Thursday, September 3, 2015

Visiting, Visits and Beyond

Visiting Chicago IL

I had the privilege of attending the United Methodist Women (UMW) National Seminar in Chicago, "Interrupting Indifference:  Jesus, Justice and Joy."   We learned A LOT about the UMW's focus on the various social justice topics that require our involvement. 

The field trips were especially meaningful to me.  

On one, we learned more about Economic Justice and the history of labor struggles and an evert, the Haymarket Massacre.

I will be telling more about "Interrupting Indifference: Jesus Justice and Joy" at the Annual Meeting of the West Michigan Conference of the UMW on October 17, in Coldwater, MI.  You are invited.  Let me know if you plan to attend.

Visiting Ethiopia

For three weeks in August I visited Ethiopia with my sister, Donna and sister-in-law, Janet.  Donna had spent 30+ years in Africa.  During her last nine years there she was part of the team that created the New Testament for the Banna tribe.

This tribe had never had a written language before.

We attended the Bible dedication, on August 9, 2015

Part of our stay was at the SIM Guest House in Addis Ababa.  We visited sites of some of the urban ministries that SIM facilitates.  Many prayers and resources are desperately needed.  Hearing the stories of these mother's and children was a challenge to be part of the answer.

  Ethiopia ACT with SIM are the organizations involved in this urban ministries.

This picture is a picture of the facility where thy teach 125 children each Sunday.

Some of the usual tourists things were done.  It was a hard walk, but a beautiful site, the Blue Nile Falls.

Our travel to the northern part of Ethiopia to visit historical sites was a learning adventure.

 There is historic research that tends to verify the "legend" that the Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia.  

We attended a 4: AM Ethiopian Orthodox event where the Ark was brought out, the crowd followed it to the square for worship.

A Visit to Traverse City Next Week, September 7-9, 2015

Rev. Alex and Brenda Awad will be visiting Traverse City, MI.  Their visit is part of a speaking tour in many states.  If you wonder if they will be in your area, just let me know and I will forward you the information about their schedule in your area.

I am praising God for their ministry in Palestine and Israel.  Serving with them at Bethlehem Bible College was a highlight of my service as an Individual Volunteer in Missions.  They were part of my Methodist family while I was in the Holy Land..


Rev. Alex and Brenda stand in need of your prayers as they fulfill they very busy travel schedule.

If you live in  my area,  the information is below on two of the six events that will be part of their two day agenda while here in Traverse City.

Tuesday, September 8, 7:PM at Christ United Methodist Church, 1249 Three Mile South, Traverse City, MI.  "Reflections on Israel & Palestine"

Wednesday, September 9, 10:AM United Methodist Women at Central UMC invite you to a reception , 222 Front St, Traverse City, MI , "Issues Concerns of Women In Palestine & Israel"

Conversational Spanish

The class based on the book, Who Is My Neighbor?  Learning Spanish as Church Hospitality is already a success even though it has not started yet.   

There is a class of 30, and a waiting list for the next class.

Let me know if your church might consider a class, I can connect you to some great resources.

And Beyond...

Lord willing I will be making several presentations in the next month and a half in various cities in Michigan.  


My months in the Middle East put refugee issues on my radar.  Serving in Mafraq, Jordan, I saw first hand the problems of refugees fleeing violence in Syria.  

The Palestinian refugees situation is unjust.  International law is violated, adding continued suffering.  More refugees are being created by home demolitions.  

These refugees are close to my heart.  History shows that 800,000 people living in Palestine in 1948 were ousted from their homes, lands and livelihoods as Israel was given their land by international governments.  In Palestine it is referred to as a disaster, The Nakba,

I listened to the family stories of that event when I served in Palestine.  

I was five years old in 1948, imagine with me how different life would be if this disaster had happened in MI.  Using Michigan's 1950 census data, I outlined the counties in Michigan's lower peninsula that would have been emptied if the Nakba happened here.

God used these maps and research to focus me, service to refugees and immigrants became an added call on my life.
Since returning home, March 2315, I am volunteering with Justice for Our Neighbors, at Central UMC, .

Please pray with me for refugees and immigrants.  I am praying about my next Individual Volunteer in Missions assignment.  My prayer is that I will be able to serve in a Refugee Resettlement Program.

Interrupt Indifference!