Monday, October 25, 2010

missional values

As I keep digging through some of the lessons learned from our relationships in Nigeria, our past work in Mississippi, and our most recent findings in Haiti, some key values are emerging for Nativity's Missions partnerships.

Jesus sent his disciples out on mission before he ascended into heaven, telling them to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  At Nativity, we want to develop strategic partnerships with local, national and international organizations, and these four values have come forward as integral to these partnerships.


  • Our missions will be carried out in the name of Jesus Christ.  We are a community sent to witness to Jesus' saving grace.  We will not let "good works" get in the way of the real purpose for our work.
  • Our missions will be done in the context of relationship.  We will have mutual dialogue with our partners. We will not let things get in the way of sharing ourselves.
  • Our missions will be focused on the future.  We will address immediate needs as well as systemic problems. We will not let a short-term challenge get in the way of a long-term vision.
  • Our missions will be completed with a goal in mind.  We will show how God is working through us. We will not let our missionaries get burned out by not seeing and experiencing life change.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Sr. Oresoa is one of our strategic partners in Nigeria.  She is in the US for a few days this week and visited Nativity yesterday morning.  I had the pleasure of bringing Sister up at Endnotes at the 9:00 and 10:30 Masses to introduce her to our community.  After Mass, we hung around in the lobby.  Many people came up to just say hello, missionaries from past trips stopped to chat, it was a lot of fun.

One of the best moments of the day was when one of our members brought up her son Jimmy to meet Sr. Oresoa.  They exchanged greetings, Mary introduced herself and then said that Jimmy had a question for Sister.  I was intrigued; a question from an adolescent boy who is just meeting a nun from Africa for the first time... this could be, well, who knows what this is going to be.  He sheepishly looked up at her and said, "Hi Sister. How is Daniel?"

Sr. Oresoa was amazed that he knew Daniel and that he had the compassion to ask about him. Daniel is one of the orphans at Anawim Home.  Jimmy had remembered him from last year's Advent Conspiracy when his family spent less on Christmas gifts and instead gave the gift of water to their community in Nigeria.

It was an awesome moment...  And I can't wait for another Advent Conspiracy this year!