Recently I've been sending out a lot of updates about our team's projects here in Costa Rica, and I've been receiving a lot of cool stories from the rest of the MAF teams around the world. I am reminded that some of my team members (many of whom I've never even gotten to meet!) live and serve in some pretty challenging locations. You may get a glimpse of that if you get other publications from MAF that they periodically send out.
Two weeks ago two of my MAF Learning Technology team members came to Costa Rica to lead a training workshop for indigenous church leaders in the southern region of Costa Rica. Many of the participants were from Bribri, Cabecar, and Ngobe communities, three of the six indigenous languages that are still spoken in Costa Rica. The training was given in Spanish. The workshop includes discipleship training for church leaders who need better strategies for serving oral communities - that is, where most conversation and authority happens around conversations... not around the written text. Some of these indigenous groups have just recently received print versions of the New Testament translated in their own languages, but I think the orality approach will be a very important complement for the people these pastors serve.
It was great to have some team members come visit! On the team were Laura Macias and Regina Manley who currently work from MAF headquarters in Nampa. The photos are from Laura's blog: http://maciasinmissions.blogspot.com. Some members from my local church here attended the workshops as well.
It's also good to be reminded of the other programs and work that MAF is involved in. I did not realize this until recently but nearly all of our Latin American MAF programs are called "affiliates," which means they are owned and run by national leadership. This creates a different dynamic in how missionaries like myself from the States serve - under the logistics and supervision of locally run organizations. Anyway, there are a few interesting comments that link what we do here in Costa Rica with the rest of what MAF is up to around the world. There are always interesting updates on their website at http://www.maf.org, and our Learning Technologies team at http://maflt.org.