BuzZ Online Episode 8!

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Click here to listen to Episode 8 of the BuzZ Online!

Shaun and Söndi (pronounced SHIN-dee) dropped by to talk about the work they’re doing in Budapest, Hungary. They are doing a lot of work with children and youth, especially in an English-teaching context, and it is exciting to hear about the responsiveness they’re seeing.

Please uphold them in prayer as they continue to share the truth with families. There is great spiritual need — many communities have no living church at all — and Shaun and Söndi would like to be used by God to address that.

BuzZ Online Episode 7

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Listen to the BuzZ Online here! (duration: 31min 25sec)

Welcome to Episode 7 of the BuzZ Online! For this edition, we take an imaginary trip to Germany to look at how Rich and Lynn are involved at Black Forest Academy (BFA). You’re invited to listen in on the conversation — check out how they strive to turn their student dormitory into a God-centred home. They share a bunch of the give and take that’s natural when working with young adults — some of the stuff just cracked me up! :-)

Talking to them, I got a sense of a boisterous, rowdy bunch of North American MKs (missionary kids) that lends a rather strange harmony to the reserved German context. This seems like it would have been a great way to spend my last two years of high school. Ah well, now that that was half my life ago, perhaps it’s too late for regrets! :-)

Take a look at BFA’s website to get a better picture of the school. And if you’re interested in learning more about how to get involved, click here for the school’s available opportunities.

If you have any comments you want to share, please add them to this post. These might even include ways that you’d like me to change our podcasts, or topics that you’d like me to cover with them!

Thanks for listening — and I’ll catch you again real soon with Episode 8!

BuzZ Online Episode 6 (Fixed)

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Welcome to episode 6 of the BuzZ Online! Here I speak with Daryl, the Europe Area Director, about the developing role of the church in former Soviet countries, especially Ukraine. Massive changes abound in the culture and the structure of these nations, and the people are struggling to catch up.

I appreciated hearing Daryl’s input and understanding of what’s happening in this region, and about what emerging role we can play as the EFCCM. I invite you to take a listen, and add your own comments to the blog.

BuzZ Online Episode 5

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Show Notes

The following was inspired by the podcast that Marina and I created, and fleshes out some things we talked about. If there’s anything that you feel compelled to add, feel free to make a comment below.

It’s a radical shift! Imagine a country going from strong state control to independence and free enterprise all in the span of one generation. Perhaps you remember the collapse of the “iron curtain”. (I do, but I was too young to understand the implications at the time.) It’s tough to explain the impact that has had on people trying to navigate their daily lives.

For one thing there is the illusion of choice. Expensive options are available, but the larger population is unable to afford them. Frustration is fed by the population’s expectation that the country would be instantly wealthier under the new system, but not everyone is feeling a benefit from it. (In fact, the people it benefits usually have the opposite mindset of those who benefited most by the previous system. And vice versa. Change is hard.)

North America has employed a capitalist system for longer than anyone alive can remember. (Realistically, longer than the three oldest people put together.) It makes sense that we have built up a cultural understanding to deal with it. For example, we generally see through the manipulation of advertising, and have a relatively strong understanding of personal finance and debt management (in theory at least, if not in practice…). However in a whole new frontier, these challenges are far more, uh, challenging.

Marina is Ukrainian and is working as one of the EFCCM’s Indigenous Personnel. This gives her a unique cultural perspective between the divide of Ukraine and North America, and how the changes in the country are affecting the church there. In the podcast she introduces the concept of “face”. In this instance it refers to “keeping up with the Joneses”, a cultural competitiveness that has become extreme as materialism takes root. That’s a factor that is exacerbated by easy access to credit and its crippling interest rates and inflation. Our hope is that we can introduce people to a relationship with Jesus Christ who satisfies people’s need to belong, and to be loved — certainly far better than possessions.

When you’re working from a place of spiritual security, all your motivations change. Fears subside and love abounds. The church community is a place where that grace and acceptance are taught. And when it’s at its best, experienced. Pray that we can Jesus’ beacon of hope to the jostling culture of Ukraine.

BuzZ Online Episode 4

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I shamelessly call myself a communications geek. I love how communications interacts with culture, how it shapes it, and is shaped by it. I love its wide range of tools, and I love connecting with people who are wired the same way. And, that is where Carissa comes in. She is a fellow missions communicator, and agreed to join me for this episode of the BuzZ Online.

Do you want to be involved in getting people excited about missions? Do you have skills in any area of communication? Maybe even something you didn’t think of using for communication like art, drama, creative writing, etc.? I’m looking for people that can offer stories, photographs or even ideas from a pew perspective, or from those who give and go, maybe from someone you know closely. If you’re a part of a Canadian EFC congregation, even better!

If you want to get involved, drop me a line and let’s chat! I mean it!