Saturday, July 9, 2016

Dancing in His Freedom

DSCN5214

Since we knew our upcoming three day break would be interrupting  the typical schedule of lessons, we decided that it would be more fun to teach some of our classes a song and play games the Friday before the break occurred. In the two classes I teach and assist in, I had the opportunity to teach the students the song “Set Free.”
In my two years as worship leader for the BCM at Shorter University, “Set Free” has become one of the band’s favorite songs to lead. Initially, I chose the song for two reasons: 1) I could actually play the chords on guitar, and 2) the lyrics contained remotely easy words that I thought the students would be able to learn more easily than others. My simple intentions of teaching a good, easy song turned into much more once the classes began. Not only were the students enthusiastic about learning the song and eager to sing along, I was also able to present the gospel when explaining what the song was saying.
“Set Free” is a song about finding freedom in Christ once you choose to trust in Him. It talks about the unspeakable joy and unshakable love we, as believers, experience. It reminds us that Jesus overcame the world when He died on the cross for our sins and that we no longer have to worry about the eventual outcome when we endure trials. Because of that, the song portrays sheer joy and excitement about what Christ does in the lives of those who choose to believe in Him. The last line of the chorus says, “This is the shout of the hearts You’ve set free!” If that isn’t excitement about Jesus, I don’t know what is.
My favorite part of the song, though, is the bridge. It says,
And we’ll dance, dance
Dance in Your freedom
Oh, Your glorious freedom
Forevermore, Forevermore!
Here’s a little more insight into our students. Most of them LOVE to dance. After some of our weekend parties, we’ve ended the night with a dance party and gone home smiling ear to ear… as well as sweating more than we thought possible.DSCN5225
When we got to the bridge, I would have the students actually dance as they sang about dancing in the freedom they can have in Jesus Christ. It was so uplifting to see their faces shine with joy as they danced and sang. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to teach“Set Free” to my students and to share the gospel through it.  If you know me, you know my passion for worship is greater than any other in my life. The joy I received through sharing that passion with my students is trulyunspeakable. 
-Cambodia DiscipleMakers

What are you here for?

Let me say that God works in mysterious ways. We had a discouraging ministry day a couple of weeks ago where no-one was wanting or willing to talk with us or have a Bible study. Even though we were discouraged, we had a change of heart and went to the basketball court to play with some kids. It was when I was playing ball with some little children that I heard a voice speak out to me. “Hey, what are you here for?” 

A lady named M.B. was calling to me so I began a conversation with her, sharing the Word with her. This led me to finding out she was my age and that she really wanted to learn more about God. We continued to meet with her on a regular basis and I was able to teach her lyrics to “How Can It Be” by Lauren Daigle. She seemed very interested in learning more about the Bible and she had a very open heart. I’m excited to see how she grows in the Lord and I pray that she will begin to disciple. 

Please pray for Ate M.B.

-Rebecca

God's Provision

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

Pray for team members to recognize their needs may only be met through God. Thank God for His provision in the lives of team members.

Team of the Day
Hope & Healing

Country of the Day
Kenya

Freedom

The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance;
to comfort all who mourn,


Isaiah 61:1-2 

...but the Lord will shine over you,
and His glory will appear over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your radiance.
Isaiah 60:2-3 

The Lord has taught me much within this last week! The lessons have come from both of these scriptures. God has made me worthy, he has made you worthy. I have prayed for freedom for my friends from sorrow, shame, and bondage.

I have prayed for freedom! I pray that the nation of Afghanistan will come to the light and that the glory and brightness of the Lord will radiate upon them. That the Lord will be evident in their lives. 

Join me as we pray for freedom! 

Neighbors of Refugees

While we go to the camp to serve refugees, there are also refugees in our own apartment building. My heart has been broken this week for the Syrian family living in the place downstairs. A teammate and I went down and brought them some cookies one day, which gave us the chance to make friends with them. That night, I was invited to come back to their house and watch the Jesus film with the family. We had technological difficulties and were not able to get it to work so instead, they invited me to sit and talk with them. Immediately, we got into a conversation about God. 

The night was spent discussing the differences between our two beliefs. Although they were able to hear truth and the difference between our faiths, they insisted that it was the same. Our whole team has had to explain to people on multiple occasions that our belief is in fact very different from theirs. Yet, many choose to not accept that truth and simply say, "You have your faith and I have mine. They are both good ways." But as we know, there is only one way and that way is Jesus Christ. 

Please lift up this family, that He will reveal Himself to them and that I will do all He wants me to in that process.

-James

Cost of Following

The cost of following is much greater than back home. On her birthday, one of our local sisters blew out the candles on her cake and said that her one wish is that her mother and father would also believe, and she wished we would pray for this. Many fellow followers are the only ones in their family, and they face strong opposition, even isolation, because of their decisions. But they are confident in the love of the Father, and continue to trust what they know to be true. Here, joining one family many times means that you leave another.

Please pray for this sister, that she would stay encouraged and continue to be a light to others in her family.

-Autumn & Julie

Refugee Day

This past June 20th, people around the world celebrated World Refugee Day in honor of all the individuals who have had to flee their home country due to persecution of some sort. The city of Nashville hosts a World Refugee Day Celebration each year to encourage the people in the community to celebrate the thousands of refugees in their community. We canvassed several of the refugee apartment complexes to help people get on the bus to go to Coleman Park and participate in the celebration. There were cultural performances throughout the day, such as African dancers, the Children’s Freedom Choir, a Chinese zither-player, and more! Also, many of the refugees brought ethnic food to share with all of the attendees. This was Nashville’s biggest World Refugee Day Celebration yet, and we were thankful for the opportunity to participate in the event and share in the cultures of our refugee friends.

-Courtney

Friday, July 8, 2016

Go

It’s hard to understand something that doesn’t have any information. Well our life has a lot of things that we need to understand sometimes or some people only focus on what they know or what they want to do in their life. God wants us to understand that He has a better plan for us instead of just doing what we know that satisfies us and will result only in physical things, which is only temporary.
It is God’s plan for us to enjoy life and He wants us to enjoy it with Him. For God is eternal and if we will be able to know what is God’s will for us then it will result to eternal joy.
As Christian we are called to glorify God. I know we all know that. But sometimes we forget other people. Do they not deserve to also enjoy life with God? Yes! They also must know that they can enjoy life not only on earth but also for eternity in heaven. So, as Christians we are called to “GO and make disciples of all nations.”
-Ecoy
Island Hoops & Healing national partner

Oma Selma, my SEA grandmother

Day to day we never know who God has in store for us to meet. As we "jalan jalan" through the streets and villages, we are constantly looking for people to stop and talk to. This day, I got to meet my SEA grandmother, Oma Selma. Oma is a retired English teacher from one of the local schools on an island we visited. When I say English teacher, do not think she is fluent. She mixed both languages throughout most of our time together. The true, genuine love she had for me shown through her eyes as she was happy to get to practice her English with a native speaker. At 75 years of age, she still wanted to learn more about English. What better way to teach her English than sharing with her?!

We talked about creation, life, death, and resurrection for a long time. Oma was thrilled! I know that was absolutely, 100%, a divine appointment by the Father. We stayed at her house and even though she was fasting, she made sure we were taken care of throughout our time there.

OH...her house...seriously the most beautiful place I have seen here. Not because it was up-to-date, huge, or convenient, but because she has planted flowers, trees, bushes, and plants everywhere! Her house is a garden! And at her age, she still goes out every day to maintain her place. We were fascinated with Oma and look forward to meeting her again. When leaving, she made sure I would be returning again! And as a tear fell down her wrinkled skin, I confirmed I would be back to see my SEA grandmother.

Please join me as we pray for her daily that God would continue to work in her heart and that she would pass from death to life everlasting! Though different skin color, religion, and ways of life, God still continues to draw me closer and closer to these people. I am forever grateful for Oma Selma and the Father for leading us to the door steps of my new, SEA grandmother.

-Wess

Active Faith

I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.  Philemon 6

Pray for team members to clearly live out their faith as they minister.

Team of the Day
Mercy Midwives

Country of the Day
Philippines

Youth Conference... Zambia style

Our humble abode for a few days for the Baptist youth conference. Pray for the Zambian youth that will be attending the youth conference.

-Joseph & Josh

As Iron Sharpens Iron

Teammates have become family and translators are now brothers. As we all work together toward the goal of making Jesus' name known, our connection grows. As we strive to make disciples among these people, our love grows. Being a part of this diverse community of believers is sharpening and molding all of us. The Father is creating strong men who will do His work for the rest of their lives. The eleven of us will never be the same. We came here thinking that we would "Impact Cebu." Our time in Cebu is having the most impact on us. Christ is at work in our hearts, as well as in these communities. Walking, growing, and doing ministry with these men will never be forgotten. "I am your 'kuya!' If you need anything, you come to me." The brotherly love here is beautiful, but more than that, it is powerful. We are becoming strong for the Lord. Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).

-Zac

Thank you for coming to my country!

After our English club this past Saturday, we met for lunch and then coffee with a few followers, and we all shared our testimonies. Some of these followers are very new believers, and it was incredible to hear how the Father has been working in their lives for a long time, sometimes years before they finally committed. Their stories are inspiring, but they would tell us that they did not know how to share it in an effective way. So in this coffee shop, we spent a couple of hours discussing with them the most important parts of their story, the most important parts of HIS story, and how they could explain it to one who has never heard. 

Autumn and I are blessed to have had much training in telling these truths, and we also have access to tools to help us share with visual aid, which we also showed them. As we stood to leave, one of the girls grabbed my hand, saying "Julie!" I turned, and she said simply, "Thank you for coming to my country."

-Autumn & Julie

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Let the Children Come to Me

My heart is so full, and filled with joy looking at this picture of two of my favorite things TEXAS and AFGHANISTAN. This past week we got to enjoy a week of having fun with small children, but in my group was this Afghan boy and his brother. They where the most stubborn, and they probably never followed the rules. During this week there was a moment when his brother said "I'm fasting" and I said "I accept your decision." He was shocked when I started to talk about Ramadan and he said "You know about that?" and I said "Yes I do." His face after I said that had so much joy because someone in the room understood his culture.

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16 

The kingdom of Heaven belongs to these sweet children! 



Please pray with us that a door opens in their family. That will continue to come to church event, and that one day these boys will accept the gospel!


-P52 San Francisco Team 

Divine Appointments in Camp

Over the past couple weeks God has been teaching me about divine appointments. Everyday at the camp we go out and try to meet people to share with. For me it is easy to just get lost in strategy and forgot to listen to where God is calling me. Instead of praying for guidance, I just go full speed ahead. When I was recovering from sickness one day, I was unable to wander around the camp. So instead I sat and prayed. It was a unique experience because every time I sat down, not a minute later a person would come out of nowhere and take me to their tent. Even in my weakened state, God made a way for me to meet and witness to others. 

In a similar way, Kallie and Emilie were just walking down one of the roads not looking for anyone when they met one lady. She is in the camp alone and had never met anyone else on our team. After the girls had talked with her some they got her information so they could visit her later. After they left, she too left the street she was standing on and when back to her tent. There seemed to be no reason why she was standing by the road, but if she had not been then she met not have met Emilie and Kallie. 

It was after that day that I was reminded of my lack of control. While taking action to meet people in the camp is important, if I am acting on my own power than all is for naught. God taught me that day that he is the one in charge. I will continue to act but I have to remind myself of who is taking the lead. I am only a follower of a call and I must listen to know where to go.

Please pray that God would lead us to persons of peace and that we would had divine appointments with them!

-Refugee Highway Team

Protection & Deliverance

And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.  2 Thessalonians 3:2

For the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.  Isaiah 52:12

Pray for God's protection of team members and His deliverance from evil. Pray that team members would seek God's leading and trust His presence as He goes before and comes behind.

Team of the Day
Cam Disciplemakers

Country of the Day
Cambodia

A New Ministry!

We have continued in teaching English daily, connecting with students one-on-one or in small social outings, and hosting “hang outs” on Saturday evenings with the goal to attract more university students and to share truths about the Gospel. Recently, we have begun to host a bible study offered for students who are interested in learning more about God, but have not fully heard the Gospel and/or fully counted the cost of following (not just believing).
It is beautiful to see the student’s interest in the study and to hear the scriptures read in both English and Khmer. The students are hungry for love and fellowship with Christ and did not want to end our time when we concluded the study, asking us to spend more time with them doing “whatever” we had planned for the afternoon. This Sunday we are planning on having the bible study again and following that up with visiting a local church with any interested students. We have been able to invite more students to the bible study this week, and many have agreed with much enthusiasm!
Please pray for us in adding this new ministry that we would continue with increased energy and passion for sharing the word of God with these students! 
Please also pray that we would lead them into an independent faith, in which they do not become dependent on western culture or western leaders to continue and grow in their faith.
Please pray for continued divine opportunities to have conversations with students about the gospel and their decision to count the cost and follow Christ. Several are very close to committing their lives!
Pray that God would alleviate the students’ fears about suffering and persecution (rejection from their families) if they choose to follow Christ. As we study 1 Peter, pray that they would grasp a deep understanding of the greater importance of a relationship with Christ than the avoidance of pain in this life.

1 Peter 1: 6-7 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine.

1 Peter 4:14 --  If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

-Ashleigh

Family

"Hello, Sister Julie! Sister Autumn!"

These are familiar words to our team, and they are usually accompanied by the grasp of two eager hands. We have met so many people, young and old, lost and found. Last week we were happy to be able to travel to a nearby city to meet some fellow followers and attend their Sunday service. Although completely in a different language, the tunes of familiar worship songs along with the sound of many voices singing thanks to a Faithful Creator were enough to rejuvenate and refresh our team. We shared our story through and translator and encouraged our brothers and sisters to continue to allow the Father to use them to reach their people in a way that we, as foreigners, could not. We were encouraged ourselves by the many blessings and prayers spoken on our behalf throughout the congregation.

-Autumn & Julie


Caring for the Children

Across the street from the entrance to W was an orphanage that was really just some poorly built shacks with electricity and water.
We visited the owner and spent several hours getting to know him and his story. He had been moving around from city to city looking for a place that would let him set up in and support him in. He was turned down help from most other orphanages and organizations like those because he took in everyone. Many of the orphanages here only help those that can at least help themselves, but he wanted to help everyone. That was apparently a problem for other organizations.

He has taken in and rescued children that cannot do anything for themselves. Currently there are 28 children and 4 workers.  He is barely able to provide for himself, but he still gives everything to care for the children there. 
Pray for this man and his passion for the children. 
Pray for the children and the people that are willing to help him take care of the children.
-Alex, Embrace the Beyond

Planting...

The Lord is good in all that He does. This past week we built two toilets in four days. We also planted corn during this week. It has been a lot of hard work, but God is good to provide strength and encouragement.

It is amazing to see how God can use work like planting corn to point His people to His word. James 5:7-8 says, "Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand."

God will use the work that we do to reach the people in the village. We can already see how receptive the people are becoming towards us.

Please pray for:
-The lost in the village
-Strength to continue working
-Safety in the village

All honor, glory, and praise be to God.
A bond-servant of Christ,
Joshua

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Transports

Sometimes we have women who come in and are unable to give birth at the clinic due to a certain factor (like high blood pressure or not progressing fast enough) that put them into the "high risk" category. We then classify these women as "transports" because they are taken to the public hospital's OB/ER (yes, they have an Emergency Room specifically for pregnant women). Once there, we pass off communication to the doctor, tell our former patient goodbye, and then head back to the clinic. This is almost like a worst case scenario. In some instances, you have been with this patient for multiple hours trying to comfort her during the labor process, all the while forming this unique bond, only to have them whisked away to the hospital for some unforeseen problem. No longer are you able to see the mixed emotions of joy and relief on the new mom's face as their precious child comes into the world. Instead, we have to settle for the anxious ride to the hospital, and the sad farewell in the OB/ER as you realize they will give birth without their family/husband/partner by their side (they are only allowed entry into the hospital after the baby is born and only during visiting hours). Finally, we have to deal with the unsettling feeling that you may not get a chance to find out what happens with the soon-to-be-mom unless she comes back to the clinic. 

Another troubling aspect is realizing that this woman will not have the same exposure to the gospel if she would have stayed at the clinic. However, like many other times in my life God has been showing me how He works all situations out for His glory. With the ride over, God gives us the perfect opportunity to pray for the patient and their family and to share with them the peace that God brings. God helps us to remember the doctors and nurses who work 24 hour shifts at this hospital, who are probably still exhausted from their last shift. A few day ago, God showed us yet another means to continue the relationship with the women who we transfer.

A patient had to be transferred due to a recent illness that left her both dehydrated and too exhausted for pushing. It was difficult leaving this patient knowing that the hardest stage of labor was yet to come. For some reason, this patient weighed heavily on my heart and, after talking with several of the midwifery students, they informed me that we could go to the hospital during the visiting hours to the Post partum unit to meet up with the former patient. Kate and I decided to visit the unit the next day after our shift.

Once we arrived, we were directed to the Post partum unit. Nothing could have prepared us for the unit that consisted of a huge room housing 100+ beds with two women per bed. After the initial shock and roaming up and down the rows, we finally saw the patient we had transported the day before. Her eyes lit up and a huge smile spread across her face as soon as she saw us. She could not believe that someone from the clinic was visiting her and cared about her enough to follow up with how her labor went and how her baby was doing. After talking with her and the woman she was sharing a bed with, we said a prayer for both women and exchanged hugs. As we walked back through the rows of new moms, we realized God had shown us another way we could reach out to women and share His grace and His love.

-Jesse Anne

Please pray for the hospital here in Davao where we transport our patients and for the people who work there.
Pray for boldness as we continue to take steps to share the gospel

Hearts and Minds

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  Colossians 3:1-2

Pray for team members to focus their hearts and minds on the eternal, to set aside the temporal.

Team of the Day
Mountain Trek

Country of the Day
Philippines

Seek Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

Pray for team members to seek the peace of Christ to rule in their hearts and lives as they continue to serve Him. Pray also for the unsaved to recognize this peace as the answer to the conflict waging in their hearts.


Team of the Day
Nurse 2 Nurse

Country of the Day
Southeast Asia

Womens Bible study

This week Country and Grace helped with another VBS, but in a different fashion. We were a part of the refugee ladies group. Each day we would go through a different Bible story and discuss what it meant to them. Each lady in the class is the mother of at least one child at the VBS. The moms learned the same stories as the kids, so when they went home the mothers could answer questions or just discuss what they were learning about the Lord. Also, they had the opportunity to learned how to journal, decorate cookies, make jewelry, and go through health and safety classes. Each of these ladies are so precious and kind in every way.  

Please pray that these Burmese women continue to dig deep into God’s word and that they would live their lives in a manner that their children would desire to know God as well.
-Grace


An Obvious but Encouraging Realization

It can be very easy to get discouraged considering the fact that we are serving in a city with around 3 million people, and most of those people don't know Christ. I really struggled with this reality last week as I was hanging out with a group of friends. I was invited by my friend Dirga, the only English speaker in the group. So there I was, surrounded by extremely nice people who did not even know what a personal relationship with Jesus was. To make matters worse, I couldn't speak their language, and I would not learn enough to share with them before I leave. I was very discouraged that night.

The next morning I opened my Bible and began reading through Romans 8. There is a lot of great stuff in that chapter, but what stood out the most to me this time was verse 29. It says, "For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers."  While reading this verse I realized something very important: God didn't send me here to change the whole city in two months time. He sent me here to invest in individuals. Then, those individuals might one day invest into their city. I would have claimed to know this truth before coming. But only last week did I come to realize it in my heart. I may not be able to share with that group of friends, but maybe one day Dirga will.

Please pray specifically for Dirga. That God would open his eyes to the truth of the gospel and accept Jesus as his Savior. 
Please pray for our whole team. With less than a month left, we need wisdom and patience as we continue to invest in the relationships God has given us.

-Matt

Praise for seeds sown

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

Praise Jesus! This past week we have seen seeds being sowed! People have seen who we are, and the the person we serve! 

Please continue to pray that all our meetings are intentional, and that we are able to share the gospel with our fellow Muslim friends. 
Pray and proclaim with the salvation of our Muslim friends!


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Opened Doors

Yemeni Food
We have just crossed the halfway point of the summer, and I was feeling a little discouraged. Although we had met a lot of people and were able to show Jesus' love, most of our Yemeni friends were very resistant to talk of the gospel or did not know enough English to understand. We began praying for doors to open for conversations and that we would encounter people in the homes that could speak English or that God would show us some way to communicate. Oh how our prayers have been answered!

Abril at Yemeni friend's house
Right after we began praying, our friends introduced us to an Iraqi couple that have been here for 15 years, speak English, and love to talk! We have spent many hours going back and forth about religion and life. We have also been able to share in the homes of many of our Yemeni friends we have been teaching all summer. School recently got out, and now several teenage daughters come in to help their moms with translation. In two of these houses, one of us has been able to deeply share the gospel with these daughters and answer their questions while the other partner is teaching the mothers.

As this week of prayer continued, God kept opening more and more doors in front of us. At a very devoted Muslim friend's house, I noticed a giant Arabic Study Bible on the shelf and inquired about it. She also brought out an English/Arabic Quran, and we were able to read some of both while her 10 year old son translated our questions back and forth. While this was a difficult and sometimes inaccurate way to have a conversation, it resulted in her agreeing to read the book of John while we read the third Surah! While the Quran clearly goes against the gospel, this Surah shows that Jesus is holy, powerful and different. Surah 3 is often used as a bridge to the gospel, which she is now reading in the book of John! We are so excited to go back to this house next week and follow up with her!

Kids joining in on the English lesson
Through the last few weeks, He has shown His grace and faithfulness, and we have learned the power of prayer. He has opened so many doors, and we continue to pray that our friends' hearts and minds would be open. This time with Muslims has also shown me that our job is to sow the seed and pray for our friends. We trust God there will be a harvest, and we pray for workers to come and continue His work in the harvest field. We pray that our friends will come to the Lord soon, but even if we don't see the results, we trust God and see He is working.

Pray that our friends would not just seek head-knowledge of Christianity, but that they would see their need for a personal relationship with the Savior.
Pray that we would be able to focus the conversations on what matters.
Pray for our Syrian and Afghan refugee friends who are looking for jobs and better housing.
Thank God for all the doors that He has opened.

-Sarah 

Opportunities to share

This was our last stop before our midsummer meeting with the other team on our island and it was an incredible stay. We spent a lot of our time getting to know the teachers of the local school through hanging out and talking, but also through playing some soccer! The school had a small concrete field that we were able to play on and we spent a few hours having fun with them. It was a great opportunity to get to know them better, be sportsman-like, and share with the teacher we were staying with.

When we shared with our host, he really didn't seem like he understood much of anything that he'd read. He claimed to be Catholic and read his Bible some, but not regularly and not lead by the Holy Spirit. We spent time answering his questions and sharing with him, but those people need to be lifted up in prayer before the Father.
Please pray for our host... that his eyes will be opened to the truth of the Bible.
-Alex, Embrace the Beyond

Update from Kenya

The medical teams have been incredibly successful and God has done a lot of awesome work! Many patients have even been sent to get operations done that will either save their lives, or completely change them! Even more importantly, the Gospel has been shared with every single one of them and thousands have accepted Christ! To give you an even better visual, here is all that God has done this summer so far:
Medical patients: 5,362
Prescriptions given: 30,706
Children's ministry: 7,037
Construction: 2 churches, 1 widow's home

God has accomplished all this with just 3 teams, and we still have 2 more to go! Erin and I have still been working in triage and wound care. Some of the wound care has been pretty intense the past couple of days. Ashley expanded her horizons and worked in pharmacy a lot the past 2 weeks. It is so cool seeing her be flexible, leave the children's ministry for some time, and be willing to work where she is needed.

Please be praying especially for team 5. There are ZERO churches where we are going, but rather it is where the headquarters are for one of the largest cults in Africa. The President of CMN has been praying for 3 years to build a church in this area, and we will be planting one 2 miles away from the headquarters! Talk about the power of prayer! Please be praying against spiritual warfare, as we are anticipating it during these weeks. Also please pray for the new churches that have already been planted. In the past, Satan has had a way of attacking the newly formed churches. We know that God loves his Bride and is fighting for her, so we appreciate you joining alongside us in prayer.

He is our song

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God” Psalm 40:3. 

We all have the opportunity to live our lives as songs unto the Lord, songs of praise- continuing to worship the one true God day by day. We get the privilege of being used by the great composer and conductor, to be a part of a grand song, something far beyond anything we could ever do on our own. 

This week, we assisted with the Children’s Freedom Choir. We listened to children all week make a beautiful sound unto the Lord and observed them “dance like David”. The kids learned various things throughout the week such as drums, hand bells, dances, and songs. At the end of the week the children performed for parents and friends and for World Refugee Day Celebration on Saturday.


Also this week, as our team was on a quest to find food one night, we stumbled upon some Muslim women breaking fast. They were kind and generous insisting that we eat with them. Before leaving we chatted a bit with one of the ladies and prayed with her before we departed. We believe this to be an amazing opportunity to share the gospel as we build a relationship with this family. It is pretty cool how God will bring us into others’ lives. We learned that we should always keep our eyes and ears open to anyone that God might bring into our lives at any point of the day.
Please be in prayer for the Muslim families we encounter that God would soften their hearts and open their eyes and ears to the Word. 
Also, pray that our team would continue to be intentional with those we come in contact with and would share the love of Christ with them regardless of what might be going on internally and externally.
-Grace



Monday, July 4, 2016

Meeting physical needs

ARLDF Thailand volunteer and Nehemiah Team members building a toilet & plant trees for the Lahu people in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand.

Continue to pray as this teams meets physical needs of the people in this area.
Pray for hearts to soften toward the Good News of God's love.



Opportunity

...making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.  Ephesians 5:16-17

Pray for team members to seize opportunities to share the Gospel. Pray they would ready themselves through prayer and the reading of God's Word.

Team of the Day
Riverboat

Country of the Day
Philippines

Chance Meeting: Part 2

Maklon leaves for his home city shortly after we'll leave back for our "home city." He's basically joined our group while on this island. Josue made a fun comment that we're on our way to having 12.
He's joined us for every one of our Bible studies with the families around here and for each of our opportunities to share. He's been a part of those, so he's seen some of our ways of sharing and has been able to ask questions. He says he's a believer and certainly acts like it, but he seems like he's a fairly new believer. That's why we've asked him to follow us and be a part of our studies.
We've been praying for him and his walk with Christ. Pray that he will find his true identity in Christ and that he would be strong in the Lord, not discouraged by the evil around him. Pray that he would have a passion for the Lord and constantly be in the Word and in prayer.

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

A response to fasting

“Fasting is meant to take you, temporarily, out of the realm of the physical and focus your attention heavenward; as one Jewish guide to fasting puts it, 'at the heart of this practice is a desire to shift our attention away from our immediate needs and to focus on more spiritual concerns.” -Lauren F. Winner

Fasting has been a common practice in many religions for centuries. Depending on the religion, there are different rules and ways to fast. In Islam, they dedicate a whole month (the holy month), called Ramadan, to fasting. From sunrise to sunset they cannot eat or drink anything. In attempt to relate and better understand the Muslims we are serving this summer, I decided to fast the way they would.

I expected it to be difficult considering I drink a lot of water during the day. I was right. My mouth began to feel dry by lunch and I craved water the whole time! As a christian, when we fast, we are able to drink fluids so I was not used to the change. When it came to food, I handled my temptations surprisingly well. It does not get much worse than standing in a food court, at the mall, watching your friends scarf down pretzels, cookies, and icecream, while fasting! If you know me, you know my love for food...I was pretty impressed with myself (: Haha.

As I have spoken to Muslims this summer, I asked why they fasted. The responses I got all seemed to be the same, "It is a time to be closer to Allah, it teaches us patience, and helps us to realize our dependance on him." Some of the responses seem to be similar to christian reasons for fasting. I personally learned through this experience how to better relate to Muslims through this month of Ramadan and my own dependence on God. I am excited to learn more about the Muslim people and continue to be able to connect on a deeper level this summer. Please pray for salvation of the beautiful souls we have and will come in contact with this summer. 

-Amber

He Calls All People

The Lord truly does call all people to himself. Here in Tingloy, the Lord has saved a young woman named Mary Jane and an older woman named Gloria. These two stories of faith alone in Christ alone are His perfect will revealed.

As my team and I were sharing the Gospel with Mary Jane, the Spirit moved in her heart to repent from her sins and believe in Jesus as her Savior and Lord! For Gloria, the good news of Jesus was nothing short of clarity and complete understanding. She told us how false beliefs and teaching had tried to steer her away from the Lord Jesus, but Gloria remained steadfast in her faith.

His grace and mercy continues to call all people like Mary Jane and Gloria. The Lord is transforming lives and revealing His perfect love to the people of Tingloy. God's word says that [He] desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4) May we continue to pray earnestly and fervently for all people.  

-Maritess

We all have our own beliefs

Recently, we met with Henrie and Teddy. Henrie told us how his family prayed to their ancestors, and we were able to get a glimpse into his and his family's beliefs. At dinner Des, Allison, Charley, and I were able to discuss how we solve our problems: going to the Book, praying to Him, and trusting in Him. We shared our personal testimonies and Henrie shared his. For me, it was difficult listening to Henrie contently say, "We all have our own beliefs." But I know that my call is to be obedient to His command, and that He waters the seeds.


Please pray for us as we go VT to get some much needed rest. We'll visit some local sites, relax on the beach, but most importantly, spend time with Him so that He can show us how He wants us to spend the rest of the summer, and how we can most effectively share the good news!

-Tip of the Spear

Pictures from Riverboat teams


Sharing the Good News
Encouraging the local believers
Bible study with those who are interested
Travel on the river... THE only way to go!

National team members become close friends