Monday, November 26, 2007

Blogging while Traveling: Lessons Learned

This is pretty simple, really. If I intend to blog while traveling I need to have a plan for dealing with inconsistent access to the internet. ANYwhere I travel this is a possibility. Many of the places I travel, this is reality.

I also need to set more realistic expectations for myself so this does not go the way of exercise -- expect too much, fail quickly, give up.

I experienced the limitations of my laptop battery and am investigating reasonable options.

Finally, if I want to make any type of video and upload it, I would benefit from having some short, royalty free music available to use as background.

So, thanks for your input (those of you who put things in via "Comments" or who mentioned things in email) and I'll keep working on this.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Panama: DAY THREE - World View

I'm going to write more later when I have time, but wanted to post this video while I had a good internet connection (there is much competition for the band width here) and battery on the laptop. When I do write, I'll explain what this silly video has to do with the conference here. Someone (Justin?) shared the dog video with me...I added the "title" to the beginning and end and the music (still practicing...).

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Panama: DAY TWO - "God accepts langauge"

Kirk Franklin (Executive Director-elect for Wycliffe Bible Translators International) shared a future-looking Vision 2025 presentation this morning. I found it engaging and inspiring.
Kirk focused on the importance of defining MISSION -- pointing us to Chris Wright who defines MISSIONS as the "committed participation of God's people in the purposes of God for the redemption of the whole of creation."

From there, Kirk listed and discussed briefly the realities of mission. I'll list the main points (outline headings, really) and make a comment or two about some of them at least. Maybe all. No promises. (Some of this will be directly from the Session Abstract we received and some from the notes I took and some of my reflections in the meantime.)

Mission and the Spirit

God's mission is dependent upon the Holy Spirit regardless of whatever cultural, social, economic, political and linguistic realities and barriers exist. His Spirit empowers his children in an outward movement to the nations.

When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, God not only confirmed that reality, but also affirmed that LANGUAGE is an acceptable way to connect with and express God and His truth. And not just ONE language -- many languages. Vernacular languages. Common languages. Like the language I speak.

Mission and the Church

Chris Wright says "God has a church for his mission in the world." He does not say that God has a mission for his church. This statment may have been one of the most significant things I heard today. I've been chewing on it all day long and have a feeling that I'm not through with it yet.

What is the difference between a church that believes that it is on a mission from God and a church that beleives that God is on a mission and has invited them along for the adventure?

Mission and Translation

The Bible as God's living word speaks for itself in all human situations. The Gospel is infinately translatable and is intended for everyone regardless of what language they speak.

Lamin Sanneh speaks to this Word of God as being alwasy translated. The Greek NT, for instance -- the one we consider "original" -- is a translation from Aramaic language that Jesus likely spoke as he walked on this earth and spoke with common people. And when he read from the Scriptures, he likely read Hebrew.

Sanneh speaks of this Word this way: "It moves from place to place...[and] takes root among simple people as well as in cities and towns.

Holistic Concern

Two discussions here caught my attention. One was a discussion of SHALOM (and I'll leave that for another day). The other is the reality that holistic ministry is one that proclaims AND demonstrates the Gospel. Simple. Complete. Whole.

Mission and Empire

This discussion of "empire" and the reality that the Kingdom of God is NOT a human empire -- but that empires have usually tainted mission as missionaries have been caught up in empire building and lost their focus on God's mission. (I've had versions of this discusisons a number of times in the past few weeks. I wonder what that is about.)

Organizational Health and Development

My simple take away from this discussion about how mission organizations are being held accountable in ways they may never have been before by donors and governments, etc. is that we are called now as we always have been and alwasy will be to be excellent stewards of whatever resources, influence, relationships, etc. that God has given to us.

Mission and Wycliffe International

I'm not going to share these details that adress the new organizational structure of WBTI, etc. It was good stuff -- informative and consisten with what Kirk has set out as values and goals in his soon-to-emerge adminstration.

Panama: DAY TWO - Tres Leches

No, we have not had tres leches yet (three milk cake is one of my favorites) but we have experienced something else in "3" that I find wonderfully interesting and good.

When Kirk Franklin (Executive Director-elect for Wycliffe Bible Translators International) did his presentation on Vision 2025 and the future this morning in our 10am session (more about content later) his power point was in Portugese, Spanish and English -- three projectors, three computers, one presentation. He did the presentation in English (his heart language) and those who needed transalation had headphones.

Most of the presenting at this conference is done in Spanish, as it should be.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Panama: DAY ONE

...for those who think TRAVEL = SEXY

I've been up since 3:30a. I didn't mean to be up until 4a, but once I was awake, I was awake. I did try to doze back into a light slumber while waiting for my alarm to go off, but it was no use.

I left the house around 4:30a (and sure do appreciate that Dad will get up and be taxi man for these trips -- just makes my life easier).

I have spent most of the day standing in line waiting for something.

  • Waiting to check in .

  • Waiting to go through security.

  • Waiting to get on the plane.

  • Wiating for an electrical repair so we could fly the plane.

  • Waiting to get off the plane.

  • Waiting to use the toilet.

  • Waiting to immigrate.

  • Waiting to get a tourist visa that I didn't know I needed until I was all the way through the immigration line...and which I couldn't purchase until I went up stairs to a perfume store for change. (Yes, I waited in line for the change.)

  • Waiting to go through customs (short wait).

  • Waiting for enough people to arrive so the Hotel bus could justify a trip back from the airport. Waiting to get on the bus.

  • Waiting to get my room assignment. (I'm in room 5005...and had to take the elevator DOWN from the lobby to get there. The ground-level lobby is on the 9th floor. The hotel is on the side of a mountain.)

  • Waiting for the elevator.

I parked my bags in my hotel room around 1:45p...just over ten hours after climbing out of bed. Subtract an hour of "getting ready" and 3 hours flying and a total of 1 hour in the car or on the bus in transit between sleeping places and airports...and that means I've waited 5 hours today.

And it has actually all been pleasant and easy -- it was not a frustrating day, just a waiting day.

Does that make me a "lady in waiting?"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Traveling to Panama

Mon, Nov 12, 2007
Departs 6:00am -- Arrives 9:15am
COPA 435
Orlando, FL to Panama City, Panama

Fri, Nov 16, 2007
Departs 10:05am -- Arrives 1:28pm
COPA 404Panama City, Panama to Orlando, FL

Getting myself packed finally tonight and I had to stop and look up some critical info: voltage and plug type for one. I couldn't remember what time zone Panama is in, so I Googled that and found this site with LOTS OF LOGISTICAL INFO about Panama. If you're curious, you can find out things like weather and time and all that with a quick click of the mouse.

I'm not sure how all of my plans to "test" blogging and posting while traveling will work -- this is an experiment to see how I'll need to plan for my trip this Spring to the Philippines and Thailand. Thanks for your patience...participation...endurance. :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Birthday to me...

This is me and my mom...a number of months after I was born (I'm holding up my own head and am bald -- something that happened later. I was born with a full head of dark hair according to Hubbard family legends.)

I really have no idea what we were both looking at - but we were looking none the less.

These days (almost 6 years since my mom died) I miss her more on days like MY birthday than on hers - because my missing is more and more about me and less about her. And yes, I know that sounds selfish - because it is. I don't "wish" her here for her sake or because she would want to be here.

I'm not delirious. She's in heaven with Jesus in eternity - not bound by time and space, not confined by a body that creeks and hurts and frustrates. She has seen Christ face-to-face.

Mostly when I miss her it is because I miss the richness and fun she added to my life. I am especially grateful for friends who God had brought into my life to filled in some of the gap left when she moved Home.

So, way too late on my birthday I'm blogging this...missing my Mom a bit, but far more content than sad in the midst of it. Far more thankful than anything else. It has been a very good day.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I am Celebrating...

One of the things I've added to the Wycliffe website pages that are promoting the Kagayanen Trip and Celebration is a collection of statements from people who are somehow connected to this deal. They all begin, "I am celebrating..." You might enjoy seeing some of the people I work with and especially some with whom I am working on this project. What a joy it is!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Deb!

It's Deb's birthday today.

Deb is Cootie's "mom" in that strange way that humans include dogs in their families sometimes. In fact, Deb and I met because of Cootie who needed a place to live for a few weeks when they first moved here from Tennessee.

I borrowed this photo from Deb's daughter's FaceBook page.


(Hmmmm. It's Erik Smith's birthday today too. Happy Birthday, Smitty!)

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Celebration in India

These women are dancing -- celebrating that God's Word is finally available in their heart language. You know, I've got more than one really good translation of the Bible in my heart language. I should really dance more.

This celebration took place in 2005 -- the year that Word For All in India celebrated the completions of five New Testaments in Indian languages.

Jacob George, the Director of Word For All tells part of the story in an article on Wycliffe's website.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My Rock Collection - Part 1

(FYI: I am testing some technology and my ability to use it well (without too much frustration) so I can be better prepared to do a daily update from the Philippines this Spring when I go for the Kagayanen Celebration. )

This is about a rock. Not a "rock star" or "rock and roll." In the Psalms God is declared to be a ROCK more than once, but this isn't about that either. Not exactly. It is about a softball-sized rock that sits on my desk. I'm not making this up.