August 8, 2015

Myanmar meets Harford

Posted in cross cultural mission tagged at 6:10 PM by alexlozada

“Myanmar team” dinner with R_ M_ visiting from Piedmont International University, pursuing PhD New Testament to eventually return to Mandalay, Myanmar to teach next generation Christian leaders, primarily tribal. R_ mentioned influx into Mandalay region of ethnic Chinese from Yunnan province. To protect R’s work in Myanmar, no pics of our dinner at Abingdon Fortunato’s — but even more than the tasty food, this was breaking bread together and hearing of those the Lord is adding to the saved.

June 4, 2015

looking at Evangelicals through non-US eyes

Posted in cross cultural mission, culture tagged at 11:49 PM by alexlozada

From two different socio-political perspectives, reflections on Christ-followers who are doing “more and better”

Peter Berger focuses on Germany “Are Evangelicals Winning the World” Noteworthy that Berger changed the title of the Der Speigel article on which he’s commenting — the original German is apparently “are Evangelicals conquering the world” (not even a novice in German, I will take Berger’s word on it)

Earlier this year, Pulitzer prize winning columnist (and Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit speaker) Nicholas Kristof posted this positive look at Christian charity, “A Little Respect for Dr Foster”, in the op-ed section of the NY Times, not normally a forum for pro-Christian views.

May 6, 2015

Translating “data pastor” to other cultures

Posted in cross cultural mission tagged at 11:02 AM by alexlozada

In a recent email exchange with long-time friend who works in a church technology, I wrote

my interactions w/ MCC mission partners in ___ continually challenge my assumptions about the role of data … in non-Western contexts — for Christians among the majority of the world’s population, centralized electronic data … are at the mercy of anti-Christian governments or activists … sadly, this makes my role at MCC not-very-useful for helping MCC partners in those areas 😦

This article “Africa’s Mobile-Sun Revolution” by Steve Sinofsky reminded me about the topic of trying to apply what I do in my work week to other contexts. This quote shows that the kind of data I use in my ministry will not be used the same way in Africa or Central America, but technology (adapted to the context) will still enable church leaders to use data to more effectively guide their ministry decisions.

One of the contributors to the improved standard of living has been mobile phones. Over the past couple of years, mobile phone penetration in this village has reached essentially 100 percent per household, and most adults have a mobile.

The use of mobiles is not a luxury, but essential to daily life. Those that commute into the city to sell or buy supplies can check on potential or availability via mobile.

Families can stay connected even when one goes far away for a good job or better work. Safety can be maintained by a “neighborhood watch” system powered by mobile. Students can access additional resources or teacher help via mobile. Of course, people love to use their phones to access the latest World Cup soccer results or listen to religious broadcasts.

Spirit-equipped church-shepherds can use mobile devices (powered by solar!) to gather information about pastoral needs; distribute information and BIble teaching; and analyze data. “Equip you with everything good for doing his will”

July 30, 2012

Mountain On 5 video

Posted in Cannonball, cross cultural mission at 9:25 PM by alexlozada

One of my other hats (in addition to writing message based study guides) earlier this summer was sending email or text updates  to family members of Mountain On 5 mission teams serving in Asia, Africa (Kenya), Europe (Czech Republic), N America (Apache reservation in Arizona), and Central America (Mexico).  You can read details about the trips (plus the Student Ministry trip to the Dominican Republic that includes an update written by my daughter Livi!) at the Mountain Cannonball site, OR take a three-and-half minutes round the world tour by watching the video below… 

November 14, 2010

Cannonball + ECC + Global Impact Celebration

Posted in Cannonball, cross cultural mission, the Northeast at 11:05 PM by alexlozada

#MtCC is taking two big JUMPs “into the pool” to make splashes for God, both this week! And I survived my term as Eastern Christian Convention workshops chairman – all the workshop presenters made it there 🙂 and shared insights from the Spirit. The last couple of weeks I’ve suffered the “ripple effects” of a cold + last minute ECC + Cannonball + GIC scrambling, which meant no blogging, but I’m back 🙂

Here are notes for the most recent Cannonball Sunday AM messages. I’ll be trying to catch up w/ reflections on some of the daily devotions & daily dares in upcoming posts; along w/ thougsht about the ECC + GIC.

February 9, 2010

Thailand mission team: There was not a dry eye in the house

Posted in cross cultural mission at 10:40 AM by alexlozada

An 8 person team of MCC members is on a 16 day mission trip to Thailand. While I’m content w/ my decision to defer on this trip, as I’ve followed their updates on the MCC short term missions blog, a part of me is there in spirit – especially when they mention the people I’ve met on my previous trips.

translator for MCC mission team

translator for MCC mission team w/ gift from Alex & family

For me, the most moving stories are my Christian brothers and sisters whose tears mingle w/ those of the early Christians (Acts 20:36-38).

For more background on our fellow disciples in refugee camps, Mark Rogers of  The Gospel Coalition writes about “The Persecuted Church in Burma.”

February 6, 2010

Super Bowl + important things

Posted in cross cultural mission, culture at 11:31 PM by alexlozada

As a fan of NY sports teams (the NY Giants in the case of the NFL), this year’s Super Bowl holds less rooting interest for me than did last year’s World Series.  For family and anti-New England reasons (the more Super Bowls Peyton Manning wins, the less I have to read about Tom Brady), I’m cheering for the Colts.  MCC teammate Rob Kastens also sent an email about this NY Times story about Haiti relief, featuring Haitian-descent Indianapolis wide receiver Pierre Garcon and Northwest Haiti Christian Mission.

MCC is working with three partners in Haiti relief: FAME (Fellowship of Associates in Medical Evangelism), IDES (International Disaster Emergency Services), and Alberto Rivas of Christian Dominican Evangelistic Mission. Alberto has already made one trip across the border to bring relief supplies, and MCC plans on sending a mission team of its own in the days to come.

For snowbound MCCers, and others, looking for relief from Super Bowl hype, here are a Christianity Today article critiquing Christians succumbing to the sports culture, while this NY Times op-ed examines the roots of the role of sports in American culture, and its value.

January 30, 2010

MCC Haiti relief update

Posted in cross cultural mission at 12:17 PM by alexlozada

Report from MCC supported missionary Alberto Rivas (Christian Dominican Evangelistic Mission) on how MCC (and other supporters) relief funds are being used in Haiti.

Hello Brothers and Sisters in Christ –

Thank you for your prayers and for your financial help for the people of Haiti.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20th we sent a truck of supplies to Jimani. We brought food (canned food, oil, baby formula, spaghetti), 13,000 bottles of water, bleach and soap. $4312 was spent to purchase these supplies. This transportation was free. The Dominican Government provided a truck to transport it because they were going to Jimani.

On Friday, Jan. 22nd we brought food (canned food, crackers, rice, oil, spaghetti), bleach, soap and 7,000 bottles of water to the airport early in the morning. We drove the food from Monte Cristi to Santiago. From there the supplies were flown to Port-au-Prince for the people. $14,545.45 was spent to purchase these supplies. We used 2 trucks to bring the food to Santiago. We paid $351.10 for the use of the trucks.

hospital from Alberto's relief trip to Haiti

hospital from Alberto's relief trip to Haiti

On Saturday, Jan. 23rd we drove some supplies to Dajabon. We crossed the border to Juana Mendez. People have to pay money to cross the border. A Dominican Consular in Haiti took us across the border for free. At Juana Mendez we meet Salonique. He is a pastor from Gonaives, Haiti. We put the food on the bus that Salonique brought. Arismandy and Suyapa went back to Mo

nte Cristi in the van. Damian and I continued with Salonique and some people from his church on the bus. We brought canned food, rice, spaghetti and oil. $626.54 was used to purchase this food. W

hen we went to Gonaives we also visited a hospital. Many of the people have had to have single and double amputations. They are very sick. Some of them sleep in beds and a lot of them have to sleep on the floor. We were there with the pastor and on Sunday morning we went to the church for service at 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. We went back to church for another service at 6:00 p.m.

On Monday morning we went to Saint Marc for visiting another pastor and missionary there, Wilckly and Dee Dorcay. We also visited the hospital in San Marcos. There

was a lot of injured people there. Most of them had to sleep on the floor. There are a lot of people in need and they have used up all of their medical supplies.

We then went to the missionaries home, Wiclies. More then 100 people are sleeping outside on their property. They don’t want to sleep in the home because they are afraid of being inside due to the earthquake.

On Tuesday, we went to church service at 4:00 a.m. at the same place were the people sleep. At 8:00 a.m. we went to Port-au-Prince. There we saw the devastating results of the earthquake and all of the destroyed homes. We saw how the people are all living outside. The people use blankets for roofs and one blanket to sleep on. A few people have mattresses to sleep on.

On Tuesday we went from Port-au-Prince to Jimani. We were in Jimani at 7:00 p.m. We waited until 1:00 a.m. and took a public bus to Santo Dominco. On Wednesday we arrived at 5:50 a.m. in Santo Dominco. At 6:00 a.m. we left on a bus for Santiago. At 8:00 we arrived in Santiago and took another bus to Monte Cristi. We arrived in Monte Crisit at 10:35 a.m. I was very sick with stomach problems. Praise God that I am OK now. Damian is OK. Thank you for your prayers for us to have safe travel.

supplies unloaded to crowd during Alberto's trip

supplies unloaded to crowd during Alberto's trip

Right now the Haitians need medical supplies, tents, food and water. They don’t have a blanket to cover up with to sleep or a mosquito netting.

If you are medically trained, the hospitals are in need of Dr’s and nurses.

If you have any questions about the supplies that were purchased you can call. The water was bought from Agua Beller for 80,000 pesos. .  .  Food was purchased at Benjamin for 116,225 pesos . . .  Radames for 133,315 pesos, . . . . Amalia for 1095 pesos  . . . Diego Jimenez for 374,100 . . .

Transportation from Monte Cristi to the airport Santiago – The 2 trucks were rented from Pedro for 12,700 pesos…

Total is 717,435 pesos. The money that was donated for Haiti equaled $20,331.91. Right now $19,835.09 was used for the above supplies and transportation. We have $496.82 left. We would like to buy medical supplies, Tents and more food and water to help the people.  .  . .

If you feel that God is leading you to come to Monte Cristi and bring any needed supplies, we are here to help with everything that you need [edit] [contact MCC Global-local pastor Tom Moen]

We will have pictures on Facebook for everyone to see. (Alberto Rivas) On the pictures you will see how the people live. Thank you God that we are blessed and can help those in need.

Thank you and God bless you.

November 24, 2009

Persecuted Christians

Posted in cross cultural mission at 10:33 PM by alexlozada

One of my favorite bloggers, Seldom Wrong Never In Doubt, posts his comment on a Wall Street Journal article on the unregistered churches thriving in spite of religious persecution in China. During the holidays, I sometimes read emails from a Bible college friend from years gone by who is a (covert) missionary teaching  English as a foreign language in China. The militantly atheist Communist government allows Westerners to come to China to teach English because its the language of international commerce and technology. My friend even uses passages from the Bible as language translation exercises in the classroom, but for safety’s sake her emails must always “code” her references to the faith we share. I enjoy her brilliant creativity in finding ways to pass along prayer requests and praises in phrases that a Communist censor can’t decipher. When I’m tempted to take for granted not just the material blessing but the freedom to worship that American Christian enjoy, I try to remember my brothers and sisters in chains in China who have so much in common with the Pilgrims of the First Thanksgiving, and with the early Christians.

October 30, 2009

India mission team + Slumdog Millionaire

Posted in cross cultural mission, culture at 11:28 PM by alexlozada

Back in the spring, Heather & I went to see the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire for her birthday, a rare movie for both of us 🙂  She enjoyed the romance, and I appreciated the underlying reality of the religious extremism, crime, and poverty. For a more eloquent and thoughtful analysis, check Jennifer Taylor’s post. For a Christian mission that is confronting some of these crimes in the courts and on the streets, check International Justice Mission, my teammate Tom Moen was attending a screening of the IJM movie At The End of Slavery this week.

Last Sunday, she & I attended the celebration for MCC’s India short-term mission team. Imperfect disciples serving the one perfect God are changing the storyline of hatred, crime, and poverty one small step at a time, whether thousands of miles away or in our own neighborhood, something my teammate Luke Erickson will speak about this coming Sunday.

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