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Archive for August, 2012

I accredit the title of this blog to the satirical and all-too hilarious tumblr entitled “EV’RY DAY I’M PASTORIN'” which I suggest you check out. Here is the link!

In the spirit of the tumblr, I will also created different scenarios/depictions based off my YAMS (Young Adult Mission Service) Training experience that exemplify the everyday missionin’  of young adult missionaries before I discuss and reflect about my training experience. Some (if not all) of them are more so inside jokes that my fellow US-2 and Mission Intern will understand and appreciate. Enjoy!

EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

1. When everyone forgets to think about Scott during a roll call, and I have to remind everyone about him. EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

2. Fundraising is FUN-raising! EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

3. “Did the bell just ring, I wasn’t done telling my call story?”, EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

4. “I forgot to put on my GBGM (General Board of Global Ministries) name tag on today.” “How will people know my name?”  EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

5. Down with the dictator! EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

6. I misplaced (or lost) my B1 water bottle. EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

7. I had to get 5 shots today to get medically cleared for being a missionary in another country, EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

8. If a town fails to welcome me, I can give the dust off my feet back to them. EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

9. When I get another missionary book to read. EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

10. When people ask for my advance number, and I have to look it up. EV’RY DAY I’M MISSIONIN’

I have to do some shameless plug. After all this is my blog and this is why I am in Chicago. To be a missionary for the United Methodist Church. The picture below is linked to a donation page. I would appreciate any financial contribution you are able to make. This is how I am able to provide you good quality blog posting about my experience. So donate, maybe? Thank You! (You can also donate anytime by clicking on GIVE NOW on the side bar box.)

The Advance

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Postcard of Chicago

From Chicago Postcard Museum Website

It’s been a little over a week since I arrived at Chicago. This past week was my first week with my placement site, the Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ). For those of you who would ask the question, is Chicago windy? My current response from these past few days would be that it’s not so windy as it is breezy. There is a natural breezy that sometimes hits me in the morning when I am headed to IWJ. It adds a sense of comfort, tranquility, and makes me appreciate life even more. It’s a moment I wish I could savor. I imagine that as the season changes, the wind might set in and the winter season will not be so pleasant but until then I will enjoy the lovely weather. When I was taking the subway back home today I allowed myself to truly take in the world with all my senses. The smell, the sight, the sound, all these sensory abilities we sometimes take for granted. I know I certainly do. We take it for granted that we have polluted and continue to pollute all that is around us. Not to mention, the toxic air that we now breathe, the genetically engineered food/fruits that has lost its natural, organic taste, and the deforestation that occurs depriving us of the beautiful, scenic nature in exchanges for skyscrapers, malls, and cities. This was just a thought in my head. I am going to try to be more intentionally and appreciate the surrounding world through my senses. It’s too good to miss out on it. God wants us to be good stewards of our world which I also think it includes appreciating God’s handiwork.

Something more heavier….

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It was very befitting that the first Sunday I attended church in Chicago the message was surrounded around the Feast of Trumpets which is associated to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The reason I say that is because the new year is seen as a  new start and with the beginning of my life as a missionary, it encompasses a similar feeling to that of new year. I attended the Urban Village Church (UVC) in the Andersonville area of Chicago. The Urban Village Church emphasizes in their ministry is to be bold, inclusive, and relevant. Their atmosphere is different from the traditional liturgy that individuals might be used to. I would say they have a contemporary style of worship although I do not know if UVC would classify themselves that way. They are a United Methodist Church. It was certainly a great time to worship with them as I am getting acquainted to all that Chicago has to offer.

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Instead of providing and detailing an in-depth analysis of neo-prophetic voices which I stated I would in my previous blog post, I decided to share the beginning of my missionary journey with you all. I am still discerning and contemplating about neo-prophetic voices which I believe will offer a new school of thought to missionaries and missionary work. Particularly I have to confess that I have a tendency to think methodically (hint to why the United Methodist denomination is so fitting to me), theoretically, and strategically conceptualizing ideas on different matters. In addition to being honest, authentic, and intentionally about everything I write in this post as it serves as a palpable way to acknowledge my goals and living it out, in whatever capacity it may present itself. I see this blog, a form of self-journalizing, as one that can be taken on as a spiritual discipline to be reflexive about the missionary work I am embarking on and the state of my faith journey. I hope this paragraph provides you with my current sentiment, but also sheds light into my own inner-struggles and reflections about what it means to be a missionary in the Windy City. In the next few paragraphs, you will discover what has been happening in the past couple of days as the journey begins………

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Hello,

My name is Mistead Sai and welcome to my brand new blog, Neo-Prophetic Voices in the Windy City. I am a US-2 young adult missionary for the United Methodist Church. I was commissioned on August 3, 2012 to the Interfaith Worker Justice where I will serve as the Workers’ Center Network Assistant. Before I was commissioned, I spent over two weeks training in Upstate New York, New York, New York and ended my missionary training in Arlington, Virginia. I will dedicate a couple blog post describing and reflecting on my experience at training as the intent of this particular blog post is intended to introduce you to the concept of my blog.

Initially, when I was trying to conceptualize this blog it was during training in Upstate New York. A bulk of training for the missionary program was discerning, discussing, and telling our “call stories.” This constant theme of call stories and callings was in the forefront of my mind. We would have various devotions to meditative times to educational sessions about callings. I think it was after we had a session on sharing our stories and itineration that I began to cultivate my framework for this blog. Itineration can best be defined as the process by which an individual shares his/her story to different churches. It allows churches to engage with the missionary, to be in mission and support of him/her, and an open invitation to allow congregations to share their stories.

It was through those reflective exercises and sessions I discovered the inner-workings of what it meant to be missionary from a new perspective. This new perspective ignited within my mind like a dynamite ignited by a lit match. As a creative, abstract thinker which I more recently realized as a gift/talent from God, I realized that missionaries are prophetic voices. Prophetic voices spread the message of God. In the early biblical times of the Old Testament, we see various examples of prophets telling different people the message or will of God. Even the whole of scripture, authors of the books of the Holy Bible tells us about God, the relationship between God and His people, and instruction and expectations from God.

I, therefore, took that simplistic idea and expounded upon it to our generation and century. Neo-prophetic. Neo- being indicative of the changing times and meanings of “new,” “recent,” “revived,” and “modified.” The word “modified” most closely relates to the intended meaning of neo-prophetic for this blog though all the other words would suffice. And as I had mentioned earlier, I will be working for the Interfaith Worker Justice whose national office happens to be in Chicago which is also known as the Windy City. Ergo, this is why I decided to “call” my blog “Neo-Prophetic Voices in the Windy City.” I will dissect this topic some more in the next blog so stay tune!

Prior to writing this blog, I was discerning on the vision of it and what I wanted to address in the first blog posting. When I began to set-up an account and the blog itself, an option that wordpress blogging has was setting up a tagline. I tried to imagine what phrase or statement could encompass my blog. It then hit me and God placed it upon my heart with the tagline “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” I looked up that phrase online to find what Bible verse it was. It is found in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17 of the Bible. I read both Bible verses and I felt that certain segment of the verse encapsulates the concept of blog very well!

Before I end this blog post, I would like to leave you with one of those bible verses.

In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17 NRSV)

Let’s be the neo-prophetic voices of God! I look forward to journeying with you!

Blessings,

Mistead Sai

US-2 Missionary for the United Methodist Church, General Board of Global Ministries

To find more information about missionary programs, check out this link

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