Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our Ministry

It still feels so crazy and unreal that we're actually in Michigan.  So far our days have been filled with meeting lots and lots and lots of people.  It's been wonderful!  Essentially, the purpose of our ministry this summer is to form intentional relationships with Muslim women living in the area (Dearborn, MI) with the purpose of sharing Christ.   Our primary method of forming these friendships is through English tutoring.  We will be meeting with the women in their homes to help them with English, but the focus of our hearts is to share the love and good news of Jesus with them.

Canada across the river!
In addition, we want to become involved with the college ministry at the church we're working with.  Pray that we can form friendships with the students and encourage them to continue a long term ministry with Muslim women in Dearborn.

Please Pray:
-for dreams and visions of Jesus for the people in our area
-for friendships to form 
-that the love and joy of Jesus would be evident in our friendships with these women

The Exception

Scripture calls us to go to ALL the nations and spread the gospel. So why do many people think the exception is to go when in fact it is the other way around. The exception is to stay. This summer, our team will be working in Nashville, TN.

How is that spreading the gospel to all the nations your ask? 

The 2014 quota is 76,000 refugees coming to America. Our team will be ministering to people from 60 nations and 100 languages. We will be teaching ESL classes, helping apply for jobs, working with teens, volunteering with the local feeding programs, mobilizing local churches, and just loving on all of God's creation. We hope to help the local churches see the need to reach these people groups right here in there own backyard. Although, we are Project 52, our goal is not to make them a project or to convert them, but to show them how much they are worth in God's eyes. Pray that we remain faithful in the small things knowing that it's all a part of the bigger picture. 

Apartment Complex Outreach

This week, we have began apartment complex outreach. We spent three days in a complex that the organization had previously no connections or knowledge of who lived there. During these three days, we partnered with a number of local churches and outreach teams to prayer walk, clean-up, and throw a 3-day block party. After all these events, the team now has a better feel of the dynamics within the apartments. Thankfully, that will not be the only time that we will be working in that complex. Throughout the summer, outreaches will continue in the community.

Please pray that our connections will continue and be strengthened as the summer progresses. Also, pray that the international Christians that live in the apartments will reach out to their neighbors and friends to reach them with the Gospel.

Arriving in Paradise

We have arrived in Camiguin!! The journey was long, but we arrived safely! From Butuan, it only took two jeepneys (the first broke down), a bus, a boat, and a help bus! I have never traveled by this many different types of transportation than I have since I left America. Speaking on behalf of the team, I would say the boat ride was our favorite. It was two hours of the breeze in our hair and staring out into the ocean while basking in God's handiwork. 

We spent the next couple of days doing some final orientation on the local health care and doing courtesy calls. God taught me a lot about patience during these couple days. I was more than ready to be settled in one place for the rest of the summer. But God has shown me the importance of these two days! Because of the courtesy calls we made, the leaders of the island have been so receptive of us. They have done everything to make us feel at home and safe.

On June 12th, the independence day of the Philippines, they invited us to go to their parade. It was so cool to see all of the festivities taking place! When the parade began they invited us to walk with them and even hold their flag!
It was such an honor to represent the Barangay of San Isidro! This is just one instance of how they have made us feel at home. Since we arrived they have shown us nothing but kindness. They bring us water when our water is off, they bring us firewood, they hang lights, and so much more. Our neighbor directly next to us has gone above and beyond for us. Her name is Nanay Rufa and is our "Person of Peace". She is an incredible woman who sacrifices a lot to help us out. We are so very thankful for her! They know what it is to love your neighbor. They have shown so much love. I am falling more and more in love with these people every day. 

Pray that we will continue to be learners of the local culture and share the same kind of love that has been shown to us.

Dream Team

Meet the teams! There are the two health care teams serving on Camiguin Island, Philippines. First we have...

Team leader: Erin
Filipino translator: Gwen
Members: Deborah & Rebekah

Member: Emily
Team leader: Ena
Member: Katlyn

We are all so excited to be serving the people of Camiguin Island!

Americana World Festival

Wow! What a beginning to a summer in Louisville. Upon our arrival, we learned that we were not the only new people here at the ministry. In fact, of the team of nine, eight of us have been here no more than four months. We are all learning about how to reach the internationals.
On Saturday, we worked at the Americana World Festival. Represented at this festival were booths of different services that are available to the refugees. Attendance was low compared to previous years, but we still had the opportunity to meet and talk with many people.
Please pray that for our team as we are learning how to be effective in refugee ministry.

Meet the S ESL Thai Team

Hello from Southern Thailand!
After arriving in Satun, Thailand last Thursday (June 5), we have been getting accustomed to the city and culture. We are about to begin our first week of teaching and just continuing to get to know the people here in Satun. We are excited to see what God will do this summer.
                                           (Left: Rachel, Middle: Audrey, Right: Suzanna)
      From Falls Church, VA 
      Attends Wake Forest University 
      Favorite Verse: Rev. 3:7-8
      From St. Joseph, MO 
      Attends University of Missouri 
      Favorite Verse: Gal. 2:20 
Team Leader: Suzanna
      From Greenwood, SC 
      Attends North Greenville University 
      Favorite Verse: Isaiah 40:8 

Meet Your Mercy Midwives

School: Mississippi State University
Hometown: Pontotoc, MS
Favorite Verse: For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works so that no man can boast. Ephesians 2:8
I am excited about seeing the joy on the mother's faces as they hold their baby for the first time and showing the love Christ to the patients.

School: University of Southern Mississippi
Hometown: Decatur, AL
Favorite Verse: He is before all things and in Him all things are held together. Colossians 1:17
I am excited about sharing the Gospel while giving practical medical attention to women.

School: Arkansas State University
Hometown: Jonesboro, AR
Favorite Verse: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.  Ephesians 1: 3-7

School: University of Alabama
Hometown: Tuscaloosa, AL
Favorite Verse: And this is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it. Jeremiah 6:16

Friday, June 13, 2014

Investing in the local economy

Bukidnon Handicraft, Philippines

Everyone has a story and reasoning behind what they do. We are standing in a bag shop with Tita Pearl. She has a heart for the unbelievers also. She sells these beautifully handcrafted bags so that she is able to help support the mountain people. We all purchased a bag and on the back of each one it has a little story about the people. 
This product is made out of abaca fibers locally known in Bukidnon as "hinabol". It is the residents of the mountains in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon, Philippines who have intricately hand-woven this product. 
We are pleased to inform you that you have just helped these people earn a living simply by purchasing this product.
They are thankful for the tourists that come in and help support the people.
Please pray for Tita, she is looking for ways to expand her business and continue to provide ways to support the women that create these beautiful things.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Our field partners

The family that we are working with are Keith and Tracy. They have been in Thailand for 12 years, but only in Satun for the past 3 years. Their family has 4 children, and they are in the process of adopting twin Thai boys. Their work consists of many things within the community. They teach English at their Community Center, go to local schools to work with students, hold soccer tournaments, and have a hospital ministry. Please pray for the Richards family and their work in Satun, Thailand.

One island, 4 girls and an entire summer to change the world!

These are just a handful of the children we are privileged to help. They have welcomed us with open arms. Our hearts are so full. This is the first day of school and we were able to see them off.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Thai Dorm team in action

We came across these pictures of a Thai Dorm team (Emily & Sarah) in action.


 Be praying for Emily & Sarah as they develop relationships with students & teachers in the schools where they are volunteering.

Our First Day! ... Ruel Nannies

My first day at the Ruel Foundation was a very humbling and joyous experience.  The children here are beautiful and it is impossible to not be filled with love and joy when you are around them.  I cannot wait to get to know each of them on a personal level throughout the summer.  It was humbling because I did some not so fun things that I have never done before.  For example, wipe a baby's butt with my hand and get spit up on dozens of times.  Overall, I love this place and I am so thankful God has given me opportunity to serve here. -Katie (Team Leader)
My first day was very fun! I've only known these children a couple of days and I already love them so much.  I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer holds in getting to know these children and share the love of Jesus with them.  It was a very challenging and long first day learning how everything works around here, but overall it was a very great day!   -Tori
My first day was long, had lots of learning, but full of smiles! I got to change a baby's diaper for the first time ever (also got tinkled on!), bathed him for the first time, and got him to sleep.  It was such an awesome learning experience and I get to do this the whole summer! The older kids (around 5-10 year's old) are more challenging, but just seeing those smiles on their faces helps me to remember why I'm here. To play with them, to make them happy, to make them feel wanted and loved. I am so excited to see what else God has in store this summer! I can already tell it's going to be amazing and fun!  -Tonya

Meet the team... Mindanao Nannies

This is our wonderful team. We are standing in front of our first stop... a Philippine waterfall.We were on our way to our summer home. This is one amazing ride we are embarking on. I am beyond blessed by the sweet faces that i get to call my friends. We will be working in a orphanage throughout our time here!

Farthest right is me, Sasha. I am 20 years old, and I attend a small college in the deep south, while living in the Panhandle of Florida. My favorite verse is Romans 8:32

To my right is our sweet team leader, Robin. She has a southern prominent southern accent and has a heart of gold. She is 22 and is about to start at a new university in Alabama. She was born and raised in Alabama as well. Favorite verse... Nahum 1:7

Next up is Addie. She may not be from the South but she sure does have that sort of sweetness. Addie is 19 and attends a college in South Carolina. Her family resides in North Carolina. Her favorite verse is Philippians 4:6-7

Lastly, on the left we have sweet Beth. She attends a very prominent school in Alabama. She is also 19, but will be celebrating a birthday wit us over our time here. Her favorite verse is Philippians 3:7-16.

We all may have come from different walks of life but we have the same goal this summer.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Meet the Team... Hide & Seek

Greetings from Southeast Asia! Late night (June 5), local time, our plane landed at our final destination. For the three of us making the trip from America, the journey had been very long due to a major delay, but by the grace of our Father we made it to the baggage claim at the exact same time as our bags. Our two Filipino partners, E and K, were supposed to fly in shortly after us, but K was delayed by Filipino immigration. We are hoping that she will be able to make it today.
Let me introduce you to our team so far... 
B is 19 and a sophomore at the University of North Georgia. 
A is 19 and a sophomore at the University of North Alabama. 
I is 20 and will be attending Liberty University this fall. 
E, our co-team leader, is 29 and from Batangas, Philippines. 
Please be asking the Father for our fifth teammate & co-leader, K, to be able to make it to us safely.  (Update: K was able to re-book her ticket and was cleared through Philippine immigration. She flew out of the Philippines on Saturday.)
We will spend the first week getting to know our way around the area. We will be interacting with local college students and building relationships by helping them practice English. It is our hope that we will be able to tell the Story to many we encounter, and that they would be drawn to it not simply as a way to practice English. Please keep this in mind as you converse with Dad. One thing we know for sure is that whatever happens this summer, our being here is totally worth it because we know we are here for the sake of our Father.

-Hide & Seek
Southeast Asia