write justice || across cultures
live justly. love mercy. walk humbly with God
In most places on our planet, there is a chasm between the church and the culture. That chasm is growing.
We are buildings that merely exist in neighborhoods.
We are people with a label and a way of living that seems foreign, odd, rule-based, and judgmental.
Cultures that were once Christian are increasingly pluralistic.
Immigration and emmigration affect neighborhood and national dynamics.
Yet, we long to be a place and the people that represent safety and welcome and robust community to our neighborhoods. We long for full sanctuaries, waves of worship, right living.
We can see the chasm in our empty sanctuaries. We can feel the disconnect. But, we do not know how to get back to where we were. The projects and the programs begin hopefully, but they make little real progress towards changed lives.
There are a lot of mommy blogs and career blogs floating around cyber space that celebrate messy-beautiful families or the angst of careering. This isn’t one of them.
There are a plethora of Christian women’s blogs that teach you how to go deep into the Word and highlight tidy homes with ‘Jesus’ walls. This isn’t one of them.
There are great travel blogs and culture blogs and there are NGO’s and humanitarian organizations that blog. This isn’t one of them.
More than anything, this is a blog that seeks to tell an honest and non-exploitive story about some of the big issues on our planet and how we interact and influence those issues.
If you have read this far and you are still reading and you do not call yourself a Christian but you care about the issues of our day – you are welcome here.
If you are from another faith and we met while you were on your journey through the Balkan highway to somewhere in the west and we became facebook friends and you wonder if all western Christians fear people of your faith and culture – let’s continue that friendship we began in a camp or at border – you are welcome here.
If you have read this far and you are still reading and you do call yourself a Christian and you believe that we should actively participate with Jesus in the reconciliation of our planet – you are welcome here.
culture+hospitality || justice+mission || women+ministry
I blog because a long time ago, God asked me to be a missionary and I said ‘no’. I said ‘no’ because I had no idea what a missionary did, but I was content, really content with my American life. I was dreaming about the white picket fence, two-car garage, reliable income, and 2.5 kids that I would someday bring into this world. Being a missionary didn’t fit with that dream.
I told God that if he wanted me to be a missionary, he would have to change my heart. I was a new believer. I thought that I could fix God. He didn’t mention missions to me again for 12 years.
Since I hated chemistry and math, I spent every afternoon of my high school career in Mrs. Good’s language classes. She taught Spanish, German, and French. I took them all.
Mrs. Good was a hippie before Boho was a trend and she had traveled Europe rocking a free and experiential life. I always had the impression that her tales of France and Spain and Germany had been downgraded to PG-13 for our listening pleasure.
Through Mrs. Good’s eyes, I fell in love with Europe. I thought that I had fixed God. He knew that he was changing my heart. I left high school with one dream: to travel Europe and to experience it, not as a tourist who eats a pizza in Rome and snaps a photo, but at a deeper, more intimate level.
At 26, I walked into a school in a small city outside of Moscow to teach an English class and a 12 year-old Russian boy asked me for my autograph. The Berlin Wall had recently come down, and I was the first American he had ever met.
In the new 21st century, I lined up my carseat beside 8 others, unwrapped my marshmallow-clad toddlers, and joined other expat moms for a Thursday morning Bible study in the center of Sofia, Bulgaria. Our life was an open home with a revolving door – frequently messy and always chaotic. Our days were often ordered around visits to off-the-map villages in one-room Roma homes amidst conversations that I could never fully catch but grew to understand and to love. It was Bulgarian, боза and bread served up in extravagant hospitality. It was the beggars who came to my car window and the girls selling their bodies along Sofia’s Ring-Road and the questions, “Mommy, what can we give him?” and “Mommy, why is she just standing there and isn’t she cold?”
Seven years ago, our responsibility expanded to influence ministry across several countries of Central Europe and that brought us to Hungary: a new culture, a new language, a new way of seeing. And then, a new issue: displaced people.
If there is one thing that I hope this blog is, then, I hope that it is honest.
Honest about the messiness of ministry. Honest about the hard questions that we should be asking God. Honest about the genuine brokenness of our planet. Honest about the hope and the freedom and the healing that I believe Jesus and only Jesus offers. Honest about the way the Church has sometimes viewed people as projects or statistics and failed to be Jesus-like in our communities. Honest about how we might re-awaken, re-discover and re-learn the rhythms of relationship and hospitality of the early Church that welcomes those who are not like us. Honest about the fierce faith in Christ that the Church can and should offer.
We need a fierce faith for these days.
We need a fierce obedience to live out the Words of Jesus.
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously ~ take God seriously. — Micah, the prophet
live justly. love mercy. walk humbly with God.