Thursday, February 23, 2017

More Visitors!

We were so blessed and encouraged to have our friends come to visit us here in Davao last week! We showed them what our life in the Philippines looks like and also gave them a fuller picture of our ministry here. They got to be a part of Advance Operations Training which trains believers to become church planters and missionaries...giving them a great Biblical basis as well as the tools they need to move forward. Our prayer is that these participants will become leaders within Nehemiah Teams and continue to disciple more disciples as we work to finish the Great Commission in this generation! This means seeing multitudes from every people group around the throne in Heaven worshiping God!

I have been reading lately of all the different kings in the Old Testament and have been struck that so many chose not to follow God. And even the few that did, many of them do not end their lives that way. They were led astray by false counsel and choosing to worship other gods. So even though we are seeing many Filipinos now choosing to follow God in obedience to be missionaries and laborers for Christ, pray with us that they will finish strong! Pray also that Joe and I will too! We want their lives and our lives to be fully God's even until the end. Thank you for being a huge part in what God is doing among the nations by praying with us and for us!

Elizabeth



Here's some pictures of us with our friends!!



Evan and Matt joined us in ministry out in the communities nearby the campsite.
Our Advance Operations Training batch for this year!
This is the group that is being trained to go out to share the gospel among the unreached here in the Philippines and beyond.
Pray for them!







Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year!

This post is coming after all the holidays - which included some busy times and some relaxing times. We were blessed to spend Thanksgiving with my family! So glad that they came out to the Philippines and got to share our hot weather and love for this country :)

Christmas at it's fullest in this mall. Now that it's January, Christmas decorations are finally coming down...after 4 months!







Joe and I bought each other the same Christmas present! Yay for pineapples!

The 1st Burger King in our city (and 2nd on our island) opened this past December!



It seems like time has moved quickly since it's already 2017 and this is the year that we return back to America. From now until the end of our term will be busy with students - training them, supervising them, doing ministry with them... Pray for us to have wisdom in all of our tasks ahead!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Some Recent Thoughts

We've been traveling a lot this fall visiting different areas to make new friends! We've met a lot of alumni who have participated in Nehemiah Teams before...some have done it many, many times! And we've also had opportunities to speak at churches and campuses to mobilize as well as teaching some classes to explain the gospel. Whew! What a fall full of travels...and more to come! But it's been good. I wanted to share some thoughts and some notes I've been writing in my journal lately that might be a glimpse into what our lives have been like lately.

Sometimes I just want sleep in my own bed.
Sometimes I want to eat something different.
Sometimes I want to stay home and not go out.
Sometimes I don't want to sweat anymore...

BUT

All the time God has been with me.
All the time God has helped me with the task.
All the time I have food to eat and a place to sleep.
All the time I am amazed at how God's work is not as difficult as I thought it would be because God has equipped me.
All the time I am amazed at God's people who are serving Him faithfully and have a heart for God's name to be spread across this country and the world.

So after, I wonder why I thought it would be so hard. God gives wisdom. God gives words, energy and joy in His work. This is worth it because Jesus is worth it. He is worthy of all my time and energy; He is worth long days, dusty streets, hungry stomachs, tired eyes. It's not about what I lose, but about what I gain - a better picture of my God, a closer relationship with Him, a better understanding of His love.



Elizabeth




Mobilization done here in this church! Thankful for their enthusiasm about Nehemiah Teams and missions!


Spent the morning before our all day training to swim at this beautiful beach!




Beautiful country...no matter where we travel to!

Joe playing life sized chess with Pastor!


Teaching classes to share the gospel with high school and college students.



Friday, August 26, 2016

Family Time!

Recently my parents and all but one of my siblings were able to come visit us here in the Philippines! It was a great to see them for the first time in almost a year and to be able to show them our home here in the Philippines.

Not only did we get to go to the beach and other tourist locations, but we also were able to go to the local markets to show them how life is here in Southeast Asia. They really enjoyed the heat and no air conditioning in our apartment! We had a wonderful time and were so encouraged that they came to visit us. We miss them already!

Check out some pictures from their visit below!

Joe









Sunday, August 7, 2016

Feels Like Home!

We're back home! We've been back in our house for about 2 weeks now and have really enjoyed getting to cook in our own kitchen, do laundry regularly and spend time with our friends. Here are some stats from the past few months:

3 months & 3 weeks - Time away from home
4850 - Kilometers driven (that's about 3013 miles!)
16 - Villages/Towns slept in the Philippines
3 - New countries visited
1 - Flat tire
175 - Bibles given out by the teams
11 - Modes of transportation: car, airplane, motor tricycle, motorcycle, pedicab, boat, van, jeepney, tractor jeep, ferry, feet

Many new friends!
Many times sharing the gospel in English and Tagalog!

Thanks for following along on our journey and for your prayers! We were blessed to spend so much time ministering to the Waray-Waray people and getting to learn from our fellow Filipino Christians.


Tractor jeepney! Not sure of its real name, but definitely the most unique mode of transportation we've encountered so far!



Receiving Bibles after trusting in Jesus Christ!

A friend of Nehemiah Teams 2012, Dolores Team!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Don't Waste Your Accidents

Last week as I was pulling into a parking spot I turned too sharply, and my back tire cover broke the plastic on a pickup truck in the space next to me. Face palm. Due to various complications it cost not only the money for the tail light replacement, but multiple hours and meetings with the other party and the traffic police to figure out the solution.  I found myself frustrated and thinking that the problem could have been easily fixed in 15-20 minutes if I had my way.

While sitting with the other driver and the traffic officer in the station I told them that I was a missionary in the area. They asked the normal questions like how long have you been here and where have you gone. However, when we were almost done the officer asked me, “Since you are a missionary, do you have any words of wisdom from God to share with us?” I replied that I did and proceeded to share the gospel with them, which led to the officer asking 3 questions related to salvation that he had clearly been wondering about before. The next day we gave him a gospel tract and he sent me a friend request on Facebook.


1 Peter 3:15 says “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” God continues to teach me about this. I was frustrated over some lost time and money, which in the grand scheme mean nothing. He has greater and eternal purposes He wants to use us for.

Joe



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ministry in the Past Months

It is God who saves, not us. It is God who leads us to the people who are ready to hear and accept.

Recently, we were able to spend some time with the different teams that we are supervising and join them in their ministry. In one barangay (village), I joined some of the team going house to house to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and inviting the people to accept the free gift of salvation that God offers to all people. At one house in particular, I was reminded about how God brings us to the right people who are ready to hear and accept the good news. We approached an older lady gardening outside of her house and she invited us in. She sat and listened for a short time while her husband came in from the back. Eventually, the older woman left and we ended up just talking with the old man. As our translator was continuing to share with him, he had tears in his eyes and by the end of the conversation, he wanted to put his faith and trust in Jesus to be his Savior. He prayed to confess his sin to the Lord and tell Jesus that he was putting his trust in Him for his salvation. At the end of our time with him, the old man had only one prayer request: that his family would also know Jesus as their Savior. I left that house encouraged. It is God who saves, not us. It is God who leads us to people who are ready to hear and accept.

Later that evening, we had Bible study with a woman and her daughter who are Christians. We studied about the parable of the sower in Mark 4. God reminded me through that passage that we need to continue to share with everyone because we do not know what kind of soil the seed in falling on when we share. Like with the old man earlier in the day, he seemed not interested at first, but eventually came to accept Jesus with tears in his eyes. It is not up to me to find good soil but to share with all people.


Our salvation in Jesus Christ is sure.

Joining another team in ministry, I shared with a younger woman in the national language, Tagalog. Thankfully, I had a translator with me to help with anything I could not express clearly. After sharing, I asked if she knew where she would go after she died – would she be in Heaven with Jesus or in Hell apart from God? She began to reply but stopped speaking as she began to cry. Her response was that she did not know where she would go because of her sin. She wanted to go to Heaven but was unsure if she could. I explained to her again that Jesus paid for all of her sin on the cross and by returning to life 3 days later, Jesus conquered death and gives eternal life for all who confess their sin to Him and trust in Him alone as their Savior. Our salvation in Jesus Christ is sure. Jesus says in John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” The genuine response from this woman gave me the desire to continue to share this. There are people who need to know that Jesus brings salvation and once they believe in Him, they have eternal life that cannot be taken from them. They can know they will be Heaven with Him.

Thank you for praying alongside of us as we and the teams have shared the Good News of Jesus. Continue to pray that the seeds that were sown will grow and those people who have accepted Jesus will continue to grow in their faith.


Elizabeth