Missions March 2010

Thursday, February 26, 2009

NW China

We arrived in NW China by plane (Praise God, we were not able to take the 24 hr. bus route!) on sunday afternoon. We didn't have any trouble with customs or visas and our friends were waiting for us at the door. We have been staying with them in their very modern and spacious apartment and have been treated like royalty! I'm not sure how much longer than can continue this treatment, but we are thoroughly enjoying it!
Our first night here we got to meet some wonderful believers and taste the local cuisine. We tried things like lotus root, sweet potatoe noodles, and things I didn't recognize but tasted great! We also tried Uygur food! The Uygur people are a minority here that have a completely different culture, Islamic backgroud, with their own language that looks like arabic and their faces look almost turkish.
On wednesday, I spoke at a small women's gathering about relationships (at pastor javid's request). I just gave a few points that I thought are important and relevant to all relationships. First, it is not wise to be unequally yoked. Second, before we can have healthy relationships, we must have a personal understanding of our identity in Christ (we are loved, safe, valuable, secure, perfect in Him). and Lastly, we must keep the Cross between us at all times (Gal.2:20, we are crucified in Christ...) so that nothing can get between us. It was a sweet time with these wonderful young women who really needed to hear how Christ can be their all in all. They just soaked it up and received every word.
More to come from China!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Three Lepers

Roger and I had an amazing time in Central Asia, even though it was only 3 days. During our time in Bishkek, we got to spend alot of time with the Post family who have been living there as missionaries for about 8 years. They are an amazing family who blessed us so much with their lives and their hospitality! I was so humbled to see how they have chosen to live such humble, simple, sweet lives for the Kyrgyz people.
There was a conference planned there in honor of Pastor Matti's visit, so people from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were there. We had a women's meeting on Saturday afternoon at one of the ladies' houses. We ate, and sang, and shared together. It was really a wonderful time to be able to get to know these incredible believer's! I shared a little of my own testimony about how I knew that I wanted to be a missionary (not just b/c my parents were). I used the story of the 3 lepers in II Kings 7 to illustrate the way I think God wants us to view life. The 3 lepers were outcasts from the city, living outside the walls waiting to die from either starvation or disease. There was an army that had attacked the city and put it under siege. So the 3 lepers thought "why should we sit here until we die?" Their only possibility for life was to go surrender to the army and hope they would have mercy on them. To the naked eye, this seems like a suicidal thought, but really, if you think about it, it was the ONLY logical thought. I feel the same way about walking by faith. If we choose to live our lives for ourselves, we are just waiting to die, with no real ETERNAL and lasting purpose in our lives, each day void of meaning. It may seem like its the easier, less dangerous option - but in reality, its foolishness not to give all we have for God! We can sit quietly and safely and never present ourselves as available to God, but what joy is there in that? What eternal reward is there? I cannot imagine a sweeter sound than to hear God say at the end of my life, "Well done, My good and faithful servant."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some pictures from our time in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Aizhan - Grace Face

Aizhan - Grace Face

Name: Aizhan Tynalieva
Nationality/Home Church: Kyrgyzstan

Testimony of Salvation: In 2003, I was living in my home village of Saru with my family. I was struggling with depression, fighting with my family, and feeling very empty. A group from Greater Grace came to my village on a small missions trip (with Pastor Pamir and Eija). On my way to go visit my friend, I prayed to God, "God if you really exist, you must show me!" When I got to the cafe, the Greater Grace group was having a little rap there. One of the girls from the group came up to me to ask me where the bathroom was...and then she said, "Do you know that God loves you?" It was such an answer to my prayers! I stayed with them for the rest of the two weeks that they were there, I was at everything, never leaving them! I received Christ at one of the meetings and only a few weeks later, I left my village, my studies and my family to go to Bible college in Bishkek. Now my sister and brother have also received Christ.

What has encouraged me lately: I recently moved to Almaty, Kazakstan to be a part of the small team here. Its so great because I really feel like I have a place here and I am so motivated to study the Bible more and go on outreach!

Vision: I want to start a children's program here in Almaty.

Thanks and Greetings to: Marcia and Bruce Merriman, Eija, Liza and Barbara Stevens.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan and China!

We are about to walk out the door of our little apartment, but I wanted to just let everyone know that we're going on a trip so that you can pray for us.
We are going with Pastor Matti to Almaty, Kazakstan (by plane) for a mini conference there, then on to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan (by bus) and then to Urumqi, China (24 hr. bus ride!!) and we will be with our friends there for about 2 weeks.
Please pray for our safe travels, also for Pastor Matti's visa (he still doesn't have one for China). We just want to go and be a blessing to the believer's in these countries and pour out whatever we can to bless them.
Your prayers are so important, and we are so thankful for them!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My new friend Katie

I met Katie at Burger King with Roger on tuesday night while we were waiting to meet up with a friend of ours. We asked her to take our picture (always a great conversation starter) and she spoke English so we joined her for a little bit. We ended up exchanging numbers and then on thursday she called me! I was pleasantly surprised. So I met up with her that night and we went to a little cafe and got to know eachother a little better. She is actually from a part of Turkey that speaks a different language called Kilbis (I think thats how you spell it) but has lived in Istanbul for 6 years. She is 19 years old and studying psychology in university. She loves America and watches MTV alot! Her favorite show is Punked! haha. We had a great time, and today we went shopping together. I am so thankful that God is bringing new friends into my life here that I can share with. Its really humbling. So please pray for Katie!

We gave Alp his first Bible!!

Alp is officially a disciple now that he has is very own Bible - our gift to him. He is planning on coming to Eurocon so we knew he needed to his own! Please pray that he can make it to Budapest with us.

Consider the Joy of the Cross in your life...

What is our Joy and Hope when we consider the cross for our lives?

In Proverbs 13:7 it says, There is he that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is he that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. Which one sounds better, riches or greater riches? Don't think of riches as material gain and wealth in this world but think of inner-riches verses inner-poverty. It starts with You and Me, not what we currently have. What we possess can never determine who we are, but rather what is it that possesses us? Is it SELF or is it Christ? In Phil. 2:1-11, Christ says, fullfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded...let each esteem the other better than themselves...look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others...Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: In life there is always some sort of joy before us. This is called hope and it is what carries us through life, but what if it only turns into me? That my only Joy is me and not something greater? Christ said you have to be likeminded as I was. He was the the One who took on the form of a servant and became obedient unto death. He made Himself of no reputation, meaning He emptied Himself and took on something greater. Imagine that, Jesus emptied Himself to take on something greater!!! The greatest reputation is the one found in Heaven and in Hell but not on this earth. In Heb. 12:2-3 it says, "who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame....for consider Him that endured such contrition...." I once heard that the Joy that was before Christ was us. That when He saw the cross He only saw you and me -- beloved lost souls! And I believe this is what carries us through life with Christ. When we see the cross what is "the joy set before" us? This could be someone that God has put on your heart, maybe a burden for a whole country or just the simple call to pray and hear from God. Its a decision that must be made based on the plan and call of God for our lives. Obedience is imperative! But what we find through the cross is great riches that can not be explained or made up, they are simply GREAT RICHES!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Team Lunch: Good Food, Great Fellowship!

Bible College Tea Time

Plan or no Plan, just go!

We went on some casual evangelism on saturday morning after our team meeting. Pastor Matti didn't really give us much direction, just to walk around the neighborhood and ask people if they knew of a nearby church. :-)

So we split up, and Gulshoda and I started up the street...I was feeling a little lost and intimidated by the situation because I'm just not used to this kind of thing! I'm used to knocking on doors in the ghetto of Baltimore, not walking around a street in Turkey. Gulshoda noticed that I was looking a little worried/perplexed, probably because I kept asking "So...where do you think we should go...?" And she said, "its OK to not have a plan. God does the most amazing things when I don't have a plan." So, without really having much of a choice, I just kept walking w/ her. It started to rain and my doubts began to creep in.
We stopped by this office where a lady Gulshoda knows works...but the door was all locked up and no one was there...so we were out of ideas. As we walked along in the rain, I started to just enjoy chatting with Gulshoda and stopped worrying about what we should or should not be doing. When we turned the corner, guess who was walking down the street? Gulshoda's friend! She was on her way to the office and invited us to come out of the rain and have some tea. We had a wonderful talk with her and her friend who came in after us. They are planning on coming to church and also have another friend they want to bring. I have a tiny little beginning of a vision to have a ladies' bible study soon...
This whole experience is just one more way that God is slowly teaching me that I really cannot understand how He works and He really doesn't need me to. He just needs me to go anyway!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Joy of a BK Whopper...oh sweet gluttony!

Turkish Mini Golf


I wanted to thank everyone for their prayers while Roger has been sick. He was very sick for about 3 days (high fever, chills, stomach pain, headaches, among other less pleasant things) before we decided it had gotten bad enough to warrant a hospital visit. So we went to the ER of the "Amerikan Hastanesi" (American Hospital) and he was given the treatment he needed...that is, besides the loving care that I was so faithfully giving him. =) Turns out something he ate gave him an infection in his bowels. But we are back home now, w/ enough antibiotics to kill a small army of bacteria! He is already feeling much better, and we're planning on going to church tomorrow night! Thanks again for your prayers, they are priceless.