Jul
7

Pastoral Reflections

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For those of you who were not with us on Sunday, July 2nd, we closed our worship time with a sending blessing and prayer for our youth and adult leaders traveling to Nicaragua to serve with AMOS, A Ministry of Sharing Health and Hope. Before we prayed, I shared that I will be traveling with them as well. And, that one of the many reasons I wanted to travel with the group is a deep sense, or gut-like-burden, to have my heart broken in order to gain a greater understanding of global needs.

I also introduced the concept of ‘nurturing the prophetic imagination.’ The idea that listening and hearing the prophetic voice requires our response to do something about what we have heard, and that which burdens us. AMOS’ ministry and even their name reflects prophetic ministry. Their name is inspired by the prophet Amos from the Old Testament of the Bible. Amos was a farmer who spoke out against the injustices of his time. His message about justice flowing everywhere is still relevant today.” (http://www.amoshealth.org/history/, July 5, 2017.)

AMOS began when in 1966 God burdened the heart of the late Gustavo Parajón, “a U.S. trained physician, medical missionary, and public health doctor, returned to his native Nicaragua to organize the first mass vaccination campaign. After working in a Managua-based urban hospital setting, he became concerned about the ¨terrible injustice that in the rural communities, there was absolutely no access to health care, and children were dying of
completely preventable and treatable illnesses. (Quote from Dr. Gustavo Parajón) ¨So in 1967, motivated by his Christian faith and desire to serve the poorest and most vulnerable populations, he began a community based primary health care program (CBPHC) for the rural areas of Nicaragua.” “In countries such as Nicaragua, the rural population is especially vulnerable because the vast majority of people do not have their basic needs met, make less than $2 per day, and have limited access to health care.”
(http://www.amoshealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Summary-Information-for-AMOS-Health-and-Hope-2012.pdf, July 5, 2017). This is a wonderful example of what happens when prophetic imagination is nurtured and tended to.

I am excited about this opportunity to travel with 17 of our youth, and 10 adult leaders. I’m thrilled that our congregation supports our youth ministry and nurtures their prophetic imaginations in hope-filled ways. Seeds of burden, awareness and perhaps vocational call will be planted next week. I’m grateful for Kyle Gardner’s passion and desire to introduce our youth to the realities of this world, and then, help us all see where God is at work in spite of, and in the midst of it all. Please continue to keep all of us in your prayers, and especially all those that we will meet, partner with and serve in Nicaragua.

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. AMOS 5:24 Kathy