Sunday, July 4, 2010
Since i last updated you, we have had a lot of sickness amongst our team... Caroline has been to the doctors twice because she has blisters/bumps all over her hands, feet, tongue, lips, thighs, and butt, and it keeps spreading. The first doctor said she had a virus but when it didn't go away she went to a second doctor who says she is having an allergic reaction... hopefully this is the case and the medicine he gave her will do the trick. Matt has been really lethargic and has had no appetite... today he also had trouble breathing when we went swimming. The doctor said that he is having mild asthma issues, due to the climate change. This is weird for him because he has never had asthma before. Almost everyone on the trip has had digestion problems (diarrhea or vomitting) at least once and most of us has felt symptoms of the common cold. Chauntae also got hives the other night due to an allergic reaction to something. But we know we are in the safest hands and that God is protecting us from any worse attacks from the enemy... we consider ourselves blessed to only have these sicknesses and nothing worse so far. Apparently many girls on the team last year contracted bacterial meningitis, which is the lesser serious meningitis but is still deadly. They all survived, but so far we have been fortunate not to have anything that serious. But we are all physically exhausted and don't have a lot of energy to work with.
In case you were wondering, yes, the swelling of my ankles and feet did eventually go down. They are completely back to normal but it took about a week for them to get that way.
In the past 2 nights we have killed 8 cockroaches in our room! The first night we slept in the rooms here (we relocated to the Teenage Girls Center, which is in Welisara, on friday), i woke up about 7 times sitting up and freaking out thinking cockroaches were crawling all over me... my roommates told stories of that night all day the next day haha. For some reason, i just cannot stand cockroaches. They are probably the most disgusting insects alive. (sidenote: write after i wrote this, Chauntae warned me that a cockroach was crawling towards me under the table i was using.... ewwwwww)
Ok, now on to the update:
Last week we repainted the boys and girls homes at the farm (where we were staying) and just got to play with them a lot more and go to their nightly pray meetings. It was really cool to see the older kids lead the prayer meetings and all the children honestly seeking God and worshiping him in song. It is really awesome to see what these children have been rescued from and how bright their future is because of this ministry and the new hope they have. One kid came to the Farm when he was 12, never having gone to school before then because he had no family. Now he is #1 in his class, he is 17, and he speaks really good english. He takes care of all the younger boys in the home and leads the prayer meetings. He has such a passion for the Lord and wants to be a pastor.
On Friday we relocated to the Teenage Girls Center, which is attached to the church we are working with. We haven't worked with them yet, because on saturday we drove 3 hours down south to go to the vocational school graduation (the ministry started a vocational school, teaching young adult girls to make clothes and pottery and paintings and things like that to make a living. Most of these girls are buddhist--actually all but 2 are--and it is a more subtle ministry to sew seeds of the Gospel in a very indirect way). This school was located right where the Tsunami took place, and we saw a lot of the damage that was done, as many of the buildings have yet to be repaired or rebuilt. The first wave was about 20 feet high and the second wave was about 50 feet high. It was hard to imagine a "huge black wall" (as surviving onlookers described it) coming toward us, but where we were driving was right along the coast, and that is exactly what we would have seen had we been there. We saw Buddhist temples everywhere on our drive down here, and there was even a HUGE (probably around 75 feet tall) that was built after the tsunami, because the people believe it is going to protect them in the future. It is really sad and the need for the Gospel is so great here.
Today was a 3 hour church service on missions. Our Biola team got to sing "Jesus Paid it All" during the communion and it went really well... we got a lot of compliments on it. But on a different note, the man who was supposed to speak, Dr. Gary, who is a close friend of one of the church's pastors and was his son's mentor for years, was supposed to fly in last night but he never showed up. This morning we found out that he was in a bus accident in Korea yesterday, in which the bus fell over the guard rail of a bridge and crashed 30 feet below. 12 out of the 24 passengers died instantly, including Dr. Gary's traveling companion. Dr. Gary broke many bones, including his hip, and has a lot of brain damage and is currently in a coma. Keep him in your prayers. He is a close friend of Biola's president and is a great man of God... he even has the entire Bible memorized! Anyways, everyone is grieving here, but we trust and hope that God will work a miracle in this situation and extend his life for God's Kingdom work.
The rest of this week we will be working with the teenage girls here. They are really struggling and have a lot of issues. From what i hear, they are really stubborn and set in their ways, so it is hard to get across to them. Every time progress is seen in their lives, the Devil attacks and brings them down, so they definitely need a lot of prayer. I hope our time here is very beneficial for them!
Keep praying for us. Spiritual warfare is very powerful but God is All-Powerful, and we trust him to protect us and to conquer in the end!