NEWS MID SEPTEMBER 2013
After 50 hours of travelling, starting from my home in Kenya, I arrived at Costa Rica Friday evening 6th September. My colleague here, Tomas Dozier, was once a missionary to Korea and then to Latin America. Since training at Eastern University in Philadelphia, he has been focusing on doing ministry by relying on local resources here in his home country of Costa Rica.
Tomas’ story is definitely fascinating. He was at one time taken on by a US based mission agency to work amongst Latin Americans. Being in receipt of outside support enabled him to concentrate his time on ministry. The problem however, Tomas reports, is that he had no clear way to advise those men he worked with who aspired to follow in his footsteps. Latin American people touched by his ministry desired to do what Tomas was doing. Tomas felt that advising them to search for the types of funding that he had from the US was a reversal of what Jesus had said to the rich young ruler! Tomas resigned from the above mission agency. Now he approaches local people with his vision. He makes it clear that their support is needed for the vision that he believes God has given him to succeed. He does not take outside funding. He, and the small team he has set up, is now backed by local Costa Ricans. He finds that this is much healthier than running projects dependent on outside funds.
I hope I might get a few gems from Tomas that could help me to understand a good way forward in Kenya. More important in the meantime, is to be able to walk with and talk with him and his colleagues. We compare notes and encourage one another. He is seeking to engage in Christian development ministry rooted in the promotion of education that is locally relevant, transformational, sustainable, and truly reflective of the teachings of Jesus. Tomas uses local languages and resources in his key ministry.
God willing, I will be here in Costa Rica till Thursday, then I travel to Portland, Oregon. My time in Oregon is to include a number of visits, mainly to seminaries and Christian and government universities, and a missions study centre in Portland. Then I am to travel to California a few days ahead of our Alliance for Vulnerable Mission workshop that is to be held on 24th September at the US Centre for World Mission, William Carey International University. Details of US conference.
A phone number I will be using throughout this trip (up to December) is: +44 1264 980228. Please feel free to call me on this number any time. I will be able to receive calls when I am on line.