World Vision – A Prayer for Refugees

World Vision has just made public this little clip containing a prayer for the Middle East uttered by my friend and former colleague Dr . Chawkat Moucarry, a Syrian Christian born in Aleppo.

Lord, hear our prayers!

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Refugee Highway Partnership Meeting Invitation to Romania

IMPORTANT

I have just received this invitation through email. I post it heree, in case any of my friends are interested to apply.

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Only four weeks remain until the 2017 RHP Europe Roundtable officially convenes in Budapest 6-10 February. Currently, there are 95 people registered coming from 19 different countries. We are praying for 50 more to sign up in order to adequately represent the work and challenges for those engaged in refugee ministries across Europe.

As we don’t have anyone from Romania signed up yet, could you help me to extend another warm invitation to come!

It is not too late to register, but do not delay as we would like to accommodate your hotel room requests and prepare adequate resource packets for all participants.

To register, please click HERE.

If you have questions regarding registration, please contact Hanna Krueger at roundtable@rhpeurope.net

We hope to see you in Budapest.

Matthew S. Paschall
UWM Europe Regional Team
Leadership Development – Strategic Partnerships – Diaspora Ministries
matt.paschall@uwm.org

Budapest, HUNGARY
+36 30 365 5564
WhatsApp -Viber – Voxer
Skype ID: mnpaschall

Here is the poster announcing the meeting

rhp-2017-flyer-english

 

What’s really behind Israel’s attack on Christian charity World Vision? | The Electronic Intifada

Aid group says funds sent to Gaza amount to far less than Israel claims was diverted.

Source: What’s really behind Israel’s attack on Christian charity World Vision? | The Electronic Intifada

In care you REALLY want to know.

Synod of the Church of England – Archbishop Opens Debate on EU Referendum

JustinWelby

Friday 8th July 2016

This is ‘not a time to fear’ but a time to trust God, the Archbishop said in the opening speech of Synod’s debate on the EU referendum today.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York added the item as urgent business to the Synod agenda, with the members’ consent.

Read the full text of the speech: 

The length of the EU referendum campaign, the high turnout and the clarity of the result means, it seems to me, that whatever our view of what we would have preferred, we must now deal with the world as it is, and seek not merely survival after Brexit – if we were one of the 48 – but the common good, the flourishing of all our citizens and the seizing of the opportunities offered to our nation; above all to witness to the Kingdom of God.Read More »

BiblioTech – prima „biblioteca fara carti” din lume

2016-05-23 15.00.21

Numarul 207 pe iunie 2016 al revistei iesene de cultura Timpul a publicat o versiune scurta in limba romana a articolului meu in limba engleza despre BiblioTech, publicat recent pe blogul Persona. Articolul poate fi citit si online, AICI. Il redau mai jos in intregime.

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Recent, am avut șansa de a vizita biblioteca digitală din comitatul Bexar din San Antonio, prima de acest fel din lume. Pe când căutam adresa, prietenul care mă ducea acolo devenea tot mai sceptic. Era imposibil ca o asemenea bibliotecă unicat să funcționeze în zona cea mai săracă a orașului. Totuși, tocmai aceasta fusese ideea. Nelson Wolff, magistratul suprem al comitatului, este cel care a imaginat această instituție, devenită acum un model pentru întreaga lume. Planul său a fost acela de a-i oferi populației sărace din Bexar șansa de a ieși din sărăcie prin educație. În sudul comitatului, cu 80% hispanici, 70% dintre locuințe neavând acces la internet și totalitatea populației școlare primind zilnic prânz gratuit, din pricina sărăciei părinților.

Read More »

What If Refugee Children Would Be Coming from England, Instead?

A Save the Children video.

The refugee crisis isn’t just a story on the news – it’s happening here and it’s happening now. Please watch and share.
Donate now to our Child Refugee Crisis Appeal: http://save.tc/NHVD3002jgX

Voteaza proiectul ‘Vreau in clasa a 9-a’

world-vision

‘Vreau in clasa a 9-a’ este unul dintre cele mai valoroase proiecte ale World Vision Romania. El incearca sa ofere o sansa la educatie liceala elevilor merituosi de la sate, care din pricina saraciei nu ar putea ajunge astfel in liceele aflate indeobste in oras.

Este, in esenta, un proiect prin care romanii au sansa de a ajuta alti romani.

Colegii mei care se ocupa de acest proiect sunt oameni absolut extraordinari, vrednici de toata admiratie. Eu ma inclin in fata dedicarii si a profesionalismului lor.

Am vazut cu ochii mei destine schimbate pentru totdeauna de acest proiect.

Acesti copii au nevoie ACUM de votul tau. Un vot pe zi acordat acestui proiect poate insemna foarte mult pentru succesul lui.

Voteaza ACUM!

AICI!

The Patriarch, the Pope, and the Refugee Crisis | John Chryssavgis | First Things

The significance of the joint visit to the island of Lesbos, Greece, on Saturday, April 16, 2016, by . . . .

Source: The Patriarch, the Pope, and the Refugee Crisis | John Chryssavgis | First Things

‘The power of ecumenism lies in beginning to open up beyond ourselves and our own, our communities and our churches. It is learning to speak the language of care and compassion. And it is giving priority to solidarity and service.’

The Refugee Crisis in Europe: Q and A with Demetrios Papademetriou

October 2015

Demetrios Papademetriou, president emeritus of the Migration Policy Institute and president of MPI Europe, explains the origins of the refugee crisis in Europe and discusses actions that Europe and other regions can take in the near and long term to address the flows.

It’s Official – I Am Leaving World Vision

world-vision

Note: Today, my World Vision supervisor, Conny Lenneberg, the leaders of our region, made the official announcement about my leaving the organisation. Here is what she wrote.

* * *

Dear colleagues,

It is with great regret that we advise that, due to funding challenges in F[inancial] Y[ear] [20]16, we will not be able to maintain our Faith in Development Director Position held by Danut Manastireanu beyond February 2015.

Danut has played an instrumental part in the development of the Christian Witness and Spiritual Formation of our leadership and staff over the past 17 years. We are most appreciative of the dedication and passion he has brought to FnD throughout the entire MEER [Middle East & Eastern Europe] region.

Danut started his relationship with WV as a member of WV Romania’s advisory board in 1995, later joining as WV staff in the position of MEER Christian Commitments Director in 1999.  During his service with WV Danut has contributed in so many ways, developing FnD [Faith in Development] staff across the region, supporting the N[ational] O[ffice]s,  advocating on behalf of the region to ensure good understanding of both the unique inter-denominational sensitivities and complex inter-faith context.   Some of the highlights of his contribution include:  Read More »

My World Vision Story – 3 – From ‘Prisoner’ in the Communist Camp, to Globe Trotter

world-vision

From ‘prisoner’ in the communist camp, to globe trotter

I have started in my new adventure as a World Vision staff member on December 1st, 1999, one month before the turn of the Millennium. It was not an easy ride, by any means, but I have learned enormously during the last sixteen years as a staff member of this Christian humanitarian organisation.

Although my Christian ministry had from the beginning an ecumenical dimension, and my theological studies centred on contemporary Orthodox theology helped me to go beyond the narrow confines of the evangelicalism of my youth, it was in WV that I have come to understand in very real terms, and to be able to serve the entire breadth of the Church. Furthermore, it was in the WV context that I had real human interaction with people of other faith, and was often humbled by the sincerity of their commitment to a faith other than mine, and by their genuine love to others. Without my WV experience, these dimensions of faith would have remained theoretical, distant realities for me.Read More »

My World Vision Story – 2 – Joining World Vision Regional Team

world-vision

Joining World Vision Regional Team

Four years later, in the summer of 1999, Chris Shore sent me the job description for a new position in World Vision called, at the time, Regional Director for Christian Witness and Spiritual Formation. He told me: ‘I think this is really for you. I suggest you should apply.’ When I read it I had the definite impression that it was really written with me in mind. The Regional Leader, Philip Hunt, who initiated and applied for funding for this position, turned to the National Directors in his team and asked for suggestions. Since Philip knew me already, as we were involved together in Advisory Board of WV Romania, Chris Shore told him that I could be a potential solution for this position. With Philip’s permission, he sent me the job description.

My feeling, reading that document, was as if all the various strings in my life – my theological interests and expertise, especially in Orthodoxy, my interest in ecclesiology, my ecumenical commitment, my cultural interests, my passion for travel – came together in this position. My wife and my closest friends had the same clear feeling. However, things were not simple at all, as applying for this position would have had major implications on my previous involvements.Read More »

My World Vision Story – 1 – The Early Years

WVROM

My 20 years in WV are drawing to an end – The Early years

It was the summer of 1995. For a year already I had been back to Romania from my theological studies in London. I was teaching theology and hermeneutics, and leading research at what became later the Emmanuel University in Oradea. I was travelling there across the country, for twelve hours by train, East to West, for a week to ten days every month. I had also started working, part-time, on my doctorate, on a theme of Eastern Orthodox theology. It was an exciting time, as we were trying to establish what we hoped will become, in time, one of the best evangelical theological schools in Europe.

Out of the blue, I have received an email message (yes, we already had email at that time!) from Charlie Dokmo, a former Navigator missionary in Eastern Europe, whom I met some time before the fall of communism. He was then the National Director (ND) of World Vision (WV) Romania and was trying to get together an Advisory Board. In view of our common Navigator past, he invited me to join this board. As I have found out many years later, my name was suggested to Charlie by another Navigator colleague, Chris Shore, who was for a few years a missionary under cover in Romania, doing a master’s programme at a Romanian university.

I must confess I knew nothing about WV at that time, but knowing Charlie and reading the documents he sent me I became interested and I joined the board. We were, at the beginning, three Baptists (Rev. Petru Dugulescu, Ioan Peia and myself) and three Orthodox (Fr. Vasile Mihoc, Dr, Pavel Chirila and Dr. Ioan Bocsan). You should have seen how stiff we were at the first meetings, each group sticking together on opposite sides of the table. Yet, in less than a year we became good friends and, by God’s grace, we were able to do together great things.

I remember with great fondness a board retreat we have organised at an Orthodox monastery in Paltinis, near Sibiu. It was really cold and it took some plum brandy and plenty of wood burning to warm us up, but it was worth it. It was really a ‘dreaming dreams’ exercise, with deep discussions, prayer and lots of laughter. It was there that we drafted many of the great things in which we were involved as a board in the coming years.

Among these, probably the most prominent were the three all Romanian churches gatherings that we have organised in Bucharest and Iasi, in 1999 and 2000, under the leadership of the new ND of WV Romania, my good friend Chris Shore. I think such a broadly ecumenical reunion has never happened in the 20 centuries history of the church in my country. I was for thirteen years a member of that group, nine of these while I was also working as a staff member of the regional WV team.

To be continued…

Short Report about the Conference on the Refugee Situation and How Should Romanians Respond

Heart for Lebanan helping refugees (Heasrt for Lebanon)

Background

It seems that the media is not as interested anymore in the refugee situation. Since the beginning of this year about 500.000 refugees have made it to Germany (mostly) after leaving from Turkey or Greece and crossing Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria. To start with, they were ‘amateurs,’ i.e. having to improvise in order to see what will happen: they walked long days, they took public transportation, they slept in parks and un-used buildings, they stopped along the way to break down the journey. In the last 2-3 weeks, almost none of this happens. There are now available buses to transport them – and they cost a lot of money for crossing Macedonia and Serbia, up to 3,000 euros – until they arrive at the border with Serbia-Croatia (in Sid area) where a Transition Center was quickly organized. None are stopping in major cities or so. The only walking they do is a few hundred meters to the next country, where a bus is waiting for them. At this border crossing, about 5,000 refugees are processed daily (quick identity and health check). In maximum three hours they are again on a bus, this time provided by European Union, to Hungary, and from there on a train to Germany. Some 50% of these refugees are from Syria, while 30% from Afghanistan and 20% from Pakistan and other countries – according to the Transition Center director we spoke with. One would have expected that the influx will diminish, due to the rainy weather, but it has not, instead they got more organized in terms of transport so that they won’t need to be outside. The volatile spots are the borders, especially Macedonia and Serbia, where a new form of transportation needs to be paid for, but also Croatia and beyond, where check-ups and health issues might impede their desire to arrive quicker in Germany.Read More »

Danut Manastireanu – Interviu pentru cotidianul Adevarul

Ramona Iacobute
Ramona Iacobute

In urma cu putin timp am avut deosebita placere a unei convorbiri prietenesti cu Ramona Iacobute, jurnalist in cadrul echipei din Iasi a ziarului Adevarul. Am discutat despre credinta, despre secularizare, despre islam si islamofobie, despre criza refugiatilor sirieni si multe altele. O parte a acestui dialog si-a gasit locul in interviul publicat astazi, 21 octombrie, 2015, de cotidianul Adevarul.

Redau mai jos prima parte a interviului.

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Ieşeanul doctor în Teologie ajuns în marile zone de conflict ale lumii: „Criza refugiaţilor e un turnesol pentru Europa. Arată lipsa de coerenţă, lipsa unui lider.”

DanutM

Dănuţ Mănăstireanu (60 ani), cu o vastă experienţă în zonele de conflict şi la catedrele universităţilor care au cursuri de istoria religiilor, îşi expune punctul de vedere în privinţa crizei imigranţilor din Siria şi a evoluţiei religiilor în Europa.Read More »

He Named Me Malala – The Trailer

Take a first look at HE NAMED ME MALALA, a documentary about Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s life, story and personal journey as an education activist. Pledge to see the film only in theaters this October at http://bit.ly/1IlDIMg

Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for “Superman”), the film shows us how Malala, her father Zia and her family are committed to fighting for education worldwide.

Welcoming Those Less Fortunate

Welcoming those less fortunate

Comment by His Grace Bishop Angaelos,

General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom

22 September 2015

Until now, the Middle East crisis has been contained in that part of the world, and has, for some, become somewhat of a distant reality. If we have occasionally been moved by what we have seen or heard in reports, we have also had the relative comfort of being several steps removed from the situation. Now however, we are witnessing the movement of tens of thousands of desperate people fleeing that crisis and approaching the shores of Europe to seek refuge, and so the issue has become much more immediate and closer to home.Read More »

Gaza: One Year On – Clinging to Hope amid Despair

Where A Natural Disaster Is Most Likely to Strike

natural disaster world map
(Source, The Telegraph)

Valeriu Nicolae – Ce mi se intimpla?

Valeriu Nicolae

Valeriu Nicolae este unul dintre colegii mei cei mai buni din echipa regionala World Vision. Este Director de Advocacy, si a avut pina acum o cariera mirobolanta. Am ajuns sa-l cunosc mai bine participind la un proiect comun al biroului in care lucram, si am realizat ca sunt multe lucruri care ne apropie, dincolo de radacinile etnice comune.

Recent, Val a fost invitat sa scrie permanent la Dilema veche. Iata,mai jos, reactia lui.

* * *

Valeriu, am vrea să ai o rubrică permanentă în Dilema veche! Ce zici?

M-am scos. Neam de neamu’ lu Geta, Ghică, Gogulică al lui tanti Ani, Gigilică Bouroşu al lui Lili, fosta gagică a lui Marius Lăcătuş, Miţa, Lica, Lucica, tanti Silica, Chiva, Nini (adică neamurile mamei), Năzdravan, Ambasador, Icoana, Plato fiul Aporiei şi nepotul lui Cristi Brancardierul, Moşu, Vierme, Pisica, Manix, Pamfilica şi tot neamul de aristocraţi de la Ghelmegioaia al lui taică-meu, Ciolan, nu au scris în Dilema! Glorie, frăţică!!!!!!!Read More »

Pan-Armenian Declaration on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide

The State Commission on the Coordination of Events Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in consultation with its regional committees in the Diaspora,
– expressing the united will of the Armenian people,
– based on the Declaration of Independence of Armenia of 23 August 1990 and the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia,
– recalling the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948, whereby recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
– guided by the respective principles and provisions of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96(1) of 11 December 1946, the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide  of 9 December 1948,  the United Nations Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity of 26 November 1968, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966 as well as all the other international documents on human rights,
– taking into consideration that while adopting the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the United Nations specifically underlined the importance of international cooperation in the struggle against that criminal offence,
– emphasizing the inadmissibility of impunity of the constituent elements of the crime of genocide and the non-applicability of statutory limitation thereto,
– condemning the genocidal acts against the Armenian people, planned and continuously  perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire and various regimes of Turkey in 1894-1923, dispossession of the homeland, the massacres and ethnic cleansing aimed at the extermination of the Armenian population, the destruction of the Armenian heritage, as well as the denial of the Genocide, all attempts to avoid responsibility, to consign to oblivion the committed crimes and their consequences or to justify them, as a continuation of this crime and  encouragement  to commit new genocides,
– also considering the 1919-1921 verdicts of the courts-martial of the Ottoman Empire on that grave crime perpetrated “against the law and humanity’’ as a legal assessment of the fact,
– appreciating the joint declaration of the Allied Powers on May 24, 1915, for the first time in history defining the most heinous crime perpetrated against the Armenian people as a “crime against humanity and civilization” and emphasizing the necessity of holding Ottoman authorities responsible, as well as the role and significance of the Sevres Peace Treaty of 10 August 1920 and US President Woodrow Wilson’s Arbitral Award of 22 November 1920 in overcoming the consequences of the Armenian Genocide:Read More »

Jean Vanier – What Does It Mean to Be Human? – Templeton Prize 2015

A superb message of true authenticity and Christian love.

The 2015 Templeton Prize Laureate, Jean Vanier, speaks on the Big Question: “What does it mean to be fully human?”

Episcopul Longhin – un sfint roman in viata din Ucraina

Episcopul Longhin este un preot ortodox roman din Ucraina. Parintele este staret al unei manastiri intemeiata de el insusi, Manastirea Banceni, aflata in Ținutul Herța. Localitatea Banceni a facut parte până nu demult, din Principatul Moldovei. Episcopul Longhin, sau Parintele Mihail Jar, creste peste 400 de copii, si nu doar …atât! Acest reportaj este un portret al unui mare crestin si roman.

Chawkat Moucarry – A Christian View of Islam

This lecture was delivered by my World Vision colleague Dr. Chawkat Moucarry, on Thursday 19 February 2015, at the Patriarch Ilia II Foundation in Tbilisi, Georgia, as part of its intellectual and spiritual development programme for youth. Over sixty young people participate in this lecture, which ended with a question – answer session and a little reception.

Meet the Mom Who Stopped Joseph Kony | Christianity Today

Meet the Mom Who Stopped Joseph Kony | Christianity Today.

Shannon Sedgwick Davis is a contemporary hero. Her fight to edn the the nightmare of the Lord’s Army led by Joseph Kony in Uganda made The Elders group to invite her to join them. An amazing honour for this 39 years old lady with a passion for justice.

Kayla Mueller – Letter from Prison

Kayla-Mueller

Everyone,

If you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released.

I have asked them to contact you + send you this letter. It’s hard to know what to say. Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness.

I wanted to write you all a well thought out letter (but I didn’t know if my cell mates would be leaving in the coming days or the coming months restricting my time but primarily) I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears.

If you could say I have “suffered” at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness.

I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else … + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall.

I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it.

I pray each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another … I miss you all as if it has been a decade of forced separation.

I have had many a long hour to think, to think of all the things I will do w/ Lex, our first family camping trip, the first meeting @ the airport. I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally @ 25 years old come to realize your place in my life.

The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support.

I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time. This should never have become your burden.

I have asked these women to support you; please seek their advice. If you have not done so already, [REDACTED] can contact [REDACTED] who may have a certain level of experience with these people.

None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me.

I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes. I wrote a song some months ago that says, “The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left …”

aka-The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength.

Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.

All my everything,

Kayla

Source, HERE.

 

Anastasia Taylor-Lind – Fighters and Mourners of the Ukrainian Revolution

“Men fight wars, and women mourn them,” says documentary photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind. With stark, arresting images from the Maidan protests in Ukraine, the TED Fellow shows us intimate faces from the revolution. A grim and beautiful talk.

Anastasia Taylor-Lind is a documentary photographer who works around the world on issues relating to women, birth rights, depopulation and post-conflict regions.

Christophen Hale – Why Christian Groups Lead the Biggest Relief Efforts in the World

WorldVision

Organizations like World Vision give the lie to negative stereotypes about Christian work in the world.

As the Philippines marks the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, the country’s recovery is in full force. Leading the work on the ground is the biggest recovery and human development group in the world: the worldwide Christian community.

Pope Francis — who will visit the region in January — has said that the Christian community is called to be “bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church, which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.” This community, Francis says, will heal wounds and warm hearts.

The ecumenical humanitarian group World Vision has clearly gotten the memo. Founded by evangelical pastor Robert Pierce in 1950, the group has grown into one of the largest development organizations in the world. Deeply rooted in a faith experience of Jesus Christ, the organization’s work is an attempt to manifest God’s redeeming love without exception.Read More »

Voltaj – De la capat

Astazi, 4 noiembrie, a fost lansat acest nou videoclip al formatiei Voltaj, a carui tema este situatia tragica a copiilor lasati in tara de parintii plecati la munca in strainatate.

O initiativa a formatiei Voltaj, impreuna cu World Vision Romania si Habitat for Humanity Romania.

De urmarit NEAPARAT.

Alaturi de acest clip, a fost lansat si situl delacapat.roRead More »