All for Harvey

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Our main ministry in Guatemala was a drama called “The Journey Man”; we would perform this drama in a few schools every day, and then afterwards we would have the opportunity to speak and pray with the students there.

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One of the places that we were supposed to stop at had to cancel, and so we found ourselves at a school that we hadn’t planned on going to at all. After our performance I was talking with a large group of students and a few of them made the decision to accept Christ! It was amazing! As I continued to speak with the group one of the students who accepted Christ, a 16 year old boy named Harvey, caught my eye.

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I felt a nudge in my spirit to speak with him one on one, so I pulled him aside. It was easy to tell that he was going through a hard time. I asked him if he had someone close to him pass away recently, and he immediately began to cry. I gave him a hug, which made him cry even more.

After a few minutes he explained to me that his Grandpa had passed away recently and that he was still grieving. I began to pray over him; I prayed for healing and peace in Harvey’s life, and I did my best to comfort him. In addition to Harvey making the life-changing decision to follow Christ, he also just needed a hug and a friend to grieve with.

That day, at a school I never should have been at, with a boy I never should have met, the Lord worked all things together just so Harvey could come to know Him and His amazing love. What an amazing God we serve!

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The Rose Ceremony

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It was our fourth and final week in Thailand! After moving around from teaching English in the Phitsanulok Province to bar ministry in Chiang Mai, we now found ourselves in a more rural section of the country; Chiang Kham. We were there to work at the Home of Blessing; a safe home for girls who are at-risk of being sold into sex trafficking.

Our first night at Home of Blessing we walked into a large room that I would later recognize as the church building; all 102 girls from the Home of Blessing were sitting in 9 neat rows on the floor. One of our hosts, Nikki, stood up and introduced our RIM team and asked all 12 of us to stand at the front of the room.

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Nikki said “We want your team to feel very welcomed here, so we have a gift for you.” Then 102 girls stood up and started walking towards us; each was carrying a single red rose. Each girl would walk up to one member of our team and say “Welcome” and gave us a rose and hug. By the time all the girls had sat back down the 12 of us were each holding about a dozen roses, and already felt so blessed and touched by being welcomed with such open arms.

 

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As the week progressed, our little team of 12 would become extremely attached to these little girls. Their openness and love touched each and every one of us in a special way, and I know a piece of our hearts will remain in rural Chiang Kham forever.

 

Surprise VBS!!

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Our one month team in the Dominican focuses on evangelism for the first two weeks and then helps with the medical clinics their third week. Once both of those teams leave, we plan a special project for the one monthers to complete during their final week.

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We often leave this project up to our partner pastors as they know the greatest needs in their community. Examples would include building a house, painting a playground or installing a water pump.

Except, this year, SURPRISE!!

Pastor Tito decided that his community’s greatest need was… THE GOSPEL for their children. He organized an impromptu VBS for 2 days and told our team about it the night before. When they asked how many children to expect, he said, “at least 90, maybe 400.”

FOUR HUNDRED!! 

That might seem amazing, until you realize that RIM’s two week team and medical team have both already gone home, leaving only SIX team members to plan, organize and run this program.

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Our quick-thinking team made a quick call to the RIM office in Georgia, where we provided them with a curriculum and spent an hour on conference call training them how to run the program.

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Then they dashed off to the store to buy supplies, and they stayed up half the night prepping posters and crafts.

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Back at the office, our hearts were torn… 90 kids sounded manageable, but 400 kids to share the Gospel with would be incredible. But could the team do it?? No worries however, this amazing team didn’t even break a sweat…

BRING IT ON!! They felt ready for whatever the Lord had in store!

Meanwhile, RIM staffed tapped our prayer networks and asked people to pray for these two days. And hundreds of folks agreed to help – people shared our prayer posts of social media, commented with prayers, and promised to keep this team before the Lord the whole time. We’re so blessed and encouraged to see such an incredible community back home support those on the field! 

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When the VBS program began the next day, 300 KIDS showed up.

THREE HUNDRED CHILDREN!!

And they heard the Gospel, and they responded… Our team knocked it out of the park sharing with them and praying with them. What an awesome time! We can’t imagine a better way to have finished out this trip!!

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Except of course for a beach day… Our team spent their final moments on the beach reminding each other of all the Lord has done this summer and encouraging each other about the transition back to home.

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Girls Home (Chiang Kham)

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The final week or so of the trip, our Thailand team is living at a girls home in Chiang Kham, a rural area about 5 hours to the east of Chiangmai. About 100 Thai girls live there and are parented by a pastor and his wife.

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Most of these girls all come from families where they’re at high risk for trafficking, being sold to forced labor, abandonment or neglect. Living at the girls home keeps them safe and allows them to finish their education through 12th grade so that they can escape from the poverty cycle.

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Wednesday we spent the afternoon at Faikwang High School with 100 students. We did English activities and shared about God’s love. Thursday we spent time with all the students at the primary school.

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That afternoon, we started a sidewalk cleaning project. The sidewalks were really mossy and slick, so that afternoon we bought a bunch of cleaning supplies and went to work.

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Wednesday and Thursday night were great group times, with lots of games, activities, praying and singing.

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On Friday, we continued on with the deslick the sidewalk project, along with starting work with the rice fields.

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Friday night we had a dance night with the girls at HOB, including line dances, us performing our dance, and the high schoool girls performing a dance for us.

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Saturday was a big rice field day for everyone, and we finished!!

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Saturday evening was a ministry night with the HOB girls. We performed a drama, explained it, and Katey gave her testimony. Then we got in our groups and prayed for each person individually, followed by ice cream for everyone!

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#TEAM

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We had a great second day of clinics! Saw 229 patients!! One challenge here is the cultural entitlement. In other places we see a lot more thankfulness, but here people are really self-focused–wanting to make sure they receive as much medicine and attention as they can.

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It’s new for us to work in that type of environment; however, we really do see the great need here. We know that Christ can not only heal their illnesses and injuries but also transform their lives!

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Our team is really gelling… we spent some time sharing our testimonies with each other and ways that we can pray for each other. Everyone really opened up, and it was a poignant moment for us. Definitely the depth of our team times has fueled our ministry. It’s a blast working the clinics here. Everyone is truly giving their all!

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