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10 Ways To Encourage MKs On Furlough

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I recently read a great article full of practical advice on The Gospel Coalition's website, entitled 20 Ways To Refresh The Hearts of Missionary Saints On Furlough. Included in the article are some very practical, doable, and meaningful tips. When I was growing up my family experienced some of these -- such as people loaning us a car, storing some of our earthly possessions, and even a dentist who was an old friend of my folks who gave us free dental care. Not only were we blessed, but we felt very supported and valued by these things.

Today we work with a lot of MKs (children of missionaries) who go on furlough (itineration, home ministry assignment, however you've heard it) with their parents, and others who have returned to the States without the intention of returning to the field. We actually have a a few MKs on furlough now- shout out to Emma, Meghan, and Katie! Before we moved to Costa Rica, we had a number of questions on how churches can support their missionaries and…

Correo

Today we celebrated our first year in Costa Rica. While we're getting use to things taking longer than expected (the biggest adaptation thus far), there are some things that still baffle us. For example...

I went to pick up a package today at the post office. Home delivery rarely happens and is challenging when your address literally translates to this: "San Francisco de Dos Rios, From the pharmacy La Pacifica, 400m east, 10m south. The garage is grey". That's great except the pharmacy is now a bread store and has been for 8 months. Somehow telling a taxi driver this always gets me home.

Anyways, this is the process for getting our package once at the post office:

sign with passport at the guard shack with written proof of receiving a packagereceive a lanyard badgego to the back of the post officego to counter 1give letter telling you have a packageshow passportreceive a stamp on letter with your signature and passport numbergo to counter 2show stamped letteracknowled…

Different Beliefs, One Bible

One Bible question I often get is, how can so many Christians who have the Spirit living inside of them read the Bible and come up with differing doctrines? If you ask this question, maybe this will help:


"Some would challenge the call to humility in reading the Scripture by arguing that the Spirit shows us what the text means. He is our teacher. But when two "Spirit-instructed interpreters" argue for mutually exclusive positions, a problem arises. Who brings the correct message taught by the Spirit and how do we decide? We would argue that this question emphasizes the Spirit's teaching work at the wrong place, by stressing understanding of content. John 14-16 describes the work of the [Spirit] as a ministry of convicting the world and instructing the saints through encouragement. In other words, the Spirit works in our hearts to convict us of the truth of what we read in Scripture and to encourage us with regard to how we apply what is said. There is a difference b…

Patrick's Morning Adventure

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Today to kick off our family morning, Patrick practiced his climbing skills in the back yard! He did great climbing our mango tree, and went up 3 times! It was pretty exposed, so it gave me a good excuse to break out our rope and harnesses!




Disspelling the "Missional" Myth

In the last 5 years, a new buzzword came into play in the evangelical church in the USA: "Missional"

It was an adjective to describe being "On Mission". This new phraseology carries a strong, yet vague sense of purpose. We are "on mission"--we have have a job to do! We all have a mission--are you on your mission? But since this mission is the same across the church, we just did away with the article (on a mission, on the mission) and new power language was born: On Mission! When I saw this trending, I was concerned with the vague concept with which it so strongly thrust forth for three reasons:

1. I've said it twice, I'll say it again--it's vague... What does it mean?  Well, I think the best way to articulate it is the following: Be always ever focused on making disciples via the strategy of multiplication no matter where you are... I think... The strength of this vague concept is that church members were challenged to be 'on mission' …

Sojourn Commencement Address 2014

Sojourn Academy Class of 2014 Commencement Address.
Written and delivered by Jonathan Hunter.
When I stepped into the icy snow-ladened wind, I stopped and caught my breath. It was 1 AM. What have I gotten myself into? But the person in front of me moved on, and there was someone waiting behind me. So I took a step further out of the doorway and felt the full power of the wind hit me. I could hear the bits of snow and ice on my hood, as they were hurled at my body through the gusty night. I took another step. What was I thinking? Why did I leave my bed, oh warm sweet, comfortable, warm, dry, warm sleeping bag. But still I stepped forward. Again, and again, and again. My feet were heavy. Aside from the wind on my hood, the only thing to be heard was the clanking of our ice axes on the rocks, like dull bells warning the mountain of our approach. We trudged up the path, muffled lighting peering out of our headlamps. I realized that I was trembling, though from excitement, cold, or terror,…

Craziness

The last 3 weeks have been absolutely crazy...


Jonathan ran a Jr/Sr retreat with our studentsOur intern, Caroline, arrivedWe had a team retreat with a tremendous amount of car troubleWe packed everything up the day we returnedWe moved to our new house and cleaned up our oldWe've started to furnish our house (not so easy without a Bed, Bath & Beyond)We hosted a pancake dinner for our studentsWe're planning our big spring retreatWe got over a stomach bugThings have been so full that we're forgetful, unfocused, exhausted, and easily frustrated. Praise God that He is constant through the change and the stress that it brings. Praise God that He is unmovable and never shaken.


During our retreat, I was reminded of Colossians 3:15: It comes just after Paul lists out things for believers to put on. 
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
We're definitely not in the middle of peace, but in our hearts we are …
on January 24-25 we did something new at the International Youth Group. We held a 12 hour workshop on listening. How many teenagers will sign up for a 12 hour workshop? My guess was around 7. My parent's were coming from the States to share what they'd recently been trained in: Reflective Listening. And this was the number I told them.

You can imagine my shock, then we had a total of 27 each day at our workshop!

We met Friday from 5-9pm, and then kids split up guys and girls and slept at two different youth group family's house. Many thanks to the Gaults and the Cosners for housing so many students!

The goal of reflective listening is to help someone explore their own thoughts and feelings. Removing as many communication barriers as possibly, the listener uses a formula of tentative opening--feeling--thought.

If a friend comes with a issue, for example someone just bullied them at school and hurled a slew of insults at them, one might say: "Wow, it sounds like (tentati…