Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Church Missional

Today we were talking about Church planting with Bill Yarbrough and he gave us a quote from Leslie Newbigin talking about the necessity of the Church to be missionary:

It is impossible to reconcile with the New Testment the view which seems to be more or less accepted among the majority of church leaders, that while missionary work is an admirable thing to do, within reasonable limits, it is not something without which the church simply falls to the ground. We must say bluntly that when the Church ceases to be a mission, then she ceases to have any right to the titles by which she is adorned by the New Testament.

Just as we insist that a Church which has ceased to be a mission has lost the essential character of a Church, so we must also say that a mission which is not at the same time truly a Church is not a true expression of the divine apostolate. An unchurchly mission is as much a monstrosity as an unmissionary Church.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." - Proverbs 4:23

Bill Yarbrough is leading us in a discussion about emotionally healthy spirituality this morning and it's great! I'm so thankful for Wendell's prompting us to study it at Covenant last year. Lord, would you teach me about myself that I might know you better.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Some pics from Brugge

Kristen and I outside an old Belgian monastery which is still active

Some buildings surrounding the Markt (the main square in the city)

Belgian Waffle. Get in my belly!!

There are canals that run all throughout the city. cool huh!!

This is a place called 'the Burg' with the belfry tower in the background. For 8 EU you can go up into the tower. There was kind of a long line so we nixed that.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Language Training

So we've been studying language acquisition for the last few days. It's been lots of fun!! We are learning all about how we speak and all the different sounds we can make. Mrs. Craig is our teacher and she has a few phrases that we've been learning. Things like "you can't learn French with an English mouth" etc. Probably the most valuable part of the course, at least so far, has been the exercises we've done with different language helpers. Today, in my group we did some exercises to learn Korean. In about 2 hours I probably learned almost 50 Korean words.

In other news, tomorrow we are taking a train to Bruges since we have a free day. Bruges is reportedly the best preserved medieval city in Europe. Should be fun!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pictures from Brussels

Local pub, 10 minute walk from our "home"

Royal Palace of King of Belgium

Prince Leopold

Quaint architecture

Neoclassical Gardens

Monday, January 19, 2009

We need the Gospel!!

John Leonard taught us this morning about Evangelism. It was delightful, motivating, and encouraging. We had great fellowship with him in hearing many stories from his years of ministry and his experiences in "doing" evangelism. One thing that stuck out was this quote,
As Christians we should disciple our non-believing friends and evangelize our believing brothers and sisters

In the afternoon I went into Brussels to do one of the assignments we've been given called an ethnographic observation. So I spent about two hours observing the the people in the train station to learn more about Belgians. I was able to observe how they act, dress, what they drink at the cafe, who they are, etc. It was a good time. Really!!

Ok, well I need to go to bed as I was up way too late last night watching the Eagles game at the local Irish pub in town. There are a couple other guys from the Philly area so it was fun to hang out with them for the evening. Au revoir!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Off to Church Tomorrow

Kristen and I are part of the group which will be working with a Persian Church in Brussels ministering to Iranian immigrants in the city. Yesterday we met with the Pastor of the Church (a Westminster grad by the way) to talk about the Church and how we can help them and learn from them throughout the next month. He introduced us to Persian/Iranian culture. He taught us a few things about how to greet the people, some basic Farsi words such as hello, How are you, etc., and some things to keep in mind as we interact with them and worship with them on Sunday.

The Church service begins at 2 in the afternoon and usually lasts for about 2 hours followed by a meal afterward. We hear that the meal is usually a traditional Persian meal which I can't wait to experience! About 30-35 people attend each Sunday.

The Pastor said that we will probably be served by the Church more than we can serve the Church. But, he said perhaps the most important thing we could do throughout the next month for their Church is to pray for the individual people we develop relationships with and to be faithful examples of mature Christians. So, please pray that we could love our Iranian brothers and sisters as we worship and fellowship with them throughout the next month.

I am really really looking forward to meeting them and praising our great God together tomorrow!!

Gran Plaz

A team building exercise. Logistics Analysis. That's what we did today! This morning beginning at 9 am we received an assignment which was designed to help us work as a team to accomplish a task in a situation in which we haven't had any experience or knowledge.

Sooo, our task was to plan a 3 day itinerary for a short-term missions team coming to Brussels. We had to learn as much about Belgium as we could and plan a 3 day itinerary to show them the city of Brussels, it's culture, food, nightlife, economy, history, transportation system, museums, monuments, Churches and their gospel ministry. The best part about all of this is that we don't have any experience with Brussels so we had to learn it all ourselves while planning a 3 day itinerary!

It was a great experience even though a bit tense! Here are some pictures of the Grand Plaza in Central Brussels.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fom the Zav Centre

We are now writing to you from Brussels. Actually, we are staying in a quaint town about a 20 minute train ride from the center of Brussels called Zaventum. We haven't been able to go to Brussels yet but I think we will get to go there this afternoon. Yesterday we walked around Zaventum a little and went to the bank, grocery store, and the train station. Today is our first full day of activites so we'll be able to fill you in a little better after today. Gotta run...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leaving for Brussels

We are packing up yet again! Transition has been the word of the week! Fortunately we've been surrounded by people who have made our transition to Ukraine pleasant and relatively easy. Today we leave for Belgium for 4 weeks. We are looking forward to all that we have learn from those who have gone before us on the mission field. We are also very excited to meet others who are following God's call into missions. We have found such an instant click with the people we've met in all of our training experiences with Mission to the World. It is so encouraging to talk with others who know first hand what we are experiencing and looking forward to. We covet your prayers for safety as we travel today and throughout these 4 weeks that we would have open hearts willing to learn and glean much from this training experience.

In Christ's Joy,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Our First Week in Kiev

So we thought we would write a few posts about our initial experiences here in Kiev since we've been here for a week now. Since I'm (Garrett) a weather kind of guy I'll write about that.

For the most part the temperature has been around -10 Celsius during the day and down to -20 at night. Although now it is warmer and is closer to 0 Celsius. It's generally cloudy, although we had one day of clear skies and sunshine. Usually it snows a little bit each day which is cool!!

The clouds seem to generally move from west to east and our windows face to the south which means when the sun is out we get lots of sunshine flooding through our flat's windows! Of course I've only been here for a week so it could all change...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Off we go

We are all packed and ready to go. We're leaving today at noon to drive to JFK International airport where our flight leaves at 6:30 this evening. Thanks for your prayers. We appreciate them and are thankful to our great God for his provision for us in Christ.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Our Skype name is Kristen Clemmer so if you ever wanna talk, give us a call. 1 day and counting...