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. I have recently returned to the Philippines this year (2016) to work again 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.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Every Nation, Tribe, and Tongue

Final Blog post of the day. I know I'm writing a lot all at once, but I really just want to get these thoughts on paper before taking the next few weeks to get some school work done for my class this fall. And I pray these thoughts might be a blessing to others.

This last thought really is directed at Christians, though I believe non-Christians can take hope and joy from it as well. As I was worshiping tonight at a church here in Manila, the lyrics of one of the songs was about the church around the world being united in Spirit and in Truth. With Christmas coming soon, and Christians and non-Christians alike celebrating the holiday season with singing, religious services, parties, gift giving, etc, it is a time that we remember how united we really are in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. We get to once again anticipate the coming of our King, both through remembering His coming 2000 years ago, and his promised coming that could happen any time, and possibly even in our lifetime!

As we worshiped tonight, my thoughts went to LA, Fresno, Chicago, Springfield, Boston, Nairobi (Kenya), Tblisi (Republic of Georgia), San Jose (Costa Rica), London, France, Manila, and Iloilo - all places that I have been able to worship the Lord with other believers and parts of the Body of Christ. The thought of the great commission being fulfilled in our lifetime (maybe even by 2020 or 2025) is exciting to me. Not just because Jesus' name will be lifted up in every nation, tribe, and tongue, but because as God's Spirit, and God's Truth, penetrates communities, families, and individuals (even though never perfectly), it brings hope and life and joy and peace to communities around the world - Christians and non-Christians alike.

Admittedly, Christianity as a religion and belief has also been used to bring more conflict and violence, and more inequality throughout history, and even today. And the church is far from the unity that Jesus prayed for in the book of John. However, where the gospel in its true form - one of peace, grace, truth, love, life, and even condemnation against evil - is preached and incarnated into cultures, languages, and people groups, whole communities and nations are transformed into expressions of the Kingdom to come. I definitely don't want to over-idealize it. There is still plenty of pain and suffering, much of which are also signs of the entering of the Kingdom. But I do want to say that God's Spirit and Truth are still alive in the world today, and that those of us who are Christians get to be part of that unity and good news to the nations. And all of us who are in Christ get to help usher in His Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven!

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