Posts Tagged ‘ Dominican Republic ’

The Challenge of Africa

For the past several days, I have had the privilege of joining a group of students studying leadership in global perspectives.  They come from a variety of backgrounds – both nationally and vocationally. It’s been a wonderful experience thus far, and one that has challenged our comfort levels, our categories of understanding, and how we interact with our home contexts. So far, our time has been in Nairobi, Kenya, but we’ll be heading to Ethiopia soon. One of the things we’ve done is spend time in a slum called Mathare. It’s not the biggest slum in Nairobi, but it is home to about 800,000 people. I’ve had previous experiences in slums here in Nairobi, in Dominican Republic, and in India (including the one on display in Slumdog Millionaire), so I was somewhat prepared for what I’d see. It’s pretty jarring, though – seeing children with little or no clothing, running […]

Praise For A Cause I Don’t Support

I’ve been a practicing Christian my whole life.  For the vast majority of it, I have been heavily embedded in the Christian ghetto – from feel-good churches to the Jesus-junk bookstores to “positive talk radio” to being a journalist in the “contemporary Christian music” industry.  I’ve been to countless events – concert festivals, stadium evangelism gatherings, and yes, I’ve seen the Power Team live.  Some of what I’ve just written, I’m deeply embarrassed about.  Some of it is silliness that I can laugh about in the way everyone laughs at the wardrobe choices in their old high school photos as they’re preparing for their 20 year reunions.  Some of that stuff I’m actually okay with – but I won’t tell you what! Anyway, at many of these Christians Attending Ghetto Events (a.k.a. CAGEs), there is a “pitch” for a cause.  There are a number of organizations that do these pitches, […]

Holistic Mission and Evangelization

Attempting to write about my experiences in the Dominican Republic is a daunting challenge. I got to spend time in a wide range of church ministry environments, and I learned so much that it’s hard to encapsulate it. The pastors and churches of la Red Del Camino that I’ve met are so energetic, creative, and driven to demonstrate visible signs of the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God. They get out into their communities, listen to what’s going on, and what the needs of people are, and they respond. If you looked at the group of churches, you would notice some common threads between them, like low-cost schools for families that wouldn’t normally have access to high-quality education, or clean water treatment facilities. But another common thread is that these churches are bold and unashamed about including a gospel message in what they do with and for the people. They […]

Playing the Power Game

After getting off the airplane in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, getting my luggage, and going through customs, I was greeted by Alfredo, who works with la Red Del Camino network here in the DR.  Specifically, he works with a program called Endeavor, which receives and deploys teams of people from outside the country who come here to do various “ministry” projects.  Previously he worked with Habitat for Humanity.  One of the distinctives of Endeavor is that when they’re contacted by a group wanting to come do a “mission trip,” they hit the pause button from the get-go.  They believe that before just jumping into a work project together, it’s much better to become friends first.  This means slowing down long enough to get to know each other and develop some mutuality in the relationship.  Sure, they’ll end up getting some important work done, but first things first. Alfredo explained that […]