Saturday, July 13, 2013

Junior Church



Jillian and I have been given the opportunity to teach junior church at Molokai Baptist on Sunday mornings.  We have the children from pre-k to second grade. Thus far, the children have been attentive and well-behaved. More exciting than that, some of these children are from the children's camp we worked a few weeks ago. They remember us, and we are continuing to build the relationships that we started weeks ago.  We only have one week left to teach, making a total of three Sundays. 
 
Please pray for us and this upcoming Sunday. We will be wrapping up the Gospel story. Pray that the children would listen and understandPray that seeds would be planted. The Lord is at work in the children's lives here in Molokai. 

-Sarah

Prep for English Unification Camp


We have been in pretty much the same routine these past several weeks.  Waking up early on weekdays to go to school, and hanging out with students during free time and at home. We have all been blessed with some great relationships with these students, and have had numerous opportunities to share our faith or have Bible studies or just ask them how they feel about God and Jesus.  

Today was actually the last day of school, so now we will be almost entirely focused on preparing for English Unification Camp.  In the past this camp has always had a huge effect on the students, many say that this camp is where they met God for the first time or that it is where they accepted Christ's salvation.  For the teachers and our supervisor, the weeks before camp are full of preparation, planning, paperwork, etc.  As a team we have been building some of the games that will be used to help teach English in one of the camp workshops.  We will all also serve as small group/team leaders during EUC.

How you can pray:
  • That God would begin working on the hearts of all the students who will be attending EUC. 
  • Lift up everyone who works at the school, our supervisor, and our team as we prepare for EUC. 
  • About 10 - 12 students are graduating and preparing to enter university, applying for university is even more difficult, stressful, and crucial in SK than it is in the United States.  So pray that God would be with them throughout the application process and that He would keep the faith of those who are Christians strong while they are in college.  It is possible that some of the graduates are not saved, so pray that instead of being less open to God while they are at college that they would be pursued by God and any believers they encounter at school

-Ethan

John 14:18

I have told 111 people the gospel in the past 2 days.

As I anticipated being able to share the gospel with these kids in the classrooms and with the teachers while we at lunch brought me very mixed emotions. I’ll start with the positive.
The story of Jesus is absolutely groundbreaking. Being able to start from the beginning of creation and work my way to Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of the people He loves is a privilege and joy. Its rare in America that I’m able to share with anyone who doesn’t already know the story of God, and its easy in America to get used to it. But when you’re telling the gospel for the first time to a group of students, you realize over and over again how amazing the story is. Watching their faces light up when I talked of the power that God had, and the way that he spoke creation into existence was a precious gift.  And then watching horror strike their faces as I told of the pain that Jesus had to endure on the cross also reminded me of what a price He paid for us. The ones that listened were mesmerized by the story. They asked questions. How could Jesus come back from the dead? Why would He care about me? How did He make me? How does he remember my name if he’s made everyone? 
It was a precious time I will not soon forget when I was able to answer their questions. To tell them that Jesus loved them because He was love. To tell them that Jesus is stronger than anything, even death. To tell them that Jesus never runs out of time to care about them. Declaring truth to a people lost in a religion that offers no hope. It was a privilege that I pray I’ll have the opportunity to have again.
But my heart broke as many of the students refused to listen. The first class I shared with Monday morning was the most crazy I’ve had since I’ve been here. Children screaming. Rolling on the floor. Hitting each other with chairs. Dumping the contents of my purse on the floor and ripping pages out of my journal. They were not in the mood to listen to what I had to say, or probably what anyone in the entire world had to say.
But we told them anyway. Most of the kids were drawing on the board by the time we finished the story. Not a single child was in their chair. The room was a mess and my heart was broken, but we got through the entire story. 
I did something that I had promised myself I would not do after I finished talking to them. Right there in the front of this crazy and chaotic mess of a classroom, I cried. I wasn’t weeping. I wasn’t out of control and most of the kids didn’t even notice, but tears I had fought since my arrival here were shed. My heart was broken for these kids. My heart was broken for how poorly the morning had started to go, and my heart was broken as I realized that there was nothing I could do to make them listen. There was nothing I could do to calm them down. I felt completely useless and alone. Then, something I did not expect to happen happened. See, most of the kids act pretty naughty but they smile when they see me and if I talk directly to them, they usually will respond pretty positively to my presence. Most of the kids. Really, all but one of the kids. There is one little girl, who was in the classroom that morning, who has been nothing but angry with me since the moment I walked into that school. She rolls her eyes when I talk. She rolls her eyes when I stand there. She knocks over her desk when I ask her to write. She hates me, or so I thought. But, as I stood there, tears starting to come out of my eyes, she looked at me. She looked at me, and her face softened. She rolled her eyes, walked over to me from across the room, and gave me a hug. It was quick. If I would’ve blinked, I probably would’ve missed it. But she gave me a hug and changed everything. It was the blessing from God that I desperately needed. The little reminder that even though all of this felt like it was for naught, His ways are higher than mine, and His plan cannot be thwarted.
The translator called me over a couple of minutes later, and showed me where one boy had written, “Jesus loves me" in Thai on the board. The sentence was directly under a drawing of some cats fighting that he had worked on while I was telling the gospel. But he heard. Even if his heart wasn’t changed in that moment, and even if he wasn’t really paying as close of attention as I would’ve preferred, he heard me say that Jesus loved him.
All I can do now is continue to live out the gospel in the time that remains here. All I can do is pray for these kids and tell them as many times as I can that Jesus loves them. All I can do is trust that God would not have brought me here for no reason. Please continue to pray for the other girls as they share the gospel on their given days. Pray for the translators who have been working so hard and who, I’m sure, are very exhausted. 
John 14:18
"I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you."

-Allison

A Very Merry July 4th in the Philippines

It had to be bacon-wrapped to be American
Maybe you think we don't have time to be celebrating holidays here or maybe you think we deserve the day off. Well neither of these things are true. We had plenty of work set out for us in Bonifacio, but we still managed to have a very happy July 4th.

I had to wear my American Flag bandana, bought here in the Philippines, all day to represent the country. We held multiple Bible studies that day and did a lot of work for the kingdom. Amidst all the work we made time for play as well; it was our first time out of country during the 4th, but that's no reason not to  celebrate!

Because the Bonifacio team has a refrigerator, we were able to buy bacon, french fries and hamburger meat. The only logical conclusion from this is bacon-wrapped hamburgers. Because we lacked toothpicks, we used decapitated matches to pin the bacon on. Brent and I took charge and made a successful meal, complete with cold root beer, pineapple, smores and of course, a show of fireworks.

-Brian & the Bonifacio Team




Rai Rai, the Filipina of the team, loved her very first smores. 


Giving the word on Independence Day





Not pictured: Root beer, smores and fireworks.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Seasons


It has been said that for everything there is a season. Seasons come. Seasons go. Some are good, filled with joy and laughter. Others are filled with sorrow. Some are just different. Here in Molokai, we are entering a different season. Today, we said good-bye to our now dear friends from a college in California. They have been serving alongside us since day one, and now, their time has ended. We go from having a group of ten to a crew of three. It is almost like we are stepping into a new adventure. Life as we have known it for the past month will be different than the next three weeks. We will miss having Jessa around to talk away the rain clouds or having Jessica around to give back massages. The change is not bad, just different. We have made some great friends that we hope to keep in contact with. We have learned so much from each other, and it is my privilege to call them my friends.


Now, it is time for us to readjust to our new lives here. Time to keep on going, in spite of sadness, and finish what we have came here to do...spread God's love to the people of Molokai.



Please pray for:
  • Our friends as they travel back home
  • Our new ministry opportunities (more to come about this)

  • Opportunities to minister to the people here

A Nation Divided



This week has been so great! It's the students last week of the school year so we are soaking up time with them while they are at school. Monday a couple of people helped with worship IN KOREAN. It's always fun attempting to sing along and worship God together. Today we got the chance to go to the DMZ with all our students. It was just so interesting to think about if my state was closed off and all my family and friends were there and I couldn't go back. It's hard for us to imagine but it's what many of them have to struggle with. However, they have the hope of unification of Korea. This is a daily  prayer request our team has. Not only so these students can be reunited with family but that the gospel might be able to be freely spread to their people. Join us in praying for this.

Our big English Unification Camp is coming up soon and we still have a lot of work to get done before then. Pray for us as we are preparing for camp. Pray that many students would be able to have a real relationship with Christ and that God would use this camp in that process. Thanks for the prayers.

-Team Korea

Blessed to be a blessing

We are having an amazing experience here in SE Asia this summer. So thankful for the opportunities and relationships He has blessed us with. Please pray for these people, for patience, and for barriers to be torn down.

-Becca

A New Heart for the Nations

Throughout our time here in Zim, God has been working in the hearts of our team just as much if not more than He has been working through us. As we've been going through Acts, over and over we've been reminded of the boldness and urgency we're to have in sharing the gospel, both overseas and at home. 

One illustration that was in our group Bible study has particularly spoken to me, as well as many on our team. The illustration was that if you were standing by the bank of a stream, and some little children were drowning, you wouldn't need to wait for someone to tell you to go rescue them. You would not wait for an officer to come by with a legal document personally designating you to rescue them, to jump into the stream. You would despise yourself if there was a possibility of saving them, and yet you stood on the bank waiting for a specific "call" or for someone to push you to do so. 

So many people have treated the missionary "call" just like this.  Myself included. The Bible however, doesn't say "Go tell people about me if I call you to a specific place" or "Go preach the Gospel only if you "feel called" to do so". The Bible says "go". 

Over and over in the word of God there are accounts of preaching the word with such boldness. In Acts, Paul doesn't sit at home while he waits for God to instruct him where to go specifically, he goes out and preaches among the nations until God sends him to the next place. Yes, missions at home is also very important. If we can't minister to those around us and share the gospel at home, more than likely we won't be willing or effective to share it overseas. But the longer I've been here, the more He has been revealing Himself to me through scripture, and the more I have begun to see God's heart for the nations, and the urgency to spread His name among people who haven't heard it, and don't understand it. He has begun to make in me a heart for reaching the lost in places other than just the U.S. 

God has shown me over and over this summer that He calls His children to have boldness and reckless obedience for His name sake. He has commanded us to share this life saving news with drowning people all over the world. We just have to be obedient and go do it. One verse He has specifically laid on my heart this week is Romans 15:20 "and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written, 'Those who have never been told of Him will see, and those who have never heard will understand." I don't know the specifics of what God has in His plan for me to do in the future, far or near, but I pray that I will have the obedience and boldness of the first Christians to do what He has commanded me. He may call me to stay at home, but He has already commanded me to go.

-Lacey

Please pray!

We received a text message from the Bicol- Cam Sur team.  Here are some specific ways you can pray for this team over these next few days:

  1. Pray that people will fear God, not man. That they will see that God is supreme and has authority over all things.
  2. Pray that we will not let us, slow down, or hold back over the next 2 weeks.
  3. Pray for healing for Baby V. He has a growth on his back... possible tumor... and is malnourished.
  4. Pray for JR, a 17 year old boy who is sick with a high fever. He has been taken to the hospital. Family members believe that this is caused by spirits. Pray they will realize that spirits are under God's authority and that He has power over them.
  5. Pray that those attending our Bible studies come to learn about the Lord and not for entertainment.
  6. Pray for SP, a lady that has been so interested & eager to learn about God. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in her heart. Physical ears may fail her... pray that God will open them to hear spiritual truth and that the Holy Spirit will speak to her clearly.

-Annie, Allyson, & Kristy

Children's ministry bears fruit

Last week, we had a team from Tennessee come in to help with our partnership at Casa Hogar.


They stayed at the children's home for a week and did everything from teach arts and crafts, share Bible stories, teach worship songs and play games. 

Check out the week wrap-up video here: http://youtu.be/FxR11WGygrY

The team had an experienced painter with them, who has been sharing the gospel through art for nine years. He has a special presentation called the "Big Picture," where he weaves his personal testimony into the gospel as he paints the scene of Jesus' death. 

After the presentation last week, one little boy came forward to receive Christ into his heart. 


The following day, an 18 year-old got into a gospel conversation with one of the church members from Tennessee and he realized that he was just going through the motions -- he went to church, but he was not submitting his life to Christ. 

Steven, the man who was able to led this man to receive Christ, said, "I started talking about his faith and I noticed some red flags -- he gave me really subtle answers. I went over the ABCs -- admit, believe and commit. He said he was ready at that moment."

Steven added, "You feel like you have to save hundreds of people. But just two people getting saved makes the whole trip worth it -- the money, the tiredness, the long plane rides, everything."

Pray that more would pray to receive Christ like these boys.
Pray that our ministry at Casa Hogar continues to flourish. 

This Water is a Gift From God

When was the last time you thanked God for your water running out of the faucet? 

Seeing a community receive fresh, clean water for the first time was amazing to be a part of... but it was also convicting.  Recently, a few from our team were able to attend a dedication of a borehole (water well system) to a community, who before had to walk an hour to a dam for their water.  The same water was used as a dump site, for bathing, and for watering livestock.  The borehole provided clean water safe to drink without boiling.

This water is a gift from God. 

The pastor at the dedication challenged the people of the community to remember this statement everytime they pumped water and to thank God for this gift.  This made me think about the last time I thanked God for clean, running water.  It is so easy to take advantage of having daily access to clean water to drink, to bathe in and to cook with.  But we should thank God every time we turn on our faucets.  We should also thank God we have access to the living water.  The community may have access to clean water, but what they truly need is to know the living water that will quench their souls eternal thirst.  Join with us to pray that this community in Zimbabwe will know where their clean water comes from and that they can find living water from the same source. 

-Emma

Get a glimpse of our world

This shows the character of our team!

Circumcision day

Playing "Open the Basket, Close the Basket" with the kids



This woman has a flesh-eating bacteria. The team was able
to provide her with medicines which is providing healing.

Always a group of kids around!

Home sweet home

Helping with homework




Personal hygiene.... always

Pig bread

Evening Bible study


Rai-Rai... our Filipina team mate & translator


Our village view


Brent... the cobra killer


-Bonifacio Healthcare Team