Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Since I've Been Gone...

I just wanted to give you an update of what the Lord has been doing in my life the past six months! During my stay on Maui, I studied several topics, such as the character of God, my identity in Christ, His lovesickness for us and His intense love, and how to share this with others that do not know about Him.
At the end of March, our school left for Bangkok, Thailand for 10 days. There we had the opportunity to minister to the university. We would start conversations with the few English-speaking students, and invite them to go to a campus ministry that we were working with. The girls in our school got to travel to the red light district and minister to the women in prostitution, telling them about God’s love for them and the life they could live. It was heartbreaking to look into the eyes of these women and see emptying and brokenness, and knowing some of them would never be able to escape.
When we left Thailand, my team of eleven flew to the island of Borneo, to the country of Indonesia. We stayed in Pontianak at the YWAM base, helping out with the orphanage and speaking in the local church. We then started our travels to the villages. Even though 88% of the Indonesian population is Muslim, most of the villages we traveled to were primarily Christian. Even though they claimed to be Christian, many of the villagers didn’t know what that meant. They were aware there was a God, and that if they prayed to Him, He might bless their rubber and rice crops. Some of them didn’t know what a relationship with Christ meant. Our objective was to go to these villages and share who God is and what He has done in our lives. We were to encourage the villagers that otherwise don’t have many means of discipleship and encouragement from fellow Christians.
We traveled to twenty-five villages, and had many different types of ministry. We had the opportunity to go into people’s homes, talk to them and pray for them. We also got to have children’s ministry, when we planned an interactive Bible story for the kids and played games with them. We got to plan sports ministry when we spent the afternoon playing volleyball or soccer with many of the people of the village. Almost every night, we would hold a church service in the local church. Most of the villagers would attend, because they rarely, if ever, saw foreign white people. There we would have worship, a drama, and a message. We saw many people’s lives changed! It was really encouraging to know that we are making a difference in the lives of these people that they will always remember.
God did so much on this outreach, It would take pages upon pages to write about! He did so much in the lives of the villagers there, but also in the hearts of my teammates and in my own heart. He taught me how He is a God of many cultures, and just how creative He is. The people, the scenery, everything was beautiful, all because my God is so creative and because He loves us so much! All of creation is a story, an act of love that we have been swept up in by our Savior. He is so amazing!
I feel it on my heart that God has called me back to missions. In mid-September, I will be moving back to Maui for a secondary schooling, the School of Biblical Foundations and Missions (SBFM). It is a three-month school that has an additional three month optional outreach. I will be intensely studying Bible doctrine, apologetics, personal formation and skills formation. Right after that school is finished, I am going onto staff at the YWAM Maui base. I would appreciate your prayer support during this step in my life. Also, if you feel led, your financial support would be greatly appreciated as well. The SBFM is approximately $3,400 for the three-month lecture phase, and if I attend the outreach, it will be approximately another $3,000. To be on staff it is about $350 a month to cover housing costs, food costs, etc. But more than anything your prayers are needed-God hears and answers a fervent heart who is seeking His will! Thank you again for your prayers and your time. God bless!