Our Schedule:

Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

A complete listing of very specific requests for prayer can be found under "Prayer Requests."

For those just getting to know us, please visit the special sections to the right.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

French Church and other worldly things

Hello again!

We've had a great week. One of our highlights has been to visit a French Congolese Church last Sunday. When they began to sing it was not only in French but with some African language as well. While singing during worship we heard some of the women making high pitched sounds with their tongues. It was quite wonderful when you add the bongos and all the other instruments. Throw in some movement up and down or from right to left which was a great way to praise. They put their whole selves into it. This is a mission church with 50 or more attending of all ages. Most of the women were dressed like they were going to a special event but they had accepted our culture and it was in the western style. I couple of the women were in beautiful African style dress. Either way they look beautiful. The meeting place is in an industrial area and they fixed their room up very pretty. Our hosts were very loving and wanted us to introduce ourselves. They did have the service translated in English along with French because their District pastor was coming to preach that day. He and his wife are helping them with their mission. We will return for the next couple of weeks and join them in prayer for one of their mid-week services.

We have begun Language Acquisition learning and will meet with our French LRP (language resource person) today as we learn new techniques to help us in our learning and also learn some French phrases and sentences. There are many new friends in our midst as we have 40 folks doing the same thing we are. Did you know Papua New Guinea has 900 different languages? I was amazed. Wycliffe has 600 people that work at their center in Papua and half of the people in our cultural training are going there. 200 of those 600 people are Nationals. Yesterday we learned about the Theology of Suffering. Very powerful as we saw a video from a couple where the husband and one of their teammates  had been shot while serving in Uganda with the Olangi people. The Lord let both of the men live but now the man we heard testify lives with serious chronic pain and they were not able to go back to the field after that. And yet, he has a powerful teaching ministry here in the states.

Many of us will be in areas of the world where the spiritual darkness and forces of evil are very powerful and some of those people don't want those serving God in their midst. But thankfully we serve a God who is all powerful and He has overcome this world of darkness and he loves them! I'm so thankful that we are overcomers and I'm thankful for our friends who want to help us bring the light of Christ to a dark world! Thank you Lord, Thank you!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Arrived at JAARS - Waxhaw, North Carolina

Hot and humid lately all around the midwest and into the east and south. Cooling temps today as Tropical Storm Emily came onto the east coast leaving us a nice rain which brought the temp down to 77-80. Nice for us, but flooding in Charlotte. Charlotte is about 20 or 30 min. from here. We have been assigned a French church to visit this month in Charlotte. This was our first day in cross-cultural training. One of the fun things I enjoyed was going to a market in the building. There was a group of us as buyers and a group as sellers. Each were given our distinctives as a buying or selling group. Myself the buyer had to look down, no eye contact, no conversation, pay for my items, no negotiating and shake hands at the end of the deal. The sellers on the other hand were trying to make eye contact, shake our hands and get to know us and our families. They wanted to bargain. The sellers didn't know what we would be like and we didn't know what the sellers would be like. Oh and I forgot to mention that we were to spit when we got bored. Crazy, funny, intimidating, loud, obnoxious!

We also learned about the differences in describing people in photos,  judgmental thoughts about what was happening in the photo and what emotions or feelings came out from looking at the photos. Then the teacher would tell us what was really happening in the photos. We had to discern what was real descriptions of things and what were our judgments. Sometimes what we think are real or true is really a judgment call and could be totally wrong.

4 tenets of learning to be around people you are not familiar with:
Assume Goodwill (about the other person)
Suspend Judgment
Tolerate Ambiguity (you don't have all the facts or information) and sometimes you have to wait for answers or act with less  
       information than you think you need.
Think Gray (instead of always black and white) -regarding culture.

Enough to chew on?