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.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Faith Trip to India

I am hesitant to post two times in one day. Especially since it has been almost four months since I last published on this blog, or sent a ministry update to my partners in ministry.

But, in some ways, this, and the last post, are my weak attempts at speaking again, or breaking the silence that has been ongoing over the last four months. That is, as my last post describes, after a month of finishing our last area, two months of waiting for our next, and now two weeks into our new area of ministry.

Here though, I want to describe another area of ministry that God has put on my and our community's (Mission Ministries Philippines) heart in the last few months. A trip to India.

We do not take this trip, or even the idea of the trip, lightly. In fact, since receiving an invitation about the November conference we would like to attend in Mumbai almost a year ago, we have been diligently praying about the possibility of sending a delegation to represent and speak on behalf of our missional community here in Manila.

I personally knew of my desire to go to Mumbai as early as this past April, but felt called to wait on our MMP community before buying my ticket or moving forward with my plans to attend the conference. A large reason for this is that we have been having regular conversations with a group of leaders in our organization that we are calling "Mobilization." Like other mission groups and churches here in Manila (Navigators, Campus Crusade, Send International, Victory Fellowship, etc.), these conversations have revolved around the idea of mobilizing and sending out a larger number of Filipino pastors, teachers, and missionaries to urban centers in other countries around Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, etc.) and even up into India.

My personal understanding of this, as a Western missionary who has seen and heard about many American and European missionaries leaving the Philippines because of its abundance of pastors, missionaries, and churches, is that maybe our work as Western missionaries and the international church community is not done yet in the Philippines. Rather, I would suggest, that it is, and has been changing directions.

Rather than send more Western missionaries to the Philippines and Southeast Asia for church planting and holistic ministry (even my own involvement in these ministries here is to learn what God is doing so that it might be multiplied beyond Manila to other parts of the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and even back in the States; though I see a continued need for a few Western missionaries to be here as connectors back to churches and mission agencies in the West), I feel that we as the Western church should be putting our resources and prayers behind Filipino missionaries who are and can be more effective at reaching many of the unreached places in Asia.

Those of us here in the Philippines have already seen the impact of the Korean church and missionaries who are now part of the second largest mission sending force in the world (next to the United States), despite being a relatively small country. While their strategies and best efforts, like previous generations of missionaries from the States, many times still clash with the Filipino culture and language, for the most part this support from the Korean church has helped continue a fast-paced church planting movement through the cities and villages in the Philippines. Especially when it is done in partnership with the growing and nearly sufficient Filipino church.

I know this message is not a message that is easily heard by those of us in the church in the West. Even for myself, since if I push this message strong enough, it may include my own return to the United States. But I firmly believe that, as I mentioned above, our foreign missions budgets and prayer lists from the States and other Western countries, could be much better 'spent' if we invested in the Filipino church (especially those working with the urban poor, though also urban professionals who can reach the middle and upper class), as this can be much more timely and cost effective than continuing to send Western missionaries.

Ideally the largest amount of support will come from the churches here in the Philippines, one effort that we are also working on, but I recognize that my current support network is still primarily in the United States, which is why I am writing this post primarily to a Western audience. I don't have the exact calculations, but I'm sure that we can do much more in terms of reaching Asia and the global south for the Kingdom if we invested more in local and indigenous leadership and missionaries.

If you are interested in knowing more details about the trip to India, or even helping with more specific prayer or financial support, please e-mail me at so I can send you the support letter that we are sending out to our MMP ministry partners.

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