CWCS 2016 in Review

Post a Comment » Written on January 14th, 2017     
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Dear Partner in Ministry,                                                                             January 2017

As the year 2016 has come to a close, it is amazing to look back and see how God has been guiding and teaching through the work of the Center for World Christian Studies.

The year began with Paul in Thailand, along with a group of students from North Park Theological Seminary and the Thailand Church. The trip was focused on the theme of Reconciliation from Fear, Guilt and Shame. Long was in an earlier class and actually arranged the date of his wedding so that this group could not just attend, but actually be the musicians and take part in his wedding ceremony. Paul was asked to lead the string-tying blessing for this new couple, a new experience for many Thai Christians who had never seen the ways Christ could be glorified using a traditional local form. Mission is truly multi-directional in today’s world.

Thailand 2016-1

During Lent, our gifted iconographer friend Joe Malham of St. Gregory the Great church led a group of Evangelicals in an icon writing workshop in his gallery – Christ breaking the bread at the table in Emmaus. This was spiritual discipline that touched all of us. Thanks, Joe!

Iconography 2016

The seminary school year ended and Paul and Gretchen were not present at North Park’s graduation, because we were in Scotland visiting our youngest daughter, who finished her semester at the University of Stirling. We had a wonderful time going from coast to coast, including Iona, Lindesfarne, Edinburgh and the little village of Biggar to visit missionary friends.

Summers are busy for the Center with training for new missionaries at the beginning of June, then the Covenant Annual meeting, where missionaries are commissioned. This is always a special occasion. In August we have training for returning missionaries. Next year all of these responsibilities will be overseen by Paul at the Center for World Christian Studies as we will be in transition with new personnel directors for Serve Globally.

CYAK 2016

August took Paul and colleague Reverend Deborah Penny to Alaska, where we led staff and families of the Covenant Youth of Alaska in activities developing intercultural agility, using a tool known as the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Our days together in the yert were a blessing. There are more requests coming in for use of the IDI than we can accommodate.

School starts end of August at North Park Seminary and Paul taught his biblical theology of mission course, “God’s Global Vision”. One highlight was interviewing Jill Briscoe, who is still going strong at 81 years. We use her book “Jonah and the Worm” as one of our texts. I recommend it!

Through the Center, we have organized other courses, including “Cultural Dimensions in Mission” taught by Dr. Carolyn Johnson and the online training course, “Mission of God: Insights for Service,” taught by Dr. David Mark. These are both online and available through the NPTS’ website for degree seeking and auditing students.

In October Paul was asked to teach the session on mission for the first Acts 29 School of Discipleship to take place in Thailand. This group of eager learners came from Sweden, Thailand, India and the USA. They were together for three months of practical training and community service.

As the year ends Paul is traveling again to Korea and Thailand with a NPTS student and Thai learners following up on ministries in those two countries. From Jan 9-12 the SEANET group will meet together from 22 countries, focusing on the topic of “Grace and Merit in Karmic Communities.” Paul has edited his tenth book for this network dedicated to mission in the Buddhist world. This volume is entitled, “Restored to Freedom from Fear, Guilt and Shame: Lessons from Buddhist Contexts”. It will be available in the US in January 2017 through William Carey Library Publishers.

Thank you for your financial and prayerful support for the work of the Center for World Christian Studies this year. Many are touched by your partnership.

In Christ and for His Kingdom,
Paul H. de Neui
Director, Center for World Christian Studies
A Ministry of Serve Globally, Evangelical Covenant Church

De Neui 2016
Christmas Sunday: Paul, Gretchen, Nettie, Andrew, JP, Anna and her boyfriend David Duisberg

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