Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Kalipay!!

KALIPAY: JOY or HAPPINESS
Finding happiness in things the world is telling you not to. 

This summer we learned to die to ourselves through bucket baths, no air conditioning, bugs, and hiking mountains to experience the joy of sharing the Gospel to those who had never heard before. 

I’ll miss the people, the motorcycles, the mangoes for sure, but I’ll especially miss that we don’t get to see first hand how God makes the seeds that were planted this summer grow!


-Morgan
Advance Team
Philippines

Friday, August 2, 2019

From the Laborers of Your Field

God, we were Your gardeners
We brought forth our best tools
Most righteous deeds but filthy rags
How could you use such fools?

God, we were Your gardeners
Bound to see what You would do
We tilled the ground and planted seeds
But Father, nothing grew.

God, we were Your gardeners
Watered these people with our tears
Our hearts were shattered, seeds still scattered
Who knew deep roots took years?

God, we were Your gardeners
This ground is hard as clay
With hope we trust, in faith we must
Rejoice, share, teach & pray.

God, we were Your gardeners
Wanting to bring you flowers & bouquets
Instead we'll lift these empty hands
Accept, dear Lord, our praise.

-Meghan
City Talk English Team
Thailand

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Jewel in Southeast Asia

One of the first days on this new island, we were excited to go out and explore. Surrounded by beauty we were ready to see all that God would do. We headed out to find people. Ten minutes into our walk we happened across a barber shop where a few women sat in front smiling and calling to us. This was enough of an invitation for us to go over and chat with them. 

I spoke with the different women about their lives, looking but struggling to find an open door to share the gospel. Just as I began to think we should give up and move on, our translator encouraged me to keep asking questions. Praise God that I did not walk away in those moments! Eventually one of the women *Jewel ended up sharing that she had Christian relatives who had taken her to church a few times and had told her about the story of Jesus. Not only had she heard but her heart would break every time she heard the story of Christ crucified and would cry. She said that each time she heard this story it broke her heart but her Christian family told her to remain in her own religion, Islam. As we began to go deeper we asked if we could go to her house to continue talking.

As we sat in her house which consisted of “kitchen”, bedroom and bathroom all in one room, we discussed more about all that Christ’s crucifixion means for us. She agreed that this story is true and she fully believed. We asked her if she knew all that this meant, that following Christ means turning from sins, and other idols and accepting Jesus as our Lord. After going through all that this meant, we led her in prayer asking for forgiveness of sin, confessing that Jesus is Lord who died and was resurrected to pay for our sins. 

We studied John 1 with Jewel two times after she accepted Christ. She had already downloaded the Bible App on her phone, and was experiencing push back from her Muslim community who were suspicious of us visiting at her house. She stood firm in her new faith, seeming not to be afraid of confrontation. We went through the 10 Commandments in Exodus, explained prayer, the importance of reading scripture, worship and sharing her faith. When we visited her the second time she said she had been reading every day in John and felt a peace she couldn’t explain. It was the most encouraging experience of our trip out. Pray for Jewel and her family as they grow in their new faith!

-Jenna 
Ex & Ev Team
Southeast Asia

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The End of the Beginning (The End of Me)

My time as an active member of Nehemiah Teams is running short. As of July 31, 9:01 P.M. (CST), I will no longer be on my short-term mission trip. Orientation. Travel. Ministry. Breaks. Debrief. It will all be over. There will be many friends who I may not see again until we all get to Heaven.

The thing is, I am excited to taken my first step into obeying God’s Great Commission. Once our debrief is over, everyone will go their own separate ways, and I will too.

However, at least for me, I am not going back to being the same Christian Townson. Right before we left the Philippines, another Nehemiah Teamer asked me, “So describe your summer in two sentences.” I went with my gut reaction. This is what I said.

“I learned how to die to myself.”

The old me loved and tried to glorify God in everything he did, but his earthly goals sometimes took precedence over God’s will. He was looking for ways to improve HIS life, HIS situation, and to accomplish HIS goals. Even though this was not done with malicious intent, my mindset became an obstacle in the way of seeing what God wanted me to do and how He wanted to use me.

At the beginning of the summer, Psalm 37:4 was my favorite verse. “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I still love that verse, but after this summer, I think that Acts 20:24 fills my heart with a greater joy than any other verse I have read up to this point in my life.

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.

My life is worth nothing if I am not living for God and telling others about His love and His mercy, and how Much it is worth to follow Jesus and live life on purpose for the Lord.

Truthfully, this was one of the greatest summers of my life. If I could have stayed for a few more months, I would have taken them up on that offer. The most satisfied I am with my life is when I am glorifying God, telling others about His Good News and seeing them understand what that means. Also, being with other followers of Jesus with World Christian mindset rejuvenated my passion for cross-cultural missions. I do not know what role God is going to put me in for long-term missions, so I’m just gonna go until God tells me to stop.

Please pray for every Nehemiah Team member to take the Great Commission seriously as we leave Nehemiah Teams. I love Nehemiah Teams as much as anyone, but the world will not be won to Christ with short-term missions. We need mobilizers and goers to take on the challenge of spreading Jesus’s name to the ends of the Earth. 

Pray for any national partner/supervisor/cross-cultural worker who we have left. They needed us for a reason, so pray that we were effective enough and laid a foundation for them to reap the harvest.

Pray for every Christian in the world, including you, the person reading this article. How are you participating in God’s Great Commission? Are you doing anything? The Great Commission is for EVERYONE, not for a select few.

I want to thank everyone who helped me on my journey to Nehemiah Teams 2019. I want to specifically thank my parents and brother for being supportive and constantly encouraging me to love the Lord more than them. I know that’s hard, but there will be people in Heaven because my team went this summer.

So, this isn’t THE end. It’s just the end of the beginning...the end of me.

-Christian
Tropical Harvester Team (Journey)
Philippines

Monday, July 29, 2019

Bush Missionary: Good Bye!

What an amazing group of people. We had to say goodbye to these people who we love and have become family. This team gave so much and worked extremely hard for the past two months with us in Kaabong. They are humble servants and their love for the unreached and our KJ people is contagious. We sure will miss them and their amazing attitudes. Nehemiah Teams is awesome and I would highly recommend them to anybody who needs more information. A shout out to Laekan for recommending and working it all out for them to get here. We absolutely love these guys and their hearts!

-Selvin & Laurel
Field Supervisor, Bush Supervisor
Uganda
Bush Missionary team ready to travel

Butuan City area teams: Good Bye!

A great way to say good-bye to friends & national partners.... share a huge pizza! 
Pray for our national partners as some will be returning to the areas where we worked this summer to follow up on new believers. 

-Tropical Harvesters Teams
Island Ministry Team
Butuan City, Philippines

Life on Purpose

Being back at our home base for the last two days of our trip seemed like the end, but the Father had a plan. I had been forming a good relationship with one of the cousins, *Nelly, who lives in this city.

We had become very close over the few weeks. I was trying to share with her, but she would lead the conversation quickly away. As I left to go out for our second trip, my heart hurt knowing that she does not believe. The day I came back, expecting my work here to be done, our supervisor asked me if I wanted to try and meet up with Nelly. I agreed it would be a good idea, though my heart was weary from the long-time of work in the weeks before.

The Father was beginning to teach me something in the middle of this that is so vital to the walk the Father has called each of His children to.

I began to pray for our conversation and later that day we went out to get coffee. At the end of the day we began to talk about the dark magic. She told me about many of her family members who were affected by the dark magic including a curse that was put on one of her grandmother’s friends and her grandmother had to make a sacrifice so that the dark magic would leave. I took this opportunity to share about the greatest sacrifice ever made.

She quickly lead the conversation away. 

We returned to the house without more conversation about the Good News. I was discouraged as I walked back into our home, but I trusted that the Lord was working. Again, I thought that this would be the last opportunity for truth, but the Father was working in ways I could not see.

The next day, Nelly and I ate breakfast together and the Spirit provided an opportunity for me to share my testimony and to listen to her about a lot of the trauma of her past. She listened intently as I shared and though she still did not believe, something seemed to shift in our conversation. Pray for Nelly that she would believe.

I was not ready to share and I felt so empty and unprepared, but the Lord provided the way into the conversation and the means to share. He taught me that we hold the greatest news that means life or death so we must not go on in silence. We must go to the nations so that the family will grow even when it means being emptied daily. We must always be ready to share and rely on the Father for strength to walk in it. 

-Tali 
Ex & Ev Team
Southeast Asia

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hide & Seek/Nurse 2 Nurse: Good Bye!

And they're off!!! The end of an awesome summer of ministry. 

-Robin, local supervisor
Hide & Seek Team
Nurse 2 Nurse Team
Southeast Asia

Preschool, VBS & Prayer Walking Team: Good Bye!

Finishing well.. very well indeed! So thankful for this Nehemiah Team and their ministry with us this summer. They were amazing!!

-Edward, Local Supervisor
Southeast Asia

Refugee School: Good Bye!

Refugee School team members
I haven’t really talked too much about what has been going on this summer, but these 6 precious girls just left Korea today. I had the pleasure of being their mission supervisor for the summer to reach out and tell the Gospel. For two months, these sisters in Christ loved, lived with, and did life with North Korean refugees. Although they left today, their impact will be felt for an eternity. Never wait to follow the Lord into missions. We are all called to fulfill the Great Commission. And the Lord is certainly working in Korea!

-Aaron J  (2012 NT Korean Refugee team member)
Seoul, South Korea
Recent trip to DMZ

Gospel Spreading: Good Bye!

Gospel Spreading team and Teach, Heal & Hoops teams with
their local supervisors & national partners. 
Saying good bye was really tough for us. We had a Worship Celebration before we left and for that I am super thankful! This summer has been full of so many lessons from the Lord. He taught me so much about surrendering all expectations and anything I had planned for the summer. I pray that I continue to learn and apply these lessons. The Lord is so good! 

At our worship celebration, we sang How Great is Our God in both English and Tagalog and y'all... it is just a glimpse of what heaven will be like! It makes it worth all frustrations and being pulled out of my comfort zone. 

Please continue to pray for the people of Camarines Norte and the people of the POP Student Center. Also, lift up all the different teams as they travel back to debrief. 

-Kerstin
Gospel Spreading Team
Philippines

Multinational Advance Philippines: Good Bye!

To God be the Glory!
Bye for now, see you again in God's perfect time.

May the grace of God the Father will keep you, and the love of Jesus uphold you, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit will always inspire you both now and forever, Amen!

-Pastor Renante Deal Cuadra
Penaplata, Samal Island, Philippines

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Uninterested Man

I shared with yet another man, on a soccer field, who seemed uninterested in the Good News. 

I was discouraged and knew that it was one of the rougher explanations of the Gospel I had given. I felt like I botched the story... it seemed like for weeks, everyone had been uninterested.

We started leaving the field and the man called from behind us to come to his house. We politely said that we would go. So, my translator and I started toward his house, as the man led the way. 

We sat on the floor and talked about our lives and laughed a few times over the absurdities from our respective cultures. After a while, it was time for us to go. 

We went back to the village leader’s house, where we were staying, only to be met by a large crowd of people about an hour later.

There was a disturbance in the village and the man came to let the village leader know about it, with about 20 of his companions. But something strange happened when everyone left to go make their police report; the man stayed sitting on the porch with us, as if he was waiting on something.

Our translator started talking to him and reexplaining the Good News. My team and I sat around and talked while occasionally listening to their conversation. 

Suddenly, my translator looks directly at me and says, “He wants to accept, you lead him in a prayer. You shared with him earlier.” Nervousness and excitement filled me. I had never led someone to the Lord. I don’t know what to say.

My teammates reassured me and I started in the prayer. As I spoke, I felt the Spirit inside me moving. I was overjoyed and wanted to celebrate with all my heart! I finished and he finished with me. 

We exchanged a look at one another and smiled with an understanding that what just happened changed him. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!!

-Chase 
Ex & Ev Team
Southeast Asia

Friday, July 26, 2019

It's a small world after all

Delaware is approximately 1,640 miles from Texas, 7,266 miles from China, 7,976 miles from Taiwan and 964 miles from the Bahamas, according to Google. However, it all seemed so much closer not long ago. Three students have a closer connection to our team than we ever thought possible. Read more...

Jenifer, the author, served among international students in Newark, Delaware on a Project 52 team.

Basketball & Jesus goes to School

Basketball & Jesus is using all their final days in country to share about the love of Christ... this time in a local high school. Thankful for the partnership with IMB missionaries, Wade & Sharon Sigrest and their Impact Cebu ministry team.

Pray for the studnets who heard the Gospel through Zach & Josh... pray for the local team who will follow up with those who are interested in learning more.

-Zach
Basketball & Jesus Team
Cebu, Philippines

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

We will always remember you

Our team had the opportunity to partner with a visiting church from North Carolina and taught at a juvenile detention center. We saw a glimmer of God's heart for 'the least of these.' We taught 60 residents age 18-20 who do not stand a chance in their religious systems. If their hope for a better afterlife or heaven rests in good deeds, they know they are hopeless. They are the bottom of society... the forgotten.  

When we left, they said "Thank you so much for coming and for what you have given us. We will always remember you." But God was given the glory as they were told how our time there was to show that Christ loves them. Our supervisor presented the whole gospel, gifted the center a Bible, and began a new ministry with these kids. That was an amazing thing to watch God do!

-Meghan
City Talk English Team
Thailand

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Jesus & English

The English camp this weekend Ra Nong was amazing! God gave us many opportunities to share the gospel with our Thai friends and we saw one young lady believe in Jesus.

-Thai Village Outreach Team
Thailand

Finishing Strong!

Summer sports team member in front of the People's Palace 
We have less than a week left of our time here, but only four full-time working days. We plan to go into Araci each afternoon again. Our program there has really hit its stride in the last two weeks. We get there and sing songs for around 15 minutes in English and Romanian—these kids LOVE to sing! They shout the words and we make a LOT of joyful noise to Him! We have tried to be intentional with the songs we teach them, since they are essentially preaching the good news each time they sing in front of their friends and families. Thankfully, we have a great music team (Rockin' Romania Team: Christine, Savanna, Wade and Reagan).

This weekend we are planning a giant sleepover with our teenagers from Bod. We’re all going to sleep in another building at our home base and have fun talking and just spending time together. We’re also making a point to focus on them this week, since many of them spent last week at a camp an hour away from here. We missed them but we’re glad to have them all back with us for work this week!

I know I’ve said this before but the time has flown by! Pray that we will stay focused and give this last week our all in our work and to out teammates. 
Pray that we would be unified and that in a time where everyone starts to feel a little stressed, we would have grace for each other and bear with one another as we finish.

-Maria
Summer Sports Team
Romania


There's a better home a'waiting...

We spent much this week with students having gospel conversations over dinners and market trips. We were able to talk more in depth with 12 students and 1 professor this way, both Buddhist and Muslim. One of my favorite conversations was with a student who asked me about my time singing in choirs. He asked me to show him one of the songs, so I pulled up a random video from ETSU choir archives. Thankfully it was a gospel song and I pulled up the lyrics for him. The chorus says 
Will the circle be unbroken, by and by Lord, by and by?
There's a better home a'waiting, in the sky, Lord, in the sky.

This student said he liked the song but he prefers his home currently and doesn't think he needs a better one like the song said. It was so wonderful to bridge into a full gospel presentation with someone who listened intently. Oftentimes we have to directly start these conversations and it takes a lot of energy to get people engaged, so I was encouraged at this opportunity. This was the second time I've heard the response, "That is quite beautiful. Thank you for sharing this...we do not have anything like this in Buddhism." 

-Meghan
City Talk English Team
Thailand

Monday, July 22, 2019

Strategy vs. Comfort

As the end of the summer approaches, the Tropical Harvester team on S Island has been convicted to share the gospel in the most strategic way, rather than the most comfortable way. The team has struggled through some Bible studies with people who seem to lack interest in the gospel. One night, each team member expressed their frustration with the responses of those they were sharing with. They decided that even though they had formed good friendships with their previous Bible study contacts, it would be more beneficial to start over, looking for new people willing to listen. The following day, the team set out on their mission. Right away, one group encountered an older woman sitting on her porch. Nanay N told the team that she had seen them gathering across the street with another family, and she wanted to join. However, she saw that those attending had books, and she knew she couldn’t see well enough to read. The team proceeded to share the gospel with Nanay with other verbal methods learned previously in the summer. Nanay grasped the gospel and promptly invited the team to share more with her and her son later in the week.

During the last week here in the Philippines, pray that Nanay would hear the calling of our Father on her life to submit herself to Him, and that she wouldn’t hesitate to respond. 
Pray that others hearing the gospel this week would have the same response, and that our last efforts here this summer would plant plentiful seeds in the hearts of many. 
Pray for endurance and good health over all the teams so that all energy can be applied to the advancement of the gospel.

-Bailey
Tropical Harvester Team (TJC)
Philippines

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Luke 15:7

We have a huge praise to give thanks to the Father for this week! Each afternoon, instead of bringing the Araci kids here, we met at an empty plot of land on a street where lots of the kids live. Several moms have stayed for our entire afternoon program all summer, and Chele (ABC's & Jesus team) and Olivia (Summer Sports team) have been diligently talking with them and sharing the good news faithfully each day if possible. One of them prayed for salvation this Thursday. PTL! We are so excited and grateful that He gave us opportunities to share with not only kids, but also their parents.

Many of these moms are our age or barely older (early 20's) and some are younger. It’s normal in Araci to have a first child at age 15 or 16, so many of the women my age already have 2-3 kids under the age of 6 years old. The children's fathers are mostly away working in England or Germany, and that makes for difficult situations. One woman has told us that her husband does not send any money back home, but spends it on alcohol for himself. She is left with several kids in a one-room house with no running water or electricity for months while he works. Pray that the workers here would be able to pour into these women and that the one who has prayed for a relationship with Him would be discipled and that her faith would be genuinely strengthened.

-Maria
Summer Sports Team
Romania 


Daghang Salamat!! (Thank you very much!)

We're so grateful for having y'all here. Thanks for sharing your life, talents and specially for sharing the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ in this Island.😊😃God be praised! 
Your labor is not in vain in the Lord. -1 Cor. 15:58
Island Magic team with Siquijor Island
friends on last Sunday

-Friends on Siquijor Island
Philippines


Island Magic team with their own lechon (roasted pig)

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Many Things They Don't Know


We are working in a city and strategically targeting an upper class people group, and since they really don’t have any physical needs we can meet, we are learning to just live life as they do. We go to language school 3 days a week, the cross-fit gym several days a week, the boys go out and play basketball and football and we cook and go to coffee shops with our new friends. 

Through this new rhythm of life we’ve established, we’ve learned how to truly love Muslims. We’re beginning to understand how they think, how they relate to God (or rather their view of him), how they view the world, how they treat each other, and so much more. Now that we know them better and have embraced their way of life, we can reach out to them with the love of the Father in a way they can understand. This takes a lot of time and patience, because despite the fact that the majority of Muslims are some of the kindest and most hospitable people you will ever meet, “there is no love in this country” (quoted from our brother Mohammad*, a local Muslim Background Believer). 

In fact, the entire culture and religion is completely devoid of any concept of true love. They spend their entire lives trying to please Allah, and when they die they have no idea if they will find favor in his eyes. 
They don’t know that the Father has already made a way for them. They have no inkling that He is full of grace and loving-kindness, and that His wrath and judgement was satisfied at the cross. 
They don’t know the freedom of being a part of the kingdom. They don’t even know how they can be a part of it. 
They don’t know that all it takes is to repent and believe, and they can have complete assurance that they are his forever and nothing can snatch them out of His hand. 

But “how can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?” (Rom 10:14-15). 

Team members: Grace, Trevor, Sarah Elizabeth, & Mac
So... thank you for sending, and thank you for thinking of us as we strive to be the hands and feet of the Father in this dry and desert land. There is barely enough time in a couple months to even build a few relationships, but we know that our work is not in vain. Anywhere His word goes forth it will not return void. He was already at work here before we came and His word will stand long after we are gone. He is penetrating the darkness in ways we could not even imagine. He loves these people more than we ever could, so much so that he gave up his life for them. And so spending the entire summer with them so that they might have a chance to hear this truth and believe is no sacrifice, but rather our greatest honor. 

In these next few weeks, please be lifting up the individuals we have made connections with. Be asking that the Father will continue to show himself to them, in dreams and visions, in His word, and through more people that will come and pour into them. Be lifting up their families and circles of influence as well. Ask that they will be willing to lay down all if necessary to know and bring glory to the Father. And be lifting up all the rest of those trapped and blinded by Islam, that they will know the truth and the truth will set them free. 

Finally, ask that we will finish strong here. That we will wrap up our work well, and entrust the rest in our Father’s friends. Our hearts are broken for these people and this land, so join with us in asking the Lord of the harvest to send out more laborers. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 

Yes, the work is hard and tough, but it is worth it. 
The salvation of souls that are walking blindly into hell in the face of all risks and hardships is worth it. 
Every tribe, nation, and tongue giving glory and honor to the lamb is worth it. 

This work goes far beyond this summer, so let’s keep giving and going and serving with the rest of our lives. That way when He comes back for His own, He will have no problem recognizing us. Our banner will be clear. Until all have heard...

-Grace
Acts 20:24
Cross Fit Arabic Language Team
Middle East

Final English Camp

Pray for us as we lead an English camp this week! We will be playing games, sharing the gospel, testimonies, and singing worship signs. Our English camp is about an hour from Bangkok and will last from Saturday to Sunday.

-Thai Village Outreach Team
Thailand

Friday, July 19, 2019

Go Wild!

Got to go camping at Kidepo! An incredible experience enjoying God's creation with the amazing views and the animals. Got to see a lot of animals. Awesome time of encouragement.






Pray for the team as they host/assist with a US volunteer team beginning this weekend. Pray for fruitful ministry in the local villages.
Pray for them as they say their good-byes to local partners later next week to begin their journey back to the US.

-Bush Missionary Team
Uganda

Volleyball & the Gospel

We’ve been hosting Friday night volleyball every week we’ve been here. We always have fun, and get a little too competitive. This event has allowed us to meet so many more people from international student groups. From this event we have had gospel conversations and opened doors to real friendships. People encourage each other and laugh every single round. Once we finish we normally either grab food or hang out for a little. This leads to more conversations about beliefs. Who knew that volleyball can bring people closer to the gospel? Normally we invite our new friends to go to church with us. We’ve even had a hard time finding rides for everyone.

Pray for the students who have heard the Gospel through this outreach over the summer.
Pray for the relationships to continue to develop with the local BCM staff when the summer is over.

-Reagan
P52 Newark, DE

Helping the church reach out

We finished our last week in B with an outreach trip to several villages. We enjoyed teaching English at a school that our church members when to as children. We were able to share the gospel and sing worship songs! 

Pray for the ones who will follow up in these villages. Pray for fruit that will remain!


-Thai Village Outreach Team
Thailand







God is Already Moving

My most meaningful experience this summer would have to have been the presence of God. It’s easy to sit and think, especially as an American, we tend to think more as God needing to be taken elsewhere. However, God is already moving in places we don’t usually realize that He is. We did a shadow ministry where we went to the slums of the city where some of the counselors were from. And we went into peoples houses and physically prayed and shared scripture and words of encouragement to people living there. The way we met people where they were was so refreshing and biblical to it’s very roots.

-Hunter
Camp & Community Team
Kenya

Finishing Well

This week has been so amazing but also very sad! We will leave Buriram tomorrow to visit some other villages for 3 days. We have grown to love the people here so much it will be hard to leave them- they are just like family! 

Praises

  • Many open doors to share the gospel this week
  • Our new sister in Christ
  • Our supervisor is recovering well
  • Lots of sweet time spent with friends here before we leave

Prayer Requests

  • Continued prayer for complete recovery of our supervisor
  • Safe travels this coming week as we will be visiting a few other villages and heading back to Bangkok
  • Open doors to share this week and boldness.
  • That the church here would continue to grow and just continue loving people well! 
-Abbey
Thai Village Outreach Team
Thailand

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Not Just When You Feel Like It

Just ten days left until we begin our journey back to the states. It seems like last week we were getting on the first plane ride from Atlanta to Los Angeles. We are all excited to return home, but we know that our work here isn’t finished yet. 

We have been in our third barangay for about a week now. It’s a port city, filled with fishermen, families, and few followers of Jesus. This barangay has been more staunch than our previous two, with many Catholics and “Christians” who believe we are treasure hunters and with little interest in allowing us to come back for Bible studies. 

But we know that the Lord is working for His good. We may not feel great, physically or mentally, but we know that God is moving if we are obeying and glorifying Him. We may not see the fruit or results of His moving, but we know that He is beginning to because of our obedience and willingness to do small things, such as accept coffee, play with the kids, or hold a baby during Bible study. We see God working in small ways.

For example, we had a family miss a Bible study in the morning, so my group went prayer walking up to the local high school. We found three hammocks under a waiting shed, so we sat down, talked about our day and how we should approach the rest of the barangay. Then, the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the school comes up to us and starts a conversation. After a time, Kuya Ruel asks if we can speak to the children as a whole before school started. The OIC agreed, and we were able to share the Gospel, a testimony, and our purpose with over 100 high schoolers in addition to the teachers. God was and is faithful, leading us in the right direction and putting us in the right position to be effective. Thank the Lord for His consistency. 

As we have asked many times before, pray for our island. Pray for the people, that they would realize we are not there to convert them, but to help them create a relationship with Christ. Please also pray for team unity. We want to be united in the Lord and not allow petty things to become obstacles for sharing the Gospel.

Pray for perseverance. We see the end of the road and we don’t want to be caught looking ahead. We want to live in the moment, sharing Jesus and loving people.

Pray that more students see how living for God is the only life that matters, and that giving up our hopes, dreams, and agendas are worth it for the spread of the Gospel to the reaches and hard to reach. 

We want to thank everyone again who has been praying ferociously for us. Even though you are not here in the flesh, God respects prayer and will not ignore the requests from His children. We cannot wait to share how our summer went and how God has moved, both in the Philippines and in us. 

Colossians 3:17

-Christian
Tropical Harvesters (TJC)
Philippines

Greatest Story Ever

Our location is a center that is in an area where a lot of people live. Nearly 100 children come to the center each day. Liz and I teach English in the morning while our Korean team mates teach guitar and piano lessons. The kids are excited to learn English and to show off the English that they already know. After two hours of learning English the kids leave and go home for lunch. We eat lunch  together as a staff at the center. 

When the children arrive again it is time for Bible lesson. We start with fun songs and then break into groups to read the Greatest Story Ever, the Wonderful Story, and the VBS Bible materials. We read through stories, draw pictures from the stories and play games like fill in the sentence, guess the word, and crossword puzzles all with words from the stories. 

After a full day at the center we return to the apartment where we are staying at and cook dinner as a team. In the morning after breakfast, but before children start arriving we join the centers staff Bible study -to dive into the word together and pray before we start our day. Sundays we join the center for worship, another Bible lesson then we eat lunch with the kids.

Our time here in South East Asia is quickly coming to an end. I pray that the time that we have spent here has been beneficial to furthering the kingdom of God and that the children have learned more about God’s love for them. 

Pray for the children who are attending the daily classes. As they hear the Greatest Story Ever, pray for the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.

-Rachel
Multinational Advance
South Asia