Friday, July 6, 2012

The 2012 SEA CI Trip TEAM!

Want to know what they thought about the trip? Click on the names below!

GUYS (from left to right)
  1. Matthew Jusuf
  2. Jaedon Sia
  3. Victor Peh
  4. Caleb Lentine
  5. Jason Hartono
  6. Nathan Burkhalter
  7. Joshua Chew
GIRLS (from left to right)
  1. Eunice Peh
  2. Julie Shoemaker
  3. Marie Peh
  4. Jolynn Tan
  5. Krystal Ling
  6. Caroline Metzger
  7. Tracey Peh
  8. Kayla Williams
  9. Julia Duncan
  10. Ariel Ma
  11. Rachel Roets
  12. Ruthann Pleus
  13. Debbie Lim
  14. Grace Ling
  15. Phoebe Koh
  16. Elizabeth Shoemaker
To God be the glory!

Recap of 2012 Trip...

Saturday, 2 June 2012 - Travel to KL, the team assembles (The Start of the Journey)
Sunday, 3 June 2012 - Teacher training: how to teach (An Elevator Experience)

Monday, 4 June 2012 - Teacher training, Set-up for CI, First night of CI! (Persevering Through the First Night!)
Tuesday, 5 June 2012 - Teacher training (What Really Counts)
Wednesday, 6 June 2012 - Teacher training (Asian Fruits 101)
Thursday, 7 June 2012 - Stepping Stones orphanage visit (Perfection in Weakness)
Friday, 8 June 2012 - Shopping at Mid Valley Mall and Chinatown (Getting a Spiritual Appetite)
Saturday, 9 June 2012 - Full day of CI, Americans try durian! (Answering the Call of God)
Sunday, 10 June 2012 - Travel to Singapore (Is Christ Your Passion?)

Monday, 11 June 2012 - Rest, Set-up for CI (Ground Work)
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 - Leadership training simulation, Shopping at Bugis Street (Being Real)
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 - Care Corner children daycare visit (Focus-lah!)
Thursday, 14 June 2012 - Early morning visit to Botanic Gardens (Intimacy with God)
Friday, 15 June 2012 - Sentosa, River boat cruise (Differences and Similarities)
Saturday, 16 June 2012 - Full day of CI, Dinner at Sims' (God is Good!)
Sunday, 17 June 2012 - Travel to Jakarta (Honor to Serve the Lord)

Monday, 18 June 2012 - Rest, Set-up for CI (Being Honest)
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 - Learning to make rice dumplings, Sports (A Day in CI)
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 - Ministry to underpriveledged kids (Special Memories)
Thursday, 21 June 2012 - Shopping at Taman Angrek (Learning Through Opportunities)
Friday, 22 June 2012 - Last full day of CI (CI is Amazing!)
Saturday, 23 June 2012 - Shopping at Central Park, Dinner at Badudus' ()
Sunday, 24 June 2012 - Church, Sports ()

Monday, 25 June 2012 - Travel to Puncak ()
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 - Puncak training, Safari visit ()
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 - Shopping at Bogor, Batik shopping ()
Thursday, 28 June 2012 - Final goodbyes ()

Friday, June 22, 2012

CI is Amazing!


First of all, CI is amazing! I was the translator for Caleb on team one this year. I had a lot of fun and I also got to meet with different kids. They responded quite well to the lessons. I also learnt many things. Many things to reflect about.

The most significant thing for me is when we learnt about suffering. I question myself...will I suffer even more for Him? The other lesson and challenge for me is to handle the kids. I enjoy doing crafts, the skits and the memory verses.

This is my third year but I never get bored because I can learn deeper about God and meet with new people. I'm definitely going to be waiting for next year:) Hopefully follow the full cycle!!

-Ilona Edlyn

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Learning Through Opportunities

(CI 2011)
CI...once again...I have to spend five days with kids...gonna translate, again...Every single year is just the same. So boring...Ok, here we go again...*sighs* Back then, I was not looking forward to CI. No enthusiasm in me at all. Nothing.

Mr. Konner Felber broke my barrier, he spent a lot of time talking to me about how to be a true servant of Christ. He also told me about serving Him with all your ming, will, soul, strength, emotion and heart. That day, I reluctantly made a commitment to be a servant of God. Konner had a lot of faith in me. When he was about to depart, he whispered something that changed my life forever! I can still recall his words, "Someday your time will come Brad. And someday, I believe that you'll be one of Christ's faithful servants. Don't ever stop searching for His face Brad. Seek Him, seek His face."

(CI 2012)
The words of Konner Felber were still ringing in my ears, echoing in my mind. The first day of CI 2012 in Jakarta finally came! I wasn't expecting much dfference with the previous CIs that I had done before. I thought that it would be the same old, boring CI. Well, things always go under God's marvelous complete control. He perfectly arranged me to translate for Phoebe Koh, who was selected to perform a sole role. Teaching the kids, alone, all by herself. So, she decided to promote me, giving me a higher rank:) She said that she wanted me to be her assistant, translating for the team. I was buzzing with excitement!!! I began to think, CI isn't that bad after all.

It gets even better! During the trip we visited an orphanage. I was appointed to lead the praise and worship! I was so pleased with this opportunity. I've never done that before! The excitement continues to grow! Miss Ruri, our main translator for large group couldn't translate for the third day of CI. She asked me to replace her for the night. Somehow, I managed to say, "Yes, I'll do it!" I don't know why I said that really, I didn't! Anyway...heart pounding, sweat dripping from my forehead, I went backstage to the staff room to inform Miss Eunice that I would be the one translating for her that night. She smiled and said, " Oh...yayy!!! Well then, get ready." Such an encouraging reply from Miss Eunice:)

Before we went up on the stage, we prayed and did a few minor last minute preparations. Eunice and Elizabeth's prayer really struck me. I remember a part of it, it went something like this, "God, please help us to become OURSELVES, OUR TRUE SELF. Help us to perform well, Lord. Because this isn't about us, it's about You, Lord. We are nothing without You." I was really proud of myself, in a bad way. My attitude was very boastful. The prayer really helped me to stay humble, and let God have all the glory. Not me. It truly humbled me. Made me to be a better servant of God. Now I really, really enjoy CI. Love every single moment with the kids.

God has been directing me through the past four days of CI. One day is left and Mr. Victor told the team to make it count, giving it our all. Facing the final day of CI excited and eager! Wondering what other valuable challenges does God have for me? Ready and waiting...impatiently!!! :)

-Brad Badudu

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Special Memories

Hey all, Jovita Edlyn here. This was the third day and the third year for me. Yay!! The third day was awesome...we learned about responsibility. We should know what we;re doing and responsibility is very very important  because everything will turn out great if you do it responsibly. I really learnt a lot from CI about design, authority and responsibility in the past three days.

At CI, I also met a lot of different kinds of kids, each special in the way they act and how they socialize. Each kid is s different and we as their teachers find out that some of them are really helpful.

The kids on my team are really great, well sometimes they are not so great but we always do our best because we want to glorify God. This year, I'm an interpreter for Krystal and Nathan. They are so awesome and we joke around and encourage each other to know God more.

The special memory of the day is when Nathan turned so hyper and the kids were laughing and enjoying that moment very much.

That's all for now and I can't wait for the next CI. Yay!! Bye...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Day in CI

Hey guys, Jashver here! I’m eager to tell you about the delightful day that we had on Tuesday the nineteenth of June 2012. We got up really early in the morning and popped over to the Hoetamas to learn how to make sticky rice dumplings (called bacang) from Aunty Isty. SOME people had trouble with the placement of the bamboo leaves and tying the bacang to make sure it didn’t fall apart during the cooking process.

When the late dudes fell from the sky in sports wear, all active people bounced over to the sports center and played Table Tennis and Basketball. The girls decided to play volleyball and SOMEHOW managed to drop the ball SPLAT! in the center of the swimming pool. After an eternity of waiting and trying a multitude of techniques we managed to retrieve the ball but they just drifted back to the house and disappeared.

Lunch, baths, and devotions where Victor talked about true Christianity before heading out for the main event of the day.....CI! The night whizzed by in the blink of an eye and before we knew it, it was sign out time.

So, all in all it was an awesome day and though all the teachers were exhausted from intense physical excertion, they persevered and were rewarded with excellent results.

-Joshua Chew

Monday, June 18, 2012

Being Honest

During this trip I've really learnt a lot, its true. I got a dear friend as my partner and from the start she taught me how to have goals when I'm teaching, to have a goal to reach when I'm teaching the kids, and to question myself about the main point I want the kids to remember when they go home.

Well, I got all that going and prepared my lessons and taught CI. But then I started to see how well my partner was teaching - the kids were all laughing when she taught and they liked her, and I felt that my lessons were boring and were not good enough. I started to compete with the person I was working with and I just wanted to be better than her and to make the kids love me. I was jealous and I wanted to exalt myself.

So the lessons went on and I felt that our relationship was very tense; I felt that she was just doing her own thing and didn't care about me. But it was because I was hiding behind a mask and kept acting as if I was alright and feeling great and dwelling on myself. During cool down, I just talked about how well we taught our lessons and how effective we were.

But one night during cool down, God really spoke to my heart and caused me to be honest with myself. He showed me how ugly I am, how dirty my motive were, how filthy my righteousness is. He caused me to see how selfish I am, how I wanted to be better than Marie, how I wanted the kids to adore me, how I wanted to be the best CI teacher.

I really felt so ashamed of my attitudes, my motives, my desires - they were all fleshly and worldly. For the whole week I was just focusing on my lessons, how to teach creatively, and I didn't spend a lot of time with God. I didn't seek Him wholeheartedly, and I didn't love Him with all my heart, soul and mind.

I repented and asked God to forgive me, and I also asked Him to put on me His righteousness because I don't have any of my own and I know I can't be righteous with my own strength. I need God to change me and to work in me, that I may be able to have the right motives, the right attitudes and desires. I want to continue to draw closer to God and to build a more intimate relationship with Him and thus, with my partner too.

-Grace Ling

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Honor to serve the Lord

Hello everybodyyy! It’s Debbieee. :]

Wheeee, it has been such a great honor serving the Lord again in the Children’s Institute. We are currently in Indonesia. The kids have been so responsive and eager to learn more about the Lord. As I planned and taught the kids about character building, I realize how important it’s to learn these character qualities and apply it, in our daily lives.

Before I came on this trip, I dislocated my knee by doing a funny, crazy dance move with some friends. But I still decided to come and teach. Honestly, it hasn’t been easy. There are times when it hurts and it taught me to rely and trust in the Lord for strength and healing. My knee is much better now compared to day one. Due to my knee injury, it has been hard giving my best but God has been good.

I have been truly blessed by what God has been teaching me through my surrounding. :] God bless you’ll. Have a blessed week ahead. :D


Saturday, June 16, 2012

God is good!

Hello from Singapore! I'm writing for Saturday, June 16th, and Saturday is a full day in CI! We began in the morning learning about Ownership, Freedom, and Success. Then we got ourselves prepared for Parent Presentation and sang our songs and recited Ephesians 6:10-18 for the parents attending the Basic Seminar. We learned that running in the race of life is a marathon; we don't know how many laps we have to run, but we are called to run well, fighting against Satan's attempts to deceive and distract us and get us to stop running!

After CI finished and we said goodbye to all the kids, we were graciously hosted and fed an amazing meal by the Sim family.

I have loved being back here in Southeast Asia for a second time. God has been good in letting me come on this trip again and it is growing me in my walk with Him. Our focus has been on the gospel and on keeping Jesus Christ at the center of all we do and teach. I have been so grateful for this, as it is the very thing I need to grow more in: allowing Jesus to have His rightful place of first in every area of my life. The question I have been challenged with is do I come to Jesus for His gifts and healing in my life, to have him solve my problems? Or do I come to Him solely for Himself; to know Him and His presence intimately?

We are grateful for your prayers!

- Ruthann Pleus

Friday, June 15, 2012

Differences and Similarities

Hey, Caleb Lentine here. Last day at Singapore and I'm already missing it.

Teaching the kids has been fun and I think I've learned just as much, if not more! I mean, I've heard these lessons before but I've never had to go this deep into these topics. Finding ways to explain them has led me to some conclusions I've never thought of before. I wish I was more prepared for teaching though. A lot of the lessons I'm teaching I've never thought about, let alone applied to my own life before.

Its not all just teaching at the seminar we've had a lot of fun. Like once we went to the mall and shopped for a few hours. Or like the time we went to Sentosa Island and we all raced on a go-kart thing called the luge (I won once!)

Its so awesome to see the differences and similarities in the cultures here and back at home. Eating has also been an adventure (I don't want to talk about the wasabi incident) I've tried so many new foods. Some good (pork rice) some bad (durian). All in all this trip has been both fun and meaningful so far, who knows what else the future may bring.

Ciao and God bless!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Intimacy with God

Hello from Singapore!

It has been an amazing, smazing trip!! you are hearing it first hand from Phoebe Koh So, it felt like not long ago that we arrived from KL to Singapore and now we are at the end of our CI in Singspore :(. Indeed we had our share of fun in the sun at Sentosa Island followed by a romantic boat ride with live chinese plucking instrumental music across the Singapore River yesterday. Frisbee frenzy at the Singapore Botanical Gardens and many hidden talents exposed!

On another side, I've been hearing so much good and expensive stuff from devotions and teacher training and now to internalize and to apply them is so crucial.

Our team devotions has got me thinking and reflecting on my life of how I have been living it and going to live it. Having to answer thought provoking questions with all honesty and asking God to search my heart and show me my blind spots. Allowing God to redirect myself towards THE prize, and asking God to reveal things that are having competition with my affections for Him. Also learning to embrace rebuke from God and realizing that it leads to growth. Where there's no rebuke and correction, there is no growth :(...God is changing the way I view things.

Though I have taught in CIs before, this year's teacher training has brought me to greater...depth.  It has helped me to see that my lessons shouldn't just be about teaching lessons in a fun and engaging way but having genuine love for the children and directing every lesson to the main thing - the gospel. And what matters above all ministry work is actually my own self and my relationship with God. Where intimacy with God is the goal and what I have to feed on daily. All these truths fall on me and I'm like "ahhhh! Oh Mann, ahh!!", many things I've learned in the past are being revised and my preconceived ideas are being cleaned up in different ways.

In all these, what I most love about this year's CI is the staff team whom God use to lead us towards the truth, they really love everyone of us, team members, so genuinely and selflessly, just the sort of leaders I'd love to imitate. :D

Thanks for reading, God bless you my friend. :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Kids. Kids everywhere! Holding my hands, riding my back, sitting in my lap - that's what I love. The feeling of complete joy when you have a child holding each finger because they all want to hold your hand - it can't be beat!

But then why didn't my week in KL go as planned? I felt like a failure and a flop. Of course, it wasn't truly, but I wanted more.

The Lord showed me through the amazing people leading and participating in this team that the issue is focus. My goal was success, and as all CI teachers knowm that means nothing! When I'm more worried about getting everything done, instead of being concerned about their hearts, then even success is grossly empty!

When I realized my lack of concern, I prayed specifically that God would give me love for the children, and concern for them. And He did! I love the kids here in Singapore!

One more thing I didn't know about myself - I love being on-stage, hamming it up for the kids! I love acting, singing, and teaching verses to the kids. I love goofy roles in skits! Yup, my preferred personality on stage is ...drumroll...crrrazt! But my teammates would probably say that my crazy personality isn't acting. What can I say? Oh well-lah!

I'm loving this trip! I'm learing so much! And I know the lessons and friendships will last years if not a lifetime! God knew I needed to be here, and right now, I wouldn't be anywhere else!

Until later-lah!

-Julia Duncan

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Being Real

Hey people! Jason Hartono here. Today is the third day of CI in Singapore. I have learned many things, and met many people from different countries in this trip. So far, this mission trip is doing fine...God is very good to us all.

The first 2 days of the trip were the hardest for me because before this trip I was very busy and many things happened. I was not prepared both physically and mentally, really tired and not feeling well. I really wanted to be home at that time. But as time goes by I started to know the others better, and enjoy my time - eating chicken rice, duck rice and plenty of babi.

In the seminar, I don't have trouble connecting and sharing with the children. But teaching is a struggle for me, because I'm teaching principles that I don't really apply in my own personal life. It's just like a theory for me, I know all the knowledge but I don't practice it. I feel like a hypocrite, teaching something I don't do. In the 4th-day-cool-down I shared what I felt with everyone in the group during cool down, then we had a group prayer for the next day, the last full day of seminar in malaysia. It was really awesome! And the next day, which is the last day, I expected it to be a long and hard day, but it turned out to be a really fast and fun day. I believe that's the power of prayer!

I'm looking forward to see what God wants to teach us here in Singapore and in Jakarta. Being God's partner in this ministry is a special privilege, seeing other's lives changed by God through our ministry is a really awesome thing to experience.

God bless you people, sweet dreams.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ground Work

Welcome to the beautiful country of Singapore! Tonight was our first night teaching in Singapore. I love teaching here because you aren't trying to get the kids to understand a principle or lesson, they already know it. The challenge with teaching here is taking what they know and showing them how they can practically apply it. The kids here in Singapore are so smart and know so much it is really quite amazing! Since this was our first night in this city we focused on building relationships with each of the children on our teams. Each has a different story, each has a different personality, each has a different relationship with God and some don't even have one. It is truly a privilege spend time with each precious child feeding into their life. As the week progresses we hope to continue building relationships that will lead to more openness with each child. Our goal in teaching this week is for the children to hear, understand, and accept the gospel. In just the first night I found out most of the children on my team do not know or understand the gospel. It will be exciting getting one on one with them and explaining it to them! I am REALLY excited to see how God is going to work in each of the kids lives and my own this week!

We treasure and thank you for each of your prayers for the team, the children, and the work God has called us to! Here are some specific ways you can pray for us as we continue the Lord's work in Asia:

1. Jesus Christ wil be glorified
2. Our passion for Christ will not diminish
3. Our goal will be kept in focus
4. We will be able to challenge the children to apply in their lives what they already know
5. Each team member will continue growing in Chist

In Christ Alone,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Is Christ Your Passion?

I can't believe one week is already over and we are now in Singapore! We were sad to see K.L. go but very encouraged how the Lord chose to use us as a team, and excited to see Him work in us through us.

Today was travel day for the team. Taking a seven hour bus ride from K.L Malaysia to Singapore. We had a great ride fellowshipping and encouraging one anther, praying, and some sharing their talents, serenading the team on the violin. Some of us took advantage of a few hours of sleep as well.

Team devotions was the highlight of the day. Victor challenged the team with a question, is Christ my passion? What am I pursuing in life. Its always good to ask tough questions and ask the Lord to search my heart. Please continue to pray for the team as we serve the Lord in Singapore. Please pray that Christ will be our passion as a team and that He will be our single focus.

Excited about His work,
Elizabeth Shoemaker

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Answering the call of God

Hi guys! I’m Matthew and I’m happily blogging with my coach. Forgive me if this blog is not interesting or awkward or whatever you don’t like cause this is my very very very very very first blog post (according to my coach I’m a noob). So I started my day at 12 AM, I had a very touching morning with Joshua, Ariel, Julie, Jason, Ruthann, Tracey, Kayla, Jaedon, Julia, Caleb. I continued by sleeping at 2 AM and woke up at 6 AM thanks to Jason, Ariel, and my alarm clock. I thought today was going to be a very looooooooooonnnnggggg and hard day, but it was actually a lot of fun and memorable.

I felt that God rebuked me through the skit of Jill. It was about a girl who had been called to serve God since she was little, but then she kept on postponing the call waiting for a better economy. After several years, she became a very successful person, forgot about the promise and she said to God “I’ll do that tomorrow”, but then tomorrow never came for her and she died in vain. I felt that God was saying that I should start now instead of waiting for a better opportunity. I have seen a lot of people die and it was kind of a dilemma to me since they died in much unexpected ways, and it scared me for a while. God answered my prayers through the skit, surprisingly. I learned to love the kids even till the final day. It was kind of sad leaving the place and the kids :’( but not everything was sad because I did not leave my lesson there, I keep it in my heart; the journey was a blessing to me. When we got home we were tired and we had an awesome cool down session, where people started to open up more about themselves and about God.

All I have to say is I was blessed by everyone on the team, no exception, and I’m very excited about the next 2 weeks. May God bless and use me to the fullest. May this be a blessing to you all, THX!!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Getting a Spiritual Appetite

It is the beginning of week 2, yet I feel like I have been here for a month. Where does the time go?

The whole trip has been completely different from how I thought it would be. The relationships with the kids go much deeper (and much faster) than those at home. I spent 3 hours in an orphanage and the friendships formed so quickly. It made a real impact on how I view things. I am starting to get a spiritual appetite again. I am eating, breathing, living the word of God. It is truly refreshing to be around like-minded believers.

All for Him. Nothing held back.

-Caroline Metzger

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Perfection in Weakness

Hey guys, Ariel here! It's been about one week since the team has started on the first day of CI and God has been teaching me just soo much. Yes, it is quite a cliche thing to be saying while on a missions trip but one way or another, it's true.

It's funny how God loves to use the weak ones to do His work. Of course, as humans we have that tendency to believe that it's too humiliating, but in reality it is quite the opposite. I believe that through our weaknesses, specifically my weaknesses, Christ is glorified. I'll admit coming into this trip I was terrified about teaching the kids. Speaking (nevermind teaching!) to large groups of people has always frightened me, but I have been pushed waaay out my comfort zone throughout this week. Needless to say, it has been a thrilling and eye-opening experience. God has/still is prompting me to just let go and fully trust Him. He's shown me that despite my fears and weaknesses of teaching, He can still use me for His kingdom. 

On Wednesday, I had the privilege and task of teaching the kids "The Battlefield of the Mind". All through the week, we had been telling the kids how they are soldiers in the army of God and that we are in the Truth War against Satan. I started the lesson worrying in the back of my mind about how it would go. I explained to the children how Satan just loves to sneak in lies and make us believe them. The feedback from the children was immediate and graciously overwhelming as they began to ask how they could defend themselves from these lies. My partner and I were able to take the opportunity to explain how to use God's Word to fight the devil back (Truth vs Lies). It wasn't really until after the lesson that I realized the connection we'd built with the children and that (praise God!) they had really understood the importance for taking on the armor of God. 

I know I can't take any credit for it because it was always Him and never me. However, I am very encouraged with this small step forward and the excitement for all that's in store for me and the amazing team only builds with each day. All glory to Him.

Soli Deo Gloria.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." -2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Asian Fruits 101

Today was a very exciting day on the CI trip to Southeast Asia!!! We were given the amazing oppurtunity to try tons of fruits from Malaysia. Coming from an American girl this was really exciting. Rambutans, dragon fruits, lychees, snakeskin fruits, jambu, jackfruits, pomelos, and mangoes were just a few of the options. They were all very interesting, and I found so many differences in them from the fruits in the States! Some were hairy, had weird textures, random colors and very unique flavors. But very fun to try them all:) My favorite of all had to be the dragon fruit:) It was sweet and yummy and very colorful.

The other great part of the day was the CI it self! I personally love and care deeply for every kid in my group. The lesson today was responsibility, teaching the kids that they are responsible for every thought and action and attitude. And that God knows every thought we have and that nothing can be hidden from him. This lesson really hit home for me as well. And reminded me of the verse in 1 Chronicles 28:9 that says " The Lord searcheth all hearts and understands alll the imaginations of our thoughts. This lesson taught me that my thoughts need to be God honoring and when Satan tempts me to think wrong things that Gods word is always there to memorize and fight away Satans lies!

Thank you for all your prayer and support!

In Christ's love,
Rachel Roets

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What Really Counts

Hello everyone!

This is Krystal, speaking from Malaysia! To be very honest, I have never blogged before, so stick with me!

This morning we were supposed to have Asian fruits for breakfast. Victor advised us to eat just a little before breakfast, and we took his advice and some of us didn’t even eat anything. But something went wrong and the plan backfired and by twelve o’clock, everyone’s stomachs were grumbling. However, that was a great opportunity to fast and pray and to learn to be grateful for what we have!

Then we were discussing about how to teach the breastplate of righteousness and feet shod with the Gospel of peace. Victor mentioned that all the parts of the armor need to be fitted together and worked together – that they could not be separated from one another. Eunice also mentioned that Paul in the Bible used the armor of God for an illustration, that it was not a physically visible armor but a spiritual armor that you have to put it on with your mind. I never actually visualized that the armor was not physical but spiritual because we are fighting a spiritual battle. It was definitely refreshing to hear it explained another way!

After lunch, we continued our discussion. Victor helped us visualize what we are doing, and that was what made a great impression on me. He said that, in teaching CI, we have a goal. What is the goal? Vick asked a question: “What is the one thing you want the kids to remember long after CI?” And that is Jesus Christ! There are steps we need to take to reach the goal. It’s kinda like we have to go level by level before we reach our goal, and it takes time. For example, if you just teach by reading the book and you did not build relationships with the children, they would not remember anything and CI would just be a dull experience which they remember their teacher droning at them about some stuff they can’t understand. The point is, even if the lesson is not taught, if the children go back home forgetting everything but remember this Jesus Christ that their CI teacher taught and experience Him for real, the goal is achieved and there will be significance!

We got thinking. And most, if not all, of us decided to just build our relationships with the children tonight. I mean, think about it. If we want to reach their heart with the message of Christ, we have to first connect and bond with them. We have to earn their respect and love them. So we decided that that was the most important thing. And you know what? Everyone had a blast tonight! Yesterday some children were quiet or shy or just didn’t want to participate. But there were huge improvements in every team today, and I think it’s because we decided to focus on the basics – building relationships and trust with the children. And that’s what really counts!

In His service,

Monday, June 4, 2012

Persevering Through the First Night!

Wow! You know how people have expectations? I honestly had no idea what teaching CI would be like! Now SE Asia for that matter! As for SE Asia, let me just assure you it is beautiful! The people are so diverse as well as the food! :)

On Saturday we travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

On Sunday, the Americans on this awesome team experienced Chinese Church and being on the "other" side of translation. Most of Monday we spent training for CI that night. It was fun! We did skits to portray the different "types" of kids (shy, hyper, etc. I was bossy. Haha!) Thus we arrived on Monday night...drum was hard!

That is the honest truth. I have volunteered in children's ministry a lot but never really had my own small group to lead. Most of the kids were shy and we were a bit unprepared for that (despite being trained for that situation). They all really enjoyed large group though. I played a camel hump in "Sammy the Camel". That will be a skit to remember! All in all, I have been learning a lot! This portion of the world is beautiful and the people even more so!

P.S. Our group really opened up on Tuesday night and everyone was smiling and laughing:)

- Kayla Williams

Sunday, June 3, 2012

An Elevator Adventure

Hello from KL! I still can't believe that I was able to come again on the trip! God is good, isn't He? We greatly appreciate your prayers that are vital.

Sunday we were able to attend a church here in Malaysia. It was very interesting and the people were great. Afterwards we overloaded the elevator and it dropped very fast. Victor and Mrs. Teh said they watched the elevator fall from the sixth floor. When they heard it hit the first floor they said that they feared the worst. But the Lord and His hand of protection over us and nobody was hurt. It also went to the half floor rather than going for a free fall. We also got out fairly fast. Mr. Teh said that he had heard of people being stuck in an elevator for twenty-four hours.

To everyone back home the Lord has shown up in my CI. We had two more kids and the others are starting to come out. Again, we are greatly appreciative of your prayers, pray that we will continue to serve God as His bondslaves.

-Nathan Burkhalter

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Start of the Journey

...and the trip begins!

Meeting new people, hugs among those who knew each other before, finding out room assignments. Finally, the team is assembled in one place...Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Now that we've met everyone on the team, we breathe a sigh of relief that no one is weird...that's a joke:) But this is definitely the start of a journey that we are all taking! On this journey, we will each face different difficulties. For some of us the culture, for others the fact that this is the first CI we have ever taught, for others still the strength to press on and find more ways to bring glory to God.

As Victor said, this trip is NOT a holiday but a mission!

And since we're going to spend the next few weeks together, we made sure we spent today learning more about each other. It's kinda important that we know each other's names:) We also tried to find out each other's DISC profiles to understand each other better. I sometimes think trips like that are crash courses on this-is-who-I-am!

Of course, we were also briefed on rules and expectations. Not really fun topics but definitely needed!

Trips like these are also crash courses on the culture, food of this place to use chopsticks! Well, at least for the Americans. We locals love to immerse them in everything:)

Its been a great start and we're looking forward to all that's ahead of us!

Please pray that...
  • we will be a team of prayer
  • each and everyone of us will find out God's specific plan for ourself being here
  • we will have safety as we travel around the city
  • we will be united with one goal of loving the Lord and serving Him
- Jolynn Tan
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