Team B | Update #3

May 8th - Branden

Today was quite the day. It all started with an amazing small talk with our team lead by Markus, and it was so refreshing being able to hear what he had to say. Since we entered Asia, we have seen so many people involved in ministry are filled with such joy for what it is that they do, and this is something that has stuck out to all of us. Markus told us that sometimes we turn to things like ministry, or our friends to bring us joy, but the thing that brings us true joy is the time spent with the Father. This is something that has changed my view of ministry, because we do not always have joy found through ministry, and we can sometimes go through dry spells where we just have to push through, but if we look to the Father to bring us joy, then there will never be dry spells, there will never be discouragement. Once we had finished up there, we went down to an elderly home and got to spend time with them there, it was so heart breaking to see these people, in a culture where the older generation is to be honoured, left in an elderly home, and are not visited by their children. We got to do a drama for them, and then we walked around talking with them and handing out gifts. It was so nice to be able to do this small gesture for them but the impact that our giving them a pack of tissues and speaking what little Cantonese that we knew was enough to brighten their day, and show them that there are still people who care. It was a great opportunity to show them the Father’s as well. 

May 9th - Maria

Today was a super relaxed day, we went to the fishing village and it was sooo beautiful. The locals called it the Venice of Asia and they were 100% correct. I loved walking through the village, seeing and learning about the history, the legends, and seeing the jail that had been turned into a hotel. We got to do this with the AMAZING friends we made while here. We tried new foods and things I would never even dream of putting in my mouth, but like my mama says you have to at least try everything once & if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it again. The village was almost like a different culture and community of its own, very secluded and reserved but very caring. Branden and Ed jumped into the Ocean off of the dock which was super cool. We went out for dinner to our new friend’s parents restaurant and it was absolutely delicious did a little bit of shopping, later making it to The Way where Vanessa and I were  thrown into worship it was more than okay with me. trusting in the father to lead and take control in something I had no control over which is something He has been working on with me this past year. To trust Him, to be still an know that He is in control even if I want to be the one in control. We got to spend time and get to know new people, learning their stories being able to see how the Father is working in their lives and changing their lives. Thinking and asking with them was super amazing and inspiring when we asked in our different languages. The Father has been teaching us so much through others and through each other.

May 10th - Emily

Today was our last day in HK. It was bittersweet because we have grown to love Asia and the people we’ve met but we are so excited to be in the next city and be apart of what the Father is doing there. We started our day off by packing up our rooms and eating some delicious toast with swirly peanut butter and chocolate spread. Some of us got the chance to video chat our families for a few minutes which was a real blessing! Then we had our mid-trip debrief where we were able to talk about our trip thus far and how our team has been doing as individuals and as a whole. All year, our team fought for unity. We have been told by others that we worked with in Asia that we work together better than any team they’ve ever seen. What an encouragement! After our debrief, we were able to relax and enjoy our last couple of hours together in our particular city. We departed from where we were staying around 5 and headed to the airport. When I thought we were getting onto the plane, we actually got on a bus and drove a few minutes to the plane and boarded from the outside. It was so cool! After we boarded, our flight was delayed an hour. I think it was after 1am when we finally arrived in our next location. Some things I immediately noticed was the air smell, the lack of English on signs/billboards, people staring at us, and how different the language sounds compared to the language they spoke previously in our trip. I am very excited to experience more of Asia and jump into ministry! The Father is good and as you ask of Him on our behalf, please ask that He would be evidently working in us! 

May 11th - Natasha

So today was a bit more relaxed and restful. It is our first day here and we got to sleep in for quite a while, and nobody went to breakfast. We spent most of the day being shown around to get our bearings and eating. We also went over all our ESL stuff. We went and got blue ice cream from KFC. And we had to switch our hotel rooms but now we are all on the same floor. I personally meant to go to go to breakfast but by the time I woke up it was over. It has been amazing here, the weather is sunny but it’s not hot we did a lot of walking around and didn’t break out in a sweat and there was a breeze. I’m really excited for everything that we are going to be doing here I think it is going to be so much fun and so good, albeit a bit hard.

May 12th - Maia

Today we went to visit the migrant village. Man, the kids that came up to our vehicle right after we got there, literally broke my heart. I had tears welling in my eyes because no one ever notices the situations kids like these come from. These kids just want to be loved and we are loving them by teaching them something new and opening their eyes beyond the village, and making it known that they are able to accomplish anything they put their mind to. I think the team did very well today, in each of our sections. I love the fact that Vanessa and Markus got the chance to experience each little sections and having all our team come together and making food for the kids. The city in Asia we are in has really been something else even within the two days we’ve been here. 

May 13th - Markus

Today was a great day! We went to International Club where we were able to join in a service with people from all over the world. The members are passionate, powerful prayer warriors, and a tight-knit community. We were greeted with kindness, intrigue, and hospitality! You can tell that the people who love the Father here just GET IT. They understand what a privilege it is to worship the Father in a city that is restrictive; this is shown in their passion and how they look out for one another. We so often take our freedom for granted! They also got to honour the graduates from that year, which was a really inspiring moment. The members commissioned them and each graduate shared what was next for them. It was evident they are very deep in their understanding of the Big Book. I’m encouraged to see that the Father is faithful even where there is restriction. In this environment, His love only shines even brighter! I am realizing that the Father is expanding my limited view to understand His greatness and sovereignty in the spreading of The Good News!

From there we went for lunch with the GWs where we shared some really great Asian food. They also bought fried larvae to eat. Although I didn’t eat it, Branden ate it like a champ! From there we went to one of the biggest man-made waterfalls in Asia which was in the centre of the city. This was a beautiful experience and great to be able to cool off a bit! The city we are in is really beautiful; as the days go on, I’m beginning to love it more and more. Tomorrow we are starting our ESL, games, and songs at the migrant school. Please be thinking of us and asking for strength, love, and energy as we launch into this exciting part of serving! ALSO - A HUGE SHOUTOUT TO ALL THE MOMS. Although we can’t be there with you on Mother’s Day, we are thankful for your sacrificial hearts and how you all love like the Father. Please know the love extends across the globe to each one of you!

Josh Reynolds