CharisShalom is the blog of the Riley family, although most of the posting is done by Dad, Bryan Riley (who hopes this changes as our ministry develops and as our kids get older). We are a family trying to follow Jesus who recently began FJ Ministries, a nonprofit ministry hoping to pave paths into the mission field for other families (http://www.fjministries.com/). We left our jobs in 2006 (Bryan as a corporate attorney (having worked for Wal-Mart and Tyson for about ten years) and Tara as an occupational therapist (having worked in the public schools for the past ten years) to enter the mission field.
Charis is the Greek word for Grace, Shalom the Hebrew word for peace. God desires that all be reconciled and brought to peace and completion in Him, and that reconciliation is a gift of grace from Him. Taking the languages from the Old and New Testaments and the words for grace and peace just seemed natural to me. God gives. Period. He gives and He gives and He gives. We see that is His character throughout His Word. He requires nothing in return for that gift except belief/faith, and even that faith is a gift of God. That may seem awfully obvious, but I find that God keeps challenging me and asking me whether I really believe it. Do you believe it? Do you receive His gift and many gifts? Are you investing his gifts back into His Kingdom?
Our first steps of ministry were to join Youth With a Mission (YWAM) at the University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii for their Fall term in 2006. There we provided leadership to the operations of the University, as well as assisted in the development of educational curriculum for the students of missionaries. In 2007 we completed a Crossroads Discipleship Training School at The King’s Lodge in England, helping prepare us for ministry. That culminated in a summer outreach in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, Philippines where we joined God’s amazing work among the Filipino people.
In 2008 we returned to The King’s Lodge, to staff the 2008 CDTS and summer Mega-Outreach. We helped lead a group of 50+ missionaries on outreach to Worcester and Cape Town, South Africa. We are now in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA preparing an outreach for Summer 2009 for families.
Please let us know how we can stay in touch with you to provide personal updates as our ministry develops. You can reach us at bwriley4 [at] yahoo [dot] com or tarariley5 [at] yahoo [dot] com.