Brief Bio

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Quezon City, Metro-Manila, Philippines
I am a runner, pastor, sociologist, teacher, and missionary. After living in Chicago for 6 years, I discerned a call to go to Manila, Philippines to live and work among the urban poor, and combine my passions for ministry, running, and the oppressed. After serving in the Philippines in 2012 and 2013, I returned to the United States for two years to finish my dissertation, get ordained, spend time with my family, and work at a neighborhood center in Kansas City. Since then, I have been working in the Philippines with Companion With the Poor as a missionary. Each day I look forward to how God will direct my steps as I live into His work of restoring a broken world.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A new authority

Alright, so in reality, I realize more and more each day that God is the utmost Authority in the city of Chicago - just like in every other place in the world. But over the last two days I too have gained a new authority in the neighborhood that I didn't have before, both as a coach and as a volunteer.

As a Coach... If they didn't listen to me before (which they didn't), they are listening now. In the past few weeks I have been volunteering with the cross country team at Chicago Hope Academy. Though it has been low key and fairly frustrating trying to encourage some of the girls to run for longer than five minutes without walking, I have had a great time. There are seven girls on the team and five boys, though one of the boys and one of the girls are still in middle school, but running because their dad is the president of the school. While the girls show up nearly every day, the guys are less consistent because three of them play on the soccer team (and one of those on the football team too). But we make due with what we have to work with. I help the two head coaches, who are amazing with the kids and, like the other teachers at the school, are working more than an average teacher because the school is a start-up. Needless to say, they appreciate my help.

In my mind, today was a breakthrough for the guys. With the two coaches taking the girls out to do sprints and lifting (one of the coaches having a later committment that he had to take care of), I got to take the guys to the park for an interval workout. Though goofing off on the way over to the park, the boys began to listen after the first interval, and then all the way until we got back to the school after the cool down. With the guys all doing amazing in the workout, showing stamina and heart, I really hope they left today realizing their (and the schools) potential in cross country. I was so excited after getting back to the suburbs, that I typed up the results and some thoughts about the workout to give to the guys tomorrow.

As a Volunteer... I gained some credibility with the director at the shelter too. It was not easy. The director has never been a guy that I have seen eye to eye on, and I feel like he is often threatened by my initiative and desire to help. Wanting to make a go at my ideas that I mentioned in my previous blog, I e-mailed him a letter requesting to work part time at the shelter, and raise my own finances that would be distributed through donations to the shelter by friends and family. When I asked him today what he thought of it, he gave me a run around answer that the money couldn't work out, and didn't say much about the rest.

I didn't understand. Everything in the letter was to the benefit of the shelter, and I had done paid internships like that before with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. But after taking some time to pray and ponder about it during the workout with the team, I addressed him after getting back to the shelter a little more confidently. This encounter was more promising, as I was able to convince him into putting me on the schedule once a week to do long shift (as a volunteer) as well as allow me to come in when I could for opening. In this way, I will still be able to work on my initiatives, but for now make due with 5-10 hours working the mail room at my seminary this fall.

I will say that I left the day more encouraged than I entered it, and pray that God continues to open and shut doors as He wills, and that Jesus' name may continue to be lifted up in more places and more hearts on the west side of Chicago.

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