Saturday, July 1, 2017

Refreshment

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

Team of the Day: English in Africa
Country of the Day: Sub-Saharan Africa

Pray for team members to have times of peace and relaxation in order to be refreshed by the Spirit of God. Pray for them to have endurance and patience as they continue to minister to the lost.

Outdoor Worship


What a joy and honor it is to worship the Lord across cultures. Church on Sunday was very eye opening.  We were outside under a porch made by tree trunks and straw. We sang songs accompanied by a shaker and a Djembe. We try to understand the preacher preached in Bambara. Though the setting was different, the joy was the same. We serve a God that transcends cultural differences. It makes me wonder what it will be like to worship Him with every tribe and tongue.
-Jordin

God's Divine Appointment

The second week we were in the Philippines I found a Muay Thai guym. We are here to teach self defense as a way in to sharing the gospel. So I figured why not try going to an actual martial arts gym? My first day there it was just Kate and me. When we walked in the gym the coach immediately treated us with great hospitality. He asked why I was here and I was able to tell him about our Bible studies we have been doing. His face lit up with excitement. I eventually brought the whole team with me to the gym and we all felt that something great could come from that gym. We also though that Coach Ed could even be the person of peace. 

Tuesday afternoon, Caleb and I decided that we should go to the gym. I was feeling extremely tired and down about going. I prayed that God would show us that something good was going to come from this. As soon as we walked in something seemed different. Two guys were doing Jiu Jitsu for the first time. (That's the martial arts that i do.) Coach Ed asked us to teach them some moves rather than us being the ones who were being taught. So Caleb taught Coach Ed and I taught a guy named Kevin. 

Kevin is very outgoing. He eventually told me his entire life story. With that I was able to share the gospel with him. He understood what I was telling him and agreed to come over for a Bible study soon. Coach Ed then asked Caleb if he and I would be willing to teach self-defense to a group of young adults. We agreed to do it. Coach Ed then asked how much money we wanted and Caleb said we'll teach a lesson in exchange for a Bible study. Coach Ed agreed to letting teach both self-defense and a Bible study to the young adults. Thursday afternoon we were able to teach our first lesson. The girls and guys all loved learning the self defense moves, but even better they loved learning the moves just as much!

-Megan

Meet the Team: CrossFit Language Students

Carter is going into his final year at Ohio State, where he studies public policy and economics. He served with NT in the Philippines last year, and has a passion for sharing the Gospel with hard to reach people. 

Hannah is our seasoned team leader who grew up in the Middle East as an MK. She is fluent in Arabic and is our cultural expert for the summer. She studies art at Columbus State and just finished her second year. 

James also served with NT in the Philippines last year where he developed a heart for the Filipino people. He studies communications at Southern Miss and is excited to learn to share the Gospel in a Muslim context. 

Amber is a physical education teacher from Louisiana & is our team CrossFit expert. When she's not kicking butt at the gym, she loves cooking and outdoor adventures. She is excited to see the work God is doing overseas and is eager to be part of his kingdom expansion in any way she can. 

Meridyth is a senior international studies & religion major at Baylor, and has a heart for the Middle East. She served with NT in Indonesia last summer and is eager to continue to learn how to disciple believers and share with unreached people groups. 

Please pray for team unity, strength, and boldness. We will be in a very spiritually dark  area so your continued prayers are greatly appreciated! 

The sticky note

The self-defense team in Batangas City is teaching martial arts and self defense to young ladies, and just going around the city engaging people in conversations that lead to the gospel. This week they walked through the cemetery at the back of the big Catholic church and found a sticky note on the bench. Someone had written a prayer to God and signed with the initials P1. Two of the team members, Joe and Ben, left another sticky note reply beside it saying if the author wanted to talk and know more about God to contact them. Then they put their phone number. The next day, the original sticky note author texted to meet and talk, and they took Mark to translate and they met her there in the garden behind the cathedral. It was a 19 year old going woman and they shared the Gospel to get and she was eager to give her life to Jesus!!

Friday, June 30, 2017

What's in a name?

David, Colt & Chris
Names.
You never can force an nickname.
It just doesn't work.

Doc Holiday
I thought this was an appropriate nickname for Colt. I still stand by that. But it didn't stick. 
When referencing a time in his life when he lived in the Western side of Texas, he will conjoin the West and Texas into "westexas." Chris and I took notice. We have now parodied that phrase so much that now it sounds something along the lines of "Worcestershire." So you can now call Colt "Westexas" (pronounced Wesh-teksh-ish)

Laughtrack
I thought it was a good name for Chris. But alas, you cannot predict the fickle way of nicknames. We met a 'stralian man by the name of Nathaniel, who, not only made it difficult to not speak like an Aussie, he made it difficult to not repeat everything back at him in a terrible Aussie accent that he no doubt thought was offensive at some points. Nathaniel met Chris. Nathaniel found out that Chris had packed a lifetime supply of protein powder for this trip. I'm serious. He might as well have checked a separate bag for his protein powder. Nathaniel thought this was hilarious. After hearing an Aussie man yell "Powda" for 3 days, we couldn't help but follow suit. 

Ace
The nickname I could only dream of. Given to me one day while throwing a frisbee on the soccer field; lanky arms and legs flailing about, making weird sounds, and generally being a sight, the team decided I had a lot in common with Ace Ventura. I'm not complaining. I love the nickname. We'll see if it sticks, won't we. 

Thank you for your prayers. This is a small update on team dynamics. We haven't had much time to write. But we will be posting more blogs within the next few days to give you an idea of how to pray for us, our long term partners, and the country. 

-David
Sports Engagement

Imitators of God

Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

Team of the Day: Pearl Island
Country of the Day: Southeast Asia

Pray for team members to walk in the way of love, to be imitators of God. Pray for willingness to sacrifice as the Holy Spirit leads.

Strongholds, Part 2

As the month of Ramadan comes to and end, many people have left and traveled back to hometowns to visit family and celebrate the end of the fast. This past week has been marked by hot days and empty streets. But the Father has been faithful to always put someone in our path that needs to hear.

As we were walking and praying through our neighborhood one afternoon we stopped to take a break in the shade. As we talked with one of the security guards that works in the area, three young boys, ages 10-11, came up and surprised us with a jovial, "Good afternoon, how are you misters?" They were eager to practice the little English they have learned in school and to discuss American pop culture. The first thing I was asked is if I knew Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift!

All three had been taught by their parents to keep the fast, and our hearts ached for them. Cason was faithful to try and share a Bible story with them, of Jesus and Zaccheus, but as soon as they heard the name "Isa" (Arabic for Jesus), they put up their hands, motioning for him to stop. They explained that they had been taught differently, only to trust the Quran. This was a sobering glimpse into the stronghold that is established in the hearts of our cousins, from a very early age.

But praise Father that he has the power to tear down strongholds and dispel darkness from hearts.

  • Pray for these strongholds to be torn down by the truth that saves.
  • Pray for the millions of children that are like these boys, and for their fathers. Honoring parents is so important in this culture, and it is very hard for children to throw off the yoke their parents have burdened them with.
  • Pray that we would witness stories like Cornelius from Acts 12, that whole households, under the influence of husbands and fathers, would come to repentance and believe.

God's Love

Our team has done much to try to help the needs of people. We have done food distributions and giving eggs to kids in schools. The needs here have touched our hearts. Most people here are so happy and generous even though they have so little. One day we went to a school and heard of the needs of the kids there, and the need hit us greatly.

Here is a journal entry from Katie talking about the needs of some of the kids:
"Let me break this down for you. These people live in the middle of no where with really no way to get much less keep a job. The kids go to school from 7:30am to 4pm. Nine times out of ten they come to school hungry. When they get to school there is nothing to eat. The school is doing their best to provide the students with an education and a safe place to be during the day. They can't afford to feed them. If be some off chance they can afford to feed them, it's just sadza porridge which is cornmeal and water. And once they leave school, there is no telling what kind of situation they are going back to."

Despite this, we see that their greatest need is Jesus. His love for them is deep, and He cares for their needs. Therefore, we might not be able to meet all their physical needs, but we have come with the greatest news they could ever hear.

Please pray that God would help us to see that their greatest need is to know the truth about Him. Help us to be able to love them and provide for their needs whenever we can.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

More English, More Opportunities

Hello from Thailand!

This past week we were able to meet with a woman for an English class that we had met in the red-light district the previous night. At the end of the lesson we were able to share the Gospel with her. She was attentive and listened to what we had to say. We asked her if she had ever heard this story before. She said her mother told her about it when she was young. She told us she is Buddhist and goes to the temple whenever she is suffering. This gave us an opportunity to share with her about the hope and peace we have with Jesus. Our lesson got cut short, but she agreed to meet with us every Friday morning for English lessons!

Prayer Requests:
• That the woman we met, Oy, will come back to our English class eager to learn more about Jesus.
• That the other woman we invited to the English class, Belle, will start coming to the class.
• That we will continue to build relationships with the women we’ve met in the red-light districts.

-Anna




Authoritative Redemption

The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.
Proverbs 21:1

Team of the Day: Nashville P52
Country of the Day: United States

Please pray for redemption of authority figures in the various countries Nehemiah Teams are ministering this summer. Pray for God to send revival in the hearts of believers to live out their Faith boldly so that the lost might see the Truth.

Thank you Nehemiah teams for posting on my behalf. This is my first post and will attempt to do the same more often. My name is Timothy Williams. I am the U.S. member of the Zambia Sports team. My team consists of two Zambian men, by the names of David and Mupashi, as well as the missionary here in the city of Solwezi.
The main focus of my time here has been changed from sports evangelism to a variety of programs. We are teaching Ultimate Frisbee at one of the schools here. We are leading a bible study with Scripture Union for four schools. Scripture Union is a christian club at each school with students who meet once a week to sing and hear a biblical message. We also have the opportunity to play sports at the local YWCA (YMCA established by women). We have received a large turn out for this event. Each week, the young men number in the 30's and the children number in the 40's. I have been given the opportunity to lead a discipleship bible study, where I am helping all who come to understand Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
Our primary goal with everything we do is to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Most Zambians have not been shown the importance of studying the Bible for oneself to know the full truth. They are misguided by many false teachers who take one verse and fill it with their own fancy. This is why my secondary goal is to teach them how to study the Bible for themselves so they can defend themselves against the devil's schemes (Matthew 4). Thirdly, I want them to understand that every part of the Bible works together, so they know without a doubt that "all scripture is inspired by God" (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and that no part can be ignored or made less.
God has been so faithful these past few weeks. He has not failed in answering our prayers for boldness. Schools have canceled programs many times, but we continue to trust in the Lord's plan as He directs us toward
others who need to hear the gospel that day.

-Please be praying for Mupashi. His uncle passed away last week, so life has not been easy for him.
-Pray for our boldness and to continue trusting in God's plan.
-Pray for the Zambians, that they would accept the true and right Word of God and not the wayward interpretations of men

New places & new people

New places and new people, but in more ways than one all places and people are familiar. We all have similar struggles and questions no matter where we are in the globe. We all have those places we go to read and think about life. But sadly only for some do we have a Person who listens to our prayers and leads us through this breath we call life. I am praying that all people may know the One who loves me, and everyone, so much! (John 3:16-21)

-Katie

Mercy Midwives Update

We have had yet another awesome week at the clinic helping with births, pre-natals, health teachings, and bible studies! Most of us have seen our required 5 observation births and are now up to charting! Exciting! We have also figured out that America is MISSING OUT on fried bananas! YUM!!! 

Scroll down to see some pictures from our daily life & prayer requests from the Mercy Midwives team.
Visiting moms on outreach day!
Naomi and Amy holding baby Athena!
Paige and Kat share the story of Shadrach, Meshach,
and Abednego with Athena's mom on outreach day!
Paige - professional baby holder. She gets two
carry ons for the plane ride home right?!
Naomi and Kat embrace the role of
pregnant moms for a health teaching!
Please Pray for:

  • The boys we met on the boat (see our other blog post, Even on a Day Off, for that story)
  • Renewed energy each morning for shifts at the clinic
  • That God will bring us into contact with people who are ready to hear the gospel
  • For guidance in our bible teachings that we do for the patients each morning
  • And for safe deliveries and healthy babies

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Attitude of Humility

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:3-7

Team of the Day: Kids Lovin' & Learnin'
Country of the Day: Philippines

Pray for team members to serve as Christ - with a humble attitude. May they seek to glorify God alone as they share the Gospel with the lost.

Following God's Lead

We are learning as a team to trust the Lord and follow His lead while we are here in Bulawayo. We are learning to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" as 1 Peter 3:15 tell us to do. There have been times that we have been asked to share a Bible study when we hadn't had anything planned. Those times are teaching us to be always be prepared even when we don't think we should. People always need the truth. God is also teaching us that things might not work out as we think, but things always go according to God's plan.  

There have been times when things haven't gone according to plan, but we have seen God work in those times.Even when we don't understand, we can still trust and obey and know that God will work it all out. We have been reading through the book of Acts, and the early church is helping us to see that we can obey the Lord's leading even when it doesn't make sense. In the end, there is a purpose for it. I am learning that God will work all things out even when they don't make sense or work like we think they should. 
  • Please pray that our team will trust God and will be obedient even when things don't work out like we think they should. 
  • Pray that God would work out all the details here and help us to trust Him more. 
-Heather 


Peace Only

Salaam Alaikum from West Africa!

If there is one thing I have learned about the culture here it is that the people love peace. While learning language, we have been told if we don't know what to say, say "Jamm Rekk," or "Peace Only." Seriously. That is the answer to literally everything. How is work? Peace only. How did you sleep? Jamm Rekk.

So much talk of peace has been a shocking reminder to me that we can talk about peace all day, but cannot know true peace without God. Here I am, in a country full of people who don't know Jesus but want peace. And what do they say when you try and tell them about the one and only peace? Jamm Rekk.

It is a paradox that has frustrated our team beyond explanation, but also reminds us of why we are here. We have the answer to their search for peace. God never said "convince." He said "go" and "tell." So that is what we do.

Prayer-
Please pray that the Muslims of West Africa will come to know Jesus and the peace that only He can bring. 
Pray that our team will find joy in the obedience of telling, and not grow weary when people reject truth.

I have said these things to you so that I'm me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart: I have overcome the world. -John 16:33
                                                                                     
Jamm Rekk,
Chloe

Disillusioned

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13

Team of the Day: Spice Island
Country of the Day: Southeast Asia

Pray for the lost to be disillusioned with their gods. Pray for team members to clearly and boldly share the Truth of the Gospel with the lost. Pray for the lost to be set free by God's truth.

Strongholds

This has been a busy week for us, full of joy and frustrations. We have had the opportunity to share the full truth, with a response time, with about 11 people this week. Though many of those we were led to were open and even said that these things could be or are true, they fall back into Islam saying they still follow it. We are joyful that we are seeing an increase of openness to truth, but frustration comes when people fall back into their Islamic "safety net." 

One instance of the Father leading us to the open is when we met Pak S. We were prayer walking in our neighborhood when we came across him at a mosque. He was happy to talk to us and eagerly invited us to the steps of the mosque. We didn't share the truth with him there but I had the opportunity to meet with him again. The next time I saw him I was able to share the full truth with Pak S, and he believed it to be true, but that it was not the only way. He believed his bridge prayers were sufficient for his salvation, even though he is not sure of his salvation. He wants to hear more, so we are trusting the Father to work in his heart.

We believe there is power in the name of Jesus to break down the strongholds we are seeing here. The enemy is trying its best to drag these people into the pits, but with fervent prayer in the name of Jesus these people can break free of their chains.

  • Pray that the spirit continues to lead us daily
  • Pray that strongholds created by Islam will be demolished
  • Pray that mosques here will become isolated buildings of the past
  • Pray that God will create an awakening to the truth of Jesus here in SE Asia

- Michael


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Not contained in a figure

"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything...'in him we life and move and have our being'...we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man..." Acts 17:22-34.
Even though seeing the different temples and such is an amazing experience, it is important to remember that the one true God needs nothing from us because he is all-powerful, nor can he be contained in figures. His power and love is shown through his Son Jesus Christ. 

-Katie

Riverboat Supervisor Update

See a current update from the Riverboat Evangelism teams field supervisor. Pictures too!!

There is great power in the name of Jesus!

From the very start of this wonderful trip, my team and I have experienced the inconceivable power of the Lord unlike we ever have before. Not only has God been hearing our prayers, but He has never failed to answer our prayers as long as we have been on this beautiful island. God is so faithful to us even though we are so incredibly undeserving of the countless blessings that he has granted us.
            
This past Monday my team and I went to L Village. We chose to stay in this particular village so that we could share the Word with a man named D. This young man has been a Muslim since birth. However, for the past year he has been extremely receptive to the Gospel. He consistently asks about Jesus and seeks to learn what the Bible says about Him.
            
Wednesday morning Aaron and Johann decided to go for a hike up the mountain with D. I was unable to go on the hike due to an injury the prior day. The whole time my team was gone, I was praying expectantly that the Lord would grant my team an opportunity to share the Word of God with D. Upon the team’s arrival back to L village they were excited to tell me about how the Lord had presented them with an opportunity to share the Gospel. The Word of God had pierced through D’s heart and he was eager to learn more about the Bible.
            
Later that night, we heard a little girl crying out in pain from inside her room. We asked D who she was and what was wrong. He told us that it was his younger sister and that she had gotten an ear infection that was causing her great pain. After hearing this, we then asked if we could pray in Jesus’ name over her for healing. She was hurting too bad to leave her room so we prayed right outside the door for her. During our time of prayer, we felt a supernatural presence come over us. The Holy Spirit was moving through us greater than it ever had before. D saw what we were doing for his younger sister and he was very grateful.
            
The next morning, we woke up for breakfast and asked D how his little sister was feeling because we know that an ear infection causes a lot of pain. D went on to tell us about how his sister was feeling “great!” Shortly after, we noticed the young girl playing with a group of her friends and we immediately realized what had happened. Even with modern medicine, which this village doesn’t have easy access to, it can take several days to get over the infection and to ease the pain of ear infections. Despite the lack of medicine this girl was healed just hours after our prayer. Some may consider this a simple coincidence but my team knows otherwise.

The Lord heard our prayer and sent the Holy Spirit to heal this young child. This amazing act of God is only a small example of how powerful He truly is. Our daily prayer is that God shows Himself to the people of this island like He did on that wonderful day. We ask that everyone would continue to pray for this mission because the Lord is answering our prayers in ways that we can’t even fathom. Praise God for His remarkable power!


-Caleb

2017 Take it to the Rim - The Harvest

The Barangay of I is a bountiful harvest; those who have lifted us up to the Lord have brought us to many people of peace, love, and interest.

Darwin, previously mentioned, has been baptized, and is referred to by his friends in school as "Pastor Darwin", a sign of his outwardness of faith even when we are not with him. Praise that he is such as a strong believer in such as a small amount of time, and continue to pray for his growth.

New into our daily fold are Jasmine, Michelle, Ronald, Peter, and Lino.

Jasmine, a Catholic woman raising two children while her husband works overseas, came to know the Lord this week and it appears her salvation is real, though only her, God, and the Devil know her true heart. She is seeking a genuine relationship with Jesus, and we are using the Word to speak to her the truth to her questions about purgatory, baptism, and praying to anyone besides God. Pray she would grow in her faith and that it would be true. Praise that she has come to know Him!

Pray for Lino who has prayed to receive Christ. He seeks a relationship with Christ and discipleship from other believers, pray that he would grow in his faith. Praise for an answered prayer request of his - after roughly two weeks of drought, we prayed for him in the name of Jesus that his crops would receive rain, and it rained that night!

Michelle, the aunt of Darwin, is one of that many family members that Darwin has in I. He has 56 cousins in the barangay alone! Pray we could effectively minister to Michelle and the family of Darwin, imagine if the Lord consecrated an entire family of this magnitude to Him, how gospel saturated the community would be!

Finally there are Ronald and Peter, two brilliant Engineer brothers with English as good as ours. They are not saved, but are asking all the questions that come with a convicted heart. They invited us for dinner and we explained the Gospel to them for several hours - the food was great! Pray they can come to know Jesus, because they are scared to turn their lives over to a God they cannot see, a rational fear.

Pray continually for our team, we've avoided physical injury and sickness, but the mental and emotional fatigue is apparent. 
Pray that we never grow content with what the Lord has already done for us, that we can constantly seek and disciple.

I Have This Hope

Bangkok, Thailand. A city with more 7-Eleven convenience stores than trash cans, where traffic lights are a suggestion, and where there are escalators that go up but not down.
The past week has been filled with blistered feet, cheap food, getting acquainted with the city, and helping the City English Project with what many would consider tedious tasks: passing out thousands of promotional material in the humidity of Bangkok, babysitting missionary kids, and organizing for the coming weeks. 

I have learned the importance of smiling to every Thai you meet even if you don’t receive a smile in return. 
I have realized how crucial it is to be joyful through all circumstances. 
I have been reminded that the Lord uses the “small things” for his glory in a way that I may not fully understand in my short time here.
Bangkok, Thailand. A city where millions attempt to appease evil spirits with food and offerings, where temples and shrines fill every corner, and where prostitution is rampant.
Every time I walk the streets, I see the “spirit houses,” and I am reminded of the grip Satan has on these people. I pass the Hindu temple, and I watch as little boys and girls follow their parents into a place that will never give them life and peace. I see desperation on the Thai people’s faces as they fall to their knees before powerless idols. I see their pain; I see their suffering. And I realize that I will never be able to erase these images from my mind even if I wanted to.
Bangkok, Thailand. A city where people are oblivious to the fact that they are walking in darkness, where the language barrier is difficult to cross, and where most have never heard the Gospel.
I feel the frustration with not being able to speak the Thai language. Every day, I see an elderly Thai woman; no matter where I go, she is there. Since day one, I have been burdened for her, but the language barrier between us is thick and high. The language barrier follows me wherever I go. It has been there as my team and I teach English and try to share the Gospel. I have seen the confusion on their faces and felt it mirrored on my own as we desperately try to understand each other. 
But I have this hope.
I love this city. I love these people. I love teaching them English and forming relationships with them. And I take comfort in the fact that the Lord loves them even more than I do. I can see His relentless pursuit of them; I see Him drawing them to Him. He is moving all around us- opening doors in allowing us to teach English and share the Gospel in the temples, in massage parlors, and to Buddhist monks who have willingly said that they want to learn about the Lord.
I have this hope because I know that the power of the Lord is much bigger than my inability to speak Thai and much stronger than the influence of the Enemy here. I have this hope because I know that even when I leave, the work will still continue. I have this hope because seeds are being planted and sowed in this country. I have this hope because He has reminded me that He is always present and moving even in the “small things.” I have this hope because I know that the Lord is still the king of these people even if they don’t know it yet.
If I’m honest, I have not prayed enough for these people. I see the need and think of it often, but I must remember that the Lord covets the prayers of those speaking on the behalf of those who do not know him.
So please continue to pray.
Pray for the power of the enemy to be broken here. 
Pray for hearts to be opened to the truth. 
Pray for the walls of these temples to be destroyed and replaced with the presence of the Lord.
-Jennifer