural mission, servant-leader, tech at 11:30 PM by alexlozada

This recent trip was prep for longer, larger-team trip in Nov 08.  I made several mistakes this time around that I hope I will try to avoid in the future: forgetting to pack important items, not exchanging currency ASAP upon arrival @ the airport, etc.

I also re-learned the limited nature of technology (mobile phone battery died upon arriving @ Bangkok northern bus station 4:45a Mon after overnight bus ride from Mae Sot) brought on by human error (I took many videos & pics on the camera phone, didn’t charge it @ Somchai’s before leaving Mae Sot because I didn’t want it to incompletely charge) and unforeseen circumstances (someone called while I was on the bus and the call / message alert repeat settings drained the little charge remaning).

And I re-learned unlimited nature of love from my Uncle Jimmy who came to the Bangkok northern bus station very early in the morning – just a few days after picking us up from the airport very late @ night and just two days before taking us to the airport very early in the morning.  Tom joked that he would be glad to see me go because of all the inconveniences I caused him (and Aunt Naty and my cousin Patrick), but he said “Not a problem, because he is family.” Then as he said good-bye to Tom, uncle told him he would always be welcome because “Now YOU have friends and family in Bangkok!”

This reminds me that part of the reason Mountain sends our folks on short term mission trips is the koinonia “deep fellowship” they make with their hosts – “their companions in spreading the truth” 3 John 1:5-8.

Home

Posted in cross cultural mission at 12:10 AM by alexlozada

I understand that doctrinally no place on this earthly journey is my true home, but nonetheless, now that I’m back w/ Heather & the girls – I’m home 🙂

So much more blogging about Thailand and MCC’s Transformed campaign – but need to rest…

Transformed: English slave trader and Karen refugees

Posted in cross cultural mission at 12:07 AM by alexlozada

Alex @ Mae La - rMy teammate Tom Moen said he was inspired by the faith of people who had been living under the conditions in the Mae La refugee camp for 20 years could still sing about Amazing Grace. As I thought about what he said, I remembered the story of John Newton, the English slave trading sea captain whose life was transformed by the Holy Spirit to become an evangelical pastor and hymn-writer. The site for the 2007 movie about William Wilberforce has some heart-warming background info – especially check out the left-side link that’s a short video about the song’s impact through the centuries.

The man who wrote “Thro’ many dangers, toils and snare, I have already come; ‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home” understood that the Spirit is present even in the hell-on-earth that men’s sins create. Pray that the Good Shepherd leads the Karen refugees home to Him, not matter where the politics of the region find them.

February 19, 2008

Transform the world!

Posted in cross cultural mission at 1:01 PM by alexlozada

Thanks to the blessings of modern technology, Tom & I were able to listen to Rob Kastens’ message to MCC last Sunday, only a few hours after he spoke.  The Spirit used him to give us the encouraging, energizing boost we needed after a long, overnight bus ride from Mae Sot to Bangkok – we enjoyed hearing him mention us while we were on the other side of the world.

February 18, 2008

Forgive

Posted in cross cultural mission tagged at 9:21 PM by alexlozada

MCC’s missionary Somchai Panya to Burmese living in the Mae Sot region (especially the Karen people group) knew Mahn Sha.  He had attended his wife’s funeral and spoken w/ him several times.  Tom & I expressed our condolences to Somchai, who was visibly affected when I told him the news about Mahn Sha’s murder – I apologized to Somchai because when I brought up the news @ our dinner last Fri, I didn’t realize he had not yet heard.

I changed the text I had planned to use for my talk @ the Karen people group refugee camp in Mae La. Instead of talking about Jesus the Good Herdsman (John 10) and giver of living water (John 4 – currently dry season in Thailand), I spoke from Luke 9:51-62 about Jesus – the one who had no place to lay his head; and Jesus who set his face to Jerusalem knowing he was facing death along the journey but the distant end for him was heaven; and Jesus who forgave even those who hated him.

February 17, 2008

even more Amazing Grace

Posted in cross cultural mission at 9:24 PM by alexlozada

Some of you know how deeply moved I am by the hymn “Amazing Grace.” The Chris Tomlin version for the biographical movie of William Wilberforce, but Sunday morning Feb 17, the Spirit burned this version into my heart, too.

“no place to lay his head…”

Posted in cross cultural mission at 7:04 PM by alexlozada

I used Luke 9:57-62 in my message @ a refugee camp for Karen tribe yesterday (Sunday Feb 17).  When I’ve had a little rest, I’ll post more about how I’ve come to appreciate the phrase “no place to lay his head” a little better after the last few days – including pics & video.

February 16, 2008

God’s Love & Care School

Posted in cross cultural mission at 10:16 AM by alexlozada

 “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,” ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?” Matthew 21:16

VIDEOS on YouTube: (1) Teacher Ku Do leading the students of God’s Love & Care School in worship.

(2) And just for smiles… students reaction to Tom Moen’s magic tricks.

February 15, 2008

Arrived in Mae Sot

Posted in cross cultural mission at 11:37 AM by alexlozada

Mae-Sot-street-overhead-signSomchai&truck behind aptTom described it “this feels like a mountain town, the narrow roads, tightly space storefronts, reminds me a mountain town in Brazil.” Couple of other descriptions from Wikipedia and Thailand travel site.

I took some quick pics riding through town, and Somchai in front of his current apartment – his 14yr old truck is parked in the narrow alleyway behind apt – accessible through the roll-up metal door behind him.  Soon he’ll be moving to a house being constructed behind the school.

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