Now that the song is stuck in your head, lets start this story…
Once upon a time there you were opening this blog and taking the time to read it. I’m sure you are asking yourself… OMG how is Southeast Asia? And we would respond…It is beyond amazing and we reallllly do like that we can’t say exactly where we are (mostly because it makes us feel like special agents).
Anyway, the last 2 weeks have been crazy busy. It feels like we’ve been here for a long time, in the best way possible. We’ve talked to so many people and have visited countless places.
From a natural waterslide deep in the jungle, a village only reached by riding a long boat up a giant river, to the never-sleeping downtown of the city. What do all of these places have in common?
The people there don’t know Jesus, and we’ve gotten to share Him with them.
Lets go on a hike they said, it isn’t that long they said, carry this watermelon and food for a tiny army they said…
Yes the hike up was crazy. With everything from a vertical incline, leeches attacking, termite armies, giant ants, cuts, bruises, and finally arriving to the most beautiful waterfall/ natural waterslide we’ve ever seen. (But honestly the hike up was so much fun, just adding the dramatics.) We also passed a big group of kids that went up for a field trip, just imagining American kids attempting that as a field trip (chuckling to ourselves).
Up at the waterfall there were approximately 60 other locals who we were able to start conversations with, go down the natural waterslide with, share our food and our Jesus with. I can hear it now, “oh a hike to a beautiful waterfall, what kind of mission trip is this.” And my response… the perfect one.
You get to meet people where they are most comfortable and indulge in their culture. That is the best time to share the love of Jesus with them
I’m so thankful for our host family here because this is how they live their lives, taking every opportunity as one to share Jesus and the love and joy He gives us.
The Red Light District
“You’re like ginger Jesus.” That was in reference to one of our fearless leaders who is 26, single and can play the guitar. So ladies hit us up if you’ve dreamt about Jesus and he was ginger. We’ve got the man for you.
Anyway, back to the story.
The crazy thing about the city is how lifeless it can be with so much life in it.
We posted up on a street corner where a band was setting up. This was our meeting spot, as we ventured out under the city lights to meet the people we were supposed to meet. We walked up to an asian woman who was selling jewelry on the side of the street and started conversation. As we get to talking we find out she was also a Christian, we asked if we could pray for her and encourage her in anything. She said yes and called her friend Daniel over who was also a Christian. We prayed for them and went on our way.
We met a guy from Ireland and his girlfriend who was from here, we talked with them for awhile about life, jobs, travel, food and what we were doing in SE Asia. We ended up exchanging info and planned to meet up later to talk and hangout more – he was so intrigued by what we were doing there.
As we were headed back to the meeting point we saw a man in a wheelchair with one leg and a limp arm – some sort of disease all over his right arm.
We walked over and tried to use the little bit of language we had learned, but he ended up only speaking Chinese (not the language we are learning here). As our onesided conversation was going nowhere, I remembered Daniel (the guy we had met earlier) who spoke both English and Chinese. I ran over and asked if he could come translate for us.
We ended up being able to pray for the man in the wheelchair in his language. It was amazing!
We didn’t see any legs grow back or his arm start to move (which we believe can happen) but the fact that we were able to pray for him in his language was awesome. We know God’s presence was poured out there!
Jesus led us to every person He wanted us to meet that night. Through walking in that obedience, we saw Him meet each of them through us.
Sing it with us…
Baths in the river
And keys down a squatter
Bullet ant bites and hand sized spiders
Villages we get to by river and jeeps
These are a few of my favorite things
Yeah, it was all of that and more. We drove out of the city about 3hrs to a village that we spent the weekend at. The church we stayed at in the village had lights and fans, so we decided to take a small tent and sleep down by the river. We jumped into the river right before bed to cool off and woke up to the sound of it.
The first day we drove another 2hrs into the jungle where part of the team took a long canoe to one village and the other half took several 4×4 vehicles to another.
We packed the vehicles and boats with clothes, lots of food and some goodies for the kids. We had too many people for the vehicles so we all piled on top of them (which definitely could have lead to getting knocked off by bamboo and tumbling down a cliff – praise God we all survived)!
The village we ended up at was all made out of dried up leaves and sat nicely above a river incase of major flooding. The landscape around were cascades of greenery covering mountains on either side. Definitely jaw dropping.
We were welcomed by some of the leaders and those were the only people who knew the language of this country, the rest had their own. The bit of language we have learned didn’t help, so, what’s the national sign for “I come in peace, don’t shoot me with a blow dart”? (I’ll let your imagination come into play). We also got to try the blow darts they made there – that was crazy!
Since communication using our words wouldn’t work, it was time turn the facial expressions up. We definitely smiled a lot more!
During this we learned that words and comprehension kare not always necessary. If we truly believe in Jesus in us, than the kingdom is wherever we are and a smile is all Jesus needs to open someone’s heart. Not to mention there is power in words regardless of understanding.
In both villages we had a total of 6 salvations!
After, we headed back to our base camp, ate and crashed. The next day our team lead their church service and was able to encourage the Christians that will be here long term – to be courageous and bold for the gospel (as it’s a lot harder to do what they’re doing in this country than what we are).
As a short term team we have ambition, fire and hunger to see change now, but in my short life I’ve learned that most things require patience. So, encouraging the neighbors, friends, and family of the unbelievers here should be one thing we don’t forget.
We are called to plant seeds, even if we aren’t around to see the fruit!
To sum it up, our time here so far has been unexplainable. We’ve seen the demonic and we’ve seen the holy, we’ve seen oppression and we’ve seen joy, we’ve seen it all. Our God reigns over it all and we will continue to walk in His calling for our lives together as we’re here.
Jesus is doing mighty things in this mighty jungle!
VIDEO LINK FOR – HALFWAY THROUGH OUR TRIP: Halfway Through Outreach!