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Showing posts from 2016

December 2016 update

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Well, our trip to Senegal and the UK came and went, and now we’re staring down Christmas! I’m sure you can relate to not keeping up with the busy-ness. Here are some recent highlights…
Senegal We had a busy 5 days, but it was a great chance to spend time with our staff who have newly arrived in that country to set up life and the office. You can only imagine the challenge of moving your family to a West African nation that speaks no English (French and the local languages only) and is 90% Muslim. It’s a friendly people and generally a safe and open country…but it couldn’t feel more foreign. We were able to talk through a whole bunch of things with the team, both personal and EMI work related, and by the time we left I think the team was encouraged. It’s a tough place…but we saw a lot of potential for that office become a major hub for EMI! UK On the way back from Africa, we stopped in the UK for 5 days as well. I attended the end of year board meeting for the office there (I’m on that …

The Missionaries

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This past weekend while on the sidelines of a soccer field watching Jonah and Graysen referee side by side games, I was approached by three missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We had a friendly conversation, and one where I tried to avoid the normal defensive and/or aggressive posturing we Christians often feel is our ‘duty’ to display in such situations. I led the conversation by asking them all kinds of questions about their home and backgrounds instead of allowing them to ‘drive the boat’ – something I think we often don’t realize we’re doing as we freeze up and focus on trying to remember some key scriptural references we’re going to need to do battle!
Actually, our conversation never really took much of a turn towards the spiritual side of things, though they did ask me if I was a ‘religious person’. Having spoken to Mormon missionaries many times, I know that this is not the time to be ‘winning over’ these young people – after all, they’re at a pl…

EMI World Staff Conference 2016

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Last week, we were up in the mountains for the EMI World Staff Conference – where all EMI staff from every office around the world gather to connect and learn and get recharged for the work of EMI. The conference is something we only do every 5 years due to the costs for staff to attend, but each time it proves to be well worth the effort and expense - and this time was no different!
While a few of our local staff from the field offices were unable to get visas into the US, some of them were! It definitely added to the excitement to have Africans, Middle Easterners and Indians in our midst - in all, the total number of attendees including families was over 260! (By comparison, there were only 135 attendees at last the conference in 2011 – meaning EMI has more than doubled in size in the past 5 years!) Next time, we likely won't hold the conference in the US given the difficulties encountered with visas for our local staff.
Alisha and I very much enjoyed sharing meals and hanging o…