We have had a busy October with training with other cross cultural witnesses from all over the world in Albania and Summer camp for the Roi Et Students in Bangkok. Read this until the end~ The best for last.
|Attaways in Rome|
At the end of September we gathered in Albania for a pre-conference training on coaching. We have been asked to serve in Community Care for SouthEast Asia, so we reach out regularly to others serving in our part of the world. The strategies we learned about coaching are helpful and we have already started using some of what we learned. In this technique the goal is for the coach is to listen and to ask questions that lead the person to talk through their situation and see things in things they might not have seen before.
The process is one where through prayer the Holy Spirit often brings the new insight and processing as well as healing and movement toward a future goal or resolution. It is really powerful. After one of the trainings I took Noah for a walk and started trying to coach him by asking questions. He finally said, "Is this what you learned about in that class?, Why do you keep asking me questions? You aren't very good at this!". It is harder than you think.
The conference was an amazing time for all of us with 129 folks serving all over the world in attendance. We worshiped and fellowshipped together, as well as attending breakout sessions. The Bible study for the week was the book of Ephesians, we heard sermons and also participated in inductive Bible study. It was a blessing to study again the words of Paul to the people of Ephesus, the book addresses so many themes that are relevant and important for today such as the need for Unity and the importance of Spiritual Protection. We felt renewed and encouraged after the study. It felt good to connect with other's serving cross culturally to hear their challenges and also their praise stories. We made a lot of reconnections and also met new friends.
|Hannah Grace and her MK friends|
Noah had 6 teenagers in his group, serving in Africa and Jordan and Asia. He also met a guy Aaron from the UK who had come to help with the leadership team. Noah enjoyed playing the guitar with Aaron who is a songwriter and performer as well as a witness for Christ in Spain. Noah and his group wrote a song and performed it for the group the last night.
|Noah outside the Colosseum|
|Hannah Grace in Rome|
|Roi Et kids playing with the kids from the Slum|
|Noah and his Thai Friend with Chris|
|At the Park handing out Water|
|Worship at the Park|
One morning Todd and I spoke about the Resurrection and used the Resurrection Eggs to illustrate the story of Jesus. We put the students in pairs and gave them each an egg and asked them to see what was inside and talk about how it relates to the story. We had some Thai Bibles out and showed them in the Bible the scripture references for the story. In the evening during sharing time several of the students said that what was most meaningful for them that day was we had shown them how to use the Bible. One girl student said, "Thank you for teaching me how to open the Bible". It was an incredible affirmation that the Holy Spirit was at work, he used what we thought was a side note (having Bibles to look up scripture) as the big thing. God is good and he will use us in ways we don't even expect.
|Watching "Everything" skit|
|Patdy and students|
|Game about Getting Help in Life|
|Students performing a skit about Love|
|Foot washing Service at the Conclusion of Camp|
The last evening we had a foot washing service. The staff: Kat and Patdy, Chris and Dora and Todd and I along with the college youth who help out, washed all the feet of the students. This was a time I don't think we will ever forget. Many of the students were crying and visibly moved by God's love. To have your feet washed in Thai culture is extremely powerful because the feet are the most lowly of all body parts. It was humbling for them to have this experience, especially being served by people older that them. In Thai culture the heads of the older people have to be higher than the younger ones, also younger people serve the older ones with respect. In this case the students were in chairs and we were down lower than them and washing the disgraced feet. While perfuming the foot washing we tried to put ourselves in Jesus' place as he washed the disciples feet as we prayed for and tenderly washed, dried and and showed love for each one. The Holy Spirit was present in a deep way; the kids knew they were loved by us, but more importantly by God. That night many of the students told us they loved Jesus.
|Foot washing service|
We have been praying bold prayers, that hundreds of people in Roi Et will come to know Christ. Many of you have joined us in that prayer. Sometimes that seems like such a difficult, even impossible thing, but this experience was a reminder that God is moving, that his spirit is changing
hearts and that his will, will be done. We believe the prayers are being answered. We just have to be faithful and serve him.
Love and Peace,