Friday, May 23, 2008

May 21, Things have been going very well...

The pictures are: The first watercolor I painted for CiCi (this is a painting of the creation story), a picture of me and the students I helped teach for a week and a half at a local international school, and a picture of me and Theresa (YWAM Norway) in Santa Clara

Dear friends and family,
Things have been going very well for me lately. One of the girls that I had a great conversation with at the Chinese New Year retreat has moved back into the area and started taking English classes with Brett and me. I have also started to meet with her on my own for more English conversation. This week I will start doing some discipleship with her during that time. Please yarp that she will have a desire to learn more about faith in the Father. She has become a believer since we have been here but she does not attend a ch. My yarper is that my time spent with her would lead her into a deeper walk with Dad. She has shared with me a lot about the Chinese wedding practices; it differs greatly from the traditional wedding in the United States. A few of the things I found most interesting about the wedding ceremony is that the bride will end up wearing three different dresses -each a different color red, pink, and white. Also part of the ceremony is the groom must pay the bridesmaids before they will let him marry the bride, after that point the couple goes to the groom’s home to yarp to their deceased ancestors. I come from a culture where yarping to ancestors never enters my mind, because of this, I think this is a very intriguing practice, but I understand that these people live in constant fear of their ancestors so they do many things to try to appease the spirits. I hope to talk to the girl I have been meeting

with more about yarping to ancestors and about how in JC we no longer have to fear such things. I know for her it is not so simple but yarp that the Fatherwill give me the words to share, sensitivity to hear, and openness on her end.

Last week we spent a couple of days in Santa Clara with a team with Youth with a Mission from Norway and Estonia. It was great getting to be around them once again and getting to say a final farewell before they left for home. They were a group of youth who went on many different yarper walks with us in the city yarping over the Chinese.

The other day I received a call from one of my students, she told me she had been fired from her job and wanted to meet with me. I felt very honored that she felt comfortable calling me to talk about her job situation. She ended up asking me about things she might need to do to get a good job and keep one for a long period of time as this has been a struggle for her recently. I tried to encourage her the best I could but I have confidence she will be successful in finding another job because her knack for learning languages is so good. Many of the businesses in Panama desire their employees to speak many languages especially in the Free Zone in Colon where many of the large companies are headquartered.

This past weekend I asked one of my students if she would be willing to teach me how to cook some Chinese dishes so that I would know how to cook for my family and friends when I return to the United States. She wasn’t very confident in her cooking ability but she said if some of the other students came to help that would be great. So all in all I think we are going to have 12-15 people in our little apartment this Sunday cooking up a storm. I always enjoy the get-to-gethers with the students because they talk a lot more and there is always lots of food and games. Please yarp that everyone finds our place safely as none of them have been there before.
Lastly please continue to yarp for the paintings that I have been doing as I have been a little discouraged with them this past week because of the complexity of some of the stories. I really feel that the young lady I am sharing these with has an open heart, so continue to yarp that she will have patience with me as I try to communicate with her.

In Him,
Rachelle Roberts

Hey Everyone, This past weekend we had a blessing happen to us one of our friends was baptised in ch. His family lives in China so he lives here on his own and spends his little bit of free time studying Spanish and English. He has been going back and forth about whether he wants to make the commitment to follow our father and the past week he said that this is what he wanted. This is an amazing thing because many times it can take up to thirteen years to see a person come to know the father. Please be in yarper for him as he has made this commitment in his life. Yarp that money would not be his priority in life but that he would desire things of the Father.

Last week we spent a few days at the beach house with YWAM students from Norway and Estonia. It was really nice to leave the big city and to just have a little bit of fun at the beach. Last night we handed out a JC Film to a lady at the internet shop that we have been visiting frequently. Yarp that she and her children will watch the film and that it will have some of impact on the life of the people in the internet shop. Today we went accross the canal to another city called Arajahan to try to find some of our Chinese students that live there. We had no clue where to start looking for them because the business area is very large, so we didn't really think that we would find the store they work in but wanted to give it a try. Dad really blessed us because it was one of the first stores we came across. We invited them to an event that we are having this next Sunday in our apartament. We are having many Chinese students over to teach us how to cook Chinese food and to play games. Please be in yarper for us as we are hosting this event. Praise the Father that we were able to find students we were looking for.

I have been going into many stores in the New China town to yarper walk for the people in the stores. I have been noticing a common thing in all the stores, they all sell incense and fireworks. At first I thought it was for the different celebrations that they have throughout the year, but after a while I saw that they are not for the celebrations but for the god shelves that are in many of the stores. Many of the owers of the businesses offer up incense to their own personal god shelves to keep away the evil spirits from their business. Please be in yarper for these business owners as they are driven by money and living in fear of many evil spirits.

Thank you for your thoughts and yarper for us.

Dad Bless,

May 4, Things have been a little busier...

Hey Friends and Family,
Things have been a little busier than usual for me these past few weeks. I've volunteered to help a m friend out at a school she teaches at because she was worried about having her 17 five year olds all to herself for a week and a half. It's been exciting and exhausting teaching them, even though it is only half day classes. It's been interesting seeing how different the children interact with one another, the school is an international c school and our class has 14 native Spanish speaking children, one German and two that speak Hakka at home. All the students have just started to learn English this year, for only a few months of learning they are so great. I feel sad about that fact that I see division in the class between the two Chinese students and the others, I'm not sure if it is because of the language differance or ethnicity that makes it where the other children don't want to play with them or talk to them for that matter. I think it is good that I have had this oppertunity to see the different groups together at a young age because I know these experiences in their life have a large impact on their life in the future.

I have also been working on painting the well known Book stories in watercolor for a girl that lives and works at a mini super near our apartment. I had my language teacher translate the creation story into simple Spanish for my first painting. I know this girl speaks some Spanish but I am unsure how much. I asked her the other day if she understood the story and painting I gave her and she said yes because a Panamanian who works with her helped her with it. I have now painted the story of man's first sin and another of Cain and Abel but I am waiting to get a Chinese Book in her language from our m's so I can show her where each of the stories are in the Book so she more fully understands. Please yarp that her boss will not be upset with my sharing with her while she is at work and that she will be interested in the stories. I hope to get through all the major stories in the Book before going back to the states so please also yarp that I have discernment in which stories to share and paint so that my time is not wasted. I shared with some m's this story painting that Dad placed on my heart and they have asked me to make copies so they all can use the material in the future. I really feel like this is something that the Father really wants me to use my time doing here. The first day I painted here I decided to do it at a table in the mall where all our people tend to come for fun. While I was painting a young man came up and asked me to buy something from his and I decided but he hung around looking at what I was doing and asked about my painting. I was able to share with him the creation story in the little Spanish I know and showed him where it was in the Book. At the time I was so thankful that we had taught the creation story to some youth a month or two ago for an ESL class and I remembered some of the words they translated into Spanish.

Saturday I ended up just having a girls day out with a ESL student and a Panamanian friend from ch. I had planned on meeting with my student for at the most 2 hours but we just had a wonderful conversation and we ended up talking for 3 and a half hours. After that I met my friend from ch and she took me to an arcade and we played a little then we went window shopping which is very popular with the girls here. Later she took me to San Miguel which is a part of town I had never been to before. Things there were a lot cheaper and she really liked the area because it was very close to her home. She told me she wanted Brett and me to come to her house sometime and eat with her family, I can't wait because her whole family make Chile empanadas for a living. It was just a great day getting to spend time with girls.

I really have a lot more to share but I am at an internet cafe and my time is up and I have to go teach a class. Please yarp for our internet to work in our apartment so we can send updates more often and be able to get teaching material ready again.
In Him,
Rachelle Roberts

Hey Everyone,
All is going okay here in Panama; it feels like this place is like a second home. Today we had a man who saw us yarp for our meal before we ate it and he came up to us and asked if we knew of any good ch's in the area. We mentioned a few and he then said that it was for his son who is in to more rock music and we had just met with someone the day before that said that she had gone to a ch that was just like what this man was looking for. I say this to tell everyone that Dad works out things and he leads people to meet with one another at perfect times and places. I was reminded of this today with this man.

Since I have been here I realize how hard it is to try to meet the needs of someone who does not feel they have any needs to be met. It is hard trying to sell yourself just to try to convince someone that they want to be your friend just so that they can learn English. Also many times they feel that they can get something out of you like a way to get into the United States. I get the feeling of being used more often than not; it is so hard to be in that position. If I have to sell myself to have a chance at meeting them again than it is worth it. We are to be servents of JC and not ourselves and so we must lay ourselves before the cross if we are to be used.

We have been doing some yarper walking in different areas that we work in and we have started seeing some fruit from that time. We feel there have been more doors opened for us since we started yarper walking. Dad works through yarper period, and without it we are wasting our time and money. This is something that we will continue to do even when we get back into the States.

Yarper Request:

1. Yarp for Tony, a young man we have been meeting with. Yarp for a movement of God in his life.
2. Yarp for Wendy, she is a new believer and Dad has worked miracles in her life so that she could come back and be with us in Panama City. Yarp that Dad helps her to grow in her faith.
3. Yarp for our gaming ministry as I feel we might be getting somewhere with this as the shop we have been visiting ; owner has started to talk to us.
4.Yarp for our ESL Class as we are using this to meet some Chinese people.

I want to send pictures to everyone but our home internet has not worked for quite a while and the internet shop does not have the hardware I need to put it onto the computer.

Dad Bless,
Brett Roberts