Friday, July 25, 2008

July 22, Rachelle and I have made it home safely...

Dear Friends and Family,

I would like to let everyone know that Rachelle and I have made it home safely and that all is well for us. We are very sad that our time in Panama has ended but in our leaving we feel that the relationships that we build will continue on for a lifetime. From the beginning of our time in Panama to the end I have gotten to see how Dad can turn an impossible situation into a possible one. Dad has blessed me with this trip and I hope that this time in Panama is just the start to what he could use me for and I pray that he would use me in mighty and powerful ways in the future.

Since being back we have had a busy time with moving and getting things set up for us here in Bolivar. It has been a little stressful at times but I know that Dad is with us. Thank you for your yarpers and support during this time.

Dad Bless,

Hey everyone,

The last week in Panama went very well. We were able to take all of our close friends and students out to eat as they have treated us so many times before. It was nice being able to return the favor and have them accept it. I also gave paintings to everyone so they would remember me for years to come.

It was really hard saying goodbye to David and Wendy as we became closer to them than anyone else. In the culture it is not acceptable to say you will miss someone or show emotions at all so I constantly had to remember these things as I said goodbye. I hope I can return in a year or two to see all our friends again but the Father will be the one who ultimately decides when we will return.

On our last day in Panama a few friends came over to "help us pack and clean." In reality we fixed them American style food because they wanted to learn (since they had taught us how to fix Chinese food) and they wanted to see us again before leaving. After dinner we all talked and made different types of origami.

The next morning our m brought us to the airport and we were on our way. We ended up having two flight delays, four gate changes, and an eight hour lay over in Alanta, but we made it safe and sound. It was actually the shortest flight I have taken for a m trip so it was easy traveling for me.

Since being back (we got back very late last Monday night) things have been a little crazy - meeting my family and Brett's family after being away, moving into our new apartment, getting everything set up for the new place, and then graduation this week.

Thank you for all your yarpers throughout our m trip. I have really appreciated them and have seen them answered. I feel like I have a much better idea of what a m faces on a day to day basis with the joys and struggles when starting a new ministry. I have definitely fallen in love with working with internationals and I hope to find a ministry in the Springfield/Bolivar area in which I can take part.

In Him,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 7 It has been a busy few weeks

Dear Friends and Family,

It has been a busy few weeks since getting back. We had a group come in from the US that has been traveling around the world doing m work for the past 9 months. They stayed for about two
weeks and we took them around p walking and doing other things. It was nice because our m's let us have this group by ourselves which meant the m's could do what they needed to do. It felt good to know that we could lead a team on our own with little or no problems. I will say it
was a little weird for them because Rachelle and I are both 22 years old and the youngest person on their m team was 23 and the oldest was about 35 and many of them have had careers already and we are just getting started with our careers but it all worked out.

The week before last we took a group of Chinese students out to the beach house and just had lots and lots of fun. We only had about six people which was wonderful but we where expecting about fifteen people. I felt like it was a fruitful time because out of the six people, three were people we had not met before and it gave us a chance to talk to them. We took the bus out to the beach which takes about an hour and a half then we had about a hour walk out to the house where we staying. This would not have been a problem but we had a whole bunch of food that we were
carrying with us along with our luggage. That Sunday we all went down to the beach and went jet skiing and horse back riding with them. For many of them they had never done either of those things before. It was very exciting for them. That afternoon we had a BBQ which got rained out and we packed up and went home. It was a very short time, but it was nice to have them away from the city because it allow them to relax and build a trust between us and them.

This past week we got done with our Ethnography study which is really exciting because that is the main aper that we hope will help our m with their work in Panama. That is a
real blessing to have off our shoulders and it was nice to read through it and see all the things that we have learned about the Chinese. Please yarp that this paper would be of use to our m's and they would find it helpful and encouraging.

Last night we had a good bye party.
About 20 people came to our apartment to have a BBQ and we had to say good bye to many of the people that we have met. It was a lot of fun
laughing and singing. I played the guitar for everyone and tried to get my student to play but she was too shy. I thanked everyone for their friendships and for making our time here so enjoyable. David our friend shared with everyone a Book story about the prodigal son and he yarped for the food in Cantonese. Everyone seems to be very responsive to David and we are very excited that he has taken on a leadership role.

We have said goodbye to the majority of our people last night but we have
a few others in which we will see one more time to say goodbye. I think this will be extremely difficult for us this week -to say goodbye to
our closest friends David and Wendy. These two have meant so much to us and have really opened many doors for us. Dad has blessed us with
bringing those two into our lives.


1. Yarp for this upcoming week as we say goodbye to everyone here.
2.Yarp that our impact here would be a lasting one.
3. Yarp for us as we finish up with things here that it would be an easy process.
4. Continue to yarp for our m's as they continue with their work here.

Father Bless,


Dear friends and family,

Since I last wrote you we have taken a few friends to the beach to celebrate someone’s birthday. It was really nice getting to meet some new people and just have a fun time together. Our last day at the beach we all decided to go tubing behind a jet ski because our friends had never tried this before. Of the six of us that ended going half of us fell off. It was very exciting for everyone. I found out from Wendy that all her friends called her to say how badly their body hurt for
the three days following the tubing adventure. Everyone said they would do it again because it was so exciting, they just might need a few days
vacation next time to recover before going back to work.

One of the people we met at the beach was a young Chinese guy who recently became
a believer and is now helping establish a ministry at his ch for young adults. It’s so exciting to hear that other groups are also beginning to reach out to these young people. Another great part of what he shared with us is the ch is allowing this new believer to play a large role in beginning this new ministry, as this is very rare for the traditional ch.

We have continued meeting with Cherry a couple of times a week for private English classes. I think she is doing much better in her studies than she lets on to be. She is quite shy and this makes it more difficult for her. About a week into meeting with her she invited us to have dinner with her at the restaurant she works at. I’m always amazed at how much food the Chinese feel they need to order for only a few people. I think she ordered four or five dishes of food for us and
then told us she wasn’t going to eat because she eats the restaurants food all the time. Another day that we met for class she brought along
origami paper and showed us how to make a crane, a star, and a heart with flowers on it. After this she told us the meaning of these three
objects, who would give them as a gift, and the significance of how many are given. For example, a crane is generally made by a girl and given to a guy. It symbolizes that the girl misses the guy and hopes they will return soon. The more cranes the girl creates the more she misses him. They say that if someone makes one thousand cranes their wish of the person returning will come true. Many couples will exchange origami as gifts as they all are very cheap yet it also has a very
sweet meaning.

Lately I have been a little stressed because a close friend of mine here has expressed her interest in taking a new job at a bar. The catch to this job is that she heard from a friend that if she takes this job the new boss plans on marrying her. Last week she met with the young man but she hasn’t made a decision yet, as she knows this sort of thing needs a lot of consideration. Marrying someone you don’t even know is such a hard concept for me to grasp because our
culture is so different in this way. While my friend’s parents never met each other before their wedding day and now she too is considering something very similar, this is not a very common practice among those we are working with in Panama. Yarp that she will make the correct
decision about her job and marriage which ever path the Father would have her take.

We have begun saying our good-byes to many of the friends we have only seen at big events and have begun giving and receiving going away gifts from our closest friends. Last week was a difficult week for me as the reality of going back to the US has set in. I have made so many friends here, we have begun to really trust one another and now when our relationships finally are strong I have to leave. Many of us have exchanged e-mail addresses but I know that many of them only
speak Spanish and can’t read or write it and for those that speak English it might just be a matter of time before we will stop writing because we live completely different lives. This is something I hope does not happen but I know it is a strong possibility and it is part of the reason I would rather stay here than leave. I know I will never forget the people I met here and I hope they never will forget us either.

In Him,



Please yarp for my friend that is considering a job change and marriage that she will seek Dad
while she makes her decision.

Yarp for David to continue to be interested in being a leader with in his group of friends.

Yarp for our m’s as they try to figure out how to effectively minister to the people that we
have connected them with.

Yarp for us as we continue to say our goodbyes.