Friday, March 21, 2008

Dear Folks

Over the past few weeks the survey team has been working at the Presbyterian Historical Society. As Jenny mentioned, this has been a bit of an adjustment as we move from the papers and records of physicians and all things medical to those of missionaries and ministers. Within the first week we “traveled” to China, India, Brazil, Korea, Cameroon, and East Tennessee. Very different from what we saw at the College of Physicians. One week bones the next week bibles. Just one of the reasons this job is so interesting.

We’ve recently seen quite a bit of correspondence, much of it in the form of “letters home” from missionaries abroad. These are a bit like blogs. This is especially true for the letters addressed to larger audiences such as extended family and friends or congregations. While some letters comment on larger world events, the main focus is on the work of the mission and more local and personal concerns. Blogs, though, tend to be more frequent and posts are often very specific, in a way these letters usually aren’t. However, as a means of communicating to a large group with similar interests and who are widely distributed geographically, they are very similar.

Are missionaries currently posting blogs? A search online brought up a few missionary blogs, and it does seem as if the “letter home” has continued well into the digital era. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) website has a number of them posted from various missions around the world.

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