July 25, 2012

CLADE V: Sigamos a Jesús en Su Reino de Vida, ¡Guíanos, Santo Espíritu!

As Cassie so beautifully depicted through picture and word, we were blessed to journey to Costa Rica in order to participate in CLADE V (The Fifth Latin American Congress of Evangelization). The gathering consisted of evangelicals from the Latin World who are a part of The Latin American Theological Fellowship. The conference was attended by a diverse group of people; leaders of churches, theologians, people from other parts of the world working in Latin America and anyone else who was interested (almost 200 unregistered attendees showed up the day of the conference!).

The conference was centered around the theme of “Following Jesus in God’s Kingdom of Life, Guide us Holy Spirit.” Often we were reminded of the fact that Theology in Latin America is a process, by which the experience of the church is viewed through the lens of Scripture in order to better understand the Church’s mission in the world.

Much debate arose among those of us who were educated within the framework of Western system. The old debate of orthopraxis (correct practice) versus orthodoxy (correct thought) and which should come first. Generally speaking the Latin American Church is called to action according to the situation that it finds itself in, thus right practice creates the general view and thought process of the church as the Gospel mission is carried out, creating correct thought about God and who we are called to treat the other.

A man attending the conference from Jamaica poetically pointed out that when the Gospel was brought to Latin America there was a hope that churches would be established and that these churches would become self-populated and self-reliant, but no one ever thought that the new churches that were formed would become self-theologizing. All this to say that Cassie and I received a good lesson in how the Latin American Church is seeking to function on its own, freeing itself from the imperialism that came along with mission work, and reminding ourselves that we are called to participate within the Church and the body of Christ wherever we find ourselves with humility and grace.

Click here for more in English:


July 16, 2012

San Jose, California?

We have just returned back from San Jose, Costa Rica—not California, though at times we felt as though we had returned state side! There were significant differences between the two neighboring countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua that could not be easily missed; the cleanliness of the streets and countryside, the road system, the prices, the high rise buildings, the amount of English that is spoken, the lack of stray dogs and it seems as though people generally have enough to eat (although we don’t want to minimize the exceptions).
Prior to the commencing of CLADE V, we took the opportunity to take in a weekend of sights and natural beauty that is Costa Rica. We visited Volcano Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio National Park.
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Reflections from our time at CLADE V will follow shortly!

July 4, 2012

Lately in Photos

Happy Fourth of July to you all back in the US of A.  There is no red, white or blue here in Nicaragua today, no fireworks or hot-dogs.  Although we aren’t big Fourth of July people, we do miss the special time that we usually spend with family and friends.

If you have time to check out an article today, read this one by Suzanne Ross:

...if we are as good as we say we are, we won’t ignore the moral complexity of our own history…


We enjoyed an evening visiting our friend Lisa who we graduated with from Dordt.  She is a physical therapist and came down with a team to work with kids with special needs at Tesoros de Dios, where Kevin is also leading weekly devotions and conversation time with the male staff.


We are spending a lot of our time with kids.  This picture was taken at Podcasts for Peace, where we are both currently working on Fridays.

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We enjoy our office pet turtle, Amarantha.  Rumor says she is twenty-eight years old.  She loves being fed, here she is pictured eating fresh watermelon and pineapple.

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We went to a baseball game with our friends Anna and Jaime.  Nicaragua played Cuba in a friendly match.  It was friendly until the end, you can e-mail if you want the whole story.


We are exploring the wide variety of fruits and vegetables that Nicaragua grows so abundantly.  Pictured above is a pitaya and it is great for making juice.  Isn’t it gorgeous?


We celebrated a couple of birthdays.  Pictured above are our friends and MCC co-workers, Marisa and Yolanda.


We are continuing to enjoy our new home.  We have enjoyed hosting friends and neighbors and have plans for a “Nicaraguan pizza” with our previous host family.  Pictured above are our friends from Estelí.  Carmen is teaching us how to make “real” gallo pinto (beans and rice) as her brother Moises looks on.


Tomorrow we are heading to Costa Rica for a theological conference called CLADE V.  We are looking forward to learning and interacting with individuals from Latin America on themes of the role of the Evangelical church in the Latin World.  Read more here: http://www.ftl-al.org - there is an English page if you need it! 


We received news yesterday that we will be co-teaching a course on the Culture of Peace and Conflict Transformation at the Baptist Seminary.  We were excited about the opportunity until we found out the start date.  When?  September 1st.  The syllabus is pretty much ready, but we don’t feel like our Spanish is.  Typical Cassie and Kevin personalities – Cassie was up all night going through different ideas for teaching, practicing various vocabulary words that might be helpful, etc.  Kevin slept soundly.  Prayers for this are appreciated!

We will most likely be offline for a bit, so we hope that you all have a good start to your month of July!