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!!

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.

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!

City Talk English Team

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

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.

Summer Sports Team

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." 

City Talk English Team

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.

Tropical Harvester Team (TJC)

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.

Summer Sports Team

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

Island Magic team with their own lechon (roasted pig)