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High School || 高中 - Morrison Academy High School 馬禮遜美國學校 - Missionary School, MK School, International Christian School, International American School

Boracay Updates 2014

Day 9

5 a.m. is an early hour for breakfast, especially on Spring Break.  But the whole team was up, packed and ready to go at 5 this morning.  We ate breakfast and were almost ready to walk out the door when a downpour started.   So we took some time to say goodbye to the people we have been working with and who have been supporting us - they provided the resources there in Boracay/Panay that we needed to be able to do the work we did, made all our arrangements, got us where we were supposed to be, fed us wonderful and delicious food, and helped us rest and recover from the work we were doing - they are great!
 
After about 15 minutes, the rain let up and we headed out to catch a boat to the airport.  With the delay, we were running late to check in, and they were making the last call to check in as we walked in to the airport.  The good news is that the six people who were going to take a later flight were able to get on the earlier flight, so we flew together all the way home.
 
Well, sort of.  At Manila, Karen Yates left us to complete her gap year, working with Kids International Ministry.  
 
Then we headed to the international terminal and checked in the for Taipei flight.  We made it to the gate with an hour to spare, so the team had a chance to explore the airport and pick up a few snacks.
 
The flight to Taipei was uneventful (many of us slept at least part of the way), we had no problems with customs, and all our bags made it.  To have made the entire trip with no travel glitches is pretty amazing.  Normally there is a lost bag, a visa/passport issue, a missed connection, or some other problem, but God has gone before us every step of this trip, so not a single problem!
 
But then we had to say Goodbye to more of our team.  Jonie Yates, Natalie Farough and Kelly Yun headed to their homes in Taipei.  And Angela Chou and Stephanie Lin took HSR to their homes in Kaohsuing.  Then the remaining 13 of us:  Vicky Chang, Allen Liu, Caitlyn Edwards, Kakeng Her, Geovanny Velez, Chloe Maxwell, Jessica Lin, Nathan Brugler, Pauline Manu, Josephine Chiang, Jacob Van Singel, and Curtis Drevets were with me on the bus to Taichung.
 
I was, once again, impressed with our team because, as we rode the bus to Taichung, the students on the bus began giving positive feedback to each other.  As we approached the school, they joined together in a final prayer, to close out the trip.  There was a slight detour as we got off the freeway, but we made it  back to school before 6 p.m., so I expect that everyone is home by now. 
 
We all know that we could not have made this trip, nor been as successful as we were, without your help, support and prayers.  I know I speak for the team when I say THANK YOU!!!

Day 8

Today dawned bright and sunny, for the first time in almost a week.  And it just so happened that today is the day we were scheduled to go snorkeling, so it was a lovely trip.
 
After lunch, we all took a couple of hours of down time (translate that to shopping for most of us), and then started the Beach Reach.  
 
I think it is safe to say that almost all of us were anxious when we reached the first stopping point and set up the portable sound system.  The team performed two skits - Ameno and Knocking and, after each skit, one of the performers explained the skit. The first skit is about Christ's sacrifice for our sins, the second is about temptation to turn to things other than Christ for our identity. Although the crowd was small, we had opportunities to talk to a few people, and one team member left her Bible with a new believer.
 
At the second stop, the team performed Imitation and Mask. Imitation is about trying to make Christ fit our mold, when we should be fitting His.  Mask is about Christ's death breaking the power of Satan.  We had a larger crowd, and more opportunity to share the Gospel bracelets (which, by the way, are made by the Ati people).
 
Finally, at the third stop, we performed on a sand bar, just after the sun set, when all the crowds were turning around to head back to the strip.  We started off with Mask again, which drew a lot of attention. Then the team performed Everything, which is about the temptations that take us from Christ, and how His death allows us to triumph over sin.  This was the biggest crowd of the day, and several team members had a chance to talk to onlookers, and some prayed with them also.
 
After the last of the onlookers were gone, we headed back down the beach to a Mongolian BBQ restaurant, where we had our "Last Supper".  Then we came back to Vista House (where we are staying) and had our last team time.  It was a reflection of what we have been doing, and how it has affected us, as well as a look forward to when we get home.  Then we took down the Encouragement Envelopes and passed them around, so each of us has the notes that have been written all week.
 
One of the best parts of Team Time was when several team members talked about how much they value the relationships that have been built this week and the opportunity to get to know each other better.  They also talked about all of the ministries in which we were involved, and had several different highlights, as well as suggestions on things we can do differently next year.  
 
Tomorrow starts off with breakfast at 5 a.m., and we'll leave Vista House around 5:30.  We expect to arrive at Taoyuan airport around 3:30 in the afternoon, we those of us going to Taichung will arrive between 5:30 and 6, most likely.  Cell phones will be returned at the airport, so if you are expecting to pick someone up, they will be reachable around 4 p.m. (if not before).
 
Thank you for your patience, as you have read through these 
messages.  I know there were a few typos, but I hope you got the message.  Our last prayer request for the team is safe travels home.  But we also ask that you keep the ministry here in your prayers, and especially the people with whom we have come in contact this week.  Thank you again for your support, we'll see you tomorrow!

Day 7

It was a long day, but oh so successful!
 
Today was our last day on construction, and we really wanted to finish the floor in the first floor classroom, so we headed out early. We arrived at 8:45 in the morning and got started moving buckets of concrete by bucket brigade.  Yesterday, I was impressed with how much the team completed.  Today, by 11:45, we had finished the floor - working even faster than yesterday!
 
After lunch, we went to a community center and put on a sports clinic for some of the Ati children.  Our team split up into six teams, each teaching a skill in either basketball or volleyball.  Since not all of our team are athletes, it was really good to see them all actively involved in teaching these children the skills needed to play ball, and enjoying it!  
 
After the clinic, our girls played some Ati boys in basketball.  Although the boys played well, the girls had several inches on them, and ended up winning.  Then our boys played the First Love team - it was back and forth, up and down the court, and great fun to watch, with our boys ended up ahead at the finish.  Then they played the second team for First Love and won that game also.
 
In case we hadn't done enough for the day, we came back to Boracay, and hit the beach for some beach ministry with some local kids.  They played soccer, and had some team competition that included throwing bean bags, running in diving flippers, shooting water guns, hula hoops and lots of laughter.
 
We closed out the day with Team Time, talking about things we want to continue to pray about, then broke into small groups to share testimonies and pray together.  Then the kids practiced skits again for the Beach Reach tomorrow afternoon.
 
So, a busy day, a fulfilling day.  And, once again, I can only say this team is amazing.
 
Prayer Requests
  • That the Beach Reach goes well tomorrow, we find the right locations to stop for the skits, and that the team members are all prepared for whatever happens
  • We still have some kids with colds, although the ones originally sick are getting better, others are starting to show signs of possible new colds.  So healthy and safety for all of the team.
  • That the last day here will be a good close to the time in Boracay, and we finish well.
 
Your support means so much to us, thank you!

Day 6

Another day, another change in plans.  Our motto: We ARE flexible!
 
We arrived at the school this morning and started filling sacks with sand, filling sacks with gravel, and generally getting ready to mix and pour concrete.  The goal: finish the floor of the first floor classroom, then an early afternoon feeding the the upper Ati village, followed by sports and children's ministry on the beach on Boracay.
 
The first part went as planned, we got the sand and gravel measured, and the mixer started up (earlier in the week, we were mixing by hand, because the mixer was being fixed, but it was working today).  We set up a buck brigade, and boy did we move concrete!  As fast as they could mix it, we put it into buckets and passed them down the line, until they were dumped on the new floor.  One of the local workers then smoothed it out, while the empty bucket was passed back down another line, to be refilled and start over again.  Periodically, we would rotate positions, so no one got overly tired.  It was a thing of beauty to see the team at work.  We got about half the floor poured, and it was time to break for lunch.
 
As we took our lunch break, the rain started, just a little.  Then a lot.  Then a downpour, the kind you only get in the tropics.  Buckets, in minutes.  Some of the local kids had been hanging around and playing with team members, so, when the rain got heavy, they joined us in the class room we use as a break room.  Different team members entertained them with balloons and bubbles, and some leftovers from lunch. 
 
As time passed, the rain didn't let up, so the engineer heading up construction decided we weren't going to be able to pour more concrete.  And we found out the feedings were cancelled, due to rain.  So we made the call to come back to Boracay, in hopes we could do the sports ministry. 
 
Unfortunately, the rain kept coming, so we all got cleaned up, and the kids headed out to various adventures, mostly related to food and shopping.  They came back before dinner and practiced some skits for the Beach Reach on Thursday, then we had dinner.  After Team Time, they practiced again - they are getting very creative!  
 
Now we are all settling in for a early evening, as we are starting early tomorrow to make up the lost time today.  
 
The most amazing part of today is how great these teenagers have been when faced with changes and challenges.  Not a grumpy face or whiny voice, not even a complaint.  Just an attitude of "okay, we aren't doing it the way we planned, let's figure out how to do it the new way instead".  It feels a little like a repeat, but this team is great!
 
Prayer Requests:
  • the rain holds off until we finish the floor of the classroom - it is much better to do the whole floor in as short a time as possible, so it cures properly
  • good health for the whole team - we still have a couple of people feeling under the weather (pun intended)
  • the Beach Reach goes well
  • the team keeps up the energy and good attitude they have been displaying all week
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!

Day 5

Today was a big construction day.  
 
Part of the team plastered a wall, with nary a break the whole time - other team members brought them water so they could continue their work.  On the second floor, the main structure of a wall between classes was completed.  The team also moved large amounts of sand from the road, up a trail to the school - about 150-200 meters, on a steep angle - partly on their shoulders, where it was too steep for a wheel barrow, then into the wheel barrow for the final ascent.  And through all this hard work, not a word of complaint from anyone. 
 
Throughout the day, the kids in the village came to play and help.  They spent part of their time riding down the trail in the wheelbarrows, then help push the wheelbarrows back up.  It was a great opportunity for the team to build relationships with some of the Ati kids. 
 
After lunch, it started to rain a little, but not enough to hinder our work.  However, on the ferry ride back to Boracay, in started really coming down.  One person commented that they weren't certain if we were moving or if we had turned around, because the rain made it hard to see.
 
The plan had been to take a sunset sail this evening, but the rain put a stop to that plan.  So, being the flexible team we are, the kids took some down time, then interviewed Dan Beaver, to learn more about how he became a missionary, and what it has been like for him living and working in the Philippines.
 
After dinner, we went out for milkshakes, courtesy of one of the zones.  Another zone provided bandannas the first work day, which has been a blessing in keeping sweat out of our eyes.  The third zone baked cookies before heading down here, which provided a snack along the way and at our first Team Time.  Today they also gave each of us a personalized bookmark.  In addition to these encouraging acts, the team has hung envelopes, and are writing encouraging notes to each other throughout the week.  It is an amazing team!
 
Prayer Requests
  • Although none of those feeling under the weather have missed any activities, and they appear to be feeling somewhat better, we'd appreciate continued prayers for good health and safety.
  • More rain is expected over the remainder of our stay, so we would ask for prayer that the rain does not interfere with our work - construction, sports ministry, children's ministry and outreach
  • On Thursday afternoon, we will do a Beach Reach, which is an outreach where the team will go to the tourist area and do skits to attract crowds, then share gospel bracelets with the onlookers.  We expect to move up the three mile long strip, stopping at various (yet to be determined) places.  Please pray, as we prepare for the out reach, that the right skits will be done at the right places, in the right weather, and the right people will be there, with their hearts prepared, so that when the right person talks to them, they are ready to start a relationship with Christ.
Once again, we thank your for your support and prayers, we couldn't be doing this without you!

Day 4

Today was the best day of this trip, so far....
 
We started off the morning at a worship service at Malay Gospel Church, one of the churches on Panay that works with First Love International in their sports ministry and feeding ministry.  After introductions, part of the team sang the Revelation Song, then part of the team did the Mask skit (with Kelly giving the explanation), and Allen gave his testimony.  Then, Pastor Peter gave a message on God's Saving Grace.  It was warm in the church (although they plugged in a couple of fans to help cool us off), but it was a wonderful time.  And they provided a snack for us after service - Pancit, Sticky Rice and some Rice Cakes.
 
After food and fellowship, we changed clothes and climbed in a bus for an hour ride up the mountain, to Malindog Ati village.  Today was not only Palm Sunday, but, in the Philippines, it was also Manny Pacquiao's fight day, which means the whole nation stops and watches the fight - no traffic, no one on the streets, everyone is in front of a TV.  So, we took a hike up the mountain from the village and had lunch at a waterfall.
 
After lunch (and some water play), we headed back down to the village for a basketball game and some play time with the village kids.  The game was short, but pretty physical, and we had some minor injuries.  Final score 19-16, unfortunately our boys were not on top.  The most amazing thing was that, except for the young kids, everyone in the village was watching the game.  Most of the houses in the village are constructed of light wood or bamboo, on stilts.  However, in the middle of the village is a concrete court, complete with concrete backstops.  This village loves basketball!
 
After the game, we did a feeding, with songs, a skit and a first aid station.  The people of the village are incredibly friendly, helpful and giving.  After the feeding, they gave each of us a coconut with a straw. When we finished drinking the coconut milk, one of the men took a machete and cut the coconut in half, after slicing off a piece of the shell to use as a spoon, so we could eat the meat.  Most of us enjoyed that experience...
 
On the bus ride back to the ferry, the team was emotionally energized and physically tired.  We made it back in time for a late dinner and Team Time. At team time, we decided to start half an hour later tomorrow, so we can all catch up with ourselves.  Two days of hard labor, followed by climbing a mountain, with little downtime, means it is greater wisdom to take an extra bit of rest, to ensure we are strong throughout the week.
 
Prayer Requests:
We do have a couple of team members a little under the weather, and a couple of minor injuries (picture band-aids, not trips to the emergency room), so we would appreciate prayer for good health.  
 
The Malindog Village multi-purpose room is a small building with bamboo slat floors (they do amazing things with bamboo and palm leaves), so they really could use a better structure for their common meeting place and the place they sell their handwoven goods (several of us bought items while we were there) - please pray that the building is able to be built soon.
 
Our main guide this week is Clod, who also runs the sports ministry for First Love.  While he is helping us this week, he will also be managing a basketball tournament for several local teams.  Please pray that the logistics work out, the tournament goes well, and he is able to accomplish everything he needs to accomplish.
 
Thanks for your support, we really appreciate you, and your prayers!
 
p.s. Manny won, in case you haven't already heard.

Day 3

Flexibility.
 
That really does describe today, starting at the Malay Agape Sunbeam Academy (the school we are helping expand).  The team spent time today mixing concrete, passing concrete in a bucket brigade (including up a flight of stairs), mixing cement, building a hollow brick wall (and helping fill in the hollow parts), shoveling, moving wheel barrows, and other very physical work.  Almost everyone had  a hand at almost everything, as we kept rotating positions so no one would get too tired.  It was great!
 
After lunch, we thought we'd be doing more construction, but the resources we needed weren't available for the next bit of work we could do, so we had to go back to the Stream again today. 
 
When we left there, we expected to go to two new (to us) feeding sites, but when one group arrived, we found that the church had a change of plans, and weren't able to do the feeding.  So we regrouped and decided to split into different groups and do a feeding, at the available site, and a sports ministry at the other site.  The kids quickly separate into teams and figured out who would do what.  Again, being the flexible young people they are, there were even a couple who volunteered to go either way, so we could have enough people on both teams to do what needed to be done.  They are great!
 
The guys on the sports team played three-on-three, while the girls played volleyball.  They also did some singing, as the worship team at the church was practicing for church tomorrow.
 
The feeding site team led songs and told the story of David being selected King, by including some of the local kids in a skit.  Then they made balloon crowns for all of the kids who were there.  While the kids were getting crowns and getting food, a couple of the team members set up a first aid station and helped with mostly small hurts, but one boy had a couple of nasty sores that they cleaned up and then bandaged.
 
Tonight, after dinner, we had Team Time, and then started preparing for tomorrow.  We know there will be a skit, song and testimony at church, but we are also preparing for a possible second skit later in the day and possible feeding site program.  The team is really starting to know how to prepare to be flexible, as well as demonstrating flexibility now!
 
Prayer Requests:
- Good weather - there is a storm that has been slowly moving our way over the last several days.  It looks like we may get some rain this week, so having the timing right for rain, us in the right places when it rains, and the team dealing with the rain.
- Safety and health - with the sports ministries starting up, and more construction, no injuries and good health are desired.
- There have already been a few unexpected interactions, where some of the team were able to talk about their relationship with Christ in a positive way.  Please pray that the team will each be ready, and willing, when the moment arises.
- And, of course, please pray that we all continue to be flexible.
 
Thank you again for your prayers and support!

Day 2

Wow!  Today was a full day!  We started off with a great breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon.  For lunch we had Chicken Adobe with rice.  Our afternoon snack was fresh baked coconut bread. And dinner was spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, garlic bread and mango!
 
Oh, you probably want to know about the work too...
 
After that wonderful breakfast, we took the ferry over to Panay and started helping with the construction of (hopefully) four new classrooms for the Ati School.  They currently have first through third grades, but when the new school year starts in June, they hope to have first through sixth grades. But first they need the classrooms, the approvals and the inspections.  All before the first of June.  Aiyo!  Yes, they would appreciate your prayers that things fall in place!
 
So today we helped out by moving hollow bricks, sifting sand, mixing concrete, plastering walls, and cutting and twisting wire.   A praise that we had no major injuries, just some blisters and little owies!
 
After lunch, we took a break and went down to the Stream, where the Ati kids go to play in the water.  It is low season right now, so the wide and deep area is not so wide and not so deep, but we had fun getting wet, jumping in the water and swinging into the water.  It was a nice break after the heavy work of the morning.
 
Then we split into two groups and went to feeding sights, after the yummy coconut bread.  One group went to Soong and the other stayed at Carla, the village where we are doing construction.  Both teams led the kids at the sites in singing, played games, told a Bible study (complete with actors), and provided some basic first aid care.  To say our teams enjoyed the time with the kids would be an understatement.  There was bubble blowing, hair braiding, balloon sword attacks, and lots of running and laughter.  
 
I am sure you will hear lots of stories from our team members when they get back, so I won't plan on giving individual stories here.  Of course, plans change... That's one reason flexibility is so important on these trips.  Like the team thinking we were doing construction after lunch, but going to the Stream instead.  Or the team getting ready to leave a feeding site, and an elderly man and his wife show up, because he heard we were doing first aid and he had a sore spot on his food (the team did a great job taking care of him).  Both times we went with the flow, and it worked out well.  The students on our team have been great at adapting as needed, you should be proud of them!
 
Thanks again for keeping us in your prayers!

Day 1

We made it!!!

Sixteen people left Taichung on a bus at 6:30 this morning, heading to the airport.  At the airport we picked up another two, and headed to Manila.
 
As you may remember, the layover was pretty short in Manila, given that we had to clear immigration, get luggage, clear customs and change terminals, in Manila traffic.  Thankfully, at the Taiwan airport, we were able to get boarding passes for both flights, and check our luggage through to the final airport.  When we arrived in Manila, we got through immigration quickly, our luggage came out quickly, and customs directed us to take our luggage back to be transferred to our next flight, so we didn't have to carry it with us.  And, the ministry we are working, First Love International/On the Rock Ministries, had arranged for someone to be at the terminal we arrived at, with transportation.  And they had also arranged to have another person at the second terminal, smoothing the way, so when we arrived, they were ready for us, and got us through the process with time to spare.
 
Have I mentioned that God has His fingerprints all over this?  And that your prayers are really appreciated?  Because both are true!
 
Once we got to Caticlan, on the second flight (a lovely little prop plane), we met up with Clod, and caught the ferry to Boracay.  YAY!!!
 
We got settled in our rooms, and then went to the beach for sunset.  After a wonderful dinner, we had a little time as a team, went over expectations for our time here, and prepared for tomorrow's work.  
 
We are all tired from the long day, but excited to get to work!

Thanks for all your prayers!  They gave us peace in the midst of hectic times, and helped speed us on our way here.
 
More tomorrow!

Prayer Request

Wow!  We must be doing something right, because obstacles keep coming up.  However, God has this covered, so things are working out quickly.  Having said that, we found out today that our layover in Manila is considered pretty tight, because we need to change terminals (international to domestic), and the traffic could be back.  The ministry we are working with has two workers lined up to help with transportation and keeping the airline from giving our seats away.  But your prayers would be greatly appreciated:
 
We arrive on time (or early)
Our luggage arrives on time
We get through customs quickly
We find each other quickly
Traffic moves quickly
We get to the other terminal in time to get checked in
We all have peace during this transition
 
Thanks so much!

Day 0

In slightly under ten hours, the Morrison Academy Boracay Mission Team of 2014 will head out for Boracay, Philippines.  We'll be returning the afternoon of Friday, April 18th, and, in between, we expect to do some construction, feed some hungry people, play some basketball and volleyball (and maybe a bit of rope jumping), do some skits, tell some people about Jesus, and have a great time!  We appreciate your willingness to keep us in your prayers!
 
Blessings!

Malaybalay Updates 2014

Day 7

This is Ryan giving the final update from the Malaybalay team.  It’s Thursday night here at the Mt. Moriah Children’s Home and it’s been two days since our last report.  As I write we are preparing to depart the Philippines tomorrow morning for another long travel day.  We will depart Mt. Moriah in Bukidnon and drive to Cagayon de Oro, stopping for food along the way.  Our flight will depart CDO at 2:25 and we are scheduled to arrive in Manila at 3:55.  We will be picked up and stay at Kids International for several hours, then head back to Manila airport for our flight out at 10:10pm.  Our plane should land in Taoyuan at 12:10am Saturday morning the 19th and we will be picked up and bus down to Taichung (except for those students who have made plans to be picked up or stay in Taipei).  We should arrive back at Morrison around 3am, but students will have cell phone access from the time we land in Taipei so they can contact you on our way down from the airport.

Now onto our events from the last two days.  

Wednesday was our big finish to the soccer camp, with tournaments in the morning and a Morrison vs. Local University team game in the afternoon.  The tournament went very smoothly with our team serving as coaches for 12 teams broken into three age levels, as well as referees for the games.  It was a joy to see the kids on and off the field as they were encouraging kids, leading songs for the teams waiting to play and sharing the love of Jesus.  

The afternoon game versus the local university was drenched in rain and ultimately ended in a 6-1 loss but our kids played hard and were awesome witnesses.  After the first game, they mixed team with the university team and played a second game, still in the pouring rain.  At the end, the circled up with the university students and shared with gospel with bracelets.  

After some down time and dinner, we closed out the soccer camp with an ice cream social alongside our Filipino coworkers.  We sang and played games then exchanged some small gifts between the teams.  Many of our students said that this time of fellowship was one of the most impactful of our whole trip because they were able to connect with other believers as peers and hear their stories as well as sharing themselves.  

Today (Thursday) we woke up and had breakfast here at the children’s home, then headed out with some of the workers to help in building a bathroom/outhouse at the outreach site where we built a shelter on Saturday.  We stopped at another neighboring village to visit some kids, distribute food and have lunch.  We took our lunch down to the river and played in the water briefly before unloading the materials for the bathroom.  We also got to see the finished shelter that we started on Saturday.  Our hosts surprised us on our trip back to camp by stopping at a natural spring for a swim.  The water was COLD but it was a great relaxing afternoon and the students really seemed to enjoy the time after all of their hard work this week.  

After showers and dinner, we had a final team time/debriefing with encouragement, singing, prayer and discussing what it will be like to come back to our routines carrying the lessons we learned this week.  I have been so touched by the sincerity, selflessness and leadership of each and every one of our team members over the last 10 days.  Our adult leaders have said over and over again that we would be thrilled to take this group anywhere in the world.  We have all been blessed by our time here but look forward to seeing the faces of family and friends and sharing our stories when we return.  

Pray for safe travels, rest as we return and meaningful reflection for our team members as we return to “normal life.”  


Day 5 & 6

Greetings to all,
 
This is Steve updating y’all from Malaybalay.
 
We left off the last update on Day 4 which was Sunday. So I’ll report some highlights from Monday to Tuesday (Day 5-Day 6).
 
Day 5
 
The big highlight of Monday was the soccer camp. The whole team woke up early around 6:30 am to get ready (breakfast and set up) for the soccer camp. The camp was split into crafts, bible teachings, and soccer. After the first two rotations, we prepared lunch for the kids. We served the kids fish heads, performed the “knocking” skit. It was amazing to see how many kids raising their hands to accept Christ. After that, the team enjoyed some BBQ for lunch that Ate Grace prepared for us for lunch. After lunch, we finished the last rotation and served the kids another meal/snack (Many of the kids at camp often times do not eat another meal after the meal that they are served at camp). Our day was capped off with an amazing dinner with Ate Grace. She prepared for us her signature pork ribs and dumpling soup. She also shared her testimony and how Mt. Moriah Camp came to be. In addition, she talked about God’s faithfulness to Mt. Moriah camp and about God’s faithfulness to the camp. We needed off with prayer (and worship) which we prayed that every member of our team would have an experience with God during the trip.
 
Day 6
 
Tuesday was the second day of camp. Once again, the team woke up early to prep for camp and start welcoming kids to play soccer. Camp went smoothly and during lunch we performed the mask skit which was received by the kids as Mrs. Gibson described “the loudest applause I’ve heard in my 8 times that I’ve been here”. In between the third rotation and snack time, we had a nice God moment. Juniors Paul and Andy were surrounded by about 10 little boys and they shared the gospel bracelet. As more and more kids came, it was amazing to see that the kids that Paul and Andy shared to, turned around and shared the gospel bracelet almost word by word to the other kids that arrived. (There’s video!) In addition, Junior Sophia was also sharing the gospel bracelet with a group of girls where she prayed for the kids growth in Christ. After camp was over, we ended off the day with group blind dates in a trip to town. Groups went to town to go shopping and find something to eat. After the group outing to town, we had our daily team time in which Mrs. Gibson shared about how God has a plan for all of us and sometimes when we aren’t able to do things God will have someone else for us to do it.
 
Our first two days of camp were great and we’ve had some minor health issues so that would be something great to pray for along with great attitude and sustainable energy for our soccer camps.
 
Today we will be having a small tournament for the kids so they can play soccer against each other and in the afternoon we will be playing a friendly with a local university so also pray for the safety of our team members.  The third day of camp is typically the most difficult in terms of energy and attitude, so keep us lifted up.  
 
God bless,
Steve

Day 4

Hey everyone, 
 
This is Anna reporting for our team. It's day four of our time in Malaybalay, and so far it has been incredibly fun!
 
We started our first full day off by planting trees with the kids from the orphanage. After that, we all made name tags for the kids that will be attending the soccer camp. Once the name tags were finished, we had a delicious lunch and then played with the kids for a while. Ate Grace's son, Jason took us on the tour of the campsite- we fed fish, held little baby pigs, and even had a chicken chase! 
 
That evening, we were invited to a special dinner. We worshiped God together, listened to a short message, and had a wonderful dinner, complete with lichon, a whole roasted pig. We spent the rest of the evening playing with kids, singing songs, and playing card games. 
 
The next day, we got up early to go to the ministry center, but were delayed due to the jeepney breaking down. While we waited, we played with the kids from the orphanage and got some napping in so we would have more energy in the afternoon. Once the jeepney was fixed, we all piled in and rode to a village where Mt. Moriah does outreaches. At the village, we passed out food packs and got the know the people living there. We then started our construction project, which was to build a shelter for a VBS center. While the strong men worked on the construction, many of us girls played with kids and talked to the moms. When they were done with the construction, we all headed to a river and skipped rocks. On our way back, we had a singing battle with the local teens, singing praise songs and even a few Chinese songs. Once we got back to Mt. Moriah, we were happy to see Doug, Cole and Tyler as well as Marc Johnson and his friends.
 
This morning, we attended church here at the camp. Afterwards, we spent more time with the kids, and the guys went to play basketball at a local church. This afternoon we will start prepping for the camp which starts tomorrow!
 
Thank you all so much for praying for us and supporting us, it means so much to all of us. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare for the camp. So far we have been pretty energized as we have had many opportunities to rest. Starting tomorrow however, we will be doing more physically demanding activities, so please pray that we have stamina and good health. Please also pray for those who have been feeling under the weather- that they will quickly feel better and have more energy. 
 
God is doing amazing things here, and we are so thankful. We are so excited to see what He will do next week!
 
In Him,
 
Anna Pinkerton 

Day 3

After 19 hours of travel and a great deal more adventure than we anticipated, our team arrived safely yesterday (Thursday) afternoon at Mt. Moriah camp in Malaybalay Philippines.  The 20 who set out from Morrison Taichung campus Wednesday night are now only 17 as Doug, Colton and Tyler Bradburn encountered some problems with the boys' visas and were delayed in their departure.  
 
Missy and Doug have been working via text message to coordinate the paperwork and we believe that they will be arriving Saturday evening, alongside our fearless (but currently absent) leader Mother Teresa (Gibson).  
 
Two of our bags were mistaken for others at the Manila airport and taken by other passengers, so we spent the majority of our long layover tracking them down before our connecting flight departed.  Despite the frustrations and challenges, our God is not surprised by anything and He had arranged for us to have all the time that we needed.  We arrived in Cagayan de Oro on time and with all of our luggage yesterday morning and were greeted by the smiling faces of our friends from Camp Mt. Moriah.
 
We spent the morning and early afternoon on a Jeepney ride from the CDO airport up into the mountains of Malaybalay, being treated spectacular views of waterfalls, mountain ranges and the beautiful Filipino people waving as we passed.  
 
Our first afternoon was spent settling in, unpacking supplies, greeting old friends, playing with the children who live here at the home, making plans for the week and napping ... lots and lots of napping since there wasn't much sleep the night before.  We closed out our night with some great encouraging words shared among the team members and worship songs (our team might need to make an album).  Then after slaying the roaches in our various rooms (or screaming and running from them) we called it a night. 
 
Today we are beginning preparations for the soccer camp by making name tags and preparing crafts, while others on the team are planting trees on the grounds.  Tomorrow we will have an outreach day to one of the poorer outlying areas and also build a shelter/feeding site for the church working in this community.  That is what we have been told and are planning at this point, but we like to keep things flexible as plans change like the wind here.  
 
In the future, I will hopefully have team members sharing their own words with you (and they will certainly be shorter) but until then, please remember us in your prayers.  
 
Ask God to continue to bless us with good health and stamina as it will be a very physically demanding trip for the students. 
 
There are many opportunities to build relationships and the team has quickly opened up to others so ask for fruitful and significant conversations.  
 
Continue to pray for our team members that are in transit.   
 
Above all we ask for God to receive all of the praise and glory from what happens this week.  I count myself so blessed to be here serving Him alongside this amazing team.  My thanks for your participation in this week through your prayers can't be over stated.  Keep them coming!

Jin Lun Updates 2014

Day 9

Our last day in Tai Ma Li started with a 3.2 km cross-country race with the Da Wang Elementary School 5th and 6th graders (yes, they were only that young but some were very fast). Some people from our team ran with the Da Wang students and some were at stations along the way directing the runners. We were glad we were given the opportunity to participate in this event and encourage the kids.
 
In the afternoon, we helped the elementary school kids with their homework at the church's after school program. We were there for two 2-hour sessions with different age groups. It was great just to be there and spend time with them. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone we met at the church but God has done amazing things during our time here. Thank you for all your prayers during this time; it's been evident that God has answered them through the work He's done.
 
Another thing we are very thankful for: the cleaning lady that works at the place we're staying at has shown a hunger for knowing God over the last few days. She has approached Ms. Chang and Mrs. Velez a few times and today she accepted Christ as her Savior. Once again God has shown His work in people's hearts, and the greater plans He has: she specifically said that previous short-term missions teams have stayed at this place and left an impression on her. Praise God!
 
Tomorrow we head back, departing at 8 am. Thank you so much for all of your prayers.
 
In Christ,
Dave and Rachel

Day 8

Greetings from Taimali!
 
Today was a day packed of fun activities that started at 4:30AM.  We got up to watch the sunrise and left at 4:30AM.  Students sat at the beach and waited for the sun to come up. For some, it was their first time to witness the beauty of God’s creation of the sunrise! :)  We then headed back to get some sleep before breakfast.  During breakfast, a group of students discussed about flies since we have been surrounded by them throughout this trip.  It was hard to avoid them wherever we go.  One commented that flies “looks so cute”.
 
We then headed back to Da Wang Elementary School to finish painting the wall.  By the grace of God we were able to finish it! We were able to write “Morrison Academy” and our school’s name in Chinese along with our names and our own handprint.  The verse that was left on the wall was “God created the earth and saw that it was good”.
 
We went back to Da Wang Church and had authentic Aboriginal food provided by Da Wang Church! The pastor then shared with us about returning to Taidong to serve the people here.  He also shared with us his vision to reach the community through the after school homework programs and partnering with Da Wang Elementary School.  It was amazing to be able to hear how God is using the pastor and his staffs to reach the community.  He shared with us that one of their prayers was to be able to bring God into the school and when they found out our missions team was painting the creation story on the elementary school wall, they were greatly encouraged. 
 
After our lunch, we headed to a nursing home in Taimali.   Students performed two skits.  Rachel and Andy gave their testimonies.  The students then interacted with the elderly.  Most of them were strapped to the wheel chair.  There were a few of them who were in their late forties and fifties due to injuries that they were transported there.  Many of the people there were in critical conditions.  One of the patients who is bedridden is in his thirties.  We ended praying for them and Mr. Manu led them in a prayer to accept Christ.  There were about five or six who raised their hands to accept Christ.
 
After the nursing home we went back to Da Wang Church for dinner, provided by the workers there.  We ate with the high school students. Karen then led the students in various games.  Students then had the opportunity to perform skits and Dave and Daniel gave their testimonies. 
 
Please pray for Kevin. He was not feeling well later this afternoon.  Thank you for your prayers.
 
In Christ,
The Jin Lun Team

Day 7

We started off the day with a tourist activity. We were introduced to sugar-apples (釋迦) and were able to visit a sugar-apple farm here in Tai Ma Li. Half of us rode bikes up to the farm, while the other half rode with Mr. Manu in the car. The farmer gave us a tour of his farm, and we were able to try two different varieties - the traditional variety and the pineapple variety.
 
On our way back, we were able to enjoy the beautiful Taidong scenery and were able to take some fun team pictures. Karen was not feeling well during the tour, but quickly recovered and is feeling much better now. Praise God!
 
After lunch, we headed to Da Wang Church, where we held a "Character-shaping camp" where we played games and performed skits for the kids. Alicia also shared her testimony, and did a very good job leading the activities. We are very proud of the way the juniors filled up that time, as their initial plan did not take up all of the time that was given to us. They showed flexibility and unity as they decided on the spot to perform another skit and started a game of musical chairs.
 
Please pray for good weather tomorrow as we add finishing touches to our painting on the Da Wang school wall. Also, we would greatly appreciate your prayers for our ministry at the nursing home tomorrow. It is not Christian like the other one (as far as we know) and we don't know quite what to expect. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us and to break down Satan's power as we share the Gospel with the elderly people there.
 
In Christ,
Dave and Rachel

Day 6

Greetings from Taimali, Taidong!
 
Today we start off the day with delicious Dan-bin and red tea for breakfast then headed off to Da Wang Elementary School to paint the rest of the wall.  Praise God for another beautiful day without the sun beating on our back! We were able to finish 80% of the wall! We will be going back on Thursday for some finishing touch.
           
After lunch we headed to Joyce Lu’s mom’s ministry with the elderly and orphanage in Taidong. God really is doing great things with the ministry there! Some of the students played songs for the elderly, performed skits and Abraham gave his testimony. Mr. Wong then shared the gospel with the elderly to accept Christ.  Students then spent time interacting with the grandmas and grandpas there.  Later, we drove to the orphanage to visit the toddlers.  The students had the opportunity to “experience” being a parent for a few minutes as they held the toddlers and fed them.  One of our students was handing a toddler to another one of our student and the student’s response was, “How do I hold this thing?”  We ended the visitation with Joyce’s parents treating us to a dinner of KFC chicken, pizza and fruits! They ordered so many boxes of pizza that we had five boxes of uneaten pizza!
 
After dinner we headed back to Taimali to Da Wang Church to help with their high school homework ministry.  Winnie then led the students in some games, then students performed their skits and both Lucia and Abraham gave their testimonies.  The students there mentioned they have seen the skit before. However, every time they watch the skit they are moved by it.
           
Please continue to pray for our safety and health throughout the rest of the trip.  Please pray that we would be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading.
 
Thank you very much for partnering with us through prayer! It really means a lot to us!
 
 In Christ’s love,
    Jin Lun Mission Team

Day 5

Today we started painting one side of the wall surrounding Da Wang Elementary School. Praise God that the weather was perfect today and that we were able to work efficiently. We painted for a total of three hours this morning and will have three more hours tomorrow. The juniors' design for the wall is based on the creation story from Genesis. It's quite amazing that this public school is allowing a Biblical design to be painted on their wall. Pray that God will use this wall to attract the kids to know more about Him.
 
After lunch, we spent time with some first and second graders in the church while they did their homework. Kevin and Serina shared their testimonies with the kids. The team was feeling quite tired after that and thankfully we had a chance to rest for a bit before planning out the next two days' activities.
 
For dinner, the Wongs treated us to dinner at a nice Taiwanese restaurant in the mountains overlooking the ocean. We are very thankful to have been blessed with their presence and generosity over the last three days. Please pray for safety for their trip back to Taipei tomorrow with Jamie.
 
As for the rest of the team, please pray that we would all draw on God's strength and rely on His Spirit for energy. Pray that we would be faithful in finishing the task He has entrusted to us for this time. Lastly, give thanks that His hand has been visibly at work around and within us throughout the duration of this trip.
 
In Christ,
Rachel and Dave

Day 4

Today marked the second day of our mini camp in Jin Lun and boy was God’s hand evident all throughout the events that occurred today.
 
We started out the day with an outdoor church service in the same courtyard that we had used yesterday. We sang a few worship songs, Karen gave an amazing testimony, and Mr. Wong shared a few stories that really captivated the kids. It has been pretty challenging for these kids to really focus on what is going on, but they were listening extremely well the whole time Mr. Wong was sharing. Afterward, we took communion, and Mr. Wong asked those who weren’t baptized yet if they wanted to have an opportunity to be baptized. Praise the Lord, several of the kids raised their hands. These kids were later led aside by Mr. Wong and he made sure that they understand the significance of the decision they were making. There were two kids especially who had to seriously think about whether they would be able to say no to the idols that their parents were worshipping, but when they gave Mr. Wong their answer, it was a firm “yes”. The baptism was a beautiful sight to watch and many of the team members later remarked that it was one of the highlights of their day.
 
After the baptism, we walked with the kids to their families and sat and chatted with them. It was then that we discovered the extent to which many of these kids’ families were broken- there were alcoholics, deceased family members, abusive parents…it was truly a heart-breaking sight and something that touched a lot of us, as we were able to see the conditions that these kids came from and it explained some of the earlier behavior we had seen throughout the camp. It was amazing, though, that despite the broken families of most of the kids, they were still able to display so much joy throughout the camp that we held. Some of the team members even had the opportunity to share the gospel with the families that they visited.
 
We spent the late afternoon and night spending time at the beach and preparing for our wall painting that we’ll be painting for the Da Wang elementary school tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll also be running an after school church program.
 
Please continue to pray for the kids who were baptized today- Sam, Yo Yo, Tommy, and Hunter- that God would continue to work through them and reveal Himself to their family members. Please also pray for the health of our team members Serina, Dave, and Kevin Chen who haven’t been feeling their best, but praise God as they feel a lot better compared to earlier today already. Please keep the aboriginal kids of Jin Lun in your prayers as well- they have left such an impact on so many of us in the two short days that we had with them.  
 
For the team,
 
Alicia

Day 3

Today was our first day in Jin Lun leading a mini camp for local Aboriginal kids there. 
 
On our 20-minute drive along the coast, we saw the beauty of God's creation: the steep green mountains right against the beautiful Pacific Ocean. We met Tony and Esther Wong when we got there and several kids were there waiting for us. The juniors did a very good job leading the camp as we played games, read books, did paper crafts, etc. with the kids. Serina showed her strength as a leader during the music session (with hand motions). Ryan and Winnie were also given the opportunity to share their testimonies in front of all the kids. Abraham and Alicia told the story of Noah's ark as the rest of the team acted out various parts in a simple skit. Our juniors also were able to perform the dramas that they learned before the trip (one about adjusting our lives to God's will, one about various temptations and Jesus who is always knocking at our door, and another about Jesus taking our sins upon Himself).
 
Praise God that He gave us flexibility since we had no idea what the setting would be (it turned out to be in someone's front courtyard, with a worn-down concrete floor). We were also thankful that God gave us energy to lead the camp today. Many of us were feeling tired yesterday. 
 
After the camp, we spent about an hour sharing Gospel bracelets at a local basketball tournament. It was organized by several churches in the area, so many of those whom we shared the Gospel bracelets with were believers. We prayed with them with the hope of encouraging them in their faith. It was also fun to see people's reactions to Mr. Manu dunking in a pickup basketball game. 
We are glad to have the Wongs with us until next Wednesday. Please pray for healing for Kevin and Serina, who are still feeling somewhat sick. Also pray for the kids we are ministering to in Jin Lun. We heard that nine out of ten of them come from broken families, and we only have one more day to share God's love with them while we're on this trip. Ask God to make their hearts receptive to the forgiveness and peace that He offers them, and empower our team to present that effectively tomorrow. 
 
- Dave and Rachel 

Day 2

Greetings from Taitung! Today is our second day in this city with the sun shining brightly upon us! Today was a day packed of interesting events! In the morning we had a music performance exchange opportunity with Da Wang Elementary School where their students played recorder, ukelele and ocarina and our students played guitars and led songs with motions. After a short break, we swept and picked up trash around the school with the sun beating against our back. We then had a time of prayer walk where everyone had the opportunities to speak to some of the local people, pass out the gospel bracelet and a group even got invited into a locals’ house! Students spent most of the afternoon preparing for activities they will be doing in Jin Lun with the children there on Saturday. And, how we always say you can’t really “plan” for mission’s trip is that we ended up going to a concert in the evening (Yes, you heard it right, a “CONCERT”). We went with the church here in TaiMaLi to a  Christian concert called “We Love” (愛在四月天) which is formed by all Christian celebrities in Taiwan.  It’s even the first Taiwanese concert for many of our students.  
 
We will be going to Jin Lun later today since it is now past midnight… and it’s going to be more of an open schedule for us. Please continue to pray for unity, a clear mind of what to do and wisdom when we have the chance to share the gospel to the people here. Thank you very much for you prayers they mean a lot to us!
 
Tsai Lao Shi for the team 

Day 1

We all arrived safely from our 6 hour drive.
 
Taiwan is a great place, yes we did have our tea's :)
 
Please pray for Kevin Chen, he is not feeling well.  We did see the doctor, he has medicine and is resting right now. He will have to take it day by day.
 
We walked around Da Wong Elementary school and downtown Tai Mali.
 
The students are resting and preparing for tomorrow.
 
Please pray for us to prepare well and to be united in our service. We are in a good place.
 
Mr. Manu for the Team

Okinawa Updates 2014

Final Update

Dear praying friends,
 
We are safely home now and I want to fill you in on our final days in Okinawa, as we had no internet on Thursday and traveled on Friday.
 
Wednesday began with pancakes and a two-hour debreifing meeting for the team sponsors, senior leaders and the six Japanese pastors we were working with.  The rest of the team practiced skits and testimonies for our church ministry later that day.  Lunch was a special invitation from the pastors to a traditional Japanese restaurant,  We enjoyed sushi, wasabi, tempura, miso soup and egg pudding (which Mr. Saito told us was his favorite as a child).  Spirits were high!
 
We returned to the church for a quick team time before dividing into groups to attend the Wednesday night prayer services at three of the churches--Urasoe, Ginowan, and our "home base church" in Okinawa city.  Each group has a story to tell, but here are some highlights:  Okinawa group went to a busy street to personally invite people to the service and one woman did attend and brought her children. After skits, Solon and Ramsey gave their testimony and Mr. Saito gave a message from the Bible. At the Ginowan church, the mini team ate dinner with the pastor's family, handed out fliers, and performed two skits and Natasha gave her testimony.  The Urasoe group also ate dinner with the pastor's family and then did skits for the prayer service.  Kenji gave his testimony and I gave a message. A woman there commented that after hearing the testimony and message she now felt confident to write out her testimony and be baptized. 
 
Thursday we traveled north to a "prayer house" to help with yardwork and have our team debriefing.  We stopped on the way for souvenir shopping and lunch, complete with a spontaneous "Knocking Skit" for the crowd gathered there. Mr Saito and I explained the gospel bracelet to one of the shop owners, Ms. Mizno.  At the prayer house we dug weeds in the afternoon  and had a long, fun, and meaningful last team time with sharing and prayer about what God had done on the trip.  Later that night, Natasha followed God's prompting to share the gospel with the wife of the caretaker (no translator since she was Filipino!) and prayed with her to receive Christ.
 
At the airport Friday a.m. we had some goodbye's with the pastors before boarding our flight for Taipei. In the immigration line at Tayouan, Kenji explained the gospel to a Japanese man standing next to him.  They went all the way through baggage together before saying goodbye!
 
I am so thankful for this team's heart to share Christ and love people.  Thank you for praying us through sickness, language barriers, and meeting so many people.  I know that this week has left all of us encouraged--both on the team and in Japan.  We are trusting God that our experience this past week will continue to bear fruit in our lives and those we served in Okinawa.
 
Brian for the whole team!

Day 5 & 6

Watashiwa Okinawa gaski des (I love Okinawa),
 
Sorry we didn't send an update last night. We didn't have wifi in Nago. Yesterday was our team day. The team had a wonderful time at the Okinawa Battlefield Peace Park and the American Village. Then we drove to Nago and hiked up a mountain with Pastor Keishi. We watched the sunset over Nago and prayed over the city with a man that we met at the top. Then we had dinner at A&W before hitting the sack. The next day we got up and enjoyed McDonald's breakfast. Then we walked back to the church via the beach where we picked up trash. We spent the rest of the morning weeding the garden plots beside Nago Bible Church. The juniors all worked very hard and we finished quickly leaving the church looking much more inviting than when we arrived and blessing Pator Keishi and his wife Ryoko. After lunch we rested for half an hour and prepared for a kids ministry at 3:30. To our dissappointment only one kid, Leo, showed up but the juniors jumped in and played Red Light, Green Light with him. Before he left Natasha shared a Gospel braclet with him and he prayed with Mr. Saito to ask Jesus to be his friend. The team was all packed up and ready to go when we saw a group of middle school boys hanging out at the park behind Nago Bible Church. Kenji went over to ask them if they wanted to watch a skit and they said yes so we were able to perform the Knocking skit for them and give them an explanation before we caught the bus back to OCC.
 
The juniors are doing great they are working hard without complaining and they are growing closer as a team everyday. Thanks for all your prayers. 
 
Mark and Mary.

Day 4

Hey!
 
Today, we had an awesome time at a joint service with six different churches in Okinawa.  This was the first time they met together.  There were around 120 people who attended the service.  We started out with some songs and a sermon by Mr. Saito about Peter's denials.  After presenting the six pastors with some gifts from Morrison, we performed the Lifehouse (Everything) skit.  During Ramsey's part of the skit, he grabbed Natasha with the wrong hand but they both recovered beautifully and no one could notice that anything was different.  It was their best performance ever.  Afterwards, Se Eun gave her emotional and moving testimony that brought several of the attendees to tears.  We are very proud of her.
 
We had a delicious lunch with everyone before going back to the church and participating in some more activities.  The students performed two more skits called the Mask skit and the Ameno skit, which is related to Easter and Christ's resurrection.  Then we played a couple Japanese games and talked to the church members.  They really got to connect with them as well as learn some new Japanese phrases--such as "Kamiwa hai des (God is love)."
 
Later at night, during team time we huddled in a circle in a tatami room.  The team did an activity where we encouraged each other in a chain.  One person would encourage somebody and that person would then go on to encourage somebody else until everyone has had something nice said about them.  During that time, the team got one step closer to one another.  Mrs. Drevets shared a great message about our heart and words.  We then prayed for one another to remember to say good things about each other and not negative things.
 
We are really feeling your prayers upon us.  Elliot's conditions are improving and he is feeling better than before.  A day's rest is very important, and he should be up and about tomorrow.  Continue to pray for his recovery and the wellbeing of our team as the trip goes on.  We are almost halfway there!
 
Thanks again for all your prayers,
Mark and Mary

Day 4 Addendium

Hey guys please pray for Elliot right now. He has been fighting a low fever all day and tomorrow is our team day and we also travel to another city tomorrow evening so we would really like him to be better for traveling tomorrow. He stayed at OCC today and rested so he's feeling better and he has more energy but he still has a fever.
 
Thank you for praying for Misty, Mr. Saito, and Ramsey all of them are feeling much better.
 
We will send out a report on today later tonight.
 
Thanks for your prayers
 
Mark for the team

Day 3

Konichiwa,
 
The team had another great day. We went to a park this morning and participated in a program for the homeless people that were there. The team performed a skit and Jeffrey shared his testimony to about 200 people! Then we helped pass out food and water to all the the homeless people. It was hot and hard to talk to the people around the park but the team didn't complain. After all the food and water was passed out we helped clean up and then had lunch before going back to OCC and resting during the afternoon. 
 
We also sent 4 people to Yomitan Bible Church around lunch time to participate in a prayer meeting there. They spent an hour putting fliers in peoples' mail boxes before the prayer meeting. At the meeting they performed a skit which Emma explained, then Emily gave her testimony and Mr. Drevets spoke. Mr. Drevets praised Emma afterwards for being flexible in her explanation because the pastor asked her to stop in the middle and start over because they had forgotten to start the camera to video her explanation.
 
Tomorrow we will go to Okinawa's parishes first joint-church service with all six churches coming together for the first time. Please pray that it goes smoothly and that the pastors will work together and not be divided.
Please pray for our team too. Elliot, Ramsey, and Misty are all fighting colds and congestion in their sinuses. Also, Mr. Saito has shingles so pray for pain relief and that it won't spread.
 
Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. The team is working really well together and they are really being flexible and wholeheartedly doing whatever outreach or ministry we're doing.
 
Sayonara,
Mark and Mary

Day 2

Hey guys,
 
Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. We had a really good day today. We woke up bright and early and we went to Awase Baptist Church and did ministry with a bunch of Japanese kids who go to a homeschool co-op there. Their ages ranged from 1st grade up to 10th grade. The team started by performing a skit before splitting into two groups. A younger group of 1st to 5th graders and an older group of 6th to 10th graders. Each group did some icebreaker games and then shared a testimony before having one on one conversation and prayer time with the kids. Rebecca Senner shared her testimony with the younger group and Emma shared with the older kids. It was a little challenging because most of the kids didn't have a very high English level but Mr. Saito translated for the younger group and Kenji did an excellent job translating for the older group, he's a great asset for our team. After that we came back together and performed two more skits. Then we stayed for lunch with the kids. Se Eun, Emily, and Emma really connected with some of the older kids during this time, with Kenji helping to translate, and they were really sad to leave. Natasha was a hit with the younger kids, she had about 6 hanging on her saying goodbye as we were leaving.
 
After we got back to the church we took a half hour break and then spent our afternoon preparing dramas, explanations of the dramas, and testimonies for our outreach ministry at a park on Saturday. The juniors all did a wonderful job getting the skits down and staying focused the whole time. After our practice we sat down to a wonderful dinner of quesadillas, veggies, and fruit prepared by Misty, Mrs. Drevets, Marie and Mr. Saito. The team is in good spirits and we are excited for what God is going to do tomorrow at our outreach.

Day 1

Hello everyone!

We have arrived safely in Okinawa. The flight over was fairly uneventful except for the midflight marriage proposal!!
 
Once we arrived, the pastors were very welcoming. After orientation with the Okinawa parish pastors, the team rested for the afternoon, prepared food, practiced skits and planned for our children's ministry tomorrow.  We will be visiting a church homeschool co-op. We will be teaching them English, performing skits, and sharing our testimonies. Please pray for the students sharing their testimonies (and translating) and for the students performing skits. Also pray for language barrier and that the we can show love and give encouragment to the homeschoolers as well as within our team.  
 
Thank you for all your prayers.

Day 0

There is just one day left until we leave for the trip to Okinawa!
Thank you for agreeing to pray regularly for us.  We will be updating you during the trip on our ministries and what we do there.
 
Please reply with a short message just so that we know you have received this email and that the group is working. Thank you!