Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas in Korea

We finally got our Christmas Tree up! It's so fun to be celebrating our 1st Christmas together as a married couple.
Below are a few pictures of the different things we've been doing this month to celebrate. The pictures include baking Christmas cookies, the Staff Christmas Party, the Elementary Christmas Program & at the bottom a special video of Eric & Jack. :)

This video is of one of the games we played at the staff Christmas party. Our table had to work together using only 1 hand each, trying to wrap a present. It's a great game & a good team building activity.

This is a picture of the elementary kids practicing for their Christmas program.

This week we have 3 days of school which for me will include a class Christmas party at school. We also plan on having dinner with a few different people this week before we head out to the states on Thursday. So... our next post will probably be from either Kansas or Chicago!

Merry Christmas!

Sermon I Preached Today

It's the first one up there. It's entitled, "Which Sword are you Wielding?"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Disarming Response: "It's My Pleasure"

I wanted to share a story. There's a picture in black and white of a young girl holding a baby with me in it as well. The story is about the girl. The baby is not hers, by the way, in case you were wondering. The baby is her older sister's.

Anyway, on our first day at the evacuation centre during the afternoon, I was planning on doing a Bible Study for the parents. While the children knew exactly what to do because other groups had come to the centre to teach them, the parents hadn't had someone to teach them. So, the first day, I went around the center with my Bible raised high above my head and screaming, "Adult Bible Study! Adult Bible Study!"

I happened upon this girl, and she asked, "Can I help you?" Sweating, smiling, I said, "Yes!" and we went door to door, with me speaking in English and she translating to Tegalo, the native tongue of the Philippines.

Because of her partnership in the gospel, the Bible study started at 30 and grew over two days to about 50.

At the end of the time there, I specifically went to her and told her how thankful I was for her help and how God had used her to help the mothers and fathers hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Then came three words: "It's my pleasure."

It was disarming. Not a burden, but a pleasure.

The Man of Sorrows took the cross. Not a burden, but a pleasure:

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV, Emphasis Added)

May we be like Him.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Philippines Part 2 - The Aftermath of the Typhoons

We were able to visit the area that used to be the homes of the people that are now living in the relief center. These next few videos show that after 2 months, the ground is still flooded and nasty with black swampy water just sitting there. Terrible.

These next videos are of Eric giving a tour of the relief center.

Then the next videos are of an amazing interview that Eric had with one of the women living in the relief center. She tells of her experience during and after the typhoons.

The last video is a summary of what we did here, our aim while being here, some really cute kids, and another vantage point of the evacuation center:

Philippines Part 1

Oh, this is going to be SO hard to do because we have SO many great pictures and stories from our time in the Philippines! It's almost overwhelming to know where to start. So I think I'm just going to have to take this Elephant one bite at a time and see how it comes out.

We had such a great experience while in the Philippines over Thanksgiving break. The following will be a description of what we did in pictures and in words. And then the next post I hope to put videos and pictures more of the plight of those who suffered the typhoons. Incredible stuff. Ok, hold tight! Here we go! This is our team starting out from the bus terminal here in Pyongtaek. There were 16 teachers & students total. I don't have time to tell it here, but God did an amazing miracle for us in the airport as the people checking us in told us our 3 youngest kids couldn't go. It was crazy the hoops we had to jump through, but I am so proud of my husband for sticking with it and not giving up and the issue. In the end, the 3 kids, Eric & Russell were the last 5 people to run on the plane before we took off. Amazing!
So I'm just going to jump right into the different ministries we were able to help with while there. The major thing we did was to go to this relief center twice a day to bring food to the people and also play with the kids, talk with them, do Bible Studies with them, and basically love on them with the love of Christ. 168 families, displaced from their flooded homes, have been placed here in this public gymnasium to live in VERY tight quarters. You can see how each family only gets a small square tent to live in, separated by thin sheets and tarps from everyone else.
When we would show up, the kids would swarm our van to greet us and then they would run to get their bowls for the food. It was a noisy, semi-chaotic mess, but we were able to feed these children (and adults) twice a day. Normally, I believe the government only brings food for them once a week.
I'm going to cut our the bazillion cute pictures of us with the kids hanging all over us and just focus on the ministry right now. Hopefully I can add those other cute pics later. :)
On one side of the gym, our students and a few of us Elementary teachers would take all the kids and try to do a Bible lesson with them and sing some songs. They loved it!
And on the other side of the gym, Eric and a few other teachers would round up as many adults as they could find and Eric would preach to them at the top of his lungs for about 30 minutes (it was very loud in there).
Another thing our team was able to do was pool our money to buy 200 Tagalog Bibles to pass out to the families in the relief center on the last day. Here we are unpacking them and writing a message in the front cover.In a short time period, Eric was also able to print up a Gospel tract for us to place into the Bibles. We tried to put as much Tagalog scripture in it as possible.
Previous to go on our trip, our school did a big supply drive for us to be able to take things over with us to distribute to the poor families. We brought tons of clothes, school supplies, and medical supplies. (And actually, we are still boxing up things to send because we couldn't take it all with us) This picture is of us separating everything. We decided not to pass it out ourselves but to save it for Myles to be able to pass out to the people at Christmas. (When all of our supplies will hopefully have arrived there by then).

Other things we did that were not related to the relief center: A few nights we were able to go over to the New Faith Family Children's Home and lead their evening devotions. Boy do those kids LOVE to sing praise songs!

We also were able to lead a chapel on Friday for the school next door that is also run by Kid's International Ministries.I think that basically summarizes the ministry aspect of our trip. Of course, one of the biggest aspects of what we did was to simply love on people so I will leave you with this picture of Eric with tons of kids hanging off of him. I LOVE IT!