We are WorldVenture missionaries to Costa Rica. Gary is professor of New Testament at Seminario ESEPA and is a blogger and author. Karen teaches at ESEPA and also specializes in sexual abuse and the church. They have four adult children who live in the USA.
Category Archives: New Testament
Greetings from Lancaster County!
First of all: If you use Facebook, please visit us at Shogrens in Costa Rica, and click to follow us for regular updates.
Karen writes: We are here in the US until sometime in May for a short home assignment. We have urgent and exciting projects awaiting us in Costa Rica, so we are in a bit more of a hurry than usual to raise the money we need to return: $1850 per month.
What does that mean?
Since we do not take a salary from any of the people we serve, our monthly living expenses all come from donations to our sending board, WorldVenture. We have to raise every penny for all of our expenses: salary, health insurance, Social Security contribution, ministry expenses, etc. Sometimes our donations come from churches, but number-wise, most of them come from individuals.
Would you consider becoming one of those individuals who supports us with a regular month gift? If 18 people would sign up to give $100 a month on our behalf, and one would sign up to give $50 a month, we would have reached our goal!
You would be a tangible part of Team Shogren, and we would be working side-by-side with you, serving our Lord in Costa Rica.
We would love to meet with you personally to share the vision with you! If you would like to share a cup of coffee with us at a shop near your home, please just email Karen to set it up: email@example.com
Blessings! Gary and Karen
Gary’s Blog This Month
Every time we are in the USA, we are reminded that everyone is busy, busy! But there is no excuse for not reading the Bible. Enjoy Gary’s short article, “No Time for Bible Reading?” It is located on openoureyeslord.com, just click here, “No Time for Bible Reading?”
- Karen is busy doing research and holding meetings to explore a new ministry
- Dr. Vikky Shogren has just graduated with her degree from Arcadia in physical therapy and passed her board exams!
Financial needs for 2018
You can give us a one-time gift or become a partner through our worldventure.com, click HERE.
Many blessings to you! Gary and Karen Shogren
It has been a while since we visited our US churches, and we are substantially underfunded in monthly support pledges. So, we are planning a home assignment time back in the US: mainly in Philly area, from there to our friends in New England and elsewhere.
The plan for now is to spend January-April 2018 renewing old contacts and making new ones. If you would like to schedule a visit with us (whether a church group or a family visit), please get in touch with Karen – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen is working on a new project that will start early next year, which you’ll hear all about when we are in town. That means that we cannot take off the entire year to do fundraising, and we will have to be efficient in our time use. We will need perhaps 30 new people to pledge $50 a month. Please start to pray now: does God want you to be one of these new donors?
Gary’s Blog This Month
Since we last wrote, we have had earthquakes and killer hurricanes. Gary responded to those Christian leaders who claim to know exactly why these disasters happen. Enjoy “Why Would a Hurricane Hit Houston or Florida, but not, for example, Alabama?”
CLICK HERE to read.
Financial needs for 2017
Many blessings to you! Gary and Karen Shogren
Let’s label this ministry as: “Hi homeless friend! Would you like some breakfast?”
On Saturday, I (Gary) go to the local grocer and buy a kilo of local farmer’s cheese and a couple of loaves of bread and big bottles of iced tea. Then I make up sandwiches for 20 or 25 people, gather paper cups, 2-3 New Testaments in a simplified version, maybe some clothes.
On the street around 7am, I leave the car in a parking lot and head out with a jammed-full backpack. I take safety precautions, but since I go out early, most of them are still docile after their Saturday night. The street people migrate from one spot to another, so they aren’t necessarily where I last left them. It takes a second for the brain to register, That pile of rags is a man; that cardboard box is someone’s house.
(NOTE: I used to take a few pictures with people, but now do not; I wonder whether I would be dehumanizing people more than necessary if I took “here- am-being-generous!” selfies)
Wherever I see a cluster of people I stop and ask, Would you like some breakfast? I used to ask, “Are you hungry?”, but I switched my phrasing Continue reading
A huge amount of Gary’s teaching and writing has to do with false doctrine. This is an important topic in the USA, but way more so in Latin America. Here is a short article on how the devil not only robs false teachers, but lures them into eternal loss as well.
Click here to read: “False Teachers: A Bad Road to a Bad End”
Gary in the Mideast!
I (Gary) just got back from a tour along with Oreland Presbyterian, in which we began at Cairo and traced the entire route of the Exodus, through the Sinai, into Jordan, before visiting the main sites in Israel. This was my first time to visit any of these three countries, and I have pictures and memories that will take me months to unravel.
If I had to condense the trip down to a few striking places:
The “Garden Tomb” – This site might be the tomb where they buried Jesus. But since the evidence for it is very slim, I didn’t think I would enjoy it much. Was I wrong! In fact, the site is owned and run by a group of British Christians Continue reading
It’s my turn to share! (Gary)
Hats versus Hats
Missionary professors wear many hats. Here are two of mine.
A typical Thursday Night – for 4 hours it’s my class in Advanced Hermeneutics. It’s one of the more strenuous courses at ESEPA, with six of our top students in the master’s program. We talk at length about how best to interpret the Bible and wrestle through issues of semantics, context, contextualization, etc., etc. The students are expected to be self-starters: so student Nani spoke for an hour on how the doctrine of inspiration affects our Bible reading, just for a start. Then Esteban spoke for a while, comparing how the ancient church fathers Clement of Alexandria and John Chrysostom interpreted the Word. They led the discussion for a while, then I jumped in with some teaching on how we need to depend on the Spirit in Bible study: exegesis, linguistics, theologizing, applying the text.
Exhausted yet? Yeah, well, just wait 24 hours!
A typical Friday Night – We go over to see Heather, another American missionary. Her garage is a magnet for kids from the barrio. And while she leads a Bible study for adults, I work with between 5-7 kids, including our Sammy. These are “kinesthetic” learners, which is Greek for lots of noise, motion, running around, games, me shouting: “Ready! Last chance for the bathroom! Line up! Attention! Shout your name!” We are going through the miracles of Jesus, so we are hearing about how he resurrected the son of the widow of Nain, just as they were carrying his body out of the city (Luke 7). I had unhooked and taken over our garden hammock. As a graphic part of the story, the boys took turns hauling the “dead man” around in it; then to top it off I gave them wild rides, spinning each boy airborne in a circle. Then games. And just when the garage seems about to burst, Heather pops in with cookies, along with an ice-cold Diet Coke for the overheated “Grandpa.” She spells me while I go and visit with the adults for a few minutes.
One of my professors, years ago, would teach complex academics during the day, but then every week head out to lead a group of boys at his church. I’ve never forgotten it. The boys’ group is my main ministry in our church and a way I teach the gospel in Costa Rica.
Yes, missionary professors have to avoid distractions; they have to make sure they do the main thing; and they have to do the main thing most of the time. But in the work of the gospel, they will probably wear several hats.
Many blessings! Gary and Karen