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!

BuzZ Online Episode 3

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Thank you for joining us for Episode 3 of the EFCCM’s official podcast! This time around I have a conversation with someone who needs to be quite vague with his identity and location, but who is pretty specific about his calling.

Community development is a fascinating concept that looks at the community as a whole, and tries to develop strategies for them to improve in every way. From health to personal finance, this type of work has begun to have a deep impact in local communities.

If this urges a response in you, please add it to our comments section below.

BuzZ Online Episode 2

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Welcome to the 2nd episode of the EFCCM’s BuzZ Online! Click on the graphic above, and the podcast should start in your computer’s media player. Or you can right click and save it to your hard-drive.

In this episode, I talk to a couple working in Southern Ukraine about some of the stories they’ve experienced, and challenges they face. They have decided to remain anonymous for the purposes of this podcast, so please don’t link to this file using their names, or add their names to the comments below, even if you recognise them. :-)

You are invited to take a listen! And please feel free to add any comments you may have about this podcast.