Tag Archives: update

Give it to Him and go to Sleep

Carrying wood up the mountain.

Last week I took a group of our teacher trainees on a hiking trip up a local mountain. The goal was just one: grow in character. With 30 students and 2 nights on the mountain, we divided into small groups to coordinate food, tents, and making sure everyone got to the top safely. I tasked each student with something specific from first aid to paying the guide. I asked one student, John, to find a machete before we left so we could cut fire wood at the campsite. John’s a quiet student who doesn’t like to draw attention to himself. He’s committed to learning anything put in front of him and works extremely hard.

As we started to hike up the mountain John approached me and confessed he wasn’t able to find a machete to bring. “Don’t worry Teacher Faith, last night I went to the woods behind the dorm a cut some wood.” I looked and slung over his shoulder was a big bag filled with chopped wood. “You’re going to carry that all the way up the mountain?” I asked. He convinced me he could do it.

Carrying wood up the mountain.

About 2 hours into our 8 hour climb to the first campsite John started to lag behind. The wood was clearly weighing him down. In my mind I kept thinking, Why not just dump it, we can get wood at the campsite. We are SURROUNDED by trees! But committed to our goal of growing character, I let John carry on. “Let me carry it”, said one of his friends. John looked relieved. Over the next 6 hours we all switched off carrying the wood up the mountain.

Our whole group at the top of Mount Welirang

While carrying that wood may have brought our group together, it felt so pointless. To walk amongst trees carrying wood. It made me reflect on my own life. How many times do I carry pointless burdens, worries, grudges that are totally unnecessary and that weigh me down? I know that God will provide for me. I know that once I overcome and conquer this mountain He will be there waiting. I know worrying just weighs me down. Yet in my own stubbornness or pride I refuse to cast off my burden to God and I carry it; slowly and painfully.

“Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)

We have a phrase in our dorm that we constantly remind each other at the end of each day: Give it to God and go to sleep. I’m learning. He’s taken care of me this far. Will I trust Him to carry me the rest of the way?

At the top of Mount Welirang. They mine sulfur here.

(click to see more photos of our hike)

The Nit-Grit: Transitions

What’s in this edition:

s-village
teaching
language learning
moving forward
prayer requests

s-village

A quick update on S-village: we are sending one of our national partners to S-village for a couple of months to see if it would work for her to be a teacher there. Please pray for her as she makes the extreme transition (village life there is drastically different from city life here), and continue to pray that God would provide wisdom, discernment, and workers to send to this village. If you missed the last update, read about S-village here.

teaching

Teaching has been really fun over the last month as my students and I have gone through the books of Esther and Nehemiah and learned about what made them fantastic leaders. Recently, they were each assigned a character from the book of Esther and had to dress as their character and answer questions about what life was like for their character. Consequently, that day was my sister Joy’s birthday, so here is a short video of them in the costumes saying, “Happy Birthday Teacher Joy!”

We have spent the last few weeks preparing for a short term m-trip we are going to take to serve some schools and a mental hospital up in an area a couple of hours away. This area was affected by a volcano a couple of years ago. Please pray for the students as they prepare and that God would really work in them during the trip, opening their eyes to the immediate needs of the community around them.

I just finished teaching CPR and first aid this week and I am so proud of my students! They worked hard, studied hard, asked good questions, and are now equipped with basic CPR and first aid. It was a lot of fun for me too.

language learning

I have good news to report about language! Thank you all for your prayers. I finished formal study and will move to class just two times a week. I have truly felt God’s grace on me over just the past week or two as I have felt somewhat of a breakthrough. I’m not quite fluent but I think I’m flirting with fluency. I have been recently surprised at being able to completely understand people who just a month ago I could not even understand one word. Thanks again for the prayers, continue to pray for diligence and continued breakthroughs in eliminating language as a barrier to ministry with the wonderful people of this country.

One major blessing has been being a part of small group made up of nationals from a local church. It has brought me great joy to meet with them each week, pray, share and laugh together. This has also been a huge part of my language learning. This group is made up of people from different areas of the country who all live on this island, so we unite in a shared feeling of being outsiders in this culture yet at the same time one family in Christ.

moving forward

This month has been a month of transition and I am looking forward to the months ahead. I am currently house sitting for a family who is in the US and will be here for a few more weeks as I prepare to move into a dorm to help with our groundbreaking Teacher Training Program (read about it here). As teaching and language wrap up for this year I am really praying and thinking through what my specific role is going to look like over the next year in connection with our network of schools.

prayer requests

Here are the major prayer requests, visit my prayer & praise page to read more:

  • workers and wisdom for S-village
  • my 9th grade class’ short term m-trip
  • guidance for my specific role over the next year

Thank you for your prayers!

The Nit-Grit: Hitting the Ground Running

Last December I was challenged to “hit the ground running” in 2012. Sick with Dengue fever, tired, and overwhelmed, all I could think of was “hitting the ground”. However I find myself in the month of March having sprinted through the last 2 months, and I don’t dare look back! Read about some of the incredible things God is doing here. Seriously, you gotta read it. It’s nuts!

teacher training center

What’s the best way to create quality schools? Create quality teachers. Years of work previously done by the team here is culminating as ground was broken to build our new teacher training and early childhood development center. The program will be multifaceted, including training for teachers from all over the country as well as training teachers who will later go teach in one of our schools out in the villages. The need is pressing, the vision is great, and we step out in faith trusting that God will provide the funds needed for this center. (If you are interested in helping sponsor the building of this teacher training center, send me an email and I’ll get you in contact with the right people.)

old dorm new dorm

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in this dorm with local college students but am excited about my upcoming transition to living with and developing students in our teacher training center. We are still praying through the details of this, but my ministry will be making a transition into greater involvement with the residence life of those involved in our new teacher training program.

s-village

S-Village is a tiny village nested in the mountains of a remote region of this country. S-village has practiced a local religion for all of it’s existence, but as times change this village struggles for survival. To save themselves they beg for education. With the new generation thirsty for a new religion, will they be quenched by a government majority religion school, or will we be able to open a school there and teach them the ways of the kingdom? Pray for S-village and for our team as we search for ways to save the souls of this village.

language learning

I’M ALMOST DONE!!!! Well with formal classes that is. Language learning has been a test of perseverance for me. I’m not fluent yet but I am encouraged as I near the end of my formal language classes. I’ve appreciated the prayers, keep ‘em coming!

teaching

Despite all that is going on, I am still teaching grade 9. It has been a great semester so far as we just finished a section on Worldviews. We will be taking a short trip to a village school up near one of the volcanos later next month. I have also begun teaching CPR and first aid to four 11th grade students hungry to learn. It has been fun for all of us.

basketball

In case you didn’t hear….WE WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP! I’m so proud of my girls who came from a last placed ranking to winning the whole thing. Read the comeback story or check out the photo album.

 

prayer requests

Ok brace yourself–there’s lots:

  • for God to provide the funding for the new Teacher Training and Early Childhood Development Center
  • for God to continue to drive the vision of the teacher training program
  • for God to guide me personally as I transition to new ministry in teacher training residence life
  • for my move out of my old dorm, that relationships would remain positive and that I might still be a light to those I am leaving
  • for God to provide a teacher from our faith who can live in S-Village and start a school there
  • for God to knock on the hearts of the people living in S-Village and that they would respond
  • for my language learning, that it would not be a discouragement or hinderance to my ministry, and that my language would come quickly
  • for my grade 9 students as they prepare for national testing, and that they would continue to be receptive to what God might teach them this semester
  • for my CPR students, that they would be ready and willing to utilize the knowledge given to them
  • for the 9 teachers in town this month from all over the country participating in teacher training
  • for some of my friends who have to deal with extremely difficult circumstances due to their choice to follow our religion instead of the majority religion

Thank you for your prayers!

Bunny Slopes and Preparations

gun it!

I have Florida blood through and through. I recently had the opportunity to visit a friend who lives on Mammoth Mountain, and I was reminded of my inability to deal with the cold. But I suited up (in MANY layers), and hit the slopes.

Now keep in mind, I had never been skiing before (or anything of the sort). Apparently this makes for great entertainment for experienced skiers. My first trip down the bunny slope was wild! With the cold wind and a giant smile on my face, I gunned it. I cruised down that hill in what felt like seconds. I felt so free, so alive! At the bottom, however, I was (gently) informed that speeding down a slope without control or the ability to safely stop does not make for good skiing. So, I tried again, concentrating on making careful, safe turns, and controlling my speed and my direction.

That gun-it run at the beginning of the day taught me a lesson. As I graduated to more difficult slopes, it was important that I had spent time on the bunny hill learning the importance of patience and preparation.

patience & preparation

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” [1 Peter 1:13]

My journey to Asia has brought about similar lessons. Be patient and prepare. Of course I can’t possibly foresee every turn, and I certainly can’t prevent every fall. (I sure fell a lot while skiing! Watch some funny videos here.) I trust God will guide me through the unexpected turns and He will use every fall as a learning experience.

I can’t do this on my own. Like on the hill, I need to rely on my community (YOU!) to take the journey with me.

progress & prayer requests

I need your help and support as I prepare. God has provided a lot of financial support already, but I sill have quite a bit of money to raise. If you haven’t already, would you be willing to partner with me? Just click on the giving button to the right, or  print out a response card.

I’m still on the bunny slopes, but the black diamonds are quickly approaching. Would you commit to pray for me? Please pray for:

  • potential financial partners
  • continued spiritual protection

Please visit my prayer page for more prayer requests.

Finally, I will be sending out a mailed update soon. Would you allow me to send you one? If you have not already, please send me your information.

Thank you for taking the journey with me. I appreciate each and every one of you.