Friday, April 4, 2008

A Man Ahead of His Time -- Charles de Foucauld

I´m a keeps me informed and it keeps me sharp and it keeps me thinking. Recently, I´ve been reading _Letters from the Desert_ by Carlo Carretto--a collection of his thoughts and experiences as a Little Brother (Franciscan) from Italy that moved to Saharan Africa to live and to serve.
I was struck in my reading today as Carretto described the approach to ministry of his community´s founder, Charles de Foucauld: "He came to the Arab world dressed as an Arab. He lived among those who were the servants of the Europeans as though they were his masters. He built his hermitages, not on Roman or Gothic lines, but on the simplicity and poverty of the Saharan mosques. Being poor, dressing like "them," accepting their language and customs, he immediately knocked down the barriers and lived in dialogue with them. Real dialogue: between equals...´going towards them who do not yet know Christ´" (p.96)
Amazing to me is that this was his missional 1902!! We at The Mission Society ( strive to follow this same approach now in the 21st Century...and we call it "Incarnational." We strive to live with the people, among the people, as much as the people we serve and work beside. "Incarnational" the flesh. And, indeed, it knocks the barriers down and allows us to share Christ in a real and wonderful way. And best of all, it works in any setting...whether it be Barquisimeto, Venezuela,...or a village in east Africa,...or inner-city Atlanta--in all of these, we can be "incarnational" out our Christian lives in the flesh, as Christ among the people.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Fresh Start...

I´m trying to get the hang of this "blog" thing. Yes, I need to be on more, have more updates...but life just keeps getting in the way! ha, ha. And, that´s been the case of late.

Many of you may already know of our changes...others not. After three years in Venezuela, we are moving this summer to Monterrey, Mexico, where I (Jon) will begin teaching at El Seminario Juan Wesley. We are very excited about our move...the possibilities, the opportunities. And, we´re very sad to have to say good-bye to so many friends and loved ones here in Venezuela. We´ve come through so much here in just three years...and now we leave it behind.

For all of you out there who have prayed for us, supported us, encouraged us and stayed in contact, we are SO grateful. Hang in here with us...and we´ll write a new chapter in life together as we move among the people of Monterrey, Mexico.

Until next time!