5.29 / Answers in Apalach

Hello family!!

There are answered prayers in Apalachicola! We are so excited to share with you the good good news from our brothers and sisters!

File_002

Just the other night, our team had some of the neighborhood kids over to their house to hang out. After eating dinner, Barrett and Logan shared testimonies of God’s faithfulness in their personal lives with the group. Once they shared, many of the kids began asking questions. They wanted to know and understand who God was and what it meant to follow Him. One of the girls made the decision to follow Jesus that night!!! Praise the Lord for His mighty works! The Lord used the testimonies of His own faithfulness and love in our lives to bring another child into the Kingdom! We are amazed at His glory and how He brings others to know Him. WE HAVE A NEW SISTER!

Pray for this new believer as she continues to grow and learn about Christ. Pray that she is able to grasp the Gospel more and more. Also pray that she is influential in the lives of her friends, family, and anyone she comes into contact with; that she is a light to those around her!

And praise our heavenly Father who is so faithful and merciful! We are so thankful for Jesus, who made a way for us to draw near and know Him.

Other than this exciting news, the team has enjoyed the chance to soak in some extra vitamin D! They are getting more and more settled into the laid-back atmosphere of the beach life. I mean, just look at this group! Who wouldn’t have a good time at the beach with ’em?!

File_001

Continue praying for the team, that they will be encouraged by this new believer. Pray that they will depend on the Lord for their strength, their words, and their love for others. Pray for more and more opportunities to share and more and more hearts to be softened. Please pray that they walk with Christ, not just walk for Him.

He is Immanuel, or God with us.
His presence is known.
His presence is cherished.
He is answering our prayers!

5.30 / East Asian celebration

We have received encouraging and hopeful updates from our East Asia team this week!

From the girls:
This past week, the Father has been so faithful to us! We have had the opportunity to meet new friends, Rachel, Mary, and Amanda. And we caught up with our friend Samantha. Meeting Mary was so encouraging because she told us that she was a believer and she was so excited to hear that we were too! Not going to lie, there were tears in our eyes when we heard this good news. Meeting fellow believers out here does not happen often. Rachel has been Mary’s friend for over seven years and she was helpful in translating our conversation with Mary. Please be praying for Rachel. She is not a believer, but we are so hopeful as we look forward to sharing with her soon! We have played Bananagrams with the friends we’ve met, which seems to be a useful tool in helping them learn English  -especially “specific words from a specific book ;)”.

Today we are going to lunch with Amanda with the hopes that The Lord gives us an opportunity to share the Gospel with her.

From the guys:
This past week we also have met some new friends! Damian, Jim, Sean, and Tim. The Father is already at work in these relationships, even in how they came about! Here’s how we got to meet them: First, we went to visit Damian at his university campus, and he introduced us to his friend Jim. Neither of them are believers, but we have great hope that they will begin to follow Christ soon! Jim actually asked us to study the Bible with him, so the Father has given us that amazing opportunity to share the Gospel with both Damian and Jim!! Praise the Lord!

One of our friends was planning to introduce us to Sean this week, but Sean actually came and found US, instead! You see, pictures of our group are circulating around, so Sean easily picked us out of the crowd! He then pointed at his phone, asking if we were the people in this picture. We were, in fact, the people in that picture, so we got to connect with him! We plan to hang out with him this week. It was incredible to see how the Lord brought him to us, even when we weren’t looking for him.

We also got to connect with Tim and his friend Amanda. They tried Starbucks for the first time and we taught them how to play Bananagrams! Overall, it was a pretty successful afternoon. Sadly, these new friends are not followers and as of this moment, they are headed for an eternity apart from the Father. We are hoping to visit Tim at the end of this week at his university campus to share our testimonies and the redemptive story of our Father.

So as you think of us, pray for our friends Rachel, Amanda, Samantha, Damian, Jim, Sean, and Tim! Please pray that they will hear the good news and that the Holy Spirit would continue moving here. It takes time to become a believer here, so please pray for patience and urgency as we share Christ with these friends. Tune in next week to hear about all of the wonderful things God is doing here!

-The East “Bae”sians

5.25 / With Love From Greece

We have an update from our Greece team! This post was written by one of the team members there in Greece, so we get the total inside scoop!

“One week down and halfway through the second, our team is having a blast in Greece! The first week was all kinds of crazy, but nonetheless we are finding our rhythm here. Praise the Lord for answered prayers! Our team continues to grow closer and closer as we learn to function as one unit, and the Lord has swung doors wide open in big ways to serve the Greeks and refugees!

Week two started with a day of rest. The OM short term volunteers and a few staff members all headed out on a sunny and breezy day to spend time in the Word, prayer, and worship. Throughout the craziness of missions, the Lord continues to show us how important it is to rest in Him in order to remain spiritually healthy. From the morning to late afternoon, we sang praises, prayed, and rested in the Lord with a magnificent view of the Acropolis and city of Athens. Our prayers were focused on team unity and functioning as the body of Christ- serving as one for His glory alone. It was a lovely day of restoration and revelation as we continued to learn more about living and thriving in Athens.

This week has been a big one because we have all finally been assigned specific ministries to work with! Jonathan, Greg, and Anna are working in a refugee camp with a children’s ministry, while Jordan, Molly, Lauren, Stephen, and Amanda are working in a church teaching English and helping with the children. We began our ministries on Tuesday and have been hard at work since!

The group working with the refugee camp went in on Tuesday with clear expectations of what volunteering in a children’s ministry would look like. They plan lessons, clean the classroom, and prepare for several hours of fun with the children living in the camp. The children come pouring in around early afternoon, and this team has an afternoon full of games, songs, and giggles! While some are out of their comfort zones and some are not, the Lord has been faithful to bring these children into the classroom to learn how to play and share. Despite language barriers, we already love these kids so much and cherish the relationships being built here!

Specifically for the refugee camp, we know that the Holy Spirit is active, but prayer is certainly needed for this community. Since the camp is run by the Grecian navy, we are not allowed to share the gospel in the camps. Please pray that our interactions with the children would radiate the love of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Please pray that our team truly embodies this verse, that the people in the camp will see how the Lord has changed our lives. Also, we so deeply desire to form relationships with adults in the camp, so please pray that as we get to know their children they would become more trusting of us. Overall, these children provide so much hope and joy in such a hurting community, and for that we praise the Lord.

The team working in the church has a unique opportunity to serve refugees living within the city of Athens, not in camps. The goal of being here is to teach English to the parents while providing childcare so that they are able to take some time to learn. This team has the specific task of developing an English program that will be useful and methodical long after we leave. Since many are in the process of relocating, these refugees have the opportunity to learn useful skills to take with them. This team also has the unique opportunity to explicitly preach the gospel as lessons are taught around reading and comprehending stories out of the Bible, specifically the Gospel of Luke. These refugees come to the church willingly. And hopefully through the love shown to them by volunteers and through hearing the gospel, many will come to know Jesus during their time here.

Please also pray for this team and the people they get to encounter. It is a huge praise that the Lord has opened the door to preaching the gospel openly to refugees here. Pray that this team would be able to settle into this ministry and establish a functional English program that can be used after our team has left. Also, in terms of the children, please keep these sweet ones in your prayers as they have experienced so much pain and loss. Pray that they would not suffer long-term effects of this pain, but that the Lord would provide peace and comfort during such a chaotic and confusing childhood.

With week two almost in the books, we are so thankful for all of the opportunities the Lord continues to provide for us! We cannot wait to see what is in store for the next four weeks!

Love,

The Greece Team”

As a re-cap, here is a list of the praises and prayer requests from the Greece team:

Praises:

  1. getting into a healthy rhythm
  2. doors that God has opened
  3. the children at the camps provide so much joy to the community

Prayer Requests:

  1. pray that the children in the refugee camps would see the light of Christ in this team, since our team is not allowed to share the Gospel in the camp
  2. pray that the adults in the camp would begin to trust the team members so that relationships may be formed
  3. pray that the Greece team would be filled with the Spirit, and that He would provide an overflow of love, patience, energy, and joy.
  4. pray that the team working within the city of Athens would both HAVE and SEIZE opportunities to share the Gospel, since the team is free to share outside the camps
  5. pray that the city team would be able to settle into the ministry and establish a functional English program that can be used after our team has left
  6. pray for the little ones- they’ve seen and been through awful things; pray that they will come to know the Father of comfort, peace, and understanding and not let their pasts hinder them

5.25 / Off we go to Port St. Joe!

Our Port St. Joe team headed out from the church after a sweet time of praying blessing over their summer. We are grateful for their willingness to go serve the community.

We are also praising the Lord because the team has found a place to stay this summer- and just in time! He is so faithful and He’s done nothing but reveal that faithfulness over and over.

Here’s a couple of quick group shots we took right before the group left for the summer! Based on pic #2, it looks like this team will discover some fun friendships with each other over the next couple of months!

Please continue praying for this team as they make their way to their new summer home! Here are some specific things you can pray:

  1. Safe travels down to PSJ this afternoon
  2. Unity within the group
  3. Strength to fight Satan’s attacks-  he sure doesn’t like when people bring glory to God
  4. That a bond will quickly form between the team and those around them

We are grateful for all of your prayers! All glory to our Father for loving, guiding, and providing for this team.

Stay tuned for stories and updates to come after the team gets settled in this week!

John 17:20-23
“I do not ask for these only,

but also for those who will believe in me
through their word,

that they may all be one, just as you,
Father, are in me, and I in you,

that they also may be in us so that the world
may believe that you have sent me.
The glory that you have given me I have given to them,
that they may be one even as we are one,
I in them and you in me, that they
may become perfectly one,

so that the world may know that you sent me and
loved them even as you loved me.”

5.25 / Denver, we have arrived

Our team members are making their way across the country to Denver, CO! We are grateful for everyone’s safe travels so far!

The team will be arriving in shifts throughout the week. Half will arrive today and tomorrow and by the beginning of next week, the second half will arrive, making the team complete!

Loud music, possible off-key singing, red lights, “Welcome to Kansas”, windows down, running out of songs to play, and stiiiill smiling!

IMG_5318

The team has given us a few things to pray over them this week. Please join us in lifting them up to the Lord!

  1. One of the team members’ car broke down before leaving and the leaders are trying to figure out the best way to get him to Denver. Pray that they can work out a solution and that it all turns out alright!
  2. Also pray that they will settle in well and be able to adjust to their new environment. Pray that the adjustment will be smooth and quick so that they may be able to get into a healthy rhythm right off the bat.
  3. Pray for the relationships within the team, that the Lord will provide rich fellowship. Pray that each member will feel connected and open. Also pray that each person will learn to love and serve the others in the group well this summer.

Your prayers are so important to this team! Thank you.

5.24 Away to Apalachicola!

Apalachicola, Florida

Our team is making it’s way down to one of our favorite towns right now! We’re so fond of the city that we’ve given it the nickname “Apalach”!

This summer, the team will reach out to community members through co-worker relationships and through meeting people out and about. We are so thankful for each of them as they go in obedience to God’s Word! They left town after having a sweet time of prayer together. Here’s a group shot taken as they were leaving!Apalach leaves 3.jpeg

As the group adjusts to their new home, please join us in praying the following over them:

-smooth transition
-growth in unity as a group
-evident joy of the Lord, even in the simple day to day activities
-trust in the Lord for everything- both big and small
-safety as they drive down today

5.23 / East Asia team update & prayer requests

IMG_9639

Time for an East Asia update!

The team has been gone for 1 week and they are adjusting well. They are acclimating to the major time difference and have enjoyed the week so far!

Over the past week, the team explored some of the city. There are beautiful mountains nearby so they took a little excursion together a few days ago! Talk about team building! Also in the past week, God blessed our East Asia team with meeting some college students and relationships are beginning to form. They hope to continue these relationships so they can pour into these students and tell them the incredible truth of the Gospel. Along with learning some of the local language, our team helped teach an English class at one of the local universities!

In East Asia, many people have never seen an American before, and the team told us that they get stared at quite often because of this! The team has had to adjust to the staring, but they are enjoying the people, nonetheless!

Many Ramen noodles and bowls of rice have been consumed.
Many selfies have been snapped.
Many prayers have been answered.
Many prayers continue to be prayed.

The East Asia team anticipates seeing the Lord’s hand more and more over the next 5 weeks. They have already seen many of His blessings, and we join with them in the hope of more to come. Our Father is so faithful and gracious. We trust Him with the work done through and in the East Asia team both now and in the coming weeks.

Please continue praying for safety, health, and opportunities to share the Gospel. We are so thankful for these brothers and sisters of ours. And we are grateful for the doors that the Lord is opening. Let’s bathe the group in continuous prayer over the next 5 weeks.

Pray that our East Asia team will be
“like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that [it] does,
[it] prospers.”
Psalm 1:1-3