Brazil for Disciple Nations Alliance Global Forum

posted 4 Apr 2013, 04:49 by John Marsden   [ updated 12 May 2013, 04:41 ]

Praise Leader at DNA Forum
The middle of March saw us in Brazil for the Disciple Nations Alliance Global Forum.  We had the opportunity to inspire others with the work we are doing and approaches to wholistic ministry in Bangladesh.  It was also great to have a time of directed prayer and fasting and to hear from many others working in different parts of the world.

The representation from Asia was a bit thin on the ground but it was good to connect with Friends of the Voiceless from Japan, the emerging Reconciled World and a new DNA visitor from Hyderabad.
Thee was lots of recording going on at the event so you can find out more on the DNA global news blog.  We're on this post and here are some other interesting ones:

Training in Hyderabad

posted 14 Feb 2013, 08:18 by John Marsden   [ updated 14 Feb 2013, 19:14 ]

Hyderabad Trainees
Today is the last day of a week long course we've been running in Hyderabad for SIDUR, our local partner here.   We'e been addressing biblical values which underpin effective community transformation work and the practical application of these in our life and work.

The four young staff (pictured) on the new project we are running with SIDUR, in Mahbubnagar south of the city, have been very enthusiastic and receptive.  However last week was very frustrating with lots of hiccups in setting up the training.  We're used to hiccups in South Asia but last week had more than its fair share, including cockroaches living in the fridge in the serviced apartment we are using.

New Zealand!

posted 14 Feb 2013, 07:02 by John Marsden   [ updated 14 Feb 2013, 07:50 ]

Auckland Botanical Gardens
The later part of January found us in Wellington, New Zealand to do some intense strategising with our partner who lives there.  It was great to spend time with Paul and his wife Wendy, to meet some more of their family and to get a flavour of New Zealand.  We found common threads in our spiritual journeys going way back to the early 80s and a shared understanding the process of personal and community transformation, though different ways of articulating.

We were wonderfully looked after and treated to two restful weekends.  As we departed we passed through Auckland for a helpful meeting with Tearfund NZ.  
We enjoyed discovering lot of new  flora and fauna, and whetted our appetite for a more through exploration of God's wonderfully varied creation in these beautiful islands - what's now being marketed as "Middle Earth" (for all you Hobbit & Lord of the Rings fans)!

International Wholistic Missions Conference

posted 14 Feb 2013, 05:18 by John Marsden   [ updated 14 Feb 2013, 05:37 ]

Early January saw us in Phoenix speaking at the first International Wholistic Missions Conference.  You can see the slides of our presentation here.  We were encouraged to see field practitioners, North American church leaders and teachers/trainers coming together to exchange experiences and ideas.

We were grateful to our friends the Dalrymples for opening their home to us.   As always we were glad of opportunities to get out into the countryside, in this case the Arizona desert which in winter time was just pleasant for walking in.  We also caught up with friends, including a family Ruth knows from Nepal/Bhutan and former colleagues.

Visas - Thank you

posted 26 Nov 2012, 05:08 by John Marsden   [ updated 26 Nov 2012, 05:19 ]

Passport with Visa
Thank you to all of those praying that we might get our visas renewed on time.  They came through today.  Four days before the old ones expire.

So now we can come and go from Bangladesh until the end of September 2013 without further issues.  This is good as the apartment we rent in Dhaka, and have been in for the last thirteen years, feels like home.

Revisiting LAMB Hospital

posted 26 Nov 2012, 04:53 by John Marsden

Lamb Hospital Picture
Last Monday and Tuesday I (John) was re-visiting old haunts.  Between 2000 and 2007 I served on the board of LAMB Hospital and Community Health Project much of the time as chairman.  So it brought back lots of old memories to return there as part of the top leadership mentoring programme I am doing for Tearfund partners in Bangladesh.  It was good to meet with two of the national leaders I'd known previously and to see several things that were conceived when I was involved now come to fruition - a new training centre, the nurse training institute, more ward space and an expansion of the community programme to much of north west Bangladesh.  Now they have more than 1,000 staff!
It was also great to be out of Dhaka, to enjoy the calm of the LAMB guesthouse with its views over the paddy fields.  Thankfully travel went smoothly too, an express bus up on the Monday and an overnight train, with sleeping compartments, on the way back.

Bangkok for SIL LEAD Asia

posted 12 Nov 2012, 01:09 by John Marsden   [ updated 10 Dec 2012, 01:30 ]

LEAD logo
We're in Bangkok this week attending a "Community of Practice" organised by LEAD Asia - a part of SIL.  They focus on minority language groups and are exploring how they may help them develop while preserving their identity.  We'll be making a short presentation and joining others on various question and answer panels during the week.

We got to Bangkok on Saturday evening and enjoyed attending the English church in the morning and catching a movie in the evening on Sunday.  A rare treat as going to the cinema in Bangladesh is not possible.  So a nice relaxing day in preparation for a busy week.

{update} The week is over now.  We thought deeply about community development,  made lots of new friends and learned much from the diverse and intellectual collection of people who make up SIL.  Judging from their comments they appreciated our input too.

Visiting Phoenix

posted 8 Nov 2012, 02:31 by John Marsden

We've fixed up our travel for the next three months and are excited that we're going to be in Phoenix between 8th and 16th January.  The conference that brings us to Phoenix fills three of the days (9th-11th) but we're also hoping to catch up with friends and former colleagues while we are there.  Do get in touch if you're around in Phoenix when we are there.

38 years together

posted 11 Oct 2012, 02:14 by John Marsden

Kate and John sipping tea
After Hyderabad we took the opportunity to celebrate our wedding anniversary in Darjeeling.   God has blessed us with 38 years of married life.

We've always enjoyed a good cup of Darjeeling tea but normally bought our supplies in uK and carried the mback to Dhaka.  What a treat to be able to sip first flush Super Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe tea in a little house on the tea estate where it was picked.  Normally all their supplies go direct to Harrods!

Check out the view from our bedroom window - the Kanchenjunga range of the Himalaya in the early morning sun.  In the middle is the third highest peak in the world.

Kanchenjunga range

Training in India

posted 11 Oct 2012, 01:46 by John Marsden

Group photo
We spent half of September in Hyderabad, India getting started with our partner SIDUR, an Indian NGO led by our friend Nanda Vardhan. 

Nanda has a desire to implement the Mustard Seeds Shared approach.  She is starting a project in a drought-prone rural area one hour south of the city with people who are struggling to overcome poverty.  We are providing guidance.

Kate training
On this visit we were able to train potential staff for the new project as well as some existing leaders in SIDUR. 

We were encouraged by the enthusiasm of the potential staff.  Kate co-taught with a SIDUR trainer who translated into Telegu.  It was great to do this first formal training as Mustard Seeds Shared.

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