Saturday, July 2, 2016

They're Impressive!

Praise the Lord for our student volunteers and how He has gifted them to meet N.Thai people and introduce them to Jesus Christ! They befriend folks on the street, at restaurants and coffee shops, at the sports complex and badminton courts, singing at the market, and while helping Thais with their English conversation. They are invited into homes and on day trips. They share their food and drink. They follow-up with all their new friends. They are faithful to pray for salvation and spiritual growth. They’re impressive!

-Mark P
N Thai Challenge Field Supervisor

Endurance

...being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience...  Colossians 1:11

Pray for team members to look to God's power to strengthen them as they endure in ministering to a lost world. 

Team of the Day
PacRim Ag

Country of the Day
Thailand

God is at work!

God is working mightily in the Philippines!  We have already seen God save the lives of two women. He is so amazing! God has also given us the opportunity to bridge a few new believers to water baptism and encourage other believers to follow through with water baptism.  We are hoping within the next couple weeks to be able to baptize a group.  We have seen God work and provide in mighty ways. 
Please continue to pray for the believers that are already here to grow and be trained, and for the lost to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior!
-Emily

Gift of Grace

The Zambian people are optimistic, joyful, friendly, and exceedingly open to learning more about God. Solwezi has a whole lot of churches, and most people attend faithfully. Most of the churches, however, have works based salvation and prosperity Gospel mixed throughout their doctrine and teaching. Because of this, many of the youths, some of whom have grown up in the church and thought they were Christians their entire lives, are completely blown away by the concept of salvation by grace and faith alone. (Some of them, I think, are also perplexed by the concept of serving God because we love Him, instead of serving Him because we want some material reward). We are grateful for the Zambians’ openness to the Gospel, and we are continually thankful for God’s provision in giving us opportunities to share his truth and love.

Pray that we would be bold in sharing God's gift of grace.

-Zambia Sports Team

A Sparked Interest!

Throughout the summer, teaching English has been and will be the main thing we do during the week, but our weekends look a lot different. On Saturday evenings, we hold “hangouts” and invite all of the students who attend classes at the place we teach along with other university students from the area. So far, we have had a craft night and a movie night. These hangouts are used to minister to students and grow relationships with them. Typically, we have these from 5-7PM with one hour devoted to the fun activity and the other devoted to group discussions. The goal of these discussions is to share God’s love and discuss the gospel in some form or fashion.
One of the discussions I was a part of during the movie night was both encouraging and humbling. During that conversation, one student in particular showed such a genuine interest in the topic of discussion and the gospel itself. We had watched Despicable Me with the students and were talking about what causes a change of heart in someone and what effects that change of heart may have on that person’s life as well as those around him. As you could guess, many conversations around the room led directly into the gospel; we were so excited!

In my group, I was able to present the gospel as I shared the change that took place in my heart when I became a follower of Christ. I mentioned earlier that this conversation was particularly humbling to me. That is due to the fact that one of the students in my group began asking questions about the gospel while the others leaned in so that they could hear every word. They were all so interested in what was being shared!

I had never really experienced an instance in which so much interest was shown while the gospel was being shared. I think, because I and most people I know grew up with such immediate access to the Bible and the Good News, that we probably take the knowledge we have of Christ and His gift of grace for granted more than we realize. Seeing these students show that they truly wanted to learn more about God and His love is proof that God is moving in big ways here. I am excited to continue this journey and witness the knowledge of Christ spread throughout this place.

Please pray specifically for the student who was asking so many questions and showing such interest in the gospel.
Please also pray for our team to be filled with boldness for Christ as we seek opportunities to share the Gospel.
Finally, please pray that these Saturday hangouts would lead to growth in relationships among the team and students so that more and more students can hear about God’s love for them.

Thank you for your prayers,
-Bethany 

Waiting on the Lord

One of our goals for this week was that we would wait on the Lord and rest in His timing. Apparently, God really wanted us to learn how to wait on Him. There were quite a few challenges to our week that no one could have possibly seen coming, whether it be getting almost a whole day rained out, searching all day for a waterfall that we never found, or a team member getting sick (I'm feeling much better now). There were many times when we had to wait on the Lord this week, but He has still been faithful to continue to allow us to share the gospel. This week people are still being saved even though we have had all of these setbacks. We have just been taught to rely and trust on the Lord this week.
-Jacob

Visiting Encouragement

This family has been more than an encouragement to us. We island hopped to an island that is almost entirely Muslim, with a few Catholic churches here and there. This family is 1 of 5 families that we know of that know Jesus Christ as their savior and lord. They've been here a few years and they meet in a family's house every Sunday to share with each other and sing praises to the Father.
The other families are in the same situation. They only have each other, so we are spending our time here praying for them and sharing with them, encouraging them in their faith.
Pray for each of these 5 families that they would continue to keep the faith here. Pray for boldness and power for them to share the love of Jesus Christ with their communities.

-Alex, Josue, and Anderson (Embrace the Beyond)

Halfway thereee, whoa-oh! Livin on a prayer!

Recently the team has been going more towards the rural areas of the location we are in instead of places where there is a higher chance of meeting English speaking nationals. Coordinating with translators hasn't been a problem, and after taking it to prayer and deciding to go towards these new areas, (they say that hindsight is 20/20) we can see that God's guiding hand definitely led us to do that.

Michael and I met some guys who were personal body guards for a family while they were on duty. The day was slow and they were extremely friendly, and as such after several hours of conversation we were able to form great friendships with them. One of the men invited us back to his home, to meet his wife and break fast with them. Not only did we get to share the gospel, have an amazing meal, connect our local supervisor and two national believers with them, and fit three people on a motorcycle to pick up groceries for the meal, but they were receptive to the news of Christ and are looking to continue the relationships we made and meet with us more and more.

The girls, Abbie and Meridyth, came across a woman who invited them to meet with her teacher. The class was inside a home and was a women's class for Muslims, they were able to share the gospel as well as carry great conversation for several hours, both sides asking questions and happy to talk with one another, and both the teacher as well as the woman who invited them would love to continue to meet with them in the future.

I believe God has not only been evidently at work in these relationships, disarming any possible hostilities towards the gospel, as well as filling all of our hearts with the spirit of sharing, but he has evidently been at work in our own team. I feel as if we have all grown in our understanding of the great commission as well as our understanding of what it means to be part of the body of Christ, as believers, using the gift of fellowship not only to grow together, but to challenge and encourage one another daily.

Please pray for the people that we have met, that God will continue to work in the hearts and minds of those individuals, as well as continue to work and mature us towards becoming mature Christian adults, passionate about the furthering of His kingdom and passionate our daily walk with Jesus Christ. Also pray God will continue to provide able and willing translators despite the upcoming holidays and school breaks so we can continue to bring the Gospel to new areas.

-Jackson

Mid-Summer Update: James

Finally a much needed break after a month of ministry. The only way I can put this last month into words is "Straight Gospel", and seeing people with literally nothing gain a life worth living and an eternity of joy has shown me just a little bit more of who our God is. The shadow of the almighty is so much bigger than we can ever imagine and you don't truly realize it until you are standing in it with nothing to hide behind. I've been tested and broken physically, mentally, and spiritually this past month and had nothing to look to except Christ, and every time I can only stand in awe of his grace. Time and time again I've fallen flat on my face and every time He has picked me up.

-James
Riverboat Team

Friday, July 1, 2016

A $2 Frisbee

Before coming to SEA, we had to prepare and do the dreaded packing for the trip. As my mom was helping me get everything situated before departing, we stopped by the local Academy Sports to get a few last minute things. While checking out, I noticed a huge rack of $2 frisbees. I thought to myself, "That would be a fun thing to play with some kiddos." So I grabbed one! Little did I know the impact this fribee would have in the lives of the kids here.


I have played more frisbee in the last five days than I have in my entire life. Ministry comes in different forms, but this week it was through a cheap, neon orange frisbee. The connections I have made with the little ones in the picture will absolutely last a life time. While the frisbee drew them closer to me, I had no idea the impact they would have on my life. Honestly, they will never understand how much this week meant to me, how much they blessed me, or how much love they showed me. It is hard to know if what we are doing is beneficial or not. But this week, it is safe to say that everyone benefited.

I thank Gdd everyday for the opportunities He has given me with the kiddos here. He has given me a heart for them and any chance I get to spend with them, I will. I also thank Him for Matthew and Almas, my sidekicks, shadows, and heroes for this week. It is the halfway point, and they have made this hard, homesick week worth every minute.

So, as I am crying uncontrollably reflecting over this week and the genuine love I was shown, know that your prayers are being heard and felt! Keep them coming! We need them as we finish out this summer strong. So Almas and Matthew, this blog post is for you!

-Wess

Southeast Asian Time

Tessa and Lauryl experienced some true Southeast Asian time with 3 of their new friends.  After planning to eat and go to a different city at 6 PM, the girls did not show up until almost 9PM. Needless to say our patience was worn pretty thin and we were not as excited about the night as we initially intended. 

The night was a little awkward for the the first half, because the girls did not speak as much English as we hoped they would. When we got to the city everything we planned to do was closed because unlike the city we live in, this city's night life was not very lively. So, the night was a little bit of a flop until the way home from our exhausting trip when the Lord did His beautiful work. We were able to share the gospel with our three new friends! There were not saved lives, but we were able to be the Lord's servants and deliver His good news and they actually wanted to hear and talk about it. One of the girls has Christian family members and we pray that our relationship will lead to more gospel conversations and that the Holy Spirit will open hearts. Please be praying for our new friends!

-Lauryl and Tessa

Conviction of Sin

When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment...  John 16:8

Pray for conviction of sin in the unsaved peoples that team members are ministering to so that the unsaved will recognize their need of a Savior.

Team of the Day
P52 - New York

Country of the Day
United States

Mid-Summer Update: Avery

Today is a day of rest. I am so thankful that God has been both before me, beside me, behind me, and all around me. It has been a tough month of ministry but a good one. It is one thing to see someone in a church come to know Christ after hearing the gospel time and time again... It is another to present the TRUE gospel to a grown man and see him break down in tears at finally hearing and knowing the truth. There is a difference between lost and un-reached, because the lost are just lost and not un-reached. I'm facing a little home sickness so please be in prayer for that.
A bacon-cheeseburger would be great right now, but by the time I leave here I would have lived here for around 52 days. Once I return home I will spend 10 months before returning back to Nehemiah Teams for the next summer (God has called me back already) and in those 10 months I will realize that the homesickness I will face will be in reverse. We are called to peoples and not places... please be in prayer for the waray waray people. You have a part in this war and that is through prayer.
Grace and peace, Oh how can this be?
For lawbreakers and thieves, 
for the worthless, The least.


What an amazing mystery that his Grace has come to the whosoever. To God be the Glory!
-Avery
Riverboat Team

You must be a servant of Him

Today (Sunday) we were able to visit another local gathering, but this time it was in BH. The fellowship was significantly smaller than the last one we attended, but we were still overjoyed to watch what He is doing in the local peoples. We LOVED getting to see some of the older club members sing together, and were honored to listen to a guest shepherd from the closest major city.

Yesterday though, Des, Allison, Charley, and I were able to have TONS of awesome conversation. During afternoon coffee, Des shared what the Book has to say about ghosts to our friend Kim, and I was able to tell the story of Hannah and Samuel, since my name comes from that story. Kim's response to that was, "Oh, you must be a servant of *HIM*!" It was so neat watching how my name is a witness to the Most High.

During the same afternoon, Charley was able to share the story of the 5000 with Kendy. She was so interested, he spent the next two hours going through the life of Christ, how He died, and how He came back to life.

Pray for these we were able to share truth with. Pray the Holy Spirit will continue to work in their lives.

Health Teaching

We have had the opportunity to do some health teachings & devotions at the clinic each morning. Usually when women come in for prenatals, they arrive at 8 am for a devotional and health teaching, and then are seen, first come first served, starting at 9. The devotional usually starts with a worship song and prayer, then we will do an interactive devotion/short bible study. We try to make it simple and entertaining so we can keep the women interested, while teaching central biblical truths. We will then give the women an opportunity to pray and receive the gospel.

Kate & Jesse Anne leading a health teaching
The health teachings cover a variety of topics including: Family Planning, Labor and Delivery, Nutrition and Fetal Development, Newborn and Postpartum, and Breastfeeding. We are doing either all or partial teachings (with help from the national midwives) on each of these topics other than Family Planning. The health teaching usually lasts about 30-45 minutes. We will go through a powerpoint with lots of visual aids to keep the women engaged. We use an interpreter for all of this because the women we are speaking to speak Visayan or Tagalog. 


The most challenging thing we have faced in this is trying to overcome language and cultural barriers. Some women we are sharing with speak English and some don't, some are in their first pregnancy and some their fifth. Our translators really help us out with figuring out how to speak to such a diverse audience, and we have been trying to constantly modify our health teachings and devotions so they can be better understood. The women seem to be receptive of the information presented in both the health teachings and devotionals. We have had so much fun teaching women the Bible, and also getting to educate women about birth!

Please pray for the midwives and other ladies who interpret for us, that they can help explain concepts in a clear, simple way that our patients can understand. 


Mid-Summer Update: Alex B

Well, we have made it to our mid-summer break! It has been a great journey so far! Now, we get to just hang out with the other teams and talk about what God has done so far! We have seen many people come to faith in Christ and 17 people baptized! Praise God for all He is doing! Please continue to pray for each team's unity in vision and ministry goals (there are 4 different teams) as each team and member is definitely tired at this point. Thank you for all the love and support so far, and please keep it coming! We definitely need prayer warriors backing us!

-Alex
Riverboat Team

Good News from Riverboat Team A

Our team has spent our first two weeks in one barangay (village). God has been so faithful and allowed us to encounter many persons of peace. Many people have accepted Christ- praise God! In our time here we have been able to have many Bible studies with out new brother and sisters in Christ. 

The first Sunday in village 1, the Lord allowed us to host a church service. We had a small attendance, but their hunger for God's word was huge. After the service, we were able to baptize four believers. Praise the Lord. 

This past Sunday was our last day in village 1. As we helped with another church service, God over exceeded our expectations. Saturday night we were able to have a church planning meeting with a few believers in the village. A young man who accepted Christ the first week we arrived and Ate M participated in the service by leading music, giving a testimony, and making some announcements. Ate M shared why she got baptized the Sunday before, and as a result of her testimony, four others decided to be baptized as well. 

Although our time in village 1 was short, God has shown us His power, grace, and mercy in so many ways. We didn't want to leave our new friends, but we felt that we must move to a new barangay to share the love of Christ to others who may have never heard.

Please pray for the new believers in Village #1. Pray that they will persevere & continue meeting together.

-Riverboat Team A

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mid-Summer Update: Lindsay

Officially made it to the halfway point of the summer. I have been so blessed to see the way God has changed lives through both my team and the people we have ministered to. Glory to Him for his faithfulness and sovereignty. Please continue to lift up my team and the people we will be sharing the Good News with in prayer.

-Lindsay
Riverboat Team

Spiritual Strength

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being...  Ephesians 3:16

Pray for renewed strength for team members. Pray that they would rely on God's strength and not their own.

Team of the Day
P52 - Motor City

Country of the Day
United States

Chance Meeting

We met Maklon yesterday who was actually a friend of our translator during his time at university. He doesn't live here, he's just visiting this island, so the odds of that happening are super slim. We were praying the night before for open doors, and Maklon is so curious about the Gospel.
We're planning to spend some time with him, just encouraging him and going through scripture with him. We're praying for his heart to break and be open to the Holy Spirit. Pray for him and for us as we talk with him and share with him. Pray for wisdom and guidance.

-Alex, Josue, and Anderson  (Embrace the Beyond)

Spice Islands Update: Sunday Service

It has been a very busy Sunday here in SEA! We were asked to come speak at a local church and share what we are here to do. It is such an encouragement to see this body of people coming together to lift us up and encourage us throughout our time here.
Afterwards, we used the pocket projector provided by NT to show the life of Jesus to the little ones. They were so intrigued. They kept asking how it was showing on the board! I love to see their little hearts watching and asking questions. This pocket projector has been the single best tool in sharing here. People and so interested and we use this interest to share with them.
After church we went and tour the village some and had the chance to go to the top of the mountain. Once arrived, it began to rain like crazy. We looked around the corner only to find around 30-40 youth sitting under this building. We were definitely there for a purpose. We shared with them, lifted them up, and of course, took selfies! The Father does not have to send a huge sign to tell you that you are where you are supposed to be. I thank Him for sending us these youth, they truly blessed us this Sunday. Prayer Requests ---To keep having these divine appointments. ---To continue to lift each other up on the team. ---To accept the culture and try to adapt as much as possible. To our friends and family back home.....we miss y'all, but not enough to come home yet! Haha. The chicken fried rice is still too good here! Sending much love from SEA to Louisiana and Texas.


Hike after church

I'm Ready!

One of the primary things God has been teaching me is that He truly is Lord of the harvest. One night at the end of a Bible study we were conducting, we asked if anyone was ready to trust in Jesus as the Savior of their sins. Almost before our translator was done translating the question, Kuya A's eyes shot up from the Bible he was holding and he said "I'm ready! I'm ready!" This was the first time he had attended a Bible study and the first time he had been invited to become a follower of Jesus. As soon as he heard the Gospel, he jumped at the opportunity to embrace it. 

God had been preparing his heart to see and hear the truth, God had been preparing the harvest. How many more people are ready and waiting to hear the truth? How many more are waiting to exclaim, "I'm ready!" Who will go with God and reap the harvest He is preparing? Who will be the instrument God uses to proclaim the Gospel to the many that are waiting to hear it? The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

Pray for more harvesters to be willing to go to the hard places where people are waiting to hear the Good News.

-Carter H
Riverboat Team C

Mid-Summer Update: Carley

Quick update- i'm still alive! Our ministry in Eastern Samar is going great so far! We are over halfway done with the summer. We have seen God moving in the lives of those around us every day. Please continue to pray for our team as we persevere through a tough summer. But it is all worth it for the glory of God!  Your prayers are felt and very necessary! Thanks for the love!

-Carley

Little Girls

The little girl raising her hand is Irimas. Every time she sees me she gets a huge smile on her face and yells out, "James!" We are basically best friends even though she tends to randomly bite my arm every now and then.

Please pray for Irimas and the other children in the refugee camp. pray that they will have the opportunity to understand the love & the plan for their lives that Christ has for them.

-James
Refugee Highway Team

Steadfast to the Calling

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24

As teams are about halfway through their ministry time for the summer, pray they would have a renewed focus and a steadfastness to God's calling.

Team of the Day
P52 - Nashville

Country of the Day
United States

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mid-Summer Reflection: Avery

Could I ever explain my heart in reflection of this month? After all, God has wrecked my plans. I came here with systematic knowledge and experience as a youth intern thinking that it would count for something or maybe that it bumped me up in the "Christian Roster." The problem was, I didn't love the people and that's when I figured out that i was more of a practiced pharisee then I was a World Christian. God has shaped and molded me into someone worthy of this calling.
I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus gave me. The task of testifying to the Gospel of God's Grace.

-Avery
Riverboat Team

Avery with his team mates during NT orientation

Faith in Numbers

Five more shall be added to our numbers today! A church group from South Carolina is sending 5 more people tomorrow to stay for the week. Another Alabama church has 8 other students here for the summer, who arrived the week after we did.  God has 21 students here for one week, and while this is a short time period we know that He has some huge plans for the lostness here. The 5 will join us at our refugee schools where we teach on Wednesdays and Thursdays. We are going on an adventure on Saturday to a temple and to waterfalls. We will celebrate the 4th of July with all of the Americans. As of now there will be 63 people celebrating together. It will not be the same as home, but bringing home here as best we can will work.

The numbers have already been evident through the 16 here. Just last week one of our members shared with a girl at the mall, who had already been shared with that day by one of the Alabama members. How incredible?! God wanted so badly for that girl to hear truth, so she got to hear it twice. The darkness has been here for way too long and it is time for lots of light to shine!

Pray that our numbers would bring extreme boldness and that no one would shrink back from sharing the goodness of God.

He has written his steadfast love and faithfulness on the tablets of our hearts and we are prepared to send that out to the people here. It is time for the nations to hear some amazing news!

-Global City Outreach Team

Mountain Harvesters Update: New Friends

We just finished our first week here in the Philippines... We are all adjusting really well!

After arriving in our village, we were blessed by two sweet friendships with local teenage girls.  They help us in more ways than one. We are very excited for these two young ladies. They are both believers and they are very hungry to learn more about God.  We have had several Bible studies with them - teaching them how to apply scripture to their lives and how to share with others.  We are eager to share more with them and eager to see them grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Please pray for these young ladies. Pray for understanding and a continued growth in their love for the Lord.  
Pray that through them our team would establish more relationships within the community, and that people would come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.

-Emily

When I'm Weak, He is Strong

At the beginning of the summer, during orientation specifically, we were warned that this mission we have dedicated the next two months of our lives to would be difficult. I’m sure all of us understood this and nodded our heads in agreement. But it wasn’t until we got to our destinations and started our ministry that we fully understood what this meant. 

Recently, a good bit of our team has felt as if we weren’t doing what we came here to do and that we’d lost focus and motivation from not seeing much fruit. These are some of the exact things that we were warned about and are praying to not fall victim to again. Making connections and building relationships has been difficult, but I believe it’s because we’ve been relying on our own strength instead of that of our Heavenly Father. God’s Word tells us that He is our strength. We just have to have faith that He will provide us a way to carry out what He has planned for us this summer.

Pray that we will stay focused on our task.
Pray that we won't allow ourselves to become discouraged by what may appear to human eyes as a lack of fruit. We can't see God's overall plan.


I See the Truth

God has redefined the word "unreached" for me in the past few weeks. We have been living in a community that is a two day journey from the "modern" world. However, it took a few vital conversations for me to realize that the people we are living amongst are truly unreached, or isolated from the Gospel. 

One afternoon, we were conducting a Bible study with a couple who were in their mid-30's/early 40's. We shared the Gospel with them all the way through and they stared at us like they had seen a ghost. After a few minutes of silence, we asked, "Do you have any questions?" 

The husband responded, "Thank you, thank you so much for coming and sharing with us." He continued and said, "Most people don't take the time to come all the way out here, but thank you for coming. Before I heard this story, it's like I was blind. But now that you have come and shared the truth, I can see. I see the truth." 


As we continued our conversation, the couple told us that that was the first time they had even seen a Bible. The people that we are coming in contact with are not lost because they have rejected the Gospel. These people are lost because they've never had the chance to hear the Gospel. 

-Carley H
Riverboat Team C

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The end for us... but the beginning for so many more

Although our time in barangay #2 has been short, God has done so much work in so many lives. We received ten extra Bibles and we were able to give out all ten. Every day we have had Bible studies with a consistent number of people at each study. Several have come to understand salvation and what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ. Praise the Lord! 

We were invited by the Captian of the barangay to have a Bible study in her home with her family and neighbors. Praise the Lord for answered prayer- everyone has been so receptive of the truth of God’s word. 

On Sunday, we hosted a church service at the request of the individuals in our Bible studies. The service was held in the middle of the basketball court that is in the middle of the village. The Captian brought out a microphone and speaker for us to use… as a result, just about the whole village was able to hear the word of God regardless of if they were at the basketball court or not. 

Yesterday evening we held our last Bible study and covered the topic of baptism. At the end of the study, nine people asked to be baptized. It was so encouraging to watch as nine brothers and sisters followed Christ in baptism as the sun set over the river! We praise God for the work He is doing in so many lives in this village. We are sad to have to leave this barangay so soon, but we are trusting that God will still continue to work in the lives of His people. 

Please be in prayer that more Bibles can be delivered to this barangay as well as someone who can follow up with the newly established Bible studies and believers. We know that God’s work here is not finished and that the best is yet to come.

-Riverboat Team A

Truth Seekers


The past couple of days have been a real whirlwind. Our friends Des and Allison had to go to another city for a few days... but they made it back tonight and are ready to keep on serving.

In their absence, Charley and I met four different times to practice English with our new local friends. In the morning, we got to meet some new friends and were able to share with them how He is in control over every situation and that every human is called to do His work. Unfortunately, we were shut down because of some conflicting Buddhist views. 


Last night, we got to share "the way, the truth, and the life" with 7 friends who wanted to practice their English. Tonight, Des was able to talk with Ron, who we had spoken with the night before, about how she has been changed by Him. Ron's response was that he thinks he should believe in JC too. Ron lacks a sense of purpose in his life, and we will continue to meet with him in hopes of seeing him become a new follower.

Pray with us for Ron as he seeks the truth. Pray for us to be clear as we share with him.

-Tip of the Spear team

Sports, Bible Studies, & Dust

Josh and I are doing well in Solwezi, Zambia. We are enjoying the culture, the people, and the ministry. Tuesday through Friday we work in three different schools developing friendships through sports and Bible studies. On Saturdays, we lead a Bible study of our own, which is independent of any school; this allows us the freedom to carry on lengthy, in-depth conversations about countless topics in the Bible. On Sundays, we go to church in the mornings, sometimes play Volleyball with the youth in the afternoons, and we have, just recently, started accompanying our supervisor, Nicholas, to his radio shows on Sunday nights. All in all, life is going very well; we love the thrill of experiencing new things while growing in the Lord and helping others grow in their faith as well.
Sunday radio show
Prayer Requests:
Pray for more and more opportunities to share the Gospel with those who are open to hearing the truth – whether through teaching or through conversations. Pray that in these opportunities, we would have boldness and compassion.
Pray we would have wisdom and the ability to make smart, godly decisions with quickness and unity. Wisdom and God’s guidance are essential in so many different situations. Sometimes we arrive to a sports field expecting a certain amount of students and receive more than double that amount. We are almost constantly preparing many different Bible studies, each with different audiences and each in differing environments and atmospheres.

We are thankful to see God’s work, God’s provision, and God’s plan. It has been awesome to see how God has used our past experiences (i.e. public speaking) and testimonies to uniquely minister to the Zambian people.

-Joseph

Comfort in Homesickness

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. - Hebrews 3:13

We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith... - 1 Thessalonians 3:2

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. - Philemon 7

Pray for God's comfort and encouragement to refresh the hearts of team members as many may be homesick.

Team of the Day
P52 San Francisco

Country of the Day
United States

Spice Island Update

As I am sitting in this Warnet, internet cafe, I am reminded about how good we have it in America... Internet at the touch of out fingers! Haha!

But life in the Spice Islands has been better than imagined. This past week we have been asked to do many different things with many groups of people. I mean come on, we are the famous bulais! For our friends, family, and readers, in SEA that is what we are called EVERY DAY which translates to white person! They are so shocked to see us! Some, all they can say is "bulai" and stare...speechless.

We are currently taking part in the Islamic holiday of Ramadan. Many of our friends have invited us to eat with them at night when it is time for them to break fast. This is the best thing for us. The first time we were invited, we were completely in shock. Why? Because the day before Drew and I asked the Father to send us friends here. We were searching and looking everywhere for people to talk to and hangout with. The very next day, He sent six our way. That is right, SIX new friends we are now involved with! Pugi Tuhan! (Praise the Lord). He is so good and forever faithful. Prayer Requests ---the Father to keep sending us new friends. ---Our new friendships to be strengthened and opportunities to share are made evident. ---We not lose faith of the real reason we are here. ---We be focused and looking for people willing to communicate at all times.

To our friends and family, we are doing great...No worries here! We have somewhat mastered the motor bike. We have eaten chicken fried rice everyday since we have been here. I do not know if it is because we like it so much or we are scared to try other things. The place where we are located is known for serving bat, rat, dog, cat, snake, and snail at any time! My (Wess) language has picked up a ton. I can now talk with people and understand others. Drew, well, he is trying! Sending much love from SEA to Louisiana and Texas!

God's Blessings

This week has truly been a blessing to the Northern Thai Team. We have had the opportunity to go and share God's word with several people that we've come in contact with. 
One cool thing that happened was that we were able to perform at the weekend market. God provided everything. The store keeper let Ty use his guitar and gave us everything we needed to make sure that we would be heard. Ty did an amazing job leading worship that night. The owner of the store enjoyed us being there and singing and has asked us to come back this weekend and sing again. We handed out free waters and will also be doing that again this weekend.
Our good friend Pon has also asked to spend more time with us this week. Every opportunity we get to spend time with her, we are able to share the gospel with her. The great thing about this is that she might not have questions right then, but she goes home and thinks about what we said to her and she asks questions the next time we see her. 

Another blessing that God has given us this week is our good friend Gang. He asked if he could go to church with us Sunday morning. Uhh... of course! He enjoyed it. He even got up to worship and sing with us in front of the church.

Each one of these events this week has been a great encouragement for us. Please keep us and the Thai people in your prayers. Pray that God would continue to open their hearts to him and that they would be open to listening.

-Ashlyn

Pak B again

After our time in Lewokluok, we came back to bapa B to rest up for a day or two before heading out again. The family welcomed us in again like family and it honestly felt kind of like coming home for us after working things out last time. Spending time with this family is something we all look forward to now.
We got the chance to share with bapa again, but this time it was because he had questions. He came from a Catholic background and still isn't completely convinced or sure of everything we and other Christians say. We encouraged him to ask all the questions he wanted to while we were here and we were able to answer them with scripture and personal experiences. He really believes that he needs a teacher to understand scripture, but we pointed him to Matthew 23 that says there is only one Father and one Teacher. We encouraged him to read the Word for himself, pray and let the Lord teach him.
As we continue to encourage him every time we stop here, pray for him and his family that the Lord would show them the truth through His living Word. Pray that the Holy Spirit would enter their lives and guide them.

-Alex, Josue, and Anderson (Embrace the Beyond)

An Unforgettable Day

The first day of ministry was an unforgettable one for me. I was with one of our translators and Carter. We were going house to house trying to find people to share the Good News with and set up Bible studies. We came to a small store and the woman, named Nanay M, working in it had a huge smile on her face when she saw us. She welcome us inside and while we were talking to her, we discovered she was a fellow believer. During our conversation, her husband, Tatay B would come in and out, curious to hear but easily preoccupied with other things. Eventually, we asked him what he thought about the whole concept of God and the Gospel. He answered bluntly and honestly; "I don't believe it at all because I am a materialistic person." To this I replied "Would you mind hearing the Gospel from someone who used to be the same way?" He said yes and immediately pulled a chair in front of me. 

I shared my testimony with him about how I used to long for the things of the world more than I longed for God but how this always left me empty and nothing ever lasted. His face changed throughout my story and you could tell he was seriously moved by this new found perspective. After I was finished, he said "For years my wife has tried to explain this to me, but I never understood. But now I have been enlightened and my eyes have been opened. I now understand that the only way to life is through Jesus Christ." With tears welling up in my eyes, I then shared with him how to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior, which he did! After more Bible studies and good conversations, he decided that he wants to get baptized. We have high hopes for Tatay B and Nanay M, they have the potential to be leaders for Christ in their community, and we are praying that they will be. 

Pray with us for Tatay B & Nanay M. They have the potential to be leaders for Christ in their community. Pray for their continued spiritual growth.

-Lindsay P
Riverboat Team C

Monday, June 27, 2016

Cuna Feel the Love Tonight?

This week we spent most of our time visiting homes of people we had already met and studying the Bible with them. The people of Cuna continued to be very welcoming and hospitable toward us and invite us back for future Bible Studies almost every time. A few people have already understood the gospel and others seem very close. God is definitely moving in Cuna, and it has been a great experience sharing Christ's love with them.

Please continue to pray for the salvation of the people of Cuna as well as the health and safety of our team so that we may continue serving the Lord faithfully.

-Daniel

Isla Verde Outreach

Kids trying to get our attention
On Thursday mornings, the clinic does an outreach in a couple of poor neighborhoods in Davao. They actually have two locations that they go to on alternating weeks: one in Agdao and one in Isla Verde. Amy and I were on shift this past Thursday morning so we were able to go to Isla Verde! 

Isla Verde is a barangay (village) with a large Muslim population and is located near the ocean. There is also a large group of Badjaos there, a Mulsim ethnic group. Some people call them "sea gypsies" because they live in squatters homes near the water. They live very simple lives without calendars or other time keeping devices, and they cook over fires.

The outreach clinic usually starts around 9 am and women are seen in order of whoever shows up first. They do not have to have an appointment to come, so we never know how many will show up until we get there! 

This past Thursday there were not that many women who showed up, which was kind of discouraging at first. It ended up being a good thing that there were so few patients because a Muslim woman came in for a prenatal check and Amy and some other midwives ended up getting to share the gospel with her. She said she wanted to start a relationship with Jesus, so the midwives prayed with her and offered her support. If there had been a lot of patients the midwives may not have been able to set as much time aside for this woman. 
Streetside view
Some "cool kids on the block"
Please pray for the Muslim and Badjao women in this area, that they will come to know the Lord through these outreaches. 
Pray for the woman who received Christ, that she would grow in faith and have support from her family.

-Carmen

Paving A Way for Unbelievers

The past few weeks for our team have been filled with lots of opportunities to share, grow relationships, and explore different parts of our country. This past week, our team went different ways to discover new areas that need the Good News of Isa.

Jeremy, Jenna, and I (Victoria) had the opportunity to travel to an island off the coast of our city to share the Good News with a few national believers who were to translate for us. This island only has 10 believers, the rest are Muslim, many of whom have never heard the story of Jesus. When we arrived, we were faced with many different barriers that prevented us from sharing the Gospel. We quickly learned that the spiritual soil on this island was extremely tough. It would be like trying to plant a flower seed in a pile of rocks.

As a tourist on the island, we had the chance to ride motor bikes across the whole island. At first, I was frustrated. Why we were driving from waterfall to waterfall when there were thousands of people who had never heard of the story of God's Grace? God began to teach me the truth of the following quote: "Prayer does not enable us to do a greater work for God, prayer IS a greater work for God." (Oswald Chambers) Driving across the whole island gave us a chance to pray for the people who had never heard. To pray for bold witnesses to come and share with the people who have never heard. To pray that God will soften the hearts of the people. To pray that every evil stronghold on the Island would be broken, so that the Gospel could be spread. It was humbling reminder that God is in control over every moment. Even in our frustrations, He is working through us for the betterment of His Kingdom.

Through out our five days there, we were able to share with five people. Two of which we left a translation of the Bible in there native language. Termia Kasih Tuhan (praise the Lord), that these people were able to hear the good news. 

Pray that God would grow those seeds that were planted.
Pray that He would soften the soil on these island and send bold witnesses there to share the Gospel.

Thank you so much for praying for my team and I as we continue to follow Christ further into this world.

-Victoria