Being Above Ground in Fujian: A Travelogue


Very unique. Not like being above ground in other places.

DAY ONE: took the metro to the far corner of Shanghai to fly SHA>>XMN. Just the journey to the airport itself took nearly two hours. Shangers is ridiculously large. Man sitting opposite me clipped his fingernails directly onto the floor. As one does on the subway.

Flight was comfortable, minimal amounts of stares directed at the tall white person sitting 24C.

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What to Ask Someone Who’s Just Been Abroad


Please, ask about anything other than how it was.

Whether you meet someone after they completed an exciting trip, or you’re the relative or friend of someone who has just been abroad, you’re probably eager to ask all about it. Just know that someone who has been abroad will get asked mostly the same questions: “How was it?” and “Did you have a great time?” or “Did you see [insert stereotypical noun pertaining to that location]?” and “Do you miss it?”

This is like the jet-lag of all conversations: it puts you to sleep and you just want to get past it because it’s annoying and exhausting.

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Meeting Joburg: The Maboneng Precinct


Before I came to Johannesburg, many people warned against the danger of Johannesburg CBD.

I had driven through it a few times with one of my coworkers to Park Station which is in the heart of Joburg CBD. The crime rate in this area is so high that even the locals are nervous to go there. But tucked away in the city is an up-and-coming place where hipsters can hide in Sunday markets and underground art museums.

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Soweto: Scratching the Surface of A Rich Township


I am lucky enough to have a fellow ELCA global missionary friend who is in a year-long program called, Young Adults In Global Mission (YAGM), and is living in the largest and arguably most historical township in South Africa. She resides in Central Jabavu in the South West Township called Soweto, also known as the home of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

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“What’s Up?” – African Social Media, That’s What’s Up!


Two weeks ago, I was invited to Kenya for a strategic planning meeting with Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to prepare for the 2017 Celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

During my visit, I had several conversations about the churches in Africa, as well as the role of social media. I could write a book about it, probably, but instead I want to focus on one particular conversation I had with a taxi driver.

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A Quick Thanks


Now that I’ve settled in and gotten my bearings, I can’t help but think about what it took to get here.

It took quite a bit of time, energy, paperwork, and a 14-hour flight to get me to this very spot. Not least of all, it took the efforts of professors, mentors, family, and friends to help me understand the role I want to fill in the world.

For that, I owe them quite a bit of gratitude.

So thanks for the honest truth. Thanks for being in my corner. Thanks for having a hand in all this — this predictably unpredictable journey. It was a twist of fate that spun the world under our feet exactly enough for us to coincide, and it will be another unfathomable turn of events that will cause us to reconvene.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Connected Remotely


The past few days have been a whirlwind of so many things happening at once.

There has been a lot of anxiety about when I get there, and how I will be able to find internet, phone cards, even drive a stick for the first time on the opposite side that I’m used to. But on the outside, the world is busy.

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