Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Team 1422 arrives home!

Team 1422 arrived home safely! Their gear made it safe and sound as well!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Salamat Philippines

It has been quite the time here in the Philippines. I could tell so many stories and I'm sure there will be time for that but for now I just wanted to share one thing that has been impressed upon me during my time here and I'm sure I will be thinking over for a long while: God is greater than I can even imagine.
Sometimes I find myself trying to make Him into something that I can understand because it seems it would be so much easier to grasp faith and what it means to follow fully after Him if I can understand Him. I know I'm not alone when I say I want to understand God. If I can label God with certain attributes I can better describe Him to others and I will be able to explain why certain things happen. Or if I can understand why He would ask me to share my story with others this year, I wouldn't be so afraid or nervous. But when I try to make Him into a God I can fully understand, I realize how much I leave out. God is so much greater than I make Him. I can't describe or explain Him in human words and I definitely don't understand all the reasons why He has called me to share my story this year. But one thing I do know, I don't want a God that I can mold and make into something I understand because it's in the mystery and greatness of God that I find my peace.

Sorry for those that were looking to read about a story of our time but hopefully this will cultivate some new thoughts as you search the greatness of our God.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

So Close

So we are almost to the end of our time here in the Philippines. It is going to be weird to head home to the different weather, traffic, and food, all things we have come to feel (almost) at home with here. In the next few days we have a few shows, including one at the new amphitheater by Leyte Landing (where a certain American general returned to the Philippines). Please lift our team up in your prayers, our bodies are starting to wear down and sickness looms, we have a bunch of weird travel plans lined up to get back to the states, and (for me personally) a lot of gear to move back and forth. Prayer for all of that, especially our health and travel arrangements, would be amazing. We are looking forward to seeing family and friends again, but sad to be nearing the end of our time here (and the new friends we have made everywhere we go!).
Grace and peace to you all,

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun, Fun, Fun

Ok so...I really wish I had some pictures to post for you (and I actually do I just can't post them at this particular time) but I have several fun stuff to share.
First of all, I want to say that we had an amazing time in Cagayan and miss the DeCleenes a great deal. If we didn't mention it before: We got to go white water rafting...IN THE PHILIPPINES mind you! And that was an incredible journey that we will probably refer to more and more this year.
Even though we are missing Cagayan, we are really enjoying Cebu and everyone we have met here so far. We just got back last night from a fantastic adventure to the island of Tingo. 3 things we want to remember about this island: 1) we traveled there by boat...WITH all 900lbs of our gear! 2) We ate copious amounts of shell creatures. 3) We played a concert under the palm trees with a pretty sweet opening act, followed by lots of fun games in the rain with the locals.
All in one would disagree that our time here in the Philippines so far has been wonderful. We have met incredible people, shared the gospel with non-believers, encouraged fellow believers, and have seen the Lord move in very real ways.

I would love to go into more detail but I must leave...we are headed out for a high school concert.

Until next time...please continue praying for us ;-)

Team Taiwan (14:21). If you haven't done so already, check out their blog. And continue praying for their health and safety throughout their tour.

Our health and attitudes.

The New J radio station in Cagayan: that they would continue to move people toward Christ through their ministry.

Mary and the rest of our contacts here in Cebu: that we would be able to serve them in the best way possible and that the Lord would be with them as they continue to minister to the schools and churches of this city.

We love you, we miss you all.
Beside you in the Faith,

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sara and I just realized that we have some photos on this computer so that you can see a bit of what we've done. I'm sure there will be more to come whether next week or when we return to the States, but hopefully these few will give you a glimpse into our lives here :)

An End and a Beginning

Maayong Happon! (Good Afternoon in Cebuano)
Today I write you from the home of our Cagayan de Oro hosts, the DeCleenes, while Ed and a rotating shift of the rest of us pack up our gear for our flight tomorrow. We have officially been in the Philippines for a week, focusing our ministry so far in CDO. However, tomorrow we must leave this beautiful city and fly to the island of Cebu for 5 days of ministry there. We are sad that we can't spend more time with all our wonderful friends at the New J (CDO's Christian radio station), but we are so excited for what God has planned for us in Cebu!

To give a quick wrap-up of what we have done so far:
- 4 school concerts
- 2 worship seminars
- 4 market concerts
- 1 Sunday morning worship service
- 1 outreach concert
- learned Hillsong's 'One Way'- it is a HUGE hit out here!
- given many hugs, autographs and photo opps
- saw the sun rise while swimming in the ocean
- witnessed native tribal dances
- Sara battled a crazy monkey- and won
- went whitewater rafting

Last night while talking, we estimated that we have reached over 10,000 people in just a week! We pray that those who listened continue to work with the radio station who, in addition to offering a positive alternative in music, offers Bible studies and can connect people with local churches for the long-term ministry that we aren't able to do.

Thank you to everyone who has kept us, our partners, and those who hear Christ's message in your prayers. None of this would be possible without your support. Here are a few specific requests we have this week:
- for 14:21 and their continued ministry in Taiwan
-for health. We are only a few degrees from the equator which means a lot of sun. So far, we are all keeping really hydrated and sunscreened (is that even a word?), but continued prayer for this is soooooo good.
-for our flight tomorrow. It's a short jump between islands, but our gear needs all the tlc it can get from the luggage handlers.
-for our drivers from this past week who, although not Christians, volunteered their time and vehicle to drive our gear around and in turn, were saturated with worship and the Gospel. We pray that their interest in Christ continue to grow and develop.
- for our partner, The New J, and everyone who is a part of it. They are doing amazing work in CDO and we pray that they are able to continue blessing the lives of the Christians who live here and can reach out to those who do not know Christ through the medium of music.
-for the people of Cebu who we will come into contact with- that their hearts and ears be open to the message we bring and the love God is pouring on them.
- for our hearts and ears that we may remain mindful of why we are here and what God has asked and is asking us to do.

So that's it for now (at least from me). I hope we can put more photos up soon, but if I could sum up what all of our photos are, I would use the word BEAUTIFUL. God's amazing artistry is extremely evident at every turn here. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, we are reminded by nature and the people that God is all-powerful and infused into everything we are and do. Could we ask for a better reminder on this trip?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Hello from the Philippines

Well...we made it! We have been warmly welcomed into the wonderful city of Cagayan De Oro (aka. the City of Golden Friendship). SO...while the rest of the team is playing Apples to Apples behind me...I've decided to let you in on our adventures to the Philippines.

Yesterday (which was Friday for us) was our first full day of ministry. We had the privilege of playing at a high school for about 2000 students and then got to hang out with the De Cleene's at the radio station with the rest of the New J staff.

We ended our day playing at the Night Cafe, for hundreds of vendors and passerbys.

We're switching it up today and doing some worship seminars for a couple local churches....we're so excited to see the things the Lord is doing through the talents of our brothers and sisters here in Cagayan De Oro.

On a completely random side note: Plus 200 Mango Drink is AMAZING!

Until next time...
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Update from the team!

We received a phone call from Nate this morning (evening for them.)

Things are going very well for the team- they're really enjoying their hosts and accommodations, and they've had some great ministry opportunities already. They participated in 3 events today: a concert at a large high school (between 2,000 and 3,000 kids) followed by a smaller Christian school and an appearance at a "night cafe." They're working through some difficulties with their equipment and we're hopeful that these will be resolved soon.

Tomorrow they will begin working with worship teams at two churches, sharing some thoughts and ideas about worship ministry with them, and then leading those congregations in worship on Sunday.

The team hopes to post an update in their own words soon, so check back for that in a few days.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

1422 reports safe arrival in the Philippines

Nate called this morning to pass along word of the team's safe arrival in Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines. They have met the DeCleene family and are getting settled in. Check their blog in the comming weeks for updates on their ministry there!