Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Planting... watering... cultivating

As our time serving in Southeast Asia comes to an end, I can rest in the fact that our hearts will be full with memories we have made & friends we have grown to love. The Father will continue to work through the seeds we have planted. We are assured that He will water & cultivate faith through our ongoing prayers for these we have worked with this summer.

One unique opportunity we were given during our time here, was through our visits each Wednesday to a women’s prison. On our very first visit, we began by introducing ourselves and sharing with them about our family’s, where we lived and grew up, our schooling and the careers we were studying for. These ladies enjoyed getting to know us through our weekly visits and wanted us to come back again and again. We began planning specific activities that we would do with them. Some of these activities included using Mad Lib stories, specifically planned questions to encourage discussions and some modern day parables we could examine. In order to help develop relationships with each other, when we would begin our visitation sessions we asked how their week had gone and tried to encourage them to share about themselves on a more personal level. They all seemed to have wonderful attitudes about participating and they got along with each other quite well. As we prepared our questions beforehand, we wanted to try to get the women who are followers of Christ to open up about their experiences as to how He has changed their lives and in what ways He had worked in their hearts during that particular week. This was one effective way we were able to bring the ladies who are not followers into the discussions and communicate just how Christ can become a helpmate to them all. The ladies that we worked with at the prison always seemed to be able to show joy in such a meaningful way regardless of the circumstances face daily. 

At our last meeting as a team with them, we read a modern parable and one of the followers said that she remembered a similar story she heard from the Good Book! WOW!! They were making connections & growing in their knowledge of Him simply through our weekly discussions. Several of the ladies made bracelets that spelled out our names and headbands for each of us. These small gestures mean so much to us! Even though these ladies are in prison and have little to nothing, they took the time to make something special that we can take home with us. I know I will miss them so very much and will continue to pray that they stay strong in their new knowledge of Him.

Our final get-together with all our friends at the “Center” was Saturday night. We celebrated Anna’s, Michael’s and A’s birthdays from this past week. One of our new friends, T, cooked dinner for all of us so we decided he needed to become a chef! I had a very special conversation with a friend who told me that he can see a difference between us and other Americans he has known. I shared with him that it is because we want to spread the love we have in our hearts that comes from our relationship with C and the Holy Spirit. Another seed was planted……

-Great Commission English Center