Turkey update # 1

I have not had my luggage for over a week.  It finally came in today.
I’m grateful first, that it came in and that God protected it from being lost forever.  But I learned an important lesson in not having it for a week.
I’m often dependent completely on myself to meet my own needs.  But God has placed brothers and sisters around me that I may also be dependent on them.  It was in the small gestures of others letting me borrow things like soap, shampoo, t-shirts, and shorts that reminded me about the love of Christ that we all should show to one another.
I think Paul said it perfectly when he said,  “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4
I’m close to tears when I think about how loving my fellow counselors have been in giving to me even though they have only known me for a few days.
God provides.  He is faithful; you can trust Him.

Turkey team has arrived!

After a long trip of four flights and many many hours in between, we made it to Antalya.  Today was our second day at Olive Grove Summer Adventure.
We are going through staff orientation until Saturday when the kids get here.  I will be in charge of the 11th and 12th graders.  So far everyone on the counselor staff has been great.  We’re starting to get along really well and share stories about our lives.
Caleb and I are in separate rooms.  He has another college student from the States as a roommate; my roommate is from Australia.  Great guy!
They made a new rule this year that everyone has to go through a “swimming test” in order to swim over the next two weeks.  We basically had to swim about 50 yards into the ocean and back.  The water is beautiful and it’s HOT here, so it will definitely be refreshing to come take a break here everyday when we’re not running activities with the students.
We also have been spending time asking Father to work in our students and we ask that you do the same.  I found out that many of them are unbelievers so there is a great opportunity to share truth with them.

Swaziland, The Luke Commission

Last Sunday we were able to sit and talk with Echo VanderWal, one of the founders of The Luke Commission. I asked her, looking back at all it took to get where they are today, what her advice would be for us as college students. She told us to move where God moves, to have active faith that He will provide, and not to be afraid to fail. This meant a lot to all of us, but I think it meant so much because we had experienced what doing all of those things looked like through TLC.

I’m not going to lie, these last few weeks were really hard work. They were long days and heavy lifting. We had multiple setbacks, faced heavy tension from home, and quite a bit of pressure to fit in to a new place. However, the biggest setback was our tight grip. There are some things in life that we can adapt to easily, and this trip was not one of them.

I’m sure when we get home, we will tell our families how amazing our experience was. There were a lot of tears when we had to leave our new Swazi family. We experienced a body of believers that was actually structured like the church of the gospel, a people devoted to working hard for the Lord, and a people who had pure hearts. We lived under a “no gossip” policy- gossip being defined as anything that you tell someone else that they couldn’t do something about. Therefore, frustration, bitterness, and complaints were kept to ourselves.

Our experiences were great, however, when we sat around the table and discussed what really stuck, it wasn’t how big the elephants were, or how yummy our family breakfast was. What moved us was the byproduct of having open hands. We were softened, shaped, and stretched by someone who is powerful enough to do so.

Peru Bible trip update

Greetings all! We returned from our trek Saturday evening and everything went very well. The team did great as we were able to make presentations in four villages and as many schools during the trek. The villages were at 11-, 12-, 13-, and 12,000 feet above sea level. High point of our trek was 14,500 and yes the air is thin up there! Team also made a “sight seeing” hike to 15,200′ yesterday. They all did great with significant hiking on 6 of the last 7 days.
Best estimates would be that we were able to give several hundred households Bibles in their own language and were able to share our presentation with more than a thousand people in the last week. Such an encouraging time to be shared with the AWI team and participating in this, what I call “seed planting” aspect of their ministry. So much more to share in time…! We would appreciate your prayers that those “seeds”, the Quechua Bibles, will grow the faith of those that read/hear “alli willacuyanata”, the “good news”.
We will attend church here in Huaraz today, catch a red-eye bus to Lima tonight, have a day in Lima tomorrow, and catch a red-eye flight home tomorrow night. Prayers for a little rest and our return are appreciated. Speaking for myself I can say that your prayers have been felt in many ways!

Peru Update

It has been a great week of fellowship with the Yanacs, the AWI Association crew, and several communities. We leave for our trek this morning. Would appreciate your prayers for physical and spiritual strength as well that the spoken and written Gospel would be well received! Grace and peace.

–Mark Gathany (Team Leader)

Paraguay Update #2

We all arrived to Paraguay safely and we are currently with the field workers in Asuncion! We had a great flight from Brazil to Paraguay. Thank you guys!

-Reyna and the Pink Jacket Ladies

China Update #4

Intentional Conversations 

Over the past two weeks our team has spent time visiting English corners, where people of all ages gather to practice their conversational English skills.  We have met people from all walks of life and encountered believers, which has encouraged our hearts, and unbelievers, which has given us the opportunity to guide our conversations towards sharing the truth.

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The Orphanage 

One of the most powerful experiences for our team was visiting an orphanage.  Here we saw how God has wrapped his arms around the children here.  Our eyes were opened to His faithfulness through the kind hearts of the staff and the sweet giggles of the children.

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