Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Saturday (College and High School) Fellowship

    This past Saturday, my team and I started having a Saturday Fellowship with high school and college students . Our plan for the remainder of our time here is to teach the gospel and how it applies to missions! For our first Saturday Fellowship, we were nervous about how many, if any, students would show up. As it got close to starting time, a few of us walked around campus and reminded people and invited others to come. About 15 minutes after it was time for it to start, only one person had come in, and I started to to feel a little discouraged.
    After about 15 more minutes of waiting; however, we had a room full of close to 30! We introduced ourselves and then we sang a few songs that the students knew. I shared my testimony and talked about how growing up in a military family made it difficult for me to be in church and really trust God.
    After I gave my testimony, one of the students shared his testimony and talked about his experience being in a military family. We could both relate. It was so cool to see how God used that tie to encourage both of us  through each other's stories.
    Julie began the topic of "What is the gospel?" and we dug through scriptures that explained what the gospel is and why it is important. The students got really involved, asking questions, and sharing their own thoughts on the subject. I really enjoyed the conversations that were brought up by the students during this time. We enjoyed a few snacks and spent some time fellowshiping with one another.
   The night ended well and we were pleased with the turn-out. We will have this time of disciplining and fellowship with the students for the remaining three Saturdays. Please pray that God will bring more people to this fellowship and that we can all grow in our walk with the Lord. Pray that God will speak through us and that he will receive all the glory and honor.


Week #4- Video Highlights

This is week four highlights for Team Nashville. Sorry for the delay! Week five is to come momentarily. Be in prayer for the faces that you see in the video.

P52 Nashville- Week #4 

Week #5 Video

The Lord is moving here and the enemy is not happy. We have been attacked spiritually in some way each day this week, but we have hopes that the Lord has something great in store in the coming weeks. Pray again for the faces you see in the video this week.

P52 Nashville- Week #5 

Baptism... Healthcare team style

Visitors from Davao City

The Healthcare team had the privilege of having some people visit them this week. A midwife and 4 midwifery students from Davao and Krysten joined us.

There were 4 American midwifery students and one Filipina midwife. The arrived Monday and spit up. Sylvette (the translator and former Filipino NT member), Sarah, and Makayla went to Casiklan for the first few days. The other girls, Jordan and Abigail, joined the supervisors and me in Tinucoran and then on to Subiat. Two of the American girls have been in Davao for 2 years and have picked up Cebuano and can speak it well, which was very helpful during our time of ministry. The other two are here from June to the end of August.

Krysten, the daughter of the couple who direct Nehemiah Teams, joined the Subiat team for "Tuli days." She is a junior in high school and is looking into becoming a nurse.  The team really enjoyed having her join for the week.

On the second day of "Tuli," the rest of the midwives joined the team in Subiat. It was great to have so many people in one place. Everyone got to get to know one another, get each other’s stories and were able to encourage each other in their own ministry work. 

We wish they all could have stayed longer but they could not as they had to get back to their duties at Mercy Maternity Clinic in Davao City. We will keep them in our prayers as they will for us.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lifestyles of Subiat and Tinucoran

Last week I explained the living arrangements of the Lawan Lawan team and Casiklan team. This week I bring to you the lifestyles of Subiat team and Tinucoran team, our all girl teams. Enjoy.

Both Teams are across the river from MJ, which is where our "base camp" is setup. So to get across the river we take these little paddleboats. It's a nice change from all the rough riding we have become so use to from the bikes, jeepneys and Hubble hubbles.

Unfortunately that doesn't last long and the next transportation is a Hubble 2x. To get to Tinucoran from the river lodge you would take a right when the road splits, and for Subiat you take a left. The travels for both teams are the same. It just depends on the direction you go.

Tinucoran Team:                                          Subiat Team:
          Team leader- Kayla                             Team Leader- Brittany
Heather                                                   Shelby
Lissa                                                       Hailey
 Angela                                                     Amanda
Translators:                                                  Translators:
Belle                                                            Jemil
    Arlin                                                  Cheryl "Bing"

The Tinucoran team is blessed to be living in a host home.

The family has their own water filter in their kitchen. So the team has the privilege to use their filter. Since the team is in the home they have a CR (comfort room, meaning bathroom) in the house, but the CR has no light and the water in the house shuts off at 7:30 every night. So before that time the family and team are sure to fill their cans with water for anyone needing to use the CR.

Most of the team sleeps on their sleeping pads in the living room under their mosquito nets while Kayla has her hammock tied up under the porch. 

In the back of the house they have a small area for cooking on an open fire. They have amazingly figured out a way to make pancakes on an open fire. They may not look as pretty but they tasted great!

The Subiat team is smack dab in the middle of the village! The team stays in the clinic, which is the smallest clinic of the teams. The porch of the clinic is as big as the clinic. Half of the girls stay in hammocks on the porch while the other half stays in the room on their pads.

For drinking water they fill their container at the villages filter across the road. Since it is so heavy the team has used their American girl charm to get a man from the village to bring it back to the clinic for them, but while me and the supervisors were their they just got us to.

They have a small CR that is in the clinic with running water. So they can bathe in the CR instead of going to the water source and bathing in public.

This team is extremely organized! The team has a bathing schedule, where they have their turn to use the CR to in the morning. The team has a basic schedule written and posted on the door of the clinic. Since the team is all girls they have taken that advantage and "girlied" up the clinic with little things around the Clinic.

I hope you all have enjoyed getting a look into the lives of teams. Please continue to keep these teams in your prayers. Pray for safe travel this week as we go on our short vacation.

Praise God!

    I want to tell you about a group of guys who have decided to follow Jesus. Two and a half weeks ago, our group went up to a village called Capilla and shared our testimonies of the good news of the gospel. 13 guys decided that Jesus was enough for them and gave their lives to Him. I prayed hard for that group as we continued to meet with them a couple times a week.
     We came to the point of talking about baptism. I showed them passages from the Bible about baptism and challenged them to take a step of faith in baptism if they were serious about the relationship with Jesus that they had started. I also told them to go home and tell their families about the decision that they had made. I did not know what to expect! Little did I know, God was working in the hearts of those guys and all said they were ready to follow Jesus’ example in baptism. Praise God for their decision to follow Jesus with their lives and in baptism!
     I went back yesterday to talk about the suffering that Jesus went thru before he died on the cross and the persecution he endured. I then showed them a passage in John 15 when Jesus said,  "If the world hates you, remember it hated me first." This was the challenge of the night: That no matter what happens or what persecution comes because of their decision to follow Christ, to remain faithful to their new faith and life in Christ.
     They all told me that they were ready to serve God and follow Jesus! After two weeks, they have decided this ON THEIR OWN! Wow. Today was just the icing on the cake as we celebrated in baptism with eight of the guys (5 of them were caring for a brother with leukemia).
    It brought a tear to my eye when each of them proclaimed to everyone that Jesus was their personal Savior or Lord. God is at work in Cebu, and is ready to do the same in so many others. Please pray for this group of guys as they start their growth in Christ and reading His Word. Most importantly, praise Him for new life and people willing to say, “I am ready to serve God!” Amen and thank you for the prayers! We love you all!


Capilla Baptisms

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thai Village Update

Our team
Wow! We are halfway through the summer! We have a few days off here at the missionary compound, then we will go back out to our locations and finish up the summer! I am going to try and fill you in on all that we have been doing without boring you to death! I apologize in advance if this gets kind of lengthy, but it is my one post of the summer! Feel free to take a break and come back to finish! :)

We are working in one main village. This is our main headquarters and where we spend most of our time. Adam and I are paired with two national partners, Bank and Happy, who knew limited English at the beginning of our time! This is a Lua village located about 3 hours from the missionary compound. To get there we got on a road for about 2 and a half hours.. Up, down, around, and up some more. These roads are crazy! After that we put the truck in 4wd and proceed up a “truck trail” that is mud! Just when you think you are there, we get on a dirt bike or walk 8 km up and even more narrow trail! Yeah, if you look up "middle of nowhere Thailand" in a dictionary, this place would be the definition.My partner Adam and I departed for the great unknown on June 15! We had no idea what to expect, but we knew that God wanted to do big things in and through us! We have had the opportunity to work in several villages in the beautiful mountains of Thailand.
We also have done work in another village which is about 5 km from the first and also work in a much more modern and nicer village.
Okay, so you might be wondering what in the world we are doing out there?! Just to fill you in, we are working through a Life Development Center through the missionaries here in Thailand. They have been going into village #1 once a week for about two years now, with a national leading the group. His passion for this place is amazing, and the ministry would probably not still be going on here without his diligence to load up every week and go. One of our main goals while here is to help teach English. We have been working hard with our national partners Bank and Happy, whose English has tremendously expanded in our time with them. We have also taught everyday in the village schools. There are many children in these villages who desire to learn English. We also play soccer or “football” on a daily basis. We have really seen the kids come out of their shells and have a good time on the soccer field!
Teaching English
We have also been showing Jesus films, and our national partners have been sharing Bible stories and "Creation to Christ." There are no believers in either one of these villages, but we are praying for opportunities to continue to share.
Children in our classes
Wow! It has been a great yet challenging summer for us. It is very spiritually challenging to work in a place that does not know our Savior. The people here are somewhat buddhist and animist. They believe greatly in spirits and they are a part of their everyday life, even depending on where they build buildings and where there children can go to school. Although it is difficult, I look out at the beautiful mountains that we are surrounded by and know that God is there and has a great and mighty work that He wants to do in and among the people! I am reminded of Lottie Moon's testimony. She was in China for 4 and a half years before they ever had one convert come to know the Lord! It is very encouraging to know that we can be apart of God’s almighty plan for this village, and although no one may accept Christ while we are here, that the great “I AM” has a great and glorious love and plan for these people!
Helping work on a local home
Your prayers can be felt tremendously and depend on them to make it through everyday. This is a quote from a Bible study that we have been doing on the field:
“Prayer opens prison doors and preaching doors. Prayer binds the enemy and opens the heavens. Prayer is the plow that breaks up the fallow ground for the Gospel seed. Prayer ushers in the manifest glory of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ”
So your prayers are so near and dear to us! The summer will soon be over, and I know that God wants to do great things in the remainder of our time here. Here is what you can pray for:
  • Good health for our team
  • For our teaching and sharing the Word with the children
  • For more adults to open their homes for us to come in and talk
  • For travel safety as we do a tremendous amount of walking each day
  • For two teachers who we pray diligently for:
    • Achan N
    • Achan KD (They speak very good English and we want the opportunity to tell them why we are really here!)
  • For God’s continuous work among all the people in this village and that His will be done in and through us.
I look forward to sharing all this and more with you in the near future! He is the “God of this City”, and we know that God is going to do exceedingly, abundantly, and above all we can ask or think!
Praise be to God! I am truly blessed!

My Sudanese Summer: Happy Birthday.... times 2!

July 7th, I turned 22. (Happy Birthday by the way Jordan, miss and love you.) But here time didn’t stand still, (and why would it? Most people do not know the year they were born because of the war.) No cake, no party, and no fireworks (Thank God.) Which I’m all for, birthdays are usually filled with all kinds of awkwardness, but this one is one I will always remember. 

We set out on our village ministry and at the first house we shared the gospel. To which the woman responded,  "Let me ask my husband if I can repent."  I explained how the gospel was clear that only you could make that decision and how Jesus desires a personal relationship with us. She then said she wanted to accept Jesus as her Savior. We then explained to her how she needed to be discipled to grow in her faith and left it in the hands of the pastor in the area. 

Little was said later that evening about the conversion, but we all expressed great gratitude that she came to the Lord. If we wouldn’t have had a confession of all faith, God would have still be just and we would trust his will. But I cannot help but savor the gifts God allows us to be a part of when we follow him. To think God uses worms and sinners like us to make him known, how can we not smile as heaven celebrates for the one who comes home. What a beautiful and creative God who invites us on a journey so much bigger than ourselves and I can’t help but notice the scenery he provides us in our lives as we journey with him.

My Sudanese Summer: A new start

As I write, we are one hour away from South Sudan becoming a country. I’m at a compound where a Sudanese national, David, waits for it to turn midnight so he can plant a tree to commemorate the occasion. As he watches tv, we hear the disco blaring music in the background, as the partiers celebrate independence. This is an event that for these people has  been years in waiting, I don’t have time to provide you the history of South Sudan, but it’s been a long time coming. Will everything be perfect tomorrow? Hardly even close, but it’s a start, so please continue to pray for South Sudan in the coming year.

Sorry for missing week 5, the journey to get here has been crazy, but we have ended up in Kajo Kaji. Here they have vegetables, hills, and many people speak English. The scenery here is amazing with the mountians. Kajo Kaji as far away it is from Akot, literally is like a new world. I literally can see Uganda from our compound. But this week we were sent to a village to do ministry in the area. In hopes of inviting people to teachings every night we walked the village and evangelized. Just like Africa, that didn’t exactly go as planned. No one came to our group teachings and, due to two funerals, we were unable to do ministry for a whole day... playing spades quickly became our pastime. So our plans were rearranged in order... we would just do village evangelism, I literally think I could recite "Creation to Christ" forwards, backwards, and possibly in musical form. We had the opportunity to share with over 25 families this story and even got to speak at a school with over 300 students.