Resting Murder Face: Why is Conflict Necessary?

A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution By Rodger Schmidt  Many leaders avoid conflict at all costs. However, the most innovative solutions often are born out of conflict. The workplace is a dynamic environment, always needing to grow, change, find solutions, transition, and upgrade. Conflict is a regular element of everyday work life. If leaders manage conflict well, it will produce growth and leadership capacity in themselves and others (and the more enjoyable will be the experience of others in the workplace).   Why is Conflict Necessary?  Conflict encourages the leader to consider new ideas. If the participants truly hear one another’s perspectives and ideas, it helps to mold and clarify concepts; either making the leader clearer…
July 16, 2020

Resting Murder Face: Conflict is Inevitable

A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution By Rodger Schmidt When two or more people interact for a long enough period, conflict happens. It is inevitable. Dr. Silcox claims unresolved conflict preys on peoples’ minds and distracts them from their most important tasks. Individuals in ongoing conflict rarely contribute well to the organization’s mission and strategy. Therefore, Individuals may simply be going through the motions, or undermining the organization in some way. The following questions and related principles are helpful to consider while managing the inevitable reality of conflict: Are there perceived inequities in how people are treated? Inequities…
July 15, 2020

Resting Murder Face: Introduction

A week-long series on leadership and conflict resolution By Rodger Schmidt  If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. - Matthew 18:15 Managing conflict is not only inevitable but a necessary process if leaders hope to foster community, mature themselves, and lead others well. It is essential if we are to achieve all the Father has prepared for us in the mission of God around the world. I have invested years navigating conflict rooted in personality differences—Family of origin blind…
July 14, 2020

Coping with the Coronavirus Pandemic in Italy

How a Coronavirus Canceled Plans For Two Colleagues by Emily Roth  After 42 years of ministry in Italy, Doug and Dee Valenzuela were preparing for their biggest project yet to take place on the last weekend of May. It would have been a three-day event drawing thousands of people to hear the gospel and receive salvation in Jesus Christ. The event, called Christian Alive 2020, could have been the capstone of their work in the city of Naples and its surrounding area before they would retire at the end of the year. But, the event was canceled. Instead, they celebrated…
June 8, 2020

Life With Charlie

By Ginny Jensen Charlie is my little lap dog. He is now old and losing his sight. He is still the most loyal, cuddly pet I have ever had. Through the years, there have been many challenges with him. He was a rescue and came with many issues. In watching Charlie, I have seen parallels to my relationship with God. After doing something wrong, Charlie comes sheepishly to me for forgiveness only to turn around and do it again. Sounds like me. How about you? When Charlie escapes the yard and runs free, it is beautiful to watch him. Yet,…
June 6, 2020

Building a Church Legacy in Senegal

Senegal Broke Ground This Weekend on a New Church By Colleagues in Africa On Saturday, May 30, 2020, we broke ground for a permanent place of worship. The story behind the ceremony for a new church building began years ago.  After decades of missionary work, there are only about 100 Wolof believers. Out of those 100 believers, less than a third attend church on a regular basis. This breaks our hearts. When we spoke to some of them, they shared several reasons for not attending. “It doesn’t feel sacred.” They desire a formal place of worship. “It doesn’t feel Senegalese.”…
June 1, 2020

How COVID19 Changed Language Learning For Me

  By Sam Knutson During this coronavirus lockdown, God has shifted our plans and I am beginning language learning from the States instead of in person.  I was very nervous about my first lesson in Spanish because, even though I have been trying my best to learn on my own, I am still such a novice!  At the end of my lesson, we could only shake our heads and laugh at God's humor.  My online language lesson went from shaky introductions to sharing the Gospel in my bumbling Spanish. My tutor, Nico (a pseudonym) lives in Guayaquil, the city we…
May 26, 2020

Sheltered Under His Wings

  By Ginny Jensen We have been sheltered in place for weeks; for some, it's been months. Slowly the world is beginning to “re-open”. If your isolation is a physical location, you may be seeing the light at the far end of the tunnel. If you are like Hannah in social isolation, you don’t know when it will end. Staying in isolation has its stressors. Stepping out of it will bring new stressors. Is it safe? What if there is a second wave? What effect will social distancing have on relationships? The questions, fears, and anxiety are as unique as…
May 21, 2020

Seeking Peace During a Pandemic

  By Emily Roth The last 10 days of Ramadan began on Tuesday, May 12. More than at any other time of year, Muslims seek God during these 10 days and nights. Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, and the final 10 days of the month are the holiest days of this month. A saying attributed to Muhammad instructs Muslims, “Search for the Night of Qadr in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” Laylat al-Qadr, also translated as the Night of Destiny or the Night of Power, is honored by Muslims as the…
May 16, 2020

A Snapshot Into Cambodian Orphanages

If orphanages are where the resources are, won't they provide the best nutrition, health care, and education? By Lisa Yunker My degree program in seminary required me to do an internship and, by that time, I sensed the Lord was calling me to work in Cambodia. I joined a team for a seven-week mission trip to Cambodia. During that time we were exposed to, and given the opportunity to work with, a broad spectrum of ministries. One of the ministries we encountered was a large well-respected orphanage. The woman who was in charge was a lovely Christian lady with many…
May 15, 2020