Master's in Urban Ministry
I have been working recently—with the help of Joel VanDyke from Guatemala and Dawn Wolthuis, the President of the Institute for Christian Studies (ICS) in Toronto—on an exciting new opportunity for study here in Central America. This new program will be a pilot ICS Master’s program in Urban Ministries. ICS would be working in conjunction with CETI, the Center for Interdisciplinary Theological Studies, and CTM Guatemala, the Center for Transforming Mission in Guatemala. The idea is that this first pilot group (our guinea pigs, so to speak) will do all of their coursework in English while serving as volunteers in Latin American communities in Costa Rica and Guatemala, putting their classroom studies into practice. While the details are still a bit on the fuzzy side, we have finally chosen a start date: January 2014! Thankfully, that gives us a few months to dot all our i’s and cross all our t’s, as well as recruit our first group of willing students. If you know anyone who would love to spend the year 2014 in Central America, serving while getting a Master’s Degree in Urban Ministries, PLEASE tell them about this amazing opportunity! We can then get the ball rolling with CRWM and get them signed into the program. I’m very excited about what opportunities and possibilities this program will bring, not only to our students but also to our communities!
As I write, our family of 8 is spread out in 5 different cities. Maya continues in Boston; Anton in El Salvador; Jonathan in Deep Springs College (California); Maria, Luana and Natalia at Casa Adobe (Santo Domingo, Costa Rica); Jim and I in Cartagena, Colombia.
The big –and for some surprising—family news is that we have just celebrated a wedding! No: none of our kids for now. Instead: my dad! Widowed for three-and-a-half years and now 80 years old, René has embarked on a new adventure with his new wife, Beatriz Alvarez. She will be leaving her native Colombia and her lawyering practice to join my dad in Buenos Aires. I never imagined I’d be walking my dad down the aisle! But in the midst of all the adjustments this change demands, we celebrate that it’s never too late for new life and love!
And as we all work, study, figure out vocations and live them out, we all continue learning, growing, and needing the prayers and support of our extended family and community.
It’s not easy to keep children of many different ages to
listen to you, especially when they are not particularly interested in what you want to teach them. This past month we had a “taller” (workshop) with most of the kids involved in the project, Bola bola. The point of this workshop was to help them with their presenting skills, both for the project in itself and the kid’s future necessities. The children who attended this event are between the ages of 6 and 14. They are very kind children who have an incredible amount of energy and for this reason have trouble sitting still. We decided to do this workshop in an interactive way, so that the kids may learn and enjoy themselves at the same time.
This workshop covered only 4 presentation qualities, which included, notes, projection, eye contact and body position. We played different games for each of them, such as making their voice heard over those of all the people surrounding them and molding others into the right body position. It was very interesting to watch the children do these activities, starting with their shyness and insecurity, which then ended with confidence. I could see how they were enjoying themselves, by their smiles and giggles when others would say or do something funny. I could see them soaking up the information we were giving them, trying to make sure they did not mess up in front of everyone. They were having fun and so was I watching them enjoy learning.
Once all the activities were over, we asked the general question: which were the four points we discussed here today? Most of them raised their hands, wanting to show of what they had learned, to show us how they knew it and they were paying attention. We felt that we had managed to teach them what we had planed on teaching them with much success and only hoped that in our next meeting with an adult they would employ these technics and make the presentation more formal in this way.
We ask for prayers for one of the community members here--Damaris--as she is considering leaving Casa Adobe along with her husband, Luis, and her daughter, Izayana. We ask for wisdom and patience to be with all of us as we decide the next steps that need to be taken as well as God's love and peace to be with us no matter the outcome.
We ask for prayers of safety as Ginna, another member here at Casa Adobe, has gone to Michigan to work with the community at *culture is not optional (www.cultureisnotoptional.com)for a couple of months. Pray that her time there is blessed and that she comes back to us healthy, happy and in one piece!
We also ask for prayers for Lady, one of our goats here, and her new baby Sage! Sage was born just last week and is healthy and adorable. Please pray that both mom and kid will continue to be healthy and happy here at Casa Adobe.
We Need Your Help
In the past, CRWM career missionaries had a support raising goal of 60% of the yearly worldwide average missionary cost. Now career missionaries will see the goal gradually rise to 90% of their individualized budgets. Newly appointed missionaries will need support commitments at 90% of their individualized budgets before being sent to the field. This new missionary support system will enable CRWM to replace retiring missionaries and send out new missionaries when they’re urgently needed.
The budget will cover basic needs and costs such as salary, taxes, housing, retirement contributions, insurance, travel to and from the field for the missionary (and spouse), and minimal support staff costs. All other expenses (from continuing education and training to children’s travel and education expenses) will be “above basic costs” and will be funded by other means.
Our budget for this coming year (July 2013-July 2014) is $128,124 with a minimum goal of $71,749. Would you prayerfully consider helping us reach this goal? For more information on what projects your financial contributions would help support, please visit http://support.crcna.org/site/PageNavigator/Missionary_Pages/Padilla_De_Borst_James_Ruth.html.