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, January 1, 2013

The Privilege of Ministry and Mission!

The following is an incredible encouragement for all of us doing God's work, especially those of us working on the margins and with the marginalized, and those of us caring for the sick, poor, and outcast. This word from Brother K.P. Yohannan has come to me personally during another transition, as I prepare to move out to a relocation community on the outskirts of Metro-Manila, to seek Christ more fully, and to learn how to better partner with Mission Ministries Philippines, a similar native missionary organization to Gospel For Asia (Yohannan's ministry in India and other parts of Asia).

I pray this might encourage each of you as it has me. May we remember that our work is actually God's work, and that as we continue to put ourselves into His will, the burden is light; and despite suffering, there can be joy and rejoicing.

Stay encouraged, and keep trusting in Him!

Excerpt from Revolution in World Mission, Chapter 7: "It is a Privilege" by K.P. Yohannan

“By now, I was traveling full-time for the ministry, and the strain was taking a heavy toll both on my family and on me. I was starting to burn out – and I almost hated the work.
            Two factors were wearing on me.
            First, I felt like a beggar. It is hard on the flesh to be traveling and asking for money day after day and night after night. It was almost becoming a sales operation for me, and I stopped feeling good about myself.
            Second, I was discouraged by the poor response – especially from churches and pastors. Many times it seemed as if my presence threatened them. Where, I wondered, was the fraternal fellowship of working together in the extension of the kingdom? Many days I called on people for hours to get only one or two new sponsors. Pastors and mission committees listened to me and promised to call me back, but I never heard from them again. It always seemed as though I was competing against the building fund, new carpets for the fellowship hall or next Saturday night’s Jesus rock concert.
            Despite the solemn message of death, suffering and need I was presenting, people still left the meetings with laughter and gossip on their lips. I was offended at the spirit of jocularity in the churches: It wounded me. So many times we went out to eat after I had just shared the tragedy of the thousands who starve to death daily or the millions of homeless people living on the streets of Asia. Because of this, I was becoming angry and judgmental. As I felt uglier and uglier inside, depression settled in.
            Early in 1981 – while driving alone between meetings in a borrowed car near Greensboro, North Carolina – all the dark feelings of psychological burn-out crept over me. I had a full-fledged pity party, feeling sorry for myself and the hard life I was leading.
            With a start, I began to tremble with fear. Suddenly I felt the presence of someone else. I realized that the Spirit of the Lord was speaking.
            “I am not in any trouble,” He chided, “that I need someone to beg for Me or help Me out. I made no promises that I will not keep. It is not the largeness of the work that matters, but only doing what I command. All I ask of you is that you be a servant. For all who join with you in the work, it will be a privilege – a light burden for them.”
            The words echoed in my mind. This is His work, I told myself. Why am I making it mine. The burden is light. Why am I making it heavy? The work is a privilege. Why am I making ait a chore?
            I instantly repented of my sinful attitudes. God was sharing His work with me, and He was speaking of others who would join me and that they too would find the burden to be light. From that moment until this, I have not been overpowered by the burden of heading Gospel for Asia. I find building this mission an exciting, joyful job. Even my preaching has changed. My posture is different. Today the pressure is gone. No more do I feel I have to beg audiences or make them feel guilty.
            Because the work of Gospel for Asia – and the whole native missionary movement – is initiated by God, it does not need the worries and guidance of man. Whether our goal is to support 10,000 or 10 million missionaries, whether it is working in 10 states or 100, or whether I must supervise a staff of 5 or 500, I still can approach this work without stress. For this is His work, and our burden is easy.”  (75-77)

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