Shelter in Place: Daniel

  By Ginny Jensen  Most people these days can be grateful for being at home. For some, they may be “stuck” someplace else. They, like Daniel in the Old Testament, have an added amount of discomfort. Daniel was in exile, taken to Babylon. Nothing was normal for Daniel and his fellow exiles. Daniel remained faithful to his prayer time. He continued even after the king’s decree. Prayer is never more crucial than at times like these. We serve a God who hears; he knows, and he is in control. The Psalms offer examples of prayers of lament. Honestly tell the…
April 13, 2020

Shelter in Place

  By Ginny Jensen  Shelter in place, quarantine, and stay at home are words heard repeatedly these days. For many, it feels like a prison sentence; others feel imposed upon and inconvenienced. As believers, these times can draw us closer to the Lord or disrupt all spiritual practices leaving us drifting away. This feeling of being in captivity and isolation are not new. Over the centuries, others have experienced the same feeling during plagues, slavery, imprisonment, or exile. Bible stories we know and love give us examples of thriving in such difficult situations. Some early church fathers even chose a…
April 9, 2020

When the Occasion of Disruption Becomes an Opportunity for Distribution!

  WorldVenture sees how the gospel can be a catalyst for justice in the world.  Karen Shogren, Professor at Seminario ESEPA, Costa Rica began teaching a new program to train church leaders to combat the scourge of sexual abuse.  She has been developing this critically needed training for some time and was excited to release it this year.  The course began as an in-person pilot program; plans to take the program online for wider distribution would have to wait for another 1-2 years. But the disruption of the coronavirus quarantine nearly stopped the program entirely.  Professor Shogren shared that “exactly…
April 7, 2020

13 Ways to Effectively Work From Home

Serving While Sheltering by Dennis Ahern Yesterday was a strange day in the midst of our new normal. After checking in with the IM team at 7:30 a.m. (California time), my wife, Denise and I went to buy groceries. We experienced the push of the cart during the early morning “senior” shopping hours. Truthfully, my wife does not accept invitations from anyone or anywhere that begin with, “Dear Senior Citizen.” But, she accepted my invitation because I invited her to join me as my guest. Does it seem strange to others besides me that before entering a supermarket, we put…
April 5, 2020

Staying Home, But Not Alone

  By Grace Sandeno, Director of Public Health Initiatives Battle back against isolation and stress! Here are some practical suggestions for making our current isolation less isolating: Whether you are alone or “isolated” in a house of seven, as I am, reach out to people not in your house. Other people need a hug, even if it is a virtual one. Learn some new “tricks.” I admit to being an “old-timer” when it comes to technology. But, as it turns out, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I’ve messed up technology stuff a number of times, but I…
April 4, 2020

How to Worship Together in Quarantine

  https://youtu.be/74HtYmAzSyw In the past, Zachary Galyen enjoyed multiple opportunities during the week to worship in community. Since moving to the Czech Republic last May, he "...could count on one hand..." the opportunities to worship. "I just missed it." He said. "What pushed me over the edge is seeing all the people coming out of the woodwork, sharing their corporate or personal time of worship because of the restrictions to meet publicly, etc. I thought it was so cool that people were posting encouraging songs of worship FOR each other, but it would be so much cooler if we could…
April 3, 2020

The Ideal Team Player

A Commentary on The Ideal Team Player, Patrick M. Lencioni By A.D. Brown Patrick M. Lencioni’s team strengthening methods have been popular across many different organizations. It’s no secret that interpersonal conflict is a leading cause for international colleagues to return home, so I’m interested in anything that will decrease attrition and increase cooperation. The Ideal Team Player is his 2016 addition to his Dysfunctions series. The first part details an imaginary manager who has just inherited his family’s construction business and is tasked with new projects and getting it done in the midst of high staff turnover. The manager discovers that ideal team…
March 31, 2020

This Way We Have Never Been Before

By LeAnn Custer Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it.  Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” – Joshua 3:1-8 I thought how applicable the verses are to our present Corona Virus pandemic situation since none…
March 30, 2020

Accepting Reality, Accepting Grace

By A.D. Brown In the span of just a few weeks, I’ve observed how all of my friends back in America suddenly find themselves homeschooling and working remotely. Routines have been disrupted, plans have been dramatically changed, and we all wonder what the new normal is going to look like. This is certainly an unprecedented world situation. It also reminds me of normal life as an international colleague. Certainly, there are the obvious parallels: We have been homeschooling for years. I’ve been working remotely basically since 2013, and our routines are, well, routinely disrupted. In 2018, we also experienced a…
March 24, 2020

Continuing Ministry Online During COVID19

by Nikole Hahn A simple guide on how to use social media and technology to keep life on some sort of normal in this period of church closures, quarantines, self-isolation, and social distancing due to COVID19. Bible Studies: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Discord can be used to lead a video Bible Study like your face-to-face. This is an opportunity to invite people from your community. Hold the Bible Studies during times when the rest of your community can join you, too. Think of the working class in your planning. Small Groups: Your small groups are going to need your…
March 19, 2020