Contextualization and Guadalupe


December 12 is a huge day in Mexico. It’s the day that millions of pilgrims descend on the Basilica that stands in Tepeyac on the northern part of the City. This Basilica is dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Patron Saint of Latin America.

I’ve written a lot about this day in the past, and you can see all of my posts on the Virgin of Guadalupe here.

Recently (last year), I wrote something else about this topic, but I’ve hesitated to publish it. There aren’t a lot of people who will be interested in a 23 page paper about contextualizing the message of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

However, there might be some missionaries or Mexican church leaders out there who should read it, so I’ve decided to publish it here so that you can download it and read it if you’re interested.

Click here to download:
The Virgin of Guadalupe in the Mexican Context

The Story Behind our Christmas Card

I saw a new app in the App store for the iPad and iPhone, and I wanted to try it out. It’s called Blurb, and it lets you create stories with different media: audio, video, pictures.

So I made this Story behind our Christmas card. I like the app and will probably use it again in the future.

The apps I talk about in the story are: Camera+ and Halftone. And here’s the link for the Blurb app.

Youth Ministry Forum

Saturday we had our first Youth Ministry Forum at the Seminary. It was a first for many things.

I think it was the first time the format was used for a youth ministry event (at least at our Seminary). We tried to make it very interactive and participatory.

We also transmitted live on the Internet (using Ustream), including the members of the chat in the discussion. We had about as many people participating via the internet as we had in the auditorium.

There were people from Juarez, Oaxaca, Monterrey and all over Mexico watching what was happening. I never heard if there was anyone from any other countries watching the forum. But overall, it was a good discussion.

Here are some pictures we took of the event.

Merry Christmas 2011


Here’s our “online Christmas card” for this year. We snapped a pretty good picture today at the mall and then I edited it using the Halftone app to make it like a comic strip.

Anyway, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas this year.

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. On Thursday we had Thanksgiving with some other missionary families here in Mexico City. Our kids absolutely LOVE hanging out with their kids. We had a great day, even though the Dolphins lost (again).

On Saturday, we had our family Thanksgiving. My favorite part of that day was when we sat down as a family and I asked the kids to pray about the things they are thankful for. It’s pretty cool to hear your 3 year old and 6 year old pray and thank God for their family and all the other stuff they have.

Oh…and the turkey was delicious, too.

Storytelling

I just read a great article over on the Fuller Youth Institute blog called “The Science of Storytelling and Listening“.

In the article, Jon Huckins lays out a pretty compelling case for using Storytelling as one of many methods of teaching in youth ministry. He says,

“As youth workers who are passionate about inviting our students into the Story of God, it is important that we follow in the footsteps of our Rabbi, Jesus. Jesus was the master storyteller, and true to Rabbinic tradition, one-third of his teaching was done through the art of storytelling. Similar to Jesus’ parables, modern day storytelling is a method that might provoke more questions than answers. The story becomes a conversation starter, not a conversation finisher. This isn’t always true, of course. As youth listen and engage in the story, they can process some of the answers because the story meets every teenager in a different spot of their faith experience.”

This is a pretty important idea for those of us who are involved in teaching or preaching. It’s worth reading the article, and I might have to pick up his book, “Teaching Through the Art of Storytelling: Creating Fictional Stories that Illuminate the Message of Jesus” (affiliate link).

A Taste of the USA


We got a package in the mail yesterday! Some friends of ours sent some goodies from the USA. Basically it was a big box of chocolate chips, ranch dip packets, and some seasoning for the grill.

It may not seem like much to you, but when you’re far away from friends and family, a little taste of “home” (see my post about Where is home?) goes a long way. It’s especially good to get it around the holidays.

Maybe your church, Sunday School class, or small group could think of a way to encourage the missionaries you support or college students who are away from home. Maybe just what they need is a little care package. Don’t forget about them. I’m sure they like chocolate chip cookies and Ranch dip, too.