Sunday, October 13, 2019

Have you ever seen a hyrax??

This morning during my quite time, I came across Psalms 104 which speaks of God’s creations. All of the animals and the landscapes that He has made that bring glory to His name. 

There was an animal in Kenya called a hyrax. These animals were everywhere and one of the funniest memories I have while I was in Kenya was one being on the roof and everyone thinking that it was going to attack at any moment. 

Psalms 104 talks about how God has provided for the animals that He created and in verse 18 it says “the cliffs are a refuge for the hyraxes.”  How cool is it that God provided the cliffs as a refuge of protection for these animals. If God cares so much even about the hyraxes well-being then think about how much he cares for His children and wants to provide them with abundantly more. In Leviticus 5 it talks about how the hyraxes are considered unclean. Yet God still cared and provided for them. It’s so amazing that we too, unclean sinners, can be
washed clean by His mercy and grace. God’s plans for us is exceedingly more than the hyrax. I’m thankful for God showing me His compassion and just how much He loves and cares for His children this morning.

-Madison W.
Camp & Community 2019
Kenya

Friday, October 11, 2019

Consider it pure joy

This summer we were given 26 Bible verses to learn and one of the first ones I memorized was James 1:2-4... Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of all kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. And let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Whenever my faith was tested this summer I would always think back and remember those words. I do have to admit a lot of times I did not have the right mindset and would get frustrated when opposition stood in my way and forget the truths that God tells His children. I would always tell my girls this summer that God would be with them through their hills and valleys. He would be with them through their highest of highs and their lowest of lows. But I would often forget that truth myself.

Ever since I have been home from Africa, I have had a lot of anxiety from transferring to a new school, adding a major, transitioning back to “normal” routine, and just the daily stresses of life. James 1:2-4 has been continually coming up. We were given the book of James to write an exegetical paper on for one of my Bible classes, so after reading James daily I have had the ability to meditate a lot on God’s promises that are seen in James 1:2-4.

Although in the midst of our trials is not very pretty or fun and it can hurt a lot, but when we endure the suffering just as Christ did for us, there in that valley, our faith is strengthened which is such a beautiful thing. But we can’t just endure them, God tells us that we must endure our trials with a joy that is genuine. Pure joy is found only in Christ, who came and gave himself for us. I am often guilty of looking for happiness in things that the world loves, but joy that is genuine comes from knowing God and seeking His will for our life.

James then goes on to tell us in verse 12 “Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him”. Our pain has a good reason, God has promised us that if we endure our trials with joy that we will be rewarded with the “crown of life”, which is forever with Jesus, how awesome is that?

So, if you need an encouragement today, know that God promises us that our pain has a purpose. It is there to stretch us and grow us. It makes us into the Christian that He has called each of us to be. What’s so comforting is that we do not have to suffer alone, God does not abandon us during our hard times, He is with us and He is guiding us. Rest on the truth of His promises. The same God that was with you on your hill will be with you in your valley. Praise Him for your trials, because there is purpose in your affliction.

-Madison W.
Camp & Community 2019
Kenya

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Goodness of God

This phrase was an anthem for my team throughout the summer. On our first Sunday in South Korea, our worship leader sang the Bethel Music song “Goodness of God.” Unknowingly, these lyrics would become a team bonding focal point, a source of encouragement, and a ministry tool. Since our team was comparatively smaller than others, it was so evident that the Lord had strategically given each of us talents and gifts in areas where the others lacked. Luckily for Julia, myself, South Koreans, and Filipinos alike, Makenzie was blessed with such a beautiful voice. 

So since we didn’t have access to music for 2 months, Makenzie filled that void. Let me explain further... Afternoons in the Philippines are hot, and for me personally they were the time where most of my spiritual battles took place. I remember vividly laying next to Julia under our mosquito net listening to the constant sound of geckos and roosters. We were exhausted. We went many days prior to that specific day without “siestas,” because the children were always begging to play Pato, Pato, Manok (duck, duck, chicken) and obviously no one can say no to those precious faces. So, while laying on our bed mats, Makenzie sang “Goodness of God” on repeat (because we couldn’t remember or look up lyrics to other songs). I wouldn’t have had it any other way because the Lord met us in our physical and spiritual valleys that afternoon and many other similar July afternoons. 

By the end of the summer, we were able to teach our South Korean and Filipino teammates the lyrics as well. Then our Filipino translators began teaching/sharing this song with our church children, high school students, and other people living in our island village. 

After almost two months back in the States, it is so easy to look back and see the Lord’s hand, faithfulness, and goodness in every small detail. This song continues to remind me of my experiences in Southeast Asia, my teammates who became some of my very best friends, and the work that still needs to be done in SE Asia. I deeply long to be back on my bed mat singing this song or playing Pato, Pato, Manok with the barangay children. However, I understand that the Lord has each of us placed in strategically different regions around the globe for our specific purpose in fulfilling His kingdom ministry. So, in this transition phase I am encouraged by the bond created over lyrics to a song, but more importantly I am encouraged by the eternal impact that one summer, one team, one song, and one God will have on people in South Korea, the Philippines, the USA, and all over the globe in the coming months and years.

Team with their Philippine church family
I love You, Lord
For Your mercy never failed me
All my days, I've been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God

I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
And in darkest night You are close like no other
I've known You as a Father
I've known You as a Friend
And I have lived in the goodness of God, yeah!

-Camden Studstill
Multinational Advance 2019, South Korea & Philippines

Friday, September 27, 2019

I miss... all in His time

Stand in the Gap & Island Magic Teams
I miss these people more than words can describe. 
I miss Kassi doing my hair in the morning joking about the last time that we had a good hot shower. 
I miss sitting with Emma in the afternoons while she plans our next Bible study for Kuya Marc’s house while I try and read A History of the World in 6 Glasses for WHAP. I miss my “moms” yelling at me to actually read A History of the World in 6 Glasses for WHAP when I just wanted to take a nap. 😂 
I miss Amelia presenting me with a new verse that she found during her quiet time, using it as encouragement for me when when i’m going through a rough time. 
I miss yelling for Tucker to get his camera when a millipede the size of my hand is crawling across our house or yelling for him to come get the giant lizards off of our beds and mosquito nets. 😬
I miss checking the chore chart to see who’s turn it is to go fetch water this time. I miss complaining about the fact that it is my turn to go fetch the water lol. 
I miss joking with Jadon every time he burnt the rice and told him to “leave it to the women.”😉
I miss yelling for Phoebe and Golden every 10 seconds to help us translate something that a child was trying to tell us. 
I miss those stressful grocery shopping days when all Kassi &  want to do is just curl up in a ball on the ground bc there is so much going on (ok maybe I don’t miss that one too much haha). 

I miss the afternoon siesta that would always end up being interrupted by children wanting to play volleyball before our next Bible study. 
I miss those happy faces pictured, always joyful and excited to hear what topic we would be preaching on next. 
I miss these people so much right now and it is so hard to carry on with my “normal” life right now, knowing that these people are back in the Philippines eating chicken adobo as usual and going about their day, waiting for the moment when they can get on Facebook messenger to contact us again. 
I wish with all of my heart that I could be back with these people, but I know that right now, I need to be here. I need to be in Zachary, Louisiana attending Zachary High School so that I can be a light in someone’s life here in America. 
These Filipinos became my life and soul this summer and it was so hard to say goodbye, knowing that I may never see their beautiful, smiling faces again. I hope that one day I will be able to return to my new found friends and check up on them. and I hope that one day, I can see Kassi, Emma, and Amelia’s faces again. God only knows, and for that reason, I have peace. Because I don’t know what is around the corner for me. Only God does. God’s got some great stuff coming for me. I just need to learn to be patient and wait for when He is ready to reveal those things to me. All in His time...

After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands.”
-Revelation 7:9

-Maddie
2019 Stand in the Gap, Philippines

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Just say "Yes"

Words cannot describe just how incredible it was to see God move and work this summer. This summer was one of the best I have ever had. It has been a little bit since I returned to the US after having spent two months in Southeast Asia. School has started back and has been keeping me busy. It has been a bit of work transitioning back to being a student. I learned a lot this summer and have been looking for a way to bring that with me to campus. 

You see, this summer, I got to see God move in amazing and incredible ways. I made many incredible friends and just love the relationships i was able to form with them. I am thankful that they were willing to take a chance  to hang out with and get to know the weird Americans. It was awesome to see God transform the many people we became friends with, and how He was using and transforming me too. 

It was such an amazing opportunity where I got to share the Gospel and God’s love to people who had never heard it or experienced it before. This trip continually opened my eyes to how important it is to be willing to say “yes” when God calls us to do something, even when it is something we don’t particularly want to do. I definitely had those moments this summer. What I saw God do in those moments when I did say yes a bit reluctantly, showed me just how little I know and how great God is. This summer I got to see what God could do through people that were devoted and surrendered to Him and it leaves me without words to describe how amazing it was.

-Jordan B
Southeast Asia

Go to www.nehemiahteams.com to see where you can serve this summer.... just say "Yes!"

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Hands On Students Needed!!

Students are needed to fill strategic opportunities in Southeast Asia during spring 2020 through the IMB's Hands On program. Click on the links below if you'd like more information... or email us. Most of these positions will be working with supervisors who have requested Nehemiah Teams for the summer.

Dates: February 3 - August 8, 2020
Application Deadline: October 15, 2019
Cost: $3950

Media Network Volunteer- Thailand (11855) 
The Media Network Volunteer role is to participate in IMB's Media Network through the volunteer's media, marketing, communications, and/or technology skills, experience and insights; as well as to enrich the IMB Media Network community through their participation. The work is designed to further the task of partnering with churches to empower missionary teams who are making disciples and multiplying churches among unreached peoples and places for the glory of God. More details or to apply...

National Student Mobilizer- Philippines (12236)  
Every mission movement in modern history has begun with college students. Be involved in a nationwide movement of reaching the lost & raising up the next generation of missionaries, both American & Filipino. More details or to apply...

Student Evangelist/Speech Therapist  (12310)
Come be a part of a team reaching the lost in Southeast Asia. You will have opportunities to meet incredible people and see amazing sights in this tropical setting. There are opportunities every day to meet with Muslim university and high school students and discuss with them who Jesus is and how He has changed your life. Besides this opportunity to share your life with students, you can be a part of a team who is doing the same in our city of almost 5 million people. You will also have opportunity to use your skills/interest in Speech Therapy to bless a family serving on the field. More details or to apply...

HomeSchool Teacher  (12315)
Mom and Dad are looking for someone to come and volunteer, teaching 3rd & 8th grades. The curriculum will be provided. Our children have been home schooled since pre-K. Mom and Dad run a preschool in the local country while overseeing church planting efforts. In order to free up Mom and Dad's time for the preschool and church planting efforts a volunteer with some teaching experience is needed. More details or to apply...

Urban Risk Taker  (12656)
In our city of 3.5 million there are people from all walks of life who are trapped in darkness. We need students who are ready, able, and eager to get creative and look for ways to engage our city with the Gospel. You will have opportunities to build relationships with young adults through an English language community. They are waiting to be your friends and hear about the Hope that's only found in Jesus. Though personal conversations over dinner, music, games, sports, etc. you will have the opportunity to make friends and share Truth. Through an outreach ministry and employment center for victims of human trafficking you can apply your gifts and skills to make a difference in the lives of these women and children. Other ministries may include prison ministry, working with street kids, deaf ministry, and exploring the streets of the city looking for open doors. Beyond these opportunities, we want you to discover how God wants to use you in a unique way to impact our city. Volunteers need to be disciplined and self-motivated to complete this important task.  More details or to apply...

Student Center Gospel Spreading Team- Philippines  (13313)
Come, work near a college campus & see what God can do through you! Students are open to hearing the Good News, especially if they can practice their English. Make a difference in their lives this semester. Team will work at a student center near a college in Daet. The only public college in the area, many students come from outlying areas to study. Spend time with small groups that you could disciple & mentor as they grow in their faith. Additional ministry opportunity could include paving the trail for a Disciple-Making Movement among the Deaf with Daet as a central training base.  More details or to apply...

Eco-Tourism Consultant- Indonesia  (13555)
You will be based on an island as a guest of an adventure tour company, working with the local guides and exploring remote areas. At times, you will backpack around small tropical islands, live in local homes, and share the love of Christ with those you encounter. You'll hike village to village, and as you experience everyday life with these people & share meals with them, you will have opportunities to share about the Bread of Life. You will be some of the only Americans on these remote, "Ends of the Earth" islands. If living on a tropical island in a laid-back culture, shopping in the local market, eating fresh seafood (and lot of rice!) every day, and enjoying year-round summer, while sharing the Good News to a people group that has zero believers sounds appealing to you, then this is the trip for you!  More details or to apply...

Ag & Animal Husbandry Consultant- Indonesia  (13556)

pend the semester on a trip like none other. You will be based on an island working with an agriculture & goat farm business. They need help as they set up the business to be successful for many years to come with expertise in working with animals & agriculture. At times you will join a team & backpack around small tropical islands, live in local homes & share the love of Christ with those you encounter. You'll hike village to village, and as you experience everyday life with these people and share meals with them, you will have opportunities to share about the Bread of Life. You will be some of the only Americans on these remove "Ends of the Earth" islands. If living on a tropical island in a laid-back culture, shopping in the local market, eating fresh seafood (and lots of rice!) every day, and enjoying year-round summer, while sharing the Good News to a people group that has zero believers sounds appealing to you, then this is the job for you!  More details to to apply...



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)