April 2021 Newsletter

Thanks to all our supporters!

We are so grateful for you! Every day we are reminded that we could not do this on our own. Your faithful prayers and encouragement and financial support allow us to give our all to the work God has set before us. Missionaries we know have lost a lot of financial support over the past year, but ours has held firm.

This month, Karen shares: I am still amazed how much our ministries have exploded in the last year! Since many organizations are more comfortable with online communication our ability to spread the Gospel and train leaders worldwide is multiplied. For instance, tonight Gary is being interviewed by an organization in Australia, pertaining to his new commentary; his audience crossed 17 time zones. This morning I helped plan the roll-out of WorldVenture’s new child protection policy with coworkers in Spain, Montana, and North Carolina, then Gary and I met with our regional director who lives in Oregon. Tomorrow morning, I will be teaching people from Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Los Angeles (California), Bolivia, and Costa Rica. Next week we will start orienting all WorldVenture missionaries and I will be leading groups worldwide. Without having to travel, we can accomplish more with less effort.

I have just finished teaching the first 2 courses of our new certificate program at ESEPA, training church leaders how to prevent and respond to sexual abuse. It’s been a fascinating opportunity to create something new that is so badly needed in our world today.

Recently I was blessed when Marcela López offered to make me a logo for the ministry.  Our name, Levanta La Voz, means “Raise Your Voice”, taken from Proverbs 31:8-9, where we are instructed to raise our voice to help those who cannot speak for themselves. I believe that not only is it a good reminder every time we read the words, but also it is a great conversation-starter.  You’ll notice it has 3 leaves – one for each way Christians can confront sexual violence: make our churches and homes safe places, provide help and healing to those affected by sexual violence, and spread the word out into our communities.  Lastly, we have the universal broadcast symbol as one more reminder that staying quiet on this issue ALWAYS makes things worse.  I pray that you will help us by raising your voice against sexual violence.

If you work with children or teens, have them in your family, or know anyone in your church that does, I highly recommend a movie: Childhood 2.0. It came out a few months ago and is available free on YouTube and various streaming services. It would be instructive to get groups of parents and church leaders together to watch this prayerfully. Once you have seen it and are prepared, it would be a fascinating conversation-starter to watch with your tweens or teens. It is not a Christian movie, per se, but it is a clear portrayal of the challenges children and teens face today. If we do not understand what they are facing, it will be impossible for us to help them grow unto godliness.

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Gary in a conference! If you would like to see what it is like. Feel free to drop in! The action starts to pick up around 26:00 minutes.
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PRAYER:
* Praise! that our support level is healthy despite the pandemic. 
* Praise! Karen successfully launched her new program and taught two of the courses.

Blessings this month!

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Filed under Bible, Costa Rica, ESEPA, Gary Shogren, Karen Shogren, Missions, New Testament, seminario, Sexual abuse, WorldVenture

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