Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick Update

Hi Friends,

I haven't been blogging much as of late. I had a busy November helping to prepare a team of twenty-six people to go to Haiti. We were in Haiti from Nov. 12th-19th. Then I returned to step right into the season of Advent, one of the fuller seasons for a pastor. By the way, I'm always struck by the Christmas themes this time of year of God coming to the lowly, the downcast and the disenfranchised. As Jesus calls the naked, the friendless, hungry, thirsty and destitute in Matt. 25, "my brothers and sisters." I think Advent has so much to teach us about these themes of the One who though rich became poor for our sakes (2Cor. 8:9). That's a short way of saying, Advent has been awesome so far. Also, since the end of October, I've been rehabbing an ankle that was pretty severely sprained. I haven't been playing basketball since late October :-( , something I like to do a couple of times a week when I'm healthy.

Well, I've been doing some reading, mainly on Haiti, Travesty in Haiti by Timothy Swartz which is a hard look at much of the corruption in Haiti, including the problems with many of the charitable organizations and the utilization of orphans to raise money. Also, I recently finished The Uses of Haiti by Paul Farmer, another "hard look," this time a very critical evaluation of the history of US Policy towards Haiti. Farmer is a trusted source, but his critique of our government's alliance with the Haitian elite and general disregard for the welfare of the peasant population in Haiti, is far from flattering.  I actually cannot recommend either of these books unless you have a sincere interest in doing long-term work in a place like Haiti. These are neither books for pleasure reading nor to "check off the list." After completing both or either book, I think one is compelled to a kind of moral obligation to "do something": just a fair warning!

Finally, I just started a book that will probably come across as a snoozer to many of you: Qualitative Research, by Sharran Merriam. It is both an expensive book as well as a technical book. I'm reading it because it describes the type of research I will be pursuing the next few years for my Doctor of Ministry program. Believe it or not, call me a nerd, but I'm enjoying it.



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