Team Members: Noelyn, Delaia, Sarah, Lauren
Task: This team will build relationships with locals, learn the cultural and religious background and seek opportunities to share truth.
Departure @ CBU Globe: Sunday, June 1@ 2:oo am
Update #0: Sunday, June 1 @ 3:00 am – After a slight shuttle debacle at the globe, the team of four is safely on their way to LAX with Aura – only 30 minutes behind schedule with plenty of extra time to handle adjustments like these. To friends and family, I personally want to apologize for that little bit of extra fun and the East Asia transportation simulation – cramming everyone and everything into our car. Aura dropped me off along with the other random stuff that was already in her car at my house just minutes away from CBU, so the team could comfortably fit into her vehicle with all their luggage – all the way to LAX. It’s not the first spur-of-the-moment road trip to LAX for the MOB Squad and probably won’t be the last. This is how we roll – ready for flexible response. Thank you for your patience and understanding. – Kristen
Update #1: Monday, June 2 @ 3:00 am – We have arrived! Travel went smoothly with no complications. Praise! We all received our luggage, settled into our hotel and went out for a cultural dinner. Pray that we get well rested tonight for the next few days of training and that we can build relationships with the other students we will be working with. We hope to upload a video tonight before bed. Stay tuned! – Delaia
P.S. Here is our first video: http://vimeo.com/97113979
Update #2: Tuesday, June 10 – We apologize for our delay in submitting an update. We’ve encountered several opportunities to learn and practice our language skills while trying to access Internet during this past week. During the past week, the team and I have been living in a separate location within East Asia for orientation with the company however; we arrived the past Thursday to our destined city where we will reside primarily for the remainder of the summer! In the midst of transitioning from one location to the next we are appreciative of your understanding and look forward to updating you briefly on our time here thus far!
During our time in orientation we had the opportunity to further study alongside other brothers and sisters form around the United States who also will be working within the same company as ourselves. We are incredibly thankful for the community and joy that surrounded our time with our new friends in the days leading up to our departure to our current city. The reality of being in the location that we have prepared for so long to reside in is unreal. We were almost immediately blessed with the opportunity to share the good news and unexpectedly met fellow brothers and sisters within our city participating in an ESL (English second language) tutoring session.
On our first morning while walking to attend our first language course we met a person of peace named “S”. He approached Delaia asking where we were from and followed by telling us His name and that he is a believer and professor of intercultural studies and religion at the local university within our city. We were in shock by our surprising meeting with “S” and the words of wisdom and joy that he chose to share with us. Throughout the past several days we have encountered a series of meetings with numerous individuals within East Asia as well as around the world. We are humbled by the opportunities to share the Truth within classroom settings, local shops, English corners, tutoring sessions, and other various locations. Through these encounters we have been able to witness individuals become more curious in the good news and hope for discipleship.
Our team is overwhelmed with the amount of love and mentoring that our M’s have already poured into our lives and we are eager to learn what lessons we will further learn in our time in East Asia.
At this time I would like to invite you to keep in mind the following for our team:
-That we will remain healthy and in the midst of feeling ill and that opportunities to invest in others as well as share will not be hindered.
-Our friend “A”: she has been such a sweet blessing to our team however, she is in preparation for serving in Africa to share the Truth therefore, we ask that you would pr@y that the Father would provide opportunities for her to share with others.
-That we will always strive to be unified and encourage one another as we walk through life here in East Asia together as a team.
-Our friend “B”: that the truth would convict him as he is conflicted with his $in
-That we will remain obedient to the Father and seek Him always.
-We will be bold in our sharing with others despite any language or cultural barriers that may seem stand in our way.
-That people will desire to know more about the Father and be willing to accept the good news.
-That He will bring guidance through the M’s & clarity into our lives for our future.
-Our friend “L” as she continues to ask questions and desires to learn how to be a follower of Him
Thank you for your investment and decision to partner with us as a team while seeking to do the Father’s will. We are so grateful for the encouragement that you have all given to each of us so generously and extensively whether it be in our third airport, after sleeping only a few hours due to jet lag, or striving to remain patient while in transit from one place to the next. Therefore, all I can truly say to explain our gratitude is thank you and although I recognize that these words are simple and few, they are sincere as our appreciation for your decision to intentionally uplift my team and I in your pr@yer$ is treasured. We look forward to the plans that are ahead and the ways in which He will use us in East Asia for His glory. Talk to you soon! – Lauren
Update #3: Thursday, June 12 - Here is the newest video update from the team. Enjoy! https://vimeo.com/98012524
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Update #4: Monday, June 16 -
Hello Friends & Family!
Happy Father’s Day to our amazing daddies. Your daughters appreciate you very much. We love and miss you! We are entering into week three of being in East Asia, and we are doing very well. This past week we have continued to meet with our friends for English corners, taught at a couple children’s schools, and trying to meet new people. We have found it challenging to meet with students during the week because they are starting their final exams. This is a very stressful time for students, and they spend a lot of time studying. Please pr@ y for our relationships with students to continue growing despite this difficult time.
We have had some opportunities to work in children’s classrooms this past week, which has been really fun and refreshing for our team. Lauren and Noelle taught an English class for children ages 6-10. We taught them songs about the weather, “If you’re happy and you know it” and played games with them. The parents stayed and watched their children the whole time. They loved seeing their children have fun and learn. Delaia and Sarah taught a class on Friday night for children ages 7-11. We had a time of Q & A with the children and their parents and then we taught them two songs, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and “Baby Shark” and a few children took turns to sing songs of their choice, in front of the classroom. We also played a couple games and enjoyed spending time with such joyful children.
We had a really cool opportunity to share the good news with a college student – “D” – at a popular hangout place in town. She did not believe, but she reads the book because she thinks its teaching is good, and that it will make her be a kinder person. She had many questions about our beliefs after we shared. It was a very exciting and unifying time for our team as we all helped each other share the good news with our friend. It was a powerful reminder of how the spirit works through us and we were also refreshed through speaking and hearing the good news.
We found a beautiful park near our hotel that we enjoy going to in the morning to get away from the city noise. We have been spending a lot of time there, doing our quiet time, and enjoying creation.
We have really enjoyed the time we have had to fellowship with our fieldworkers and learn from them. They are very wise and we are very thankful to have this opportunity to get to know them.
We have been very fortunate with our team’s health. Other than not feeling well from food, no one has gotten sick! The weather has been great here, usually 80s & 90s during the day.
- That we have discernment in whom The Spirit is leading us to invest in and disciple.
- For our friend B, who has heard the good news many times and is very close to accepting it.
- That we continue to stay healthy as we eat new foods and live in different climate.
We love you and appreciate all your pr@yer$ and support.
P.S. We made a video, but are having trouble posting it so stay tuned!
In His love, Noelle & the team
Update #5: Monday, June 23 - During our time in East Asia we have encountered a number of cultural differences such as spitting, men wearing there shirt so it will expose there stomach, smoking while exercising, babies with split pants, all the dishes at restaurants wrapped in plastic, and many more. We have started to understand East Asian culture and began integrating ourselves into the community in which we refer to as home for the time being. Here are a few stories from the adventures of my team and I while in East Asia…
Every morning I witness Delaia rolling over in bed as she yells in response to a group of women who essentially serve as our alarm clock. A group of cosmetologists stand directly outside our bedroom window each day to chant their established creed, however; at times it feels like they appear to represent soldiers rather than beauticians. Delaia continues to strive to challenge herself while living in East Asia and has been such an encouragement to myself as well as the rest of the team as she shares with others the good news. Sunday morning she had the opportunity to share with a large group of locals within our community in a local park by our home. Please pray for our city as we continue to share with our friends and neighbors.
During a walk through our favorite park Sarah and I came across a new discovery. Small round cement table were surrounded by huddles of men with smoke rising from their heads as though they were some sort of a volcano. They attentively watched opponents compete against one another in various games while being separated by a fence from three Ping-Pong tables. Sarah and I became immediately determined to learn the skill of Ping-Pong and went to a nearby store to purchase the necessary equipment. Prior to our arrival in East Asia Sarah and I would have stated that we were decent Ping-Pong players but as we began to compare ourselves with the men at the park we realized that we were quite mistaken. After the kindness and instruction of a group of skilled Ping-Pong players we have been able to greatly improve. I wish that I could tell you that we became magnificent Ping-Pong players like Forest Gump and had been victorious in our matches but I would be lying. The laughter from our desperate attempts to play and learn the art of this favorite game became contagious and provoked great conversations which eventually evolved into friendships. Sarah’s compassion and love toward the locals is undeniable and is a beautiful reminder to each of us on SOS how we ought to love others.
I have been fortunate enough to travel half way around the world with Noelle twice and witness the ways in which she continues to be conflicted as well as motivated by the world and how the Father desires us to be in relationship with Him. She has found joy in photography and it has served as a beautiful way in which our team is able to see the little things and appreciate the beauty that they hold. At times, while in conversation or walking from place to place, we overlook a few of the things that Noelle is able to capture and expose through film. I hope you enjoy a glimpse of the ways in which we have been captivated by this place and these people through the pictures attached.
As we progress through our time here we have began to disciple specific girls and have continued to fall more deeply in love with the Truth as we respond to questions and study alongside one another. The past few days have been discouraging, and at time frustrating, but we have been so grateful for each of your pr@y3r$ and the ways in which you have uplifted each of us as it has overflowed into our entire team. During our time studying the word with one another we have been challenged by the writings of passages alike 2 Th3ss as it states that “to this end we always pr@y for you, that our G0d may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our 10rd J3$u$ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our G0d and the 10rd J3$u$ Ch7!$t”(2 Th3$$@10n!@n$ 1:11-12). Therefore, as we strive to share with others we encourage you to do the same within your own communities and home. A few things that you can be specially pr@y!ng & thanking the father for include:
- Our time discipling our friends “A” and “J”. We will be starting a study with them soon.
- Health: Noelle has had a small cold the past few days
- That we would continue to fall in love with the people who are present here
- That the gospel would capture the hearts of the people in East Asia
- Praise! The Father has allowed us to share numerous times within both large and small groups of individuals this week
We remain curious of the ways in which the Father will use each of us during our time in East Asia and although we have cherished our teaching opportunities with the locals we have loved observing how the Father is able to use each of them to teach us. We love you and miss you all!
PS: This week we have the privilege to celebrate our friend Carlye’s as well as Noelle (June 24th) and Sarah’s (June 29th) birthdays!
Update #6: Monday, June 30 – Check out the latest video update from the team! https://vimeo.com/99525913
BONUS Video! https://vimeo.com/99525073
Update #7: Wednesday, July 9 – Being in East Asia for over a month now, has been quite the adventure! We have been living life here and we have many mixed emotions of knowing we will be leaving this new home so soon. We have learned many phrases in the local language that have helped us in our every day life of ordering food, meeting people in our community, talking to taxi drivers, and ultimately building relationships with others. It’s so exciting to be able to talk to people in the local language and it is especially exciting when they actually understand what we are trying to say!
Here are some of the reasons we love East Asia:
-THE PEOPLE: Most of the friends we have made and the people we have encountered have the kindest and most genuine hearts. They are a people who love to serve others. Their hospitality and willingness to drop everything for their friends is so admirable. A couple examples of this: Our friend S recognized that it was pouring rain outside one day and thought we might not have umbrellas and so he called us and found us so he could bring each of us umbrellas! Another example: Whenever we go out with friends they will insist on paying for everyone. They will even race us to the cashier or will just pay without telling us!
-THE COMMUNITY & CULTURE: East Asian people greatly value friendships and being in a community with each other. Many people hang out in the local park or square and participate in various cultural or community activities such as singing, dancing, exercising, playing games, playing instruments, chatting (while sitting in a squat position), etc.
-THE BEAUTY: East Asia is so green! As one of my friends has described it before- it’s like a green house. There are so many lush mountains and tall green trees lining each streets within our city which we have called home for the time being. Although beauty can be found in nature we have admired finding it within the faces of old men and women, young college students, and the beautiful children that have captured our hearts.
-THE FOOD: It is straight up a-mazing! Sharing meals with friends is such a great time to build friendships. Almost every time we eat it is in family style. The waiter will place all the food on a piece that resembles something alike a “lazy Susan” and share and enjoy the food and company!
-THE SOUNDTRACK TO EAST ASIA: Taxis, animals, basketball games, chatting, singing, dancing, thunder, rain & many other noises are our daily melodies in our city. The city blooms to life as the sun sets. It’s a rare moment to hear silence as men and women continue selling merchandise on the corner of the streets & friends enjoy tea with one another into the late hours of the night.
-RESCUE: Many people are seeking and we find so much joy in seeing people light up and get excited when hearing the Truth! However, many are completely blinded by the ways of the enemy and are living their lives to praise idols while placing their strength in something that will not hold. We have recently learned a lot about a Muslim UPG (unreached people group) in our community and our hearts are grieving and broken for these people. During this month as they celebrate Ramadan and seek understanding through fasting (etc.) we ask that the true G0d would reveal himself candidly to these men and women. We pr@y that Father would reveal himself to those we talk to and that they would seek Him, follow Him, and share His truth.
-PASSION FOR A PEOPLE & CULTURE MAY GET YOU THERE, BUT PASSION FOR THE FATHER WILL KEEP YOU THERE: These are just a few of the reasons we have fallen in love with East Asia. However, a huge take away we have been learning is that in any country, whether that be East Asia or not, our love for a place or people will only last for so long until we are discouraged or let down. We are not here because we love East Asia but we are here because we love Father. Our love for the Father and for seeking His plan in our lives is what motivates us and refreshes us daily ultimately giving us the ability to love others selfishly and authentically!
Here are some things we have been up to this past week and things you can be lifting up:
-We have said many goodbyes to our university friends who are going back to their hometowns and to a few of our American friends as well. Goodbyes are never easy but we are thankful for the time we have spent with them. As we go our separate ways and travel both near and far we ask that you would pr@y that this good news may also spread and become infectious to the communities that our friends return to during this season.
-Praise! We have had many opportunities to share with new and old friends at a local English corner and give a few friends a book that has been able to answer many of their questions. We have also been able to come alongside the brothers and sisters and encourage them in their walk through sharing our own personal stories.
-Praise! We have made 2 best friends, “Cl” & “Mo”! We pr@y these friendships would be centered on Father and that we could share the joy and hope that He brings and come to see them ultimately follow Him.
-We’re in the midst of teaching an English kids camp! This has been such a joy! All four of us absolutely love teaching and playing with the kids! It has been a very sweet and refreshing time! Pr@y that we may have the energy needed to teach daily and learn more about their parents and themselves during the time with them and share.
-We are hoping to begin an in depth seeker study with a couple friends. Please lift up our time and that our friends would be provoked to continually ask questions as we study the book and lead her to understand our need for a rescuer.
We can’t tell you enough how much your support and pr@yers mean to us! We love and miss you all so much!
With lots of love,
Update #7: Wednesday, July 16 – Here is a video update: https://vimeo.com/100910985.
Here are some things that you can lift up to the Father as our time is coming to an end here in East Asia:
-That the people we have built relationships with here will be connected with fellow brothers and sisters that will continue to teach them about the good news
-That we would be confident in the way the Father has used us in East Asia
-That we would have peace about leaving this place that we have called “home” for the past 2 months
-That we will continue to abide in the Father and trust His plans that He has for us in this next season of life
-Upon arrival, that we will be able to communicate well what Father has done in our lives and in the lives of the East Asian people
Thank you so much for choosing to continue on this journey with us and for all the encouragement that you have sent our way! We love and miss you all dearly!
Update #8: Tuesday, July 22 – Final video update: https://vimeo.com/101397997
These past two months in East Asia have been so much more than I can explain in one paragraph. I have had such an amazing time with my team making friendships, learning the language, teaching English, and sharing the good news. It has not been a spiritual high or an easy two months, but rather it has been a summer of trusting in The Father, and relying on Him. East Asia and I had a rough start, but it ended in a love/hate relationship. I learned a lot about myself and about my teammates on this journey. I am more introverted than I thought I was. The Father really taught me how to rely on The Spirit in every moment and conversation. There were times where I felt The Spirit telling me not to share, and many times where I felt The Spirit leading me to share. When I did share it was amazing how a small step of obedience grew my faith in The Father so much. I learned to love the good news in a new and refreshing way. I found so much joy in sharing the good news with the people and friends I met in EA no matter what the response was in sharing. I am so thankful for all the wonderful memories and experiences I have had over this journey. I am humbled that The Father would use me in the ways that He did. I would not have wanted my summer to be spent any other way. I love and miss my friends and family dearly, and I cannot wait to see you!
Love, Noelle a.k.a. Wú Yá Xué
As I explored a cave close to our home recently I became mesmerized by the hundreds of paintings, sculptures, and idols presented. I recognize that the enemy is real however as I become aware of this I am reminded of the power and reign of our Savior. Psalm 115:4-8 states, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.” This city, which I called home for the past eight weeks, is filed with stories of joy, tears, anxieties, laughter, frustration, and prayer. I witnessed men and women attempting to find a measurement in regards to the value of life and what defines a life worth living. Children are often abandoned and left within designated places in select provinces within East Asia based on a number of circumstances. In addition to this the past several weeks have been dedicated to celebration of Ramadan as an unreached people group number of over 50,000 within our city and over 1/2 million in the province fast while seeking wisdom and understanding. Time and time again regardless of which people group I met while living in East Asia the constant theme of finding a meaning and understanding to ones life was repeatedly emphasized. I am thankful for the Father’s steadfast love and mercy (Psalm 103:4). As I prepare to return to America in the next few days and try to compile all my stories, thoughts, and emotions I have confidence that the Father’s plans are far better than my own and that His timing is perfect. I trust and pray that the Spirit would guide me and I pursue a life of obedience, discipleship, and holiness to Him. I look forward to being able to further share with you these past two months that my team and I have cherished and been blessed to witness the Father working within East Asia. See you soon!
Love, Lauren Hogan a.k.a 白雪
We said goodbye to the city we have been living in for two months and we are now in a time of debrief in another part of Asia. Within this last week we have had to say many goodbyes or “see you laters” and it hasn’t been easy. We have made so many amazing friendships and leaving those friends was hard especially because many of them are nonbelievers. However, this has strengthened my pr@yer life tremendously and I am relying and trusting in the Father’s all knowing and perfect plan. He brought us to East Asia and now it is our time to leave but it doesn’t mean I will not sincerely miss it with all my heart. I have learned so much about how lostness comes in many different forms. Many people we have met when asked what they believe, will give a collective answer saying “East Asian people believe…(Fill in the blank)” and I have learned to ask certain questions that will reveal their own heart but many do not even know what they believe or they may just resort to agreeing with everything to stay safe. Lostness can also be more in your face, for example, we hiked a mountain that was dedicated to being a place of idolatry and here we watched as people bowed down to so many idols that are all lifeless and can do nothing for their salvation. Everything about that mountain was heartbreaking and gorgeous all at the same time which was really confusing to wrap my mind around. But when I was thinking and pr@ying through it, I realized that the most beautiful parts were not man made but it was the creation around it that I was in awe of. My heart has been thoroughly broken for the people here and this has nourished my urgency to share and I have found so much joy and excitement in sharing. We will not always be privileged enough to see the outcome of sharing but I am so thankful to be apart of the planting here and being humbled in knowing that only Father can change hearts and He will in His timing. I am excited to share with you all that I have learned and experienced here and I can’t wait to catch up on what has happened in your lives these past two months. It will be such a sweet reunion! Continue to be praying for East Asia!
Love you, Sarah a.k.a 林若纱
These past few days have been full of “see you laters” to the friendships we have made, to the culture we have adapted to, and to the place we have called home for the past two months. Although I don’t know when, or if, I will ever see these friends, I have learned to be confident in Father and His control over all things. It has humbled me in many different ways. I have been so humbled in the fact that Father has allowed me to be a part of His plan; I have been humbled in the fact that I cannot change anyone or convince anyone to believe out of my own strength. It is all in His timing. I thought I had learned that I cannot do anything out of my own strength, but Father showed me in a different way of how I cannot do anything without Him and that He orchestrates all things to come together all in His timing. John 4:34-38 was an encouraging passage for me this summer in knowing that even though I shared and may not see the fruit, I will have the confidence that Father will continue to reveal himself to the people we have shared with; I must continue to be obedient and have confidence in Him. My time in East Asia has been such a sweet time of growth with my walk in Chri!$t. I have been challenged in many different ways by the culture, the people, my teammates, and other factors where I see now that Father was exposing the ugliness of my s!n and how He was molding me to be more in His image. I am so so so thankful for my time and the many experiences that the Father allowed me to participate this summer and I cannot wait to share to you all on how Father has grown in me and is moving and revealing Himself in East Asia!
Love, Delaia a.k.a 费莱雅
LAX Arrival: Thursday, July 24 arriving on AC 1882 at 5:37pm