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"Levántate, toma tu camilla, y vete a tu casa."

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(Continued from " In the winterim... ") I thought we'd have a few hours during which to get settled before we had to leave for Monday afternoon's mural tour - wrong. By the end of the week I sounded like the boy who cried wolf every time I said the words "free time." The Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL) gang kept up with me every step of the way, though, literally in the case of the ~1.5 hr. walk through a colorful downtown Santiago neighborhood.    THEN I made them climb the hill to "Golgotha" - in the dark - for dinner with the single seminarians. This isn't something that regularly figures into mission education, but I wanted the CSL students to see what it's really  like to be a student here.  I arrived before everyone else and sent them this picture as motivation for the hike ahead.  Wesley and Nick. You KNOW it's a good time when the karaoke starts before dinner.  Tuesday had us in Palmar for most of the day: leading Christian

In the winterim...

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I'm still riding a high from the best in-person short-term team I've hosted this year: Concordia Seminary St. Louis (CSL). And they left over a week ago!  The LCMS Office of International Mission (OIM) has a burgeoning relationship with BOTH seminaries. As workers preparing to be sent out into a multicultural, multilingual harvest, it behooves pastoral and diaconal formation students to understand their place in the global priesthood of all believers. And oh, hey, I know a church body with 100+ missionaries serving in who knows how many countries: it's a match made in heaven. This isn't the first international mission trip CSL has offered, or even the first OIM trip CSL has offered. Two deaconess students came for a week of "mission education" in January 2020 (I went to Puerto Rico and missed them entirely), so you can imagine my joy at seeing FIFTEEN names on the 2023. The team makeup was as follows: Team leader and First Lady, Tori 4 pastoral formation stud

Oh, bebê!

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Aaaaaaaand that's a wrap on January!?! The last week FLEW by with an incredible short-term team from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In the days leading up to their arrival, I was truthfully excited and felt ready - much more ready than I had for the Venezuela FORO and FPH conference  (which of course made me think I was forgetting about a bazillion things). As they made their way to SDQ from EWR, though, I was partying.  Dominicans don't need much reason to celebrate with cake and balloons, so you better believe they pulled out all the stops to welcome José William, the as yet unborn son of Brazilian Alliance missionaries Rev. Lucas & Agatha. Church ladies from Lucas's congregation in Santo Domingo - including my expat friend Kelsey - did most of the heavy lifting, assisted by Tirzah on the Santiago side (a couple carloads of made the 2 1/2 hr. trip Saturday morning to be there). I drove down Friday night to help Kelsey with whatever, which turned out to be running err