Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nomadic Giver of Light update....

View of our city
We have completed our first week of ESL (English as a Second Language) or English Clubs as we call it. We teach at a University in town twice a week (Tue/Thur). These English Clubs are open to the public and free to attend.  There are many ages represented throughout our students. So far, the youngest student was around 6 and the oldest was near 40 or 50 years old. Our first day of class was a bit hectic as we were trying to evaluate the students’ English levels and adapt our lessons accordingly. The first day, 10 students attended and the second day we had a large group of 15 people. We also teach at a nearby location twice a week (Wed/Fri) and we had 3 people attend this week. This has been a learning experience for not only the students but for us as well as we adapt to each other’s teaching methods and learn to teach English to those with whom we cannot speak their language. We are learning the languages (two languages are spoken here) but it is very difficult and a slow process.

Our team with our supervisor & a national friend
There are many ways in which you could lift us and the community up to The Father. Here in this city, as described, the hearts of the locals are very cold and closed off to Truth.  Please remember us as we seek to build relationships with our students and any other locals that we have contact with. Lift us up as we seek to share with them the Good News. This Good News that includes learning that an Evil Eye is not needed for an everlasting Peace and Hope. We want to obey everything The Father will ask of us but we also need to be smart about when the time is right and the hearts are ready. As we already stand out as nearly the only 4 Americans within this city, we hope that the differences they see in us would make a difference in them! Please remember us as we are continuously trying to learn the languages so that we are able to communicate more effectively with those around us. Please lift our supervisors who live with us up to The Father. Please also remember our siblings from the other country as they work hard for the task at hand. We will be joined by some short-term (2 week) teams from other countries in July, so this is another way that you can lift us all up to The Father.  Please ask that the Father would develop within them a heart for Central Asia.

We look forward to what The Father has in store for us throughout the remaining 5 weeks we have in this country. We also would like to thank you for your support as we are on this great adventure in hopes of completing the world-wide work.


We look forward to sharing more of our journey with you in these next coming weeks!

Until then…

In His hands,

-Olivia and Lauren            

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Korean Cafe Update

I hope that you are all doing well as you read this message.  As I begin this message, I am sitting in the NKgo school building and hearing bits of many different conversations. Joanna is playing on a guitar and teaching one of our students various songs that we like to sing.  At the moment they are talking about the song "Our God is Greater" by Chris Tomlin.  Charis is talking to our Little Brother and his 'brother' (it is common to call someone you are very close to but not actually related to your brother or sister here) about how American men are compared to Korean men.  Strangely, that is a topic that came up last night when we were exploring a city nearby.  We have noticed that many Asian men are quite tall.  This observation does not apply, however, to our students.  Amazingly, I am on the taller side of the spectrum in our classroom.  It is not uncommon for students that come to NKgo to be a good deal shorter than the average Korean person because of lacking nutrition necessary for regular growth. I was told that this trait is often how they are identified from South Koreans. 

However, as I have been writing this message, the scene has changed, and now Little Brother is using one of his English textbooks to teach Joanna some Korean.  He loves to switch the roles and make us his students, giving him the chance to play the teacher.  We like it pretty well too... Turns out, he is a pretty good teacher.

We have completed over week two of classes.  Recently, one of the teachers at NKgo got married. Almost all of the students came, and we even learned a traditional Korean song that is sung at weddings as a blessing over the new couple.  We pray that the marriage and life of these two will be a beautiful example of Christ's love to all who know them, especially the students whom they love so much.  


Life over death

This is Ud. He is a former witch doctor, and he was one of the most powerful in his area. People would actually come from other provinces to see him. 

The local pastor in Ud's village had told him about Christ, but Ud didn't heed him. Then, two months ago, another witch doctor told Ud he was going to die within the month. That witch doctor also predicted the death of six other men. One by one, the men started dying off...the witch doctor's predictions were coming true. Ud was afraid for his life, and in a desperate attempt he said he would believe in God is He saved him. Obviously, Ud is still alive, and he is also a strong believer in our Savior. 

Our team met Ud at a worship service in a local village. I had actually heard his story last week, and I wanted to meet him. I was so excited when I was told who he was. He shared his testimony with us, and he thanked us for coming calling us his family in Christ.
Dinner at pastor's home
Communion & fellowship with other believers

Prayer walking

A Little Rafiki

We’re starting our second week, and the Father is continuing to burden our hearts for the people here as He shows His love and faithfulness.  I continue working with the x-ray tech at the hospital. He has been so helpful and kind while this mazungu (white person) is learning the language and how to x-ray in the African style!

One of the first patients today was a 4 year old girl who had swallowed an earring. At first, she was very shy and wasn’t really interested in playing with me at all. As I continued to try to break the ice, she began to warm up to me and became my little rafiki (friend). We were able to dance and swing in circles while her x-ray was drying on the fence.
It is truly amazing how the Father opens your eyes to see the harvest when you least expect it. While my little rafiki and I were playing, I noticed that the adult with her was a beautiful, young, Cousin lady. My heart literally began to break as I realized that this family and my new little friend do not know the One True Hope, the One True Peace, and the One True Love. I also began to truly realize the lostness of this area. Unless someone is here sharing the Good News with these people, they will NEVER hear. Today has definitely been a day that I will always remember.

Please continue to pray for the people of this area. 
  • Pray that their eyes will be opened to the Truth. 
  • Pray for the national believers that they will be bold in their faith and in sharing with those around them. 
  • Pray for the local missionaries.

One of my favorite days

Who was I kidding? Two months is not a very long time. Not at all. And seeing as we are trying to reach 5-6 barangays (villages) along the river in that time span, that leaves less than a week to spend in each one. Just enough time to put names with faces & families with houses & get our feet wet talking about what it means to know & follow Christ. Just enough time for goodbyes to get tearful. Just enough time to leave lots of room to wonder whether decisions were authentic & will last.
In this last barangay we saw the Gospel received by many with great joy. We saw a hunger for God's Word. We watched a whole group of women get all excited about baptism and--of their own volition--propose that we hike a ways to a nice beach, all of us & anyone who wants to come, and celebrate their baptisms & share a meal afterwards. So on a gloriously sunny day in the middle of rainy season we did just that. That was one of my favorite days. Of my life thus far.

Things I've learned: 

  • pretty much all the names of body parts in Waray, courtesy of the faithful mob of kids that follow us around every waking moment; 
  • that I love jackfruit; 
  • that peanut butter truly does go with anything (but also that Filipino PB blows American PB out of the water. The ingredients label reads like this: peanuts, sugar, ...); 
  • to be okay with perpetual sweat and stink; 
  • how to imitate some of the phrases our ballin' translators use a lot; 
  • that there are some things, like halo-halo, that are worth the slight risk of diarrhea

Gifts of grace in my Filipino life: 

  • some of the most spectacular daily miracles (sunsets) I have ever seen; 
  • the first cold thing I've put in my mouth in two weeks; 
  • team time in the river as we all bathe/swim/jump off of overhanging trees; 
  • downpour heavy enough to shower in (which, of course, we girls did); 
  • lots and lots of shared laughter and singing.

Please continue to pray: 

  • for the new believers we've had to part with--that they would be fiercely hungry for God's Word and that they would READ and that their roots would go down deep & strong & they would grow grow grow; 
  • for team unity; 
  • for continued health & safety.

grace & peace- Ruth

PacRim Ag Pictures

Here are a few recent pictures from the PacRim Ag team
Painting the roof

Drinking green tea

Riding home

Our daily view

PacRim Ag Update (June 21, 2013)

PacRim Ag team members

It has been a very busy week here! We have finished the water conservation project with the help of the men from the tribe! It even poured tonight after we had finished it, God is funny like that. Today we also celebrated the commissioning of three Burmese pastors! Praise God! We will be teaching English tomorrow morning to the local children, about 20 in all. I have never officially taught English before so it should be interesting. We will be going to the demonstration farm in the afternoon and will be "budding" (cutting off then burning the base of the horns) young goats tomorrow, which also should be interesting.... 
"Budding" a young goat
We will be leaving Monday to go to another province to work in a children's hostile. While there we will be teaching English, establishing FAITH (food always in the home) gardens, and ministering to the children. We will be there for two weeks. It will be weird to be away from the home office for that long, we have just now become familiar with this city. But Christ will use us where we are. I have seen God move in some incredible ways in just the little time we have been here and am excited to see what He will do in the oncoming days and weeks. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement along the way!!! Here are some things you can pray specifically for:

  • unity for our team
  • safety as we go out
  • remembering to constantly be in prayer
  • look to God for guidance and wisdom
  • the Holy Spirit to go before us and soften hearts
  • language barrier
  • to not become distracted, stay focused
  • confess sins to each other 
  • a heart for the lost and broken
  • be willing to go outside of our comfort zone to be Christ to people

These are just a few of them but they are some of the things we as a team think are priorities. Again, thank you so much for all you do for us and for your faithfulness! You are such a blessing!