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Repaso: February 8, 2013

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1. Lausanne’s new leader
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that last spring I did a series of posts on the Lausanne Movement, focusing on the important contributions of René Padilla, Samuel Escobar, Carl Henry, and Chris Wright at different points in its history. This week the movement named its new leader, a young(er) Korean-American guy named Michael Oh:

Oh is president and founder of Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan, a vibrant and growing seminary in Japan, which is making an impact among young Christians seeking a renewed vision for the next generation of Christianity in Japan. He has been involved in Lausanne since 2004, serving as keynote speaker and part of the planning team for Lausanne’s Younger Leaders Gathering in 2006, and as a member of the Lausanne Board since 2007. He will be formally installed at The Lausanne Global Leadership Forum in South Asia in June.

2. Nicaragua as paradise
Nicaragua, considered the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, hasn’t been particularly high on tourists’ lists of destinations. While living in Costa Rica, I took a trip to Managua to work on a story, but some Ticos tried to dissuade me. Anyway, one wonders what luxury resorts would do for Nicaragua’s reputation (and its economy, for that matter):

What transforms a country from tourism pariah to hot destination for wealthy travelers? First, you need a place for opulence-seeking people to stay. Last week, one of Nicaragua’s richest men, Carlos Pellas, opened Mukul, the country’s first full-fledged luxury hotel. Nicaragua, with its charming colonial city of Granada, active volcanoes and reliable Pacific waves, is already popular among backpackers and surfers. And it is a new favorite among travel writers… Nicaragua hopes to follow in the footsteps of other spots—think Vietnam, Colombia and Croatia—that have overcome difficult histories and made the transition to upscale hot-spot. Its Central American neighbors Costa Rica and Panama are attracting luxury-resort developers.

3. Vocational stewardship
Amy Sherman shares ten great ideas for encouraging vocational stewardship in local congregations, related to her great book Kingdom Calling. Thanks to Bob Robinson at (re)integrate for re-posting the list (and to Katie for pointing me to it). I particularly like this part:

Conduct “commissioning” ceremonies at appropriate times for different individuals/groups in the church who serve in particular vocations. For example, at the start of the school year, you could invite all congregants who are engaged in the educational field to come forward to receive a word of blessing and prayer. At a Maundy Thursday service, consider bringing forward congregants whose vocation involves them bringing succor to the suffering: medical personnel, social workers, counselors. At a Thanksgiving service, consider honoring the flock’s farmers and others engaged in industries that help ensure that food gets to hungry people.

4. Better partnership in mission
Jeff Haanen has an interview in Christianity Today with Brian Howell, the author of a recent book on short-term mission trips and how to make them better:

As an anthropologist, I’m absolutely for people traveling and encountering what God is doing in other parts of the world. I am for people understanding more about their own culture and the cultures of others. To the extent that these trips are a significant vehicle for people to do that, I am for them. I am not for the narrative that has typically driven these trips: “We are going because there’s this tremendous need out there that we have to meet. And there’s this burden that we have as the wealthy country to go and do something in another place.” I support transforming this narrative so that it becomes, “How can we connect with what God is doing in other parts of the world? How can we learn to be good partners with Christians already in these places? How can we participate in what the church is already doing in these countries in effective ways?”

5. Abundant life

Abundant Life from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: centurion-magazine.com]

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