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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kenya Thoughts, July 15-16, 2007

Since Anita House and another Koinonia House for Streetboys that same night (it was a short visit - beautiful countryside/ river side location but I will write more about it after our next visit) we have been very busy and without a chance to write or send e-mails. In order to catch up on our time here in Kenya, I will write summaries of each day since the 14th of July.

Sunday, July 15th:

On Sunday we attended Nairobi Chapel for church, attempted to go to an orphanage called Happy Life (we ended up going to a gospel benefit concert for the kids - a little awkward to be honest), and then after dinner got a live performance from an amazing local drum and dance group. 

The church was definitely a challenging experience. Supposedly one of the fastest growing churches in Africa (and currently going through a huge relocation process to a tent - yes tent - that holds around 3,500 people) the church reminded me of my church back home that also recently went through a relocation process. While walking to the church (about a mile down the road from where we are staying) one of the guides Newton told me that this was a rich persons church (and Mizungu - white persons), noticable by the fact that there were so many cars parked outside the church (most of the cities residents don't have cars but instead walk and take public transportation - even bicycles are to expensive for most of them). So though the church is similar to mine back home (the only way to get to mine is by car), in the context of our visits to the slums and homes for street children this last week, it hurt to see a church that was negatively considered the rich person's church. After entering the tent (a big one, yet smaller than the one they are moving to on September 2nd) things only got more challenging to process. In the bulletin there was a flyer for a golf outing fundraiser for the new church (again only the very rich people know how to or even play golf), and had little mention of any service organizations or projects to the poor. The service and songs were very Americanized with big screens and American songs, and the sermon, though based around faith the God answers prayer, was very materialistic in nature and on the verge of a prosperity gospel. While I trust and pray that God works through this local body of believers, the experience challenged me to challenge myself and the rest of the body of Christ (now and while a pastor) to be more sensitive to and active with the poor and needy.

Monday, July 16th:

Monday was a day of even new experiences. We spent the day visiting an organization that served refugees all over the city of Nairobi. Included in this visit was their headquarters where a man named Father Eugene oversees training courses in hairdressing, beauty, and information technology, a bread shop, a thrift store for refugees, and a restaurant run by refugees. In the morning, after arriving, Father Eugene took us to an apartment complex for about 8 refugee families, and in the afternoon we went to a place where they make prosthetics and crutches for war torn and diseased persons.

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