Friday, July 21, 2017

How are you?

As we start this week at the Baptist Center here in West Africa, this is our last week of regular English classes. It is strange to think that we only have two more weeks with the men and women that we have come to know and care for. Somehow in preparing for this summer, I didn't realize that we would become so attached to these people and this place. 

Our team has been sick this week, almost all of us taking a turn, so most of us have missed at least one class. When we got back we were greeted with "How are you feeling?" and (my favorite) "How is your body doing?" It amazed me then that God brought me across the ocean to get to know these people so that I can be an effective witness for Him. 

Prayer:
Pray that our team would stay healthy so we can effectively use the last of our time here. 
Pray that our team can use these last two weeks to continue to build relationships and share truth. 

-English in Africa

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Goodbyes are never easy


It's crazy to think that our time here in Cambodia has come to a close. The relationships and friendships that we have built with the people here has no doubt been a work of the Lord. The Lord has continued to show His faithfulness to us and has continuously shown His goodness to us. We have gotten to see firsthand the steady work of the Lord. Though Cambodia is a much under evangelized country, God is here and He is working through these people.

Saying goodbye to our friends, and now family, is something that our team has not been looking forward to. The host family that we have stayed with has made us apart of their family. What started as unfamiliar strangers, became one family united under Christ. The Lord has blessed us immensely, and we will never forget what the Lord has done for us here. 

We have learned so much within the past two months, and seen just a glimpse of how big and faithful our God is. Goodbyes are never easy, but we have hope that we will see them again sometime. The Lord's work is not finished in Cambodia, rather just getting started. 


Prayer Requests: 
  • Safety traveling back to the states
  • Khmer family- that the Lord would continue to build up His church in Cambodia
  • Transitioning back home
-Engage Cambodia






Confidence in God Alone

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all - how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

Team of the Day: Family Camp
Country of the Day: Southeast Asia

Pray for team members to place their complete confidence in God alone to provide for their needs.

Seeing True Beauty

God has blessed us these past few weeks and we are very grateful to God that he has given us so many opportunities to share the Gospel to these people on the island. Our supervisor wanted us to take a break from all what we were doing and go on a spiritual retreat to connect with God in a deeper understanding. We ended up going to a village on the east of the island, which was famous for snorkeling.
While we were there, we got to a set of small islands to do snorkel in the coral around us. We got to experience these beautiful islands and majestic waters that God created. When we got to our destination, we started snorkeling and it was an experience I thought I never experience. We saw so many aquatic life and seen many fishes that I haven’t seen personally. It was amazing to be doing that and we were really grateful that we got the opportunity to experience that. 
While heading back to our hotel, we saw a glimpse of the sunset over some mountains of the island and how the light of sun hit the ocean at a perfect angle. It was breathtaking and I nearly teared up, but it reminded of a story in the Bible when Jesus walked on water. When He and His disciples were fishing, the waters of Sea of Galilee were so out of control that they couldn’t get out of the storm. When the disciples told Jesus what was going on, He looked out to the sea and told it to stop. Jesus calm the storm and seeing the sunset on the waves just reminded how His power is everywhere we go. To the most foreign places to places we are used to back home.
              With that being said, our team and supervisor had the privilege to get together and pray for each other and for the people on this island. It was such a nice time in fellowship together. It was also good to have a to to refocus & refresh of why we are here. I pray for the people on this island... that the Lord will reveal to them in some form or fashion, and I pray for our team specifically as we encourage each other by pointing each other to the Lord.

-Johann M.

Outreach With Mercy Midwives

Saturday morning the Mercy Midwives strapped on their backpacks, Chacos, and water bottles, caught a jeepney, and set out for a day full of outreach! Partnered with two sweet midwives from the clinic, we visited the home of a mother who delivered about 2 years ago. Nanette, one the midwives accompanying us, actually delivered this mother's baby and was so excited for the chance to visit her again! Once we were settled in her home, we found out that she is already a born again Christian. It's always encouraging for our team to hear the stories of mothers who have discovered and accepted the love of Christ, even when they may not have been raised to hear such things. 
As we got to talk with Jo, she was very open and honest with us about situations she is dealing with in life. We were able to read to her from Psalm 139 and James 1:2-4, and share a bit of encouragement about how the Lord is always with us, through ups and down, trials and joys alike. We explained to her the importance of forgiveness, prayer, and looking to the Word for answers to life's hard questions. Even though our hearts are heavy to share the gospel with ears that have never heard, we also take such joy in being able to encourage fellow sisters in Christ. We truly feel like God lead us to Jo's house today. 

Even as I sat in the room listening to all of this conversation, I myself was reminded of how much the Lord loves us. If we all pause and think about all the times we have not lived for Him or we have sinned against him, it is hard for our human minds to grasp how God's love and forgiveness can remain the same. Sometimes it is hard to forgive others here on this earth. Hard feelings, pride, and jealousy often have a way of weighing us down. But when we look at the cross we are humbled by the grace that the Lord has shown each of us numerous times and are therefore able to show others that grace. I can only pray that the Lord speaks to her heart about forgiving others as much as he spoke to mine today. 

Please join us in praying for Jo. Pray that God supplies her with wisdom as she makes some life decisions. 
Pray also that she is able to provide for her family and that relationships around her would be mended and healed.  

-Mercy Midwives



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

No Resistance

It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy. For Scripture says to Pharoah: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display My power in you and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth." Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden. Romans 9:16-18

Team of the Day: Urban Discovery & Engagement
Country of the Day: Sub-Saharan Africa

Pray for no resistance to the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of team members as well as to conviction of sin in the lost.

Sent to be a Blessing

The Nehemiah Team that you sent is really doing a great job.  It has been so encouraging as I walk around the town they are working in which is filled with students - to see the NT members in restaurants sitting with students - often with their Bible open sharing the Good News with them. They have plowed a lot of ground and planted a lot of seeds - and we trust God at some point to give the increase. They have been able to introduce us to new students that we probably would not have otherwise met and we will be able to follow up with after they have gone. Thanks again for sending them - they have been a blessing and God has used them.   

-Field Supervisor    

Homesick

With less than two weeks left, our team has naturally hit the "homesick wall." While we still aren't ready to leave, we definitely miss family, friends, and strangely enough: SCHOOL. However, we know that as humans we never fully feel at home on earth. There is no place in this world that is completely our "home."  Philippians 3:20, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." We aren't supposed to be completely comfortable in any culture, because we were not made for any culture found on the Earth. We aren't supposed to feel at home on earth, because we were created to fully be in the presence of the Lord.

Please pray:
•that the people of West Africa would hear and understand the truth with their hearts so that one day, they can experience their true home.
•that our team would be faithful with the time the Lord has given us here and we would persevere to the end.

Your fellow sojourner,
Meredith

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Inside the Life of a Refugee

Meet Rashad: a young boy displaced from his home in Syria due to horrific events. Despite the many difficulties this boy has already encountered at such a young age, he still exhibits joy in all circumstances. This is one of many evidences that the Holy Spirit is at work in this young boy’s life.

My eyes swelled with tears as I sat with Rashad during our lunch time at camp, and he told me story upon story of his life in Syria. There are some things people should never have to experience, but certainly not a boy of only 13 years old – certainly not Rashad.  The only words I could even begin to muster under the cracking of my voice were, “I’m so sorry, Rashad.”

Rashad told of a time in Syria when the war had just begun to emerge where he was living. “The bombs would come almost every day,” he said. He described to me a day of terror in his home when his friends came and invited Rashad to pray with them in the mosque. His dad refused to let Rashad leave with them, deciding it was “just too dangerous.” Rashad became angry with his father but, nonetheless, he obeyed. Rashad later found out the mosque his friends attended was hit by a bomb and his friends were killed. I could hear the pain in Rashad’s voice as he fought through the story. He said, “I guess God had a reason for not letting me go with them.” I pray that reason is so Rashad will believe and trust in the Truth of the gospel. I trust that God brought Rashad and his family from Syria, to Lebanon, and eventually to Canada for a greater purpose than mere safety. But rather, for an eternal reason - so that the gospel might reside in their hearts until the day of salvation

Refugees are neither seen nor heard, but they are everywhere. They are witnesses to the most awful things that people can do to each other, and they become storytellers simply by existing. Refugees embody misery and suffering and they force us to confront terrible chaos and evil. Let us confront them with God’s Word.


There are more stories like these that I could include in this update, but truthfully, they are not mine to tell. Even as I write this one, I must fight back the tears. There are a many Rashad in this world, who have been brought to your backdoor for a reason much bigger than ourselves. Let our love for God, the lost, and our neighbors drive us to bring them the greatest news of all time.

-P52 Toronto

A Place in this World

I have 4 different languages on my arm. One bracelet is in Spanish -- it says "Cuándo todavía estabamos, Christo se murió para nosotros." The other side is in English: "While we were sinners, Christ died for us." I received two bracelets from my students with Khmer for "Cambodia" on them. And on my thumb, I have a ring with my name in Korean letters on it.

My arm is very multinational, and my heart is feeling that way, too, in both good ways and difficult ways. I know I've had a summer I will never forget with being in 3 different countries... 4 if you want to count the US. It's been quite an adventure, but I feel like I've left pieces of myself along the way. 

When I was in the Dominican Republic, I thought I knew where God wanted me to serve full-time after college. It made perfect sense -- I'm a Spanish major, they have a great need for teachers, and I already have a good relationship with the church and school there. But standing on a Korean rooftop and looking out at a city of lights, I felt at peace. I could see myself there, working with Korean refugee girls. And in the Cambodian village, my students asked me when I will come back. Riding on the back of a motorbike on a clear, cool night, I felt like I could be there for the rest of my life.

Much of our quiet times have been about unreached people groups, and while I knew about unreached people groups before this trip, I didn't think God was calling me there. I wasn't thinking in terms of "reached" or "unreached" -- just about people who need Jesus and how I could prepare for that place while in college. Now I wonder if I chose my major on my own without asking the Lord about it. Do I need to change it? Would God call me somewhere that is already reached but still has needs? Or is God calling me to the unreached? Is a Spanish-speaking country too "safe?" Where is His place for me in this world?

While these questions would normally stress me out, I feel more that my eyes have been opened to so many more people who need the hope of Jesus. I want to know the answers, but that's not for me to know right now. An old Taylor Swift song says, "Maybe I'm just a girl on a mission, but I'm ready to fly." Lord, please help me to have peace as I wait for your direction. Help me to be listening for Your calling. I will go wherever You send me. Lead me, and I will follow.

-Jadyn

Uber opportunities

We have had some chances to venture out to see the city. Most transportation is by motorbike or Uber. The streets in the city are full of various carts overflowing with food to sell, motorbikes parked everywhere and lots of people walking to and fro. We have had opportunities to meet others in coffee shops and restaurants throughout the city where we can talk about their lives and their goals for the future. We are getting to know them better and better so that they become comfortable talking about religion and what it all means. The Father has used so many situations and conversations with those we meet that point to His glory in this region. It has been such an amazing experience for our team to work among some very special people and to see how our lives are being used by Him each day.

Pray for more opportunities for spiritual conversations with those we meet.

-Great Commission English Center

Wise Thoughts

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Team of the Day: Whatever It Takes 4 Cambodia
Country of the Day: Cambodia

Pray for team members to daily seek the wisdom of God's Word. Pray the words they speak would overflow from a heart that seeks God every moment.

Persecution in Southeast Asia

Persecution. For many people in Southeast Asia, persecution is very common. Let's take one of our students, SC, for example. SC is absolutely sold out to the Lord. She loves to serve Him, she loves teaching others about His goodness and grace. If you watched her, however, you might notice she sometimes isn't at church on Sundays. You might notice that she has to leave for home before anyone else. You might notice she brings a change of school clothes with her to put on before heading home. What you don't know is that sometimes, SC's father locks her in her room on Sundays so she cannot leave. She's been beaten because of her faith. Her Bible has been burned so she leaves her home early to read her new one at a friends home where it has to stay. And yet, the joy that is in her heart and so pure and strong. SC has counted these costs of her faith and decided everything is worth serving the one true God. This story is one of many from the Believers here. There are students who are hesitant to accept Christ because they know what they will lose. And there are some students who decide that loving Jesus is worth losing the love of a family, the security of a home, and the respect of a community.

We invite you to pray for our students and Christians worldwide who face persecution in a variety of ways.

  • Pray for SC. Pray her Father would come to faith in Christ. Pray that she would be continually strengthened by the Lord.
  • Pray for our other students who are Christian and face persecution in many ways: CR, S, Ch, A, Y, Y2, & D.
  • Pray for our students who have been presented with the Gospel but have not accepted it because of what they would lose: V, S, S2, N, S3, & S4.
-English for EV & Discipleship Team

The Gospel Must Go!

Most of us would say that we were called to go the Philippines this summer—whether it was because of a specific sequence of events that happened prior to enrollment or a desire to go out and share the gospel with a people group that may never otherwise hear about our Lord, Jesus Christ. We are all college students whom perhaps otherwise would’ve spent our summers with our families & friends, at the beach, at our home, or even in our soft beds with the television on. Rather we are in the Philippines sleeping on a pad, hand washing clothes, and doing what we can to endure the scorching heat. 
The fact is we were called to go... not only to the Philippines... but to share the gospel in every place and baptize people in the name of the Trinity. We were commanded by a calling in Mathew 28:18-20 to go out, no matter the cost. It doesn’t matter where we go; it matters that we go. We may endure hard times, rough environments, unresponsive people, sickness, fear, or sleepless nights. We endure all this so that we can see lives changed, hope given to the hopeless, joy overflowing from the sorrowful, a sinner’s immeasurable debt taken away like a breeze in the night. We go because of what our God has done for us, and because He is worthy of all praise. 
We aren’t special. We are no different than other Christians. We are followers of a self-sufficient God that came down to Earth and died a bloody, painful, humiliating death that we deserved, then rose from the dead three days later and gave us a command to share the good news that He has conquered hell and is sitting at the right hand of God. This is the God we follow, and the entire planet must know of him—that they can worship Him or rebuke Him. We are commanded to go and share the good news; we are called to the place that needs the Gospel. In other words it is our responsibility to share the gospel where we are and where we go. We share the Gospel regardless of the cost: social labels, persecution, extreme heat, extreme cold, leaving your family, leaving the culture you know, or enduring sickness. With the God who loves us enough to conquer death, armies couldn’t stop us. What’s stopping you?

Romans 12:1
Luke 9:23

The Gospel Must Go!
Nothing will stand in its way!


Please be praying:

  • For physical and spiritual strength to finish the race our Lord Jesus Christ has set before us.
  • For healing from sickness of team members and Filipinos
  • For endurance that we may finish our final weeks strong and sharing the Gospel.
  • That we return home changed and on fire with the spirit.
  • That our focus will be on sharing the gospel and not our earthly home.
  • For strength, courage, and wisdom as some of us fight spiritual battles.
  • For spiritual growth of new believers in the Philippines.
  • That non-believers would be open to hearing what the Bible says, and not just their culture.
-Riverboat Teams

"You Siem Reap What You Sow"



This week, our team had the opportunity to take time to tour and visit Siem Reap. While we were there, we got to spend time with our sister team, Whatever it Takes for Cambodia. We saw many of the ancient monuments and even visited the night market. At the night market, we were reacquainted with our Caucasian comrades, white people everywhere. We had the chance to eat a tarantula. We met a man named Douk and had the opportunity to pray over him, and hear his story. 




















Prayer Requests: 
  • Focus- that we will be able to finish our last two weeks, with perseverance to sharing the gospel 
  • Revival- that God would stir in the hearts of the Khmer and build His church here
  • Strength- that our team would have strength and energy to finish the task that the Lord has granted us with
-Embrace Cambodia

Meet the Team:English for EV & Discipleship

Hey y'all! We are three Mississippi girls ministering to high school and university students in Southeast Asia. We visit University campuses in the mornings to share the gospel with students and invite them to our English class where we teach them English using the Gospel!

Meet the team!
•Hannah is 21 years old and she is pursuing a degree in Dental Hygiene. She LOVES ice cream and serving the Lord.
•Ashley is 20 years old and she is pursuing an Intercultural Studies/Nursing degree. She loves photography and has a true heart for the nations.
•Marissa is also 20 years old and she is pursuing a degree in International Studies. She loves chicken and desires to make God's name known.

Please pray for us as we disciple students and teach English to Unbelievers. 

Pray for our students, that the ones who don't know Christ will come to faith and pray for the Believers, that they would grow in their walk with the Lord. 
And pray for us that we would continue to have good health and that the Lord would use us for His Kingdom!

-English for EV & Discipleship


Monday, July 17, 2017

God Is The Only Explanation

This week we brought our supervisor back to a new village we had surveyed. This was an amazing opportunity because we were able to see familiar faces and reconnect with one of the persons of peace that we wrote about last time named S.  S was the friendly person we met the night that the team went prayer walking.  The circumstances of that night were so unexplainable that the hand of God was obviously orchestrating the whole thing.  I recommend reading the article written by Caleb called, “Jesus The True Vine” to get the full backstory and to see how God worked through Caleb and our team!

After arriving in T village, we ate lunch at the place our team had stayed last time and talked with our new friends.  Our supervisor talked with our new friends to see if the homestay would have any room when the new team arrived next week. Sadly, all the rooms were full so we were counting God would provide a place somewhere else. 

After being unable to reach one of our persons of peace named H, we decided to walk to the home of S and see if he was home. We found S at his home with his family. After further discussion, he told us that we were lucky to come today at this time because we would have been unable to reach him due to a busy schedule during this week. This definitely was not an accident, but providence of God. Our supervisor asked if S would allow the upcoming team to stay at his home in the near future, and S was more than excited to have them stay with him.  

When we left T village, we were talking with our translator and supervisor about how every time a new contact is made in a village it is always from a crazy story. The stories are so crazy that only God can be the explanation.  He truly is in control and will always provide. Praise Him!

Please be praying for S that the Holy Spirit will begin to convict his heart before the upcoming team gets to T village in the near future.

-Aaron G.