Saturday, June 18, 2016

Worthy Conduct

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel... - Philippians 1:27

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every good work - Colossians 1:10

Pray that team members would honor God in word and deed. Pray for team unity as they perform the good works God prepared in advance for them.

Team of the Day
Mountain Harvesters

Country of the Day
Philippines

Blessings!

One of the biggest blessings thus far is witnessing to people who want to know more about Christ. I am so encouraged by the people who want to do Bible studies and know more about Christ. I am also so excited to be apart of baptizing two believers who were seekers, and now want to proclaim their relationship with Jesus.

Please continue praying for the people here, the baptism, and the ongoing Bible studies.

-Summer

Gospel Communication

Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. - Colossians 4:4

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

Pray for the teams to clearly and fearlessly proclaim the Gospel

Team of the Day
Urban Trekker

Country of the Day
Southeast Asia

Accepting the Gift

Our second day volunteering in the camp marked the first day of Ramadan for Muslims. Once a year Muslims fast for a month during the day time and eat during the night. While this is usually a time for rehabilitation and celebration, in the camps the atmosphere is very different. Many of the refugees are tired and dehydrated. Even though they do not have to fast because they are traveling, they continue to participate in Ramadan because they want to give themselves the best chance of getting into heaven. 

One lady in the camp described it to me like this; life is a test where good acts count as right answers and on judgement day if you passed the test then you get to go to heaven. So they are unsure of their eternal fate until they face God at the end of their days. During this time of Ramadan we are trying to share with them that salvation cannot be earned. The law has already been fulfilled and the test has already been taken. Salvation is a free gift! While most are willing to listen, they still cling to their belief that they can pay for their own sins. 

Please pray that:
•the refugees will realize the need for an ultimate sacrifice to pay for their sins
•they will open their hearts to the assurance of salvation through Jesus

Friday, June 17, 2016

Come all who are burdened

This summer we have the privilege of working with the Afghanistan Community. 

Before this Afghan people where not on my radar, and I knew nothing about the Muslim religion. 

We have immersed ourselves into the Afghan community, but before this I feared it. I feared it because of all the news, and what they would say about the people of this culture. 

What the news doesn't tell you is how kind they are. How hospitable they are. How Jesus still loves them and yearns for them to love him. 

This summer we have the privilege of working with this community, and of saying that we love the Afghan Community in the Bay Area because Jesus loves them. 

Please pray that as these events happen pray for the Afghan Community. Pray that fear does not take over us, but that the Lord continues to break our heart for the kind people who choose to also find out who God is. If you know someone who is Afghan, pray for them. Their community is truly being affected with what is going on. Show them love, and not hatred. Lastly, lets continue to pray for peace of the families who have lost loved one. 

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest Matthew 11:28






Rain, Rain, Go Away

This morning started off like any other morning at Refuge here in Louisville, Kentucky. The team was getting ready for breakfast and our weekly meeting. All was well. Then things took a turn.

We planned on rain coming this afternoon, but plans A-D went awry anyway. My faithful student that I meet with every week for ESL was not able to meet but my partner and I didn’t find out until we were at her apartment. We went prayer walking and played outside with children at a local apartment complex since we weren’t able to do ESL. Until it started pouring down in the middle of an amazing jumping rope session. Nikki and Jasmine were planning on teaching their Somali Bantu friend to drive today, but not in the rain. 

Thank the Lord for watering the Earth, but oh how does it change our plans for the day.

Just this morning, our supervisor was reading Matthew 10 to us and reminding us that we will face many things during our time here that will discourage us. Even our quiet time today was talking about how God is always working even when we can’t see it. It’s so amazing to see and realize just how much the Lord encourages us before we even face our trials. We just have to be listening to him. We also need to have faith that God knows what He's doing and, "all things work together for good to them that love God..."

Village Home Stays Week

Hello from Southeast Asia!

We have just spent the week doing our Village Home Stays! We started off last Monday and traveled about 3.5 hours to the NT village. The drive was absolutely breathtaking. This country blows the USA out of the water for views! They fed us amazing food inside their homes and we got to prayer walk all the villages! 

Catie playing with the kids of BY Village
On Tuesday we packed up our stuff and headed to another village where there was a river right behind our guesthouse so we all got to have a little fun and swim in the river with our team and supervisors son! It was so fun just to get to hangout and be silly as a team. 

The next day we headed to BY village! We got to stay here for two nights. These people had a huge impact on our hearts. That day we met with the owner of the guesthouse and got to walk around the village and saw where they do the local pottery. We finished up the evening by playing a popular game over here called "Boon" which is basically a mixture of corn hole and horseshoes. It was so fun, we had about 6 locals who came over to join us! We girls also got to teach some of the young kids fun games like "Ring around the Rosie" and different cheers from the US! 

All of the team's bracelets from the Baci Ceremony (the white strings).

The next morning we had a local guide who took us through a one hour hike to another village where we got to learn about the culture and prayer walk. After that we went to the local pottery shop where we got to make pots and hangout with the locals. Then we got cleaned up for a ceremony with the local elders and their wives, called a Baci. 

There are two types of Baci ceremonies. One that is spiritual through the Buddhist religion or the friendship type. We obviously chose the friendship ceremony. During the ceremony there was a lot of chanting and from what our supervisor could understand there were a lot of blessings of good luck, safe travels, and for our families in America. During their chanting/singing we were all singing songs of praise and praying for The Lord to move in this village through their elders. Then each one tied a white string around our wrists and blessed us individually. It was very powerful. After that we got to sit and talk with the owner of our home stay, NJ. We asked him about what he believed in and told him a little about Jesus Christ. We got to open the door for our supervisor to be able to come back and build more on that relationship. We were all so encouraged. 
The whole team with a beautiful view of our country behind us.

Although we only have one more week here in northern country before we go south to our second location we hope to see a lot of growth and fruit come from the last week. We are so thankful for the opportunities that have come from this trip and can't wait to see God work through our supervisors and the local believers here!
The boys having some fun on the boat!
The girls having some fun on the boat!
The team playing boon with the locals!
The team playing boon with the locals!
The team playing boon with the locals!
The team playing boon with the locals!
The view from the river that we took back to LP.

Prayer Requests: All of the villages to see the beauty that surrounds them through The Lord. Our supervisors to see fruit and be encouraged that what they are doing is amazing! The health and safety of our team as we travel to the southern part of our country this week.

"Let faith arise, in spite of what I see Lord I believe. But help my unbelief, I choose to trust You. No matter what I feel, let faith arise. Let faith arise. For my champion's not dead, He is alive! Oh, and He already knows my every need. Surely He will come and rescue me. God of miracles come, we need your supernatural love, to break through. Nothing's impossible, you're the God of miracles!"
-Chris McClarney

XOXO,
Village Home Stays Team

Hearts opening

Its been an amazing couple of weeks here in the Philippines! In our big Bible study, we have consistently had between 40 and 60 people attending and studying the Word of God! Our host councilor here has really warmed up to learning about the Word of God through our team's leading the Bible studies. He has been amazed at the people's desire to learn the Word and came to me and told me that he now wants to start reading the Bible! 

There is also a woman in a cage that we have been meeting with. Her family said that she went crazy a few months ago. As far as we can tell, she is well taken care of and she also has a daughter staying with her grandmother there. She has not been willing to hear the Gospel but has been willing to talk with us, even speaking English. We gave her a Bible and has been willing to go through it with us. She later wrote us a letter and thanked us for being good friends and sharing the Word of God with her and it was just a very touching letter. 
In my time here, I have gotten to share and reconnect with some friends from two years ago. That really gives this place a family touch. Please be praying for the rest of our time here. We are preparing for a sports fest at the schools where we will be sharing the Gospel with many in the communities. Also pray for our team as we are growing and bonding. Everyone brings so much love and dynamic to the group and I believe it really shows in our ministry. God really has blessed us with an awesome team with a heart for the nations and the people here to know Christ.
-Caleb

Opening Doors

This week was full of meeting new people, sharing stories, Bible studies, hiking (and getting lost), playing, dancing, and singing. It was also full of a ton of mosquitos and a new love/appreciation for "siesta time". But we are so encouraged to see what God has in store. We are only 10 days in and God has already opened so many doors. With 190 houses in this village, the opportunities to share the Gospel are plentiful. And the people are receptive (praise God for Filipino hospitality!). Please continue to pray for village C as we continue to share the love of Jesus!

- Bekah

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Divine Love

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. - 1 Thessalonians 3:12

We love because He first loved us. - 1 John 4:19

Pray that God would fill the hearts of team members with His love for the unsaved and that they would in turn be obedient in sharing His love in word and deed.

Team of the Day
Cam Disciplemakers

Country of the Day
Cambodia

C & C take on SEA

Hey everybody!!

We just wanted to update you on how everything is going here in SE Asia!  Claire and I are so excited to be here in this beautiful country. The locals have been oh so welcoming and an absolute joy to get to know.  I have really loved seeing the old friends I made last year, and introducing them to my pal Claire!

So here's what goin' on!!  A normal day for Claire and I consists of going to one of the six malls in our area and seeking out people of peace to speak Truth to.  Some days are easier than others, but we are so humbled and blessed to be serving our Creator.  The food here is AMAZING, but Claire and I have decided to join our Muslim brothers and sisters in fasting during Ramadan.  Fasting has been difficult at times, but God is using our fasting as a tool to direct conversation toward Him.
We are thankful for your support while we are here! Here are a few things you can be lifting up for us...

Please pray for...
--Sensitivity to the Spirit and boldness when speaking with locals
--the Holy Spirit will work through the language barrier
--Dreams and visions to enter the hearts and minds of the Muslim people during this time of Ramadan
--Lift up our local friend Sitti; she is fearful to make the decision to follow.  Pray that she will one day walk in freedom.

Claire and I are incredibly thankful for this opportunity this summer we are already able to see God working in this country!

--Chelsea

Meeting and Greeting

Tingloy is filled with such kind people. They are all so welcoming and patient with us learning Tagalog. We have stuck up a friendship with the Kapitana in our Barangay. She is like a mother and makes sure we have all that we need.

This past week we in the mornings, we have taught a bible story and played games with the local children. Oh what a joy they are. We have learned several new games and they pick flowers for us almost everyday.In the afternoons, we met up with several teens to practice English through the reading of the bible. Friendships are starting to form and it is a daily reminder that God's has a plan for each of their lives.

Please pray for more opportunities to meet and share with our neighbors the love of a having a relationship with Christ as well as the students have great first week of school.

Encouragement is key!

Drew and I were asked to come back to the fellowship to share with the youth later in the week. I got to share about what it meant to be a cross-cultural worker and how they could be one right where they are in SEA. It was our job to encourage the youth to step out of their comfort zones and to share the Good News throughout their villages and towns. 

Encouragement is key here because most are afraid of the outcome of them being obedient. Drew and I are extremely blessed to be able to inspire them through speech and testimony. Please keep lifting us up as we continue to look for opportunities to share with people here! To our friends and families, we are safe, healthy, and loving life! We are sending much love from SEA to Louisiana and Texas!


-Wess M.

The Remaining

Just over a year ago there was a tragic car accident in Louisville involving a train and a car full of Nepali teens. All but one of the passengers passed away. K, the survivor, is known by a youth director here at Refuge. Last week, it was brought to our attention that K, who had recently hospitalized, had professed to follow Christ. Upon hearing this, Micah and Caleb agreed to go visit him in the hospital and answer all the questions he had about Jesus. His first question (I'm sure you're curious to know): How powerful is Jesus? It's just so amazing to be able to talk to those that are so curious and new to their faith. I pray to be like K, still able to wonder and be astounded by the glory and beauty that is Christ.

Where is your treasure?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   -Matthew 6:21
Echoing on my heart this week is this verse. God is revealing to me how my treasure can only be in him if I am to go where he has called me to go, and do what he has called me to do. If my treasure is in anything else, I will never be effective.
After talking with the people in the camps, we realize how much they have lost. For most, it is heartbreaking. We connected with one young woman who is alone in the camp, and lost her entire family to a bomb that destroyed her house. All they have left is their religion, and we have to ask ourselves if we have faith enough to share with them and ask them to give that up too. Sharing, though, seems to be the only logical thing we can do, because we want desperately for them to have hope, and we know where they can find it.
Ramadan began this week in the camps. This is a month long fast in which they do not eat or drink from sun up to sun down. It is very difficult with how hot it can get in the camps. Please pray for them this week as the temperatures are rising.
On the other hand, Ramadan provides us with a unique opportunity to build relationships and share. We changed our hours in the camps to accommodate for this. We now work 2-10. Two other girls and I were able to connect with a family and they are the sweetest people. They invited us for Ramadan on Friday night and prepared a three-course feast for us which I have pictured. It was so humbling. They have lost so much, yet they give so much. They are our favorites, probably. They know we are followers of Jesus, but always shut down spiritual conversation. Please pray for our next encounter with them, that they we will be able to share easily.
As exhausting as this week was, we are realizing how difficult it will be after 2 months to leave the relationships we are making. Please pray for us this week that we will have energy to share and that we would be salt and light. Please pray for open hearts and that the truth we share would change their hearts. Thank you, my friends!
-Kallie

A world within another world

This week marked the official beginning of our internships with World Relief. World Relief is a multifaceted refugee resettlement agency that helps refugees with everything from setting up their apartment before they arrive in the United States to enrolling them in insurance programs to providing them with employment services. Once refugees arrive in the United States they work tireless to help these refugees become self-sufficient as quickly as possible. We will each spend four days a week interning with World Relief in our respective departments. Here is a little about what each of us will be doing:

Grace is primarily working in the resettlement department of World Relief. She will be helping a caseworker make home visits to clients, deliver important mail to refugees (insurance cards, social security cards, etc.), and take clients to doctor’s appointments. In just a couple of days, Grace has already seen the heartache and struggle that comes with being a refugee as spends time with her clients and lends her ear to their stories. Please pray that God would use Grace to show the hope and love of Christ to her clients as she helps with their physical and practical needs.

Noah is interning with the Journey program of World Relief. Journey is a daily program for refugee and immigrant high school students. During the school year, the program is more academically focused, but now that it’s summer time, the program is more relaxed and the students get to play sports, attend breakout sessions to learn creative skills like woodworking, painting, or even rapping, and have lunch together. Each morning, Noah will pick up a bus load of students, spend the day hanging out and getting to know them, and lead them in a Bible study every afternoon. Please pray that God would guide Noah and give him favor with these students as he seeks to build relationships and share the truth of Christ with them.

Courtney is working most closely with the administrative assistant. Before a refugee comes to the United States, there is a pile of paperwork that must be processed and prepared for their arrival. She has been learning about these processes, helping to put together case files, and preparing paperwork for when newly arrived refugees attend their first appointment at World Relief. Every Wednesday and Thursday is ‘intake day’ at World Relief, and this is when newly arrived refugees come in for their first appointment where they receive cultural orientation, get enrolled in insurance, sign up for a cash assistance program and more. On these days, Courtney will be spending time with the children of these refugee families while their parents fill out paperwork. Please pray that Courtney would demonstrate Christ’s love in word and deed through her work at the office.

-Courtney

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Climbing to New Heights

Up the mountain we shall go (literally). A few of the teens we had met offered to take us to the top of a mountain one morning so we jumped on the opportunity to get to know them better.After much sweat we made it. Boy was it worth it. It was an awesome reminder of how great of an artist God is. We could see for many miles both the sea and mountains which was something several of us had never seen together except in pictures.

God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Prayer this week for the English lessons that we will teach. We are praying specifically to quickly form relationships with students in other Barangay. This would enable us to share the Good News with them. They live far from the pier in which people come to share but since they don't live close they are less likely to hear. And we want and pray we can tell them the hope of Christ.

Ballin' for Christ

Our first week in the Philippines, God has been at work! We got to witness to over 200 people within the first few days here! We are staying at a daycare building right by a basketball court where we are able to immerse ourselves in the community and build relationships within the community. Our three translators have been doing an awesome job here helping us to communicate the Gospel effectively. In our first big Bible Study, we got the word out and had over 60 people attend to study the Word of God with us. 

Going house to house sharing the Gospel has been a real awesome experience for the team. We have had awesome moments where we see people encounter Christ for the first time through the message of the Gospel and the amazing things that God is doing through that. Another awesome time was sharing with over 40 people at the basketball court in another barangay (village) where people were responsive to the Gospel.

Please pray for endurance for the team and that we are zealous for the Gospel and we go house to house and playing basketball. 
Please pray that God would tear down the strongholds and build His church in the community we are serving in this month.
-Caleb

Ready Testimony

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. - 1 Peter 3:15

Pray that team members would place Christ as Sovereign in their hearts. Pray that they would be prepared to speak the truth of the Gospel to all they meet. Pray that team members would actively seek opportunity to share Christ with others.

Team of the Day
Island Hoops and Healing

Country of the Day
Philippines

First Week in Cambodia!

Upon arriving to our destination, cultural changes have hit us more than expected. We prepared the best we could to embrace a new culture and even though changes are evident, all of those changes have been interesting and exciting for us to experience. 

The first sign of being in a different culture was the traffic patterns. Cars, tuk tuks, motos, and bicycles weave in and out of each others' paths with little regard for what we would normally see in western societies. Interestingly enough, drivers are friendly and accidents, rare. Lanes are not marked and at times bicycles and motos travel on the opposite side of the road. This has been interesting, exciting, and challenging for our team, as we have all purchased bicycles for our main form of transportation this summer. 

The climate here is also much different than in the States. Heat and humidity are normal factors year round, yet the beautiful modesty of the people is evident everywhere you look, as most citizens dress in full pants and half or long sleeves. 

Despite language barriers, traffic-filled roadways, and the hot climate, the people are consistently showing kindness. We are nearly always greeted with broad smiles, waves, and greetings traditional to the culture. The people's kindness has smoothened the transition to a new culture. 

We are excited to begin working with university students by teaching English and building relationships! We can already see the potential for how these relationships will facilitate learning about each other's cultures!

Addie and Ashleigh

Reaching the Unreached

On a tricycle...
We are called to reach the unreached and the hard to reach. That is exactly what this team is doing.There is quite a bit of hiking and walking to get to the different places, but we are able to do it with joyful hearts because we want to share the gospel of God's grace with those who haven't heard. God has been able to open so many doors for our team. 

The boys have been able to play lots of basketball with the guys of the barangay (village) and the girls have been able to build relationships with the children. Although some trials have come our way, we are encouraged because we know that we are working for the Lord. As a team, we need boldness and to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that people's lives will be changed.

-Jacob 
Kids camp... singing & dancing with kids
Hiking up the mountain

Getting Adjusted Part 4: Making Connections

Due to the more flexible nature of our trip, we are given the task of seeking out persons of peace. We go around to local hotspots like universities, English centers, and malls in hopes of meeting people and developing relationships. Because we are still in an earlier stage of our trip, our focus is still more on meeting new people.

For example, this past week we visited a local university. Through several God-ordained steps, we met a teacher who introduced us to his son who introduced us to his whole class of accounting students! Through situations like this one we wish to make connections with people that will develop into personal relationships where we can freely share about Christ.

Please be praying that God would continue to provide opportunities for us to meet more people. And please pray that the relationships we have already established would result in open doors to share about the hope that is within us.
     

Finding God's Faithfulness in Rice Fields

So much has happened in our first week here that it's hard to pick just one thought to share with you all! We've met our supervisors and local partners, moved into our home bases, visited a Hindu temple, toured some rice fields, showed a film to our new friends, spent a few days in a village, and seen the Father at work in conversation after conversation. To write about each thing that's happened this week would take years, so I'll just share one of the many moments the Father has used to speak to my own heart. 


Our first village stay was a fun and stretching experience! Our first night in the village, our host showed us around then invited us to sit and watch the sunset over the rice fields while he prepared our supper.

As our team sat together in a little beruga in the fading light, we took turns talking with the Father. We told Him we were feeling the weight of a multitude of utterly lost souls. The burden is heavy. But as we sat together, I was reminded that we don't carry that heavy weight alone. The weight is heavy, but the Father is strong. And He is loving. He wants people to know Him, and He has the power to draw them to Himself. So although we feel the weight of the lost here in this village and around the world... that weight doesn't slow us down by any means. It pushes us forward. We keep moving. This rescue operation is urgent and there is no time to waste. So, we ask for strength from the Father and we go. 

Please ask the Father of this great harvest to send more laborers with heavy hearts to work in the fields. 

Prayer Requests for our team
-That we would continue to find persons of peace, ready to hear.
-That we would love our translators well, as our partners in the good news!
-Opportunities for good conversations. 
-Continued health as we venture into various villages in the coming weeks. 

Local Discipleship

The past few days our team has continued to meet with potential translators from the local university. This experience has been so powerful for us as we see the students react to our explanation of our response to the Great Commission.

It is a common misconception here that only seminary graduates are responsible for spreading the Good News. When we tell them that we're studying engineering, music education, and international relations, with the intention of using our career paths as a platform for meeting non-believers and sharing the Gospel, we can see how excited they are.

We have been praying that God will use us to truly show the students we're partnering with how powerful and necessary it is to share the Gospel everywhere you go, especially in your own area.

We are so excited to be a part of their discipleship and we ask that you pray for God to transform their mindset and use them to influence other believers in response to the Great Commission.

Please continue to pray that through them and different English speaking non-believers, God will help us to effectively communicate the Gospel with everyone we meet. We have already seen so many answered prayers so please continue to lift up our team!

-Meridyth

Encouraging the believers

Greetings from the Embrace the Beyond team! This week we met with a local house fellowship. We all shared our testimonies and Brandon spoke on a passage from the Bible. Please lift up this local fellowship and pastor K who leads them!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

God Opens Doors, Just Ask

It is now going on our third week here in Louisville, Kentucky and we still don't really know what it is that the Lord has planned for us this summer. But that doesn't mean that we don't pray for Him to show us His works. This past week we have seen Him move in more ways than one.

Nikki and Jasmine have had the pleasure of meeting a Bantu Somali college student named Asli. She is a 20-year old Muslim mother of three children and will be moving to Utah this coming Friday. Of course my teammates were urgent to tell her the gospel!

Thank the Lord that, on Thursday, they got that opportunity. Asli was requesting someone to teach her to drive before she moves away. Nikki and Jasmine gladly answered her request and also shared the greatness of God with her through the gospel. She had many questions regarding about what we believe about eternity and was very open during the conversation. Please join us in praising Jesus for this wonderful experience that my team was able to experience.

Spiritual Blindness

"I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me." - Acts 26:17-18

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. - 2 Corinthians 4:4

Pray for spiritual eyes and minds to be opened to the Gospel of Christ as teams share with unbelievers. Pray that teams would stand strong in the power of the Holy Spirit as they battle against Satan's forces that have blinded men to the Truth.

Team of the Day
Village Home Stay

Country of the Day
Southeast Asia

Voices of Children

Wow! Drew and I are so humbly grateful for all of the experiences had thus far! We had the opportunity to participate in children worship at a local fellowship this week. It is amazing to hear the little ones lifting praise to Dad. It truly brought me (Wess) to tears as they started. To our surprise, it is in English! Imagine the little voices singing, "He is the Lord of the sunshine, the Lord of the rain. He is the Lord of the good times, the Lord of the bad. He is the Lord of the mountain, the Lord of the sea. He is the Lord of the music, the Lord of the children, the Lord of you and me." Y'all, how amazing is that! Hearing those little voices singing the songs of praise is truly amazing and a special treat! We are forever blessed to have been able to attend and listen to their worship. 

We were able to share testimony after! Blessed! Please continually lift us up as we continue our journey here! Drew and I are trying to conquer the traffic... So PLEASE lift us up in that! And for those of you who do not know about international traffic in SEA, THERE ARE NO RULES OR GUIDELINES. Plus, we forget to drive on the left side sometimes! To our friends and families, we are loving it! We are sending much love from SEA to Louisiana and Texas!


-Wess M. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Extraordinary Manifestions

Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. - Acts 4:30

God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will. - Hebrews 2:4

Pray for extraordinary manifestations of God working through and in the lives of team members. Pray that team members would utilize their spiritual gifts as they minister through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Team of the Day
Tropical Island Disciplemakers

Country of the Day
Philippians

Refugees' True Savior

Everyday we are greeted with smiles and hugs when we walk into the camp of 2000 refugees. Many welcome us into their tents and share with us the little food and drinks that they have. Just in the week we have been here, we have developed several relationships with all ages and people groups.

One way we are able to meet people is through daily food & water distribution. Many people are unable to carry everything themselves so we have the opportunity to help them. While we walk with them to their tent, we get to hear a little bit of their story.

Although the people are kindhearted, there is so much pain and sorrow in the camp. In every tent there is someone who has lost someone dear to them in the war. We met one lady who returned home one day to find that her house and family were gone forever. She had to make the journey alone and now she keeps herself busy to escape her pain. Several woman are left caring for their children because their husband passed away or is in another country waiting for their arrival. The people may seem happy but they are broken and in need of hope. They are in need of the Savior.

Please pray that:
•the refugees will seek healing in Jesus and not turn to worldly things for comfort
•we will be bold in sharing about the one who gives eternal hope 

May they see the difference!

Sabaidee from South East Asia!

We have been here a little over a week and we already feel like we have lived here our whole lives. We are getting to hangout with the kids in our supervisors neighborhood right now and they are so much fun! There are a couple of older boys who have been coming around more to play soccer since we have been here. That is an awesome opportunity for our supervisors to get to build more relationships with them. There are also some younger kids that come that Hannah and I have been hanging out with a lot. Playing board games and teaching them things from "Amelica" as they say.

Our prayer request is that these kids can see that our supervisor and his family are so much different than their families and not just because we are not from this country but because they have the Holy Spirit inside them. Also that the Holy Spirit can move in this neighborhood in ways that has never happened before. These people are hungry for love and they don't even realize it. It puts a song on my heart specifically.

"Holy Spirit you are welcome here, come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Your glory God is what our heart longs for, to be overcome by your presence Lord!"

Thank you so much for your prayers!

-Catie, Hannah, Nathan, and Jacob

Barriers

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Andy pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ... - Colossians 4:2-3

Pray for the Holy Spirit's leading of teams past barriers

Team of the Day
Mountain Trek

Country of the Day
Philippians

Village Week

Had our first week in the village! A man from the village offered his home to us for the week and provided meals for us each day. This was very generous of him to make meals for us and watch us eat even as this was the first week of the fasting month.

This week was spent walking around the village and building relationships with whomever we came across. We spent many hours drinking coffee, learning about their culture and telling the good news. There were many opportunities for this. We met people who got to hear for the first time and also talk with people who had the good news planted in their lives years before.  



We are continually praying that He will provide many people of peace who are willing to listen to what we have to say. Also, that people we meet will seek out truth and find it in Him. Until next time, sampai jumpa lags!

-Chris. 

Meet the Team: Tropical Campus Disciplemakers

Hi! We are the Tropical Campus Disciplemakers in the Philippines! We will be teaching English in two of the local colleges, but our main goal is to share the gospel with students and begin to disciple them. There is also a local church in Sto. Thomas that has been praying for two years for someone to come and help them get their foot in the door. We have been told that as Americans we are just the bait, and we are totally okay with that! :)

Caroline is our fearless team leader! She is a spunky blonde that is full of so much personality and wisdom. She is recent graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tn, but she is from Knoxville, TN. This is her first international mission trip and she is so excited to learn the Filipino culture and go on many exciting adventures!

Sara is becoming the backbone of our team. She always knows how to comfort and she is the one that brings unity. She is from Bryant, AR, and is currently attending AR State as an elementary education major. This is Sara's second International mission trip, and she is excited to meet new friends and learn more about the Filipino culture.

Kate provides the comic relief in the group. Ate Emz often times says that Kate is "saucy" because of her big personality. Kate is always providing the group with something to laugh about, and something to be thankful for. She is from Corinth, MS and is studying Elementary Education at Northeast Community College.

Ate Emely (Ate Emz) is the brave one that has taken on the task of living with the "3 crazy white ladies" (her words, not mine). She is from Batangas City, Philippines. She is working full time in the ministry, and is very dedicated to missions. Ate Emz has a heart of gold, and her perseverance through any situation is inspiring.

We are so excited to see what this summer has in store! Pray for us as we dive into this new culture! HE IS FAITHFUL!

Experencing a different life


We ended this week by taking newly arrived refugees to the library in downtown Nashville. Almost all the interns were given a client, and we were responsible for picking them up from their apartments and then walking with them to the nearest bus stop. The reason behind this is to show the refugees how to access transportation. Upon our arrival to the library, they were shown all the different parts of the library. This was just to show the them books that they can use to learn or improve their English. Please be in prayer for these new families as they find their way around the city and are trying to learn English.

Saturday, Courtney and Grace put together our first Kidz Club at one of the local churches. We only had three kids come, but we happily put crafts together, told them the creation story, and ate popsicles with them. We also had the opportunity to speak with some ladies from our church and discuss how we could draw more kids to come. Be in prayer that many kids will come and that we will have the ability to transport the kids to and from Kidz Club. Also pray that none of the children would become dehydrated due to high temperatures and for those who are fasting at this time for Ramadan.

-Grace


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hello from the Spice Islands

Wess:
I am here! I am finally here! I have waited a whole year to be able to step back into the land that Dad has called me to! It has been a long year, but totally worth it to see all of the faces I will soon get acquainted to. Y'all, Louisiana has nothing on this country. The views, the people, the food, the EVERYTHING! I am so blessed to have the chance to get to come back! As you see by the picture above, this is what we get to view every night at sunset. If you think this is beautiful, you should see the stars. I am looking forward to making posts over the next two months! Please keep lifting us up in Southeast Asia as we are beginning to build relationships with people and begin our work here. The weather is hot, but so is our desire to see the people of the country completely surrendered to our All Knowing, All Loving Father.

Drew: has nothing to say haha! ......If you know Drew, that is completely in character!

To our friends and family, thank you so much for supporting us and sending us to this country! We are forever thankful for y'all! Continue to lift us up as we seek people willing to hear the Good News.
Sending much love from SEA to Louisiana and Texas!


-Wess M.

Serving in Small Ways

A newborn who was delivered at Mercy Maternity Center
We started our first week of working in the clinic and it has flown by! All of the midwives here are so kind and you can tell that they love what they do. Their compassionate care, I think, is the main reason the clinic is such a safe haven for moms here in Davao. We have named ourselves "midwife techs" because our role, really, is to support the midwives and other workers in the clinic. God has been teaching us to find joy in serving in small ways this summer. Many things we do could be considered monotonous; like taking vital signs for charting, but it is all necessary to help the midwives do their job. Sometimes when people go to the mission field they have these grand desires to see 1,000 people saved or hundreds healed. While these dreams are not a bad thing by any means, sometimes God is calling us to simply serve him in the small tasks of our everyday lives. All that being said, we are looking forward to all that God has in store next!
     
A verse that has helped us this week: Psalm 16:8- " I have set the Lord continually before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

Prayer Requests:

  • for the babies delivered at Mercy Maternity Center this week, and their moms
  • Thank God that we are over jet lag and getting adjusted to our clinic schedule
  • Pray for discernment to understand how and when to share the gospel verbally with all those who come through the clinic

Summer Plans

Sawad dee khup! Sa bai dee! Hello! We are doing well! We have made it safely to Thailand, and after learning all about our national partners & their organization, we are ready to take on the rest of the summer! Side note: Thai food is even better than everyone told us it would be!

While our team had originally planned to work on a demonstration farm with migrant workers this summer, we recently found out that God had other plans! As a Type A personality, it can be difficult when God tries to teach me and my team how to be flexible and fluid. Instead, our team will be working primarily with the Red Lahu people over the next three weeks. These people live in a remote part of rural northern Thailand. As such, they are animists, though they do hold some Buddhist beliefs as well. While we are in their village, we will be working on three community projects: building toilets, constructing fruit/vegetable gardens, and teaching young children basic English. Ultimately, though, we are there to build relationships with the goal of sharing Gospel truth with these people and connect them to the small (but growing) church in the village.


Please Pray for:

  • A person of peace in this village. Our team just recently started working here, so it may be tough getting the villagers warmed up to us.
  • The Lahu people. 
  • Positive team communication. Pray that Josh and I would learn to communicate well with each other. Remember: we only met 2 weeks ago, and now we spend 22+ hours a day together! So there is a learning curve there, but I know God is going to do great things through us!
  • Team flexibility. Our expectations for this summer (even the ones from 3 weeks ago!) are very different from our present reality. Pray that we would learn to trust God's plans and timing and be able to thrive in our present circumstances.

Making New Friends

Hello from the Nurse 2 Nurse Team in SE Asia! This week has been a busy one for us as we acclimate ourselves to a new culture and climate, and also as we meet many new friends!

As nursing students, one of the first places we visited was the medical university here in the city. We have met with an educational coordinator here who has asked us to visit frequently so that we can help national students develop their English skills.  We are very hopeful that we can develop meaningful relationships with these students as the summer progresses, having already had lunch with a few of them.

This week, we also met students and teachers from other universities around the city and have been asked to spend time with the students, helping them learn English. We are grateful for so many opportunities and we are looking forward to next week as we get into the meat of our summer, when we will be introduced to many more students.

Pr-- for us as we continue to meet students and make connections here in SE Asia. P that the Father would give us wisdom and boldness to proclaim Him in a place where followers are few and sometimes persecuted.

--Julie and Autumn

Getting Adjusted Part 3: The City

By now we are starting to feel settled in our new home. However, we find ourselves intimidated by a very large obstacle: learning the layout of the city. We are in no small village. As people will continue to invite us places, we must know how to get to those places. Our main method of transportation around the city is a cheap van ride. While several people have tried assuring us that the van system is not hard to learn, we all feel pretty overwhelmed by the task of learning the various routes around the city. Although I am sure there is a method to the madness, we will need to spend several days riding and getting used to the vans. Our payer request is simple: ask that God would give us peace and confidence with our transportation. We greatly appreciated all of your prayers as we continue to get adjusted! 

-Matt