Saturday, June 16, 2012

P52 MNYBA Picture Update


Learning about Adam and Eve 
Snack time!


Tuesday's Kids Club
The mission team rides the Metro on the way to China Town!

Meet the Love the Children Team


Bridget, Melanie, Jennifer and Brittney

I will not leave you as orphans-
 I will come to you.
John 14:18

Meet the NFF MalaybalayTeam

This is Charlene, she is from Flordia. 
This is Amber, she is from Texas.
This is Katie, she is from Alabama.

Please pray for the Malaybalay Team 
as they minister to the children at
New Faith Family Children's Home!

Sunday in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Here in New York, Jordan and I are working with a church in Brooklyn called Park Slope Community Church.  

Sunday afternoon we had a special service in which the English-speaking congregation and the Russian-speaking congregation joined in unity to worship God.  This was a rededication service for the building, which has been renovated after a hurricane, tornado, and lightning strike. 

George Russ, director of the Metro New York Baptist Association, preached a message on Acts 2 about the constant fellowship of the believers after the day of Pentecost.  

He said, “Only Christ can transcend their differences,” reminding the congregation that because Christ is with us, we can fellowship together and reach out to people of many backgrounds.  

        Prayer Requests
*Please pray for Pastor Kim of the Russian congregation, Pastor Charlie of the English-speaking congregation, and the visiting mission team from Tennessee that is joining us this week. 

*Pray for unity of focus on glorifying God and spreading the Gospel.

*Pray for the Kids Club that the mission team will be doing in the afternoons this week.Pray for an outreach event coming up this Friday, a cookout at the church.  This is the first of the weekly summer cookouts.

Add caption
After the Rededication Service we feasted together in the gym!






Friday, June 15, 2012

The body of Christ

As we ventured to church on Sunday, we had to cross a river with the use of a canoe. Quite different than how we travel to church in America, but nonetheless it was adventurous and refreshing. As we arrived on the opposite shore, we journeyed through the countryside and rainforest to small, remote churches. Some located on the side of dusty roads, constructed of hand-carved wood with a few nails. These churches are beautiful because of the simplicity and joy they embody. The people don't have much, but their hearts are big and open to the Gospel. They lift their sweet voices to God without instruments and dance without worship bands. As we worshiped at one of the four locations, I was reminded of a story from Acts 5.


Gamaliel, a Pharisee, orders the apostles to stand outside while they discuss their fate. Gamaliel speaks about how other movements began, the leaders were killed and the followers were scattered, and each time the movement was crushed. Then he goes on to explain how they have killed Jesus and scattered his followers. Here we pick up in verse 38—"Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

What a bold statement. And I contemplated this passage as I sat and worshiped with 20 other believers. What Christ did was not by man, but by God. It has not failed but reached the rural villages in the Philippines. Villages you must take a boat to reach. Can you believe this? What Luke records in Acts expresses the wonderful might of God. How He desperately wants His people and will go to any extreme for them. The task God began will never fail.

So, we are all encouraged by the great faith and continued worship these Filipinos express in their villages.

It Begins

   It has been a very long journey but we are finally here! We have started the process of being acquainted with the area and are now settled in our homes for the summer.  In the very short time that we have been here, we have met some amazing people that will greatly assist us during our time here.  
   We have been extremely blessed by the local believers that have already made contacts and currently have thriving ministries.  In only 3 days, we have had the opportunity to attend a bible study, a church service, and meet tons of students/young adults from various backgrounds.  
   Below are some pictures that we have taken over the few days that we have been here.
Chris leading worship at church


Playing the pretzel game with students at bible study
Tiffany at a candy shop with Michelle and Grace





Amanda eating with some local students after church
Ultimate frisbee with students from a local university 






























PRAYER REQUESTS
  • Aunt Mary and Uncle Richard as they are our caretakers for these next few weeks.  
  • The local believers that we have already made contact with that will be helping us meet new students.
  • A local Hindu man that has a foot problem
    • Please pray for not only his physical health, but we will be in contact with him soon about meeting for lunch or dinner
  • One of the women in the local church lost her grandfather, who was not a believer.  She is the only believer in her family, so please pray for strength and courage during this time.
  • Pray that we would not be led by the things that we have previously learned but only by the Spirit.
Thank you so much for your prayer and encouragement!
Mack

Take a peek into rural Butuan

Arrival in Butuan, riding the jeepney
Amy and our translator Arlene
Cade playing tag in a near village

These girls followed Melissa and others the entire day 

Quiet time in hammocks. Become the hammock hang out fast.

Throwing bags on the jeepney
Nate preaching as Bong translates. The church was small but passionate.

Boat ride to get to church. Never do that in America, do we?

Molly showed up the guys and climbed the highest
Trent and Filipino boys near the river we crossed. 

Life in the rural areas of Butuan


   Everyday we go out and walk through the villages and find people who are receptive and willing to speak to us. They are gracious people and allow us to enter their home.  We sit and sweat as we share the Gospel. It doesn't matter, we all will sacrifice comfort for the Gospel.
    We start with testimonies and continue into salvation and explain the wonderful gift of life we have through Jesus Christ. We constantly ask if they have any questions...and they do many times. Even younger girls ask big questions, such as—"how do I improve my relationship with God?" It's fantastic because we get to share even more and explain how God has changed our lives and is continuing to change ours and how they can join. God has already provided countless opportunities to share. Whether all have made commitments, we don't know, but some have.
   Greg, Molly, Lauren, and Kate conducted a bible study in a home, and a lady came from the street and asked to join. She listened intently and when some of my team members shared about forgiveness and salvation in Christ she gave her life over to the Lord. Amen! Welcome another sister to the kingdom.
    It's stories like this that keep us going. When we come back in the evening we shout and praise God with our voices and report to each other about the victories God is making in these people's lives. We are literally pumped up, like at a football game or something, and congratulate each other as we return. It's glorious and precious and joyous all in one.
   Yesterday we met with several Barangay, the leaders of municipalities here, and got their approval to stay in the area. They were extremely welcoming and glad to see Americans coming to help their people with medical care and sharing the Gospel. Praise God for welcoming and hospitable people.
The larger team has divided into 4 smaller teams with 4 members. Come next week, each team will journey to their area and begin medical and mission work among those people. Pray for their arrival and initial relationships. God is about to do magnificent works in those villages.
We also met local police, who were welcoming and glad to have us in the area. They guaranteed protection, which eased the tension in several of us. Before we left their office, they had to get a picture with the Americans. They were excited and all had their phones out to capture a quick picture of us.
God has already prepared the area, opened many doors with receptiveness, and all we have to do is go and speak in faith. We follow in obedience, as God changes lives forever.


Monday, June 11, 2012

A Post from Andrew


June 10, 2012

Our teams have finally made their first ventures in the adoption of barangay life here in the heart of the Dolores River. Tasks such as bucket bathing, purifying our water, and hand washing our clothes have become integrated into our daily routines. Even amidst these stark shifts in culture, our teams find security in the consistency of the Lord. He is the same God now that He has always been, eternally unchanging. The same God that we worship back home is here with us in the seemingly far removed jungles of the Philippines. We can find our rest in Him for He alone is our refuge.

Now our two groups are bound in Spirit as we separate and begin to make our ways up our respective rivers. I am reminded of Exodus 33:14-15 where the Lord commands Moses and the nation of Israel to move onward. Moses makes a simple request. If the presence of the Lord does not go with them, he does not wish to move. As we are now commanded to move from our place of comfort we are assured that the Lord’s presence goes with us, and He will give us rest. He alone will be our sustainer as we proclaim His gospel to the Waray-Waray.

Baptism in the Dolores


What better way to begin our time in Eastern Samar than to join a local church as they celebrate the baptism of new believers? Four people came to know the Lord through outreach Bible studies started by members of this church body. In a place of such evident spiritual darkness, there is Life to be found.

"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."
Romans 6:3



Beautiful Feet


    Have you ever thought about Romans 10:15, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news?" I don't know about many of you, but whenever I go out and about for a long time, my feet get dirty. Here, it's dusty when it doesn't rain and super muddy when it does rain. But what's really cool to me is that Jesus thinks that our dirty, tired feet from going and sharing the gospel are beautiful. How encouraging! When we're sharing the gospel, our feet may and probably will get dirty. To us, beautiful and filthy are not two words that normally go together, but to Christ they do.
   I'm back in the country that I fell in love with this time last year. I have a few more Cebuano words in my toolbox--it's fun to see a Filipino's face light up when I say something in the language.
    The orphanage has about 15-20 children in it now. There are only four girls, so my team and I have bunkbeds in the girls' room. It's like a giant sleepover every night! At the school, I'm referred to as Teacher Brittney(I think I may get my future students to call me that when I have my own class). We are teaching elementary and high school English and Art.
    The other day we went and visited a home and had a Bible study with a few of the ladies there. It was amazing. We were able to hear their testimony about their lives and share/pray with them. Tuesday we are going back for You Got Served, where we will help them clean/cook/do whatever they need us to do. I'm excited about that. 
Originally posted by Brittney on bclant3.blogspot.com.
Please pray for... health & safety and that we will take the opportunities given to us to serve the people 

Understanding the Sikhs


One of the biggest parts of our ministry at Urban Impact is helping facilitate and lead mission teams that come from churches around the country to work with immigrants.  In doing so, they teach ESL, work with children, and learn about the cultures and religions of the people.

On Wednesday, we led a team to a Sikh temple in Queens.  People often confuse Sikhs as Muslims, but they are actually of a totally different religion.  Their men wear turbans to cover their long, uncut hair, and they are part of the newest major world religion.  

While we were there, the priest pulled back the linen shroud used to cover and protect the scriptures and sang to us some of the passages.  Gabe recounted later how amazing it was--that they would have such hospitality toward us.  We wondered what the typical Christians would have done if Sikhs had walked into their church in a similar manner and inquired about their religion.

There are aspects of their religion that God can certainly use to shine forth the Gospel.  They have an incredible heart for the poor and oppressed in addition to their overwhelming reverence for their scriptures.

Please be praying:
  • that God would open the eyes of this Sikh priest, his wife, and his son to the truth of the Gospel.
  • that God would use the good aspects of Sikhism (concern for the poor and needy, respect for scriptures, and belief in the equality of human beings) to prepare them for the One who has truly fed the hungry, is the very Word of God, and brings all men low at the foot of the cross.
  • that God would continue to use us in leading mission teams from churches all around the country to understand other religions better in order that the lost may come to true repentance and faith in Christ.
In Christ,

Ben

Off We Go


            As you know, we arrived at base camp last Friday and had the weekend to acclimate to the culture and the humidity. Your clothes stick to your body all the time and there’s only one room in the house with an air conditioner. On Friday, a man came to the porch and Andrew and Evan were able to talk to him for an hour or so. It’s so awesome to already be in position to share the good news with nationals. The weekend has been a lot of fun too! We picnicked at the beach, went diving in the ocean, and shopped in the market.
            It’s now time to get down to business, tomorrow morning Andrew, Evan and Chris will head about 5 hours south to a mountainous island, while Brian, Travis and myself will be headed north to larger city and then will head out to another island on Tuesday. We’ll be on the island for the next 3 weeks, so don’t expect any updates again until around the first of July. While we’re on the islands we’ll be exploring the jungles, summiting peaks and meeting villagers. Most of our time will be spent in the villages building relationships. Ask God to bless those conversations and encounters, and that opportunities will arise so that we’ll be able to share the good news.

Meet the 2012 Asia Campus Team


Meet the 2012 Asia Campus Team
We will be building relationships with Asian college students to share the gospel with them.

Andrew

College: Mississippi College

Homestate: Mississippi

"What I want for this summer is for the Gospel
 to be preached and for disciples to be made"

Favorite Verse: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21




Amanda

College: University of Alabama

Homestate: Alabama

"I would like to see college students come to know the name of Jesus through the seeds planted this summer."

Favorite Verse: Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.
Ephesians 6:19





Tiffany
College: Middle Tennessee State University

Homestate: Tennessee

"My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored, in my body, whether by life or by death."
Philippians 1:20

Favorite Verse: He had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statues and ordinances. 
Ezra 7:10



Kynsleigh

College: William Carey University

Homestate: Mississippi

"One thing I want for this summer is for God
to provide me a compass for my life and to show
the direction that He has for me."

Favorite Verse: For God did not give us a spirit of
timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7




Mack

College: University of Tennessee

Homestate: Tennessee

"I expect for the gospel to be preached, seeds to be planted, and love to be shown." 

Favorite Verse: Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord 
your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9



Sunday, June 10, 2012

5 Ways to Pray for NT participants.

1. FOCUS ON GOD. Pray that the summer missionaries will remain focused on his/her relationship with God. That the NT participants’ relationship with Jesus Christ be their first priority and their motivation for sharing the saving gospel message. The team members will have much vying for their attention as they are immersed in a new culture and surrounded by a different set of beliefs.

2. TEAM UNITY. The testimony of the team as a whole is an illustration of the how the Body of Christ works and cooperates together- please ask God for team unity in the NT. You don’t have to understand the language to see that there is fighting and discord. Pray that as the team works together as one body and brings glory to their Father in Heaven through their actions.

3. HUMILITY. Please pray that as they minister to the lost that they follow the example of Jesus Christ. In humility and love that they are able to demonstrate the gospel to the communities they are serving in. Pray that they see the differences in culture as what they are, a different way of life. Pray that they be respectful and patient with their host culture.

4. BOLDNESS. Please pray for the NT participants that they will boldly proclaim the truth of the gospel without fear.

5. LISTEN TO GOD. Please ask God that the participants have ears to hear God, and that they remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s moving.