Monday, June 6, 2011

Oh, so soon!


Contributor: Lauren Barth

One month—scratch that, LESS than one month away.

What is less than one month away, you ask? Why, the departure of our Indo team for…you guessed it…Indonesia.

It seems surreal to be checking the final items off of my packing list, picking up malaria medication, working on my base tan…okay, that last one is a joke, considering the fact that today is only our fifth sunny day of 2011. In fact, as I think back to our first meeting at the beginning of the year, the July 3 departure date seemed eons away, like a far-off, hypothetical date that perhaps one day would roll around.

I was wrong. Instead, we are charging full steam ahead.

Our most recent preparation was Training Camp, a weekend of intense team building, practical challenges, and learning to really love and depend on one another. That being said, I think that the other members of my team can attest to the feeling that we didn’t leave that weekend the same as we started—as the Indo “team.” I can truly call these people my brothers and sisters—my Indo family.

I ask that you continue to pray for us, and pray boldly.

Hebrews 4: 14-16
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Please pray for:
  • ·      The guidance and peace of the Holy Spirit as we prepare both our talks for high school and middle school students, as well as plans for VBS
  • ·      Our full trust in the Lord for financial provision
  • ·      Unity and safety within the team as we travel
  • ·      Opportunities for us to talk about our mission and share the gospel with people here in Vancouver as we make our final preparations. I’ve come to learn that purchasing things like malaria medication and super absorbent towels can open the door to some pretty meaningful conversations.


Thank you for following along in our journey and for your prayers.

Lauren

Being Intentional.

Contributor: Whitney Seifert

This past weekend our team set out onto an adventure to training camp—a weekend sacred to teams traveling to Indonesia and Slovakia. Although I’ve been told that I can’t say much about the weekend, I can say that God showed up and met with us in a whole new way. This weekend we recited our final memory verses at the very start (Acts 1:8 and 1 Corinthians 9:24-27) and went on our way with no expectations as to what was to come next. Little did we know that these verses (especially the latter) were imprinted on our hearts and soon it would be evident in our lives as we took on challenges that tested our patience and trust of each team member. We went into “strict training” and built one another up. The following is a quote from my journal after the toughest part of training camp.
“As I am fading from exhaustion; my heart pounding from an amount of caffeine stronger than any other I remember; my team, my new family—we conquered a challenge seemingly greater than so many others I myself have ever approached. We began our challenge as a team and walked out a family—a bond stronger than a team. The moment we finished our challenge I realized that the trust and love that I had for these people had grown exponentially. I realized that the culmination of our faith in God to pull us through a rough spot helped us complete a seemingly impossible task.”
Needless to say, God works in ways that I can’t fathom and that was made clear to me this past weekend. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” The end result was indeed not the extent of our growth together as there will be many challenges ahead—but together we are united and possess a greater understanding of one another. We cannot be overpowered and will not be quickly broken. We have now seen each other at the lowest points, during times of frustration and failure; as well as during the highest points, filled with hope and success.
For those of you who follow the lives of this team, I want to say THANK YOU for making us a part of your lives and investing in ours! Your continued prayer is appreciated more than you can imagine and I feel that these coming weeks we could use lots of prayer as we put together the final preparations and get ready to set off on this adventure! 37 DAYS!!
Love Always,
Whit

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Oh Training Camp. Here we come!

Contributor: Hannah Avila

Today our team is embarking on our training adventure. I would love to give a little description of what we are about to experience…but we actually have no idea what’s going to happen.

Today is certainly a day of preparation and stress. I’m sure that each team member is wracking their brain to make sure they aren’t forgetting anything and are adequately prepared. Everyone is busy packing and weighing bags, making sure supply lists and talks are ready, and mentally preparing for our adventure. Certainly a day of busyness!

I can confidently say that busyness and stress are common themes in the lives of almost every, if not every, one of our team members. Similar to what Michaela mentioned a few posts ago, Paul’s words in Philippians 4 have been running through my mind over and over in the past month. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” The thing that blows me away about this passage is how the Lord promises the peace of God when we lay our requests at his feet, and the God of peace when we follow Christ-like examples such as Paul. The peace of God and the God of peace. Both sides of the coin (credit to Corey Mitchell for that phrase). Peace that transcends all understanding. That is exactly what we need!

My prayer is that in the midst of all our busyness and stress, not just in this day as we prepare to leave for training camp, but in all the days of our life, we will seek this peace of God and God of peace. Will you join us in praying for that peace? Not just for us as a team, but for yourselves as well…for all of us as followers of Christ.

Thank you so much for walking with us as we move toward our incredible opportunity in Indonesia. We are so grateful for your love and prayers.

Hannah

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Long Time Coming.

Contributor: Jesse Hull

In case you missed this photo, this is from our very first Indo team meeting on February 19th - almost 3 full months ago!

From the bottom left, clockwise: Jesse Hull; Hannah Avila; Peter Englund; Whitney Seifert; Kyle Anderson; Katie Dickinson; Michaela Price

Everyone except Lauren Barth was present (don't worry, she'll be in future shots!), as we sat down together for the first time and put together our team contract. It's crazy to think that was a almost 3 months ago, and since then we've had lots of opportunities to learn about each other, to hang out, and to work on our plans for the MAF Conference camp that we'll be putting on for a week once we get to Indonesia.

We just had our last Saturday meeting, and the only things that remain on the schedule until our departure date are Training Camp, and Eastern Escape! Training Camp is only one more weekend away, and none of us know exactly what that entails as it's a widely guarded secret; there are guaranteed to be more blog posts leading up to, and following Training Camp, so stay tuned, and pray that we prepare in full, to the best of our ability as this major training event comes around the corner!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Building.

Contributor: Michaela Price

Hello Friends!

With less than two months to prepare until the day of our departure, we're all getting extremely excited, but also so busy. Not only are we all preparing for leaving America, we're getting ready for the end of this school year. We have a couple "lucky" team members at Multnomah and WSUV finishing up their finals this past week and next, starting their summer break a full month before the rest of us. While they're cramming for finals, the four high school Seniors on the team, myself included, are preparing for our graduations. When sending out graduation announcements, deciding on our futures, and dealing with the ever inevitable Senioritis, we're are all SO fortunate that we have God to help us deal with this extra stress.

And that is one of my favorite parts of this experience! We are constantly being reminded that we need to rely on God for EVERYTHING, not just this adventure we're going on this summer. We need to rely on him for school, work, friendships, and everything.

For every training meeting, we're required to memorize and recite a new passage. This week's passage is Philippians 4:6-9. Verses 6 and 7 say "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." That is exactly what we should be doing, and it's what we're being reminded to do all of the time by each other. When we're stressed about the worldly problems, we need to go to God and he will give us peace!

I am so thankful for this opportunity God has given me and every one of us. He has created this team for a reason, and each week I see another reason why. We've been lucky enough to find time outside of our meetings to spend time as a team [or as a partial team] and to grow in our friendships with each other. It seems like we're at the point where I could call up anyone on the team and I would find someone willing to pray for me and be there for me. He's building us as a team so we can work together to serve Him and His people this summer. How awesome is that?

Praise God!
Michaela

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Small Piece of God's Bigger Picture.


Contributor: Tim Downing

So I’m kind of a late addition to this team. My normal role at New Heights is to lead worship at our down town campus (New Heights West). All of the other staff worship leaders at New Heights have already been on an Impact Indonesia team, but this is the first year that the timing has worked out for me to go.

I’m very grateful to be able to go with such a great team. Because I get the opportunity to lead worship at our college and high school groups (Elevate and Fusion, respectively), I’ve been able to interact with most of the students that are on this Impact Indonesia team. Over the past few years I’ve seen their committed to what God is doing here in Vancouver, and now it’s exciting to see that commitment spread to what God is doing in the far reaches of the globe. While they are all expecting to have a great time in Indonesia, they’re also very serious about how they are preparing themselves, physically, mentally, and spiritually to be used by God there.

Today I headed down to the Vancouver travel clinic to take my first step in the process of physical preparation—vaccine time! I was looking forward to it, because personally I’d take a poke in the arm over contracting Hepatitis any day! What I didn’t know was that God had a great spiritual step in store for me too. I spent a good half an hour talking to the nurse. She has dedicated decades of her life to being a missionary, and supporting missions. She told me about one of her ministry partners who is an evangelist in Honduras. This evangelist is being used by God in amazing ways. In the course of her story, I discovered that she has inoculated several of my musician friends prior to their mission trips all over the world as well. It was great to be reminded that the story of our trip to Indonesia is a part of a much bigger story about what God is doing in our world today!

So as we all prepare to go, would you pray for us? Pray for a clear sense of God’s direction for us on this trip. Pray that we would be an encouragement to the MAF missionaries that live in Indonesia on a long-term basis. Also, please pray that our families would be comforted here in our absence.

Thanks,
-Tim Downing