At the end of the year, I love to be able to look back at what God has done, see the progress He’s made in my life! What a year 2011 has been! I feel like my life has taken a giant leap forward, and yet in doing so, has taken a giant leap back (in a good way).
Let’s see: in 2011, I became a teacher at ESEPA, where I offer courses in Bible and counseling at the certificate level. I started a study group in a hairdresser’s salon, where Christian and non-Christian ladies learn methods of studying the Bible. And finally, I still work with Missionary Kids and their parents, helping them adjust to life on a foreign field.
When we returned to Costa Rica October 2010, after spending some months with the family in the US, it was one of the few times in my life when I felt like I was truly starting over. Continue reading
So what’s new with the younger Shogrens? Plenty! Continue reading
Karen is there, as kids become Missionary Kids
“Transition can be defined as the movement of people from one stage of life to another or from one cultural context to another…Families going overseas experience transition every time they leave or enter a country.” (Families on the Move, Marion Knell, p. 47)
October 17, 2010, San Jose, Costa Rica. After a long absence, I walk into my own house as a stranger. My life and work have just abruptly turned a corner. For the first time in 25 years I am no longer the primary caregiver for any of my children. The nest is empty, my Costa Rica ministries had been taken over by others, and my own home is in disarray.
“Even good changes are stressful, and in multiple transitions there is a lot of disorientation, exhaustion and grief.” (Knell, p. 56)
I have spent the better part of the last 11 years studying transitions and what they do to us. I’ve taught this information to countless missionary families and helped them apply it. I have helped hundreds of children of all ages prepare for future transitions and cry through completed ones. Continue reading
"La profesora Karen" prepares her lesson
One of my most vivid memories from my years at Philadelphia Biblical University is Ken Medema’s convicting song, “Moses.” The Chorale performed it multiple times over two years, and Ken Medema himself performed it for us in concert. The first time I heard it, I was fascinated by the way the music explains the words: the basso profundo tone of God’s comands, the scaredy-cat complaints of Moses, the gorgeous harmony of angels singing. Did I mention convicting? Never once did I sing it without God speaking directly to me. After all these year, it is apparently still burned into my brain, because recently I can’t get it out of my mind.
Back in Costa Rica after our extended home assignment, I have been praying that God would give me clear direction about new ministries, and give me the courage to respond with cheerful obedience. Just a friendly warning, both are dangerous prayers!
February 9, 2011. I am sitting in the office of the women’s ministry leader at ESEPA, expecting to be invited to direct short sharing sessions in small groups at several upcoming workshops. The vast majority of my ministry in CR has been in English, with missionary families. I feel totally inadequate to minister in Spanish, especially as a representative of the seminary… Continue reading
As I mention above, one of my most vivid memories from my years at Philadelphia Biblical University is Ken Medema’s convicting song, “Moses.” The Chorale performed it multiple times over two years, and Ken Medema himself performed it for us in concert. Never once did I sing it without God speaking directly to me. After all these year, it is apparently still burned into my brain.
Go here to listen to Ken Medema singing “Moses”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC1W9rvqjvU
The Shogren kids were aged 12, 10, 8 and 5 when we went to Costa Rica. Here they are today, all grown up! Click below to see video greetings from them and new pictures.
At Vikky’s graduation party, June 2010. Tim & Ariel (married on Oct 8, 2010); Sara & Steve; Vikky; Dad and Mom; Stephanie, who is engaged to Ben
God has been doing amazing things for our family!
Steve & Sara have been living in the Philadelphia area since last year. Steve is enjoying his programming job at Reminder Media. Sara is assembling Chinook helicopters at Boeing, and is a flight instructor for the Boeing Flight Club. She is turning to her photography hobby for extra income; meanwhile Steve comes up with a new invention every day…but so far he hasn’t hit it rich.
Tim & Ariel are newly married, on October 8! They are living in Ridley Park, in the same apartment where Karen grew up.
Ben and his fiancée Stephanie are at Eastern University. Besides their majors, they are both studying Mandarin Chinese and keep their skills up by attending a local Chinese Bible study.
Vikky was planning to focus full-time on pastry classes. Before the fall term started, however, she switched plans and decided to study Hotel & Restaurant Management at Delaware County Community College. She will hone her cake decorating skills with a bakery internship. The jump from high school to college can be a difficult one, and we are proud to watch Vikky handle it with grace, maturity, and enthusiasm!