Tag Archives: Shogrens

April 2015 Newsletter

On Friday, our community San Francisco de Dos Ríos celebrated its annual Passion Play. To my surprise, while “Jesus” hung on the cross (tied in this version, not nailed; see picture below) a literal earthquake shook the ground beneath our feet.

Then over the weekend I listened to Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, which reminds us that at Jesus’ death, “the curtain of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And the earth was filled with quaking”. The way to God was opened, and the power of the grave was nullified.

All because of a cross.

The Romans regarded “cross” as one of the worst curse-words in their language. Their darkest obscenity was “I in malam maximam crucem!” which roughly translates to “Go and get really badly crucified!” It was a shocking profanity. Yet this curse of Jesus has become for us the way of salvation.

As Bach went on to write: “Ah, Golgotha, hapless Golgotha! The Lord of Glory must wretchedly perish here; the blessing and salvation of the world is placed on the cross like a curse. From the Creator of heaven and earth, earth and air shall be taken away. The guiltless must die here guilty. That strikes deep into my soul! Ah, Golgotha, hapless Golgotha!”

Take away the cross and we might as well dismiss the preachers; call the missionaries back home; tuck the Bible back on the Ancient Literature section of the library; turn Sunday School into playtime. But no! “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” And for those of us who were called to believe in the gospel, “Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (see 1 Cor 1).

We can draw a direct line between the cross of Christ and our work in San Francisco de Dos Ríos. May all God’s children enjoy that same clarity!

(I invite you to read my sermon on the shame of the cross at http://openoureyeslord.com)

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June 2013 Update!

It was great to see our friends at Tasker Street, Covenant in Bath, PA, Whitehall BFC, Calvary Protestant, Friendship Baptist, Oreland EPC, Mount Hope, Lehigh Baptist, Chestnut Hill Baptist, Living Hope, Sovereign Grace, Oasis Church, Bible Fellowship Church in Quinehaug, Connecticut, Christ Evangelical Free in Lehighton, the Bible Fellowship Annual Meeting and the Bible Fellowship Missionary Conference, 14 churches and 2 conferences within the space of 8 weeks!

Thanks for your new commitment to finance our work: Blaine, Nate, John and Debby, Kimberlee, Karen K, Phil and Marty, Robyn, Andy and Cel, Lloyd, Ruth and Ron, Ted and Audrey, Arlene, Sister Johnson, Deb C., Jenn Florin, Perryville, Steve and Phyllis, Redeemer BFC. And thanks for your continued support, Deb S.

COME HEAR THE SHOGRENS! There are things we can share in person which we cannot post on our website.

We are currently in New Mexico, visiting Tim and Ariel. We will be traveling across the country, so if you or your group want to hear us speak over the next 2 weeks, respond to this message right away!

Everyone wants to know when we are due to return to Costa Rica. The answer is simple: as soon as we raise all of our money! God knows the specific date, and we are aiming for a time frame. Gary will be teaching the next ESEPA semester online, and Karen has already said she’s unavailable for her two summer courses, which gives us flexibility until this fall. However we both hope to be able to return by the middle of September.

So far we still need to raise about 2400/month.

** For those of you who are keeping track of our financial progress: our finances are complicated, we’ve lost another church, it’s taken us all these months to compile all of our budget needs. We’re seriously praying that this is the FINAL gross figure, and there will be no more losses to recoup!

Gary and Karen share at Tasker Street Baptist, S. Philly

Gary and Karen share at Tasker Street Baptist, S. Philly

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Filed under Bible, Costa Rica, ESEPA, Gary Shogren, Karen Shogren, Missions, WorldVenture