Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
We’ve been in Sri Lanka for almost a week. We still aren’t adjusted to the heat, humidity, food, enormous insects or lack of coffee. But we have fallen in love with 50 orphans, 15 widows and their stories, tea time multiple times a day, the stars at night, Sri Lankan hospitality, and team bonding over diarrhea and hairy legs. Currently, we’re taking a break from ministry and attempting to make French fries.
Needless to say, it’s been a busy week. Most of our time is spent playing games with the kids and loving them as much as we know how. Here are some highlights of the week:
(1) Today we were playing with the kids at the girl’s home. One of the little ones, we affectionately call her “Chunk”, likes to terrorize us. She decided that it would be a good idea to act sweet, grab Cali’s hand and lead her out to the field to a cow resting in the shade. She then started giggling and ran away at which point the cow got up, grunted and almost charged Cali. Cali is convinced that Chunk tried to kill her.
(2) Every night at 7:30pm the boys and girls homes have a time of worship and Bible study. They take turns giving a short message. Some of the children who preach are just 10 years old, but they do such a great job! We have no idea what they’re saying because it’s in Sinhala, but we enjoy it so much. We decided to divide the group up so that half of us go to the girls home and half to the boys home. Initially, we just alternated nights and whichever kids we weren’t with were so bummed, so we now divide up to appease everyone! The kids are incredibly sweet. The fact that they continue to smile and be joyful in Christ despite their dark and traumatizing pasts amazes us. It’s a privilege to be able to spend time with them and learn more about their stories and their dreams.
(3) We constantly have tropical flowers in our hair because whenever the village children see us, they pick every flower in sight and then put them in our hair. As a result, we may need to pay to re-landscape some of the gardens. We often look like sweaty versions of mother earth at the end of the day, it takes us about 10 minutes to pluck the flowers out of our hair, but we love every minute of it.
(4) We were very blessed to have the opportunity to help the women at the Esther Center with their daily chores. The women get up at around 5am and then cook and clean throughout the whole day while simultaneously taking care of their small children. While some of us babysat their children, the rest of the team helped each woman clean and organize their room. Because most of the women have never had any possessions of their own, they don’t know how to organize their newly acquired bibles, clothes, and personal items. We had so much fun helping them clean and playing with their kids! The language barrier was a little rough, but we made do.
(5) Being picked up from the airport in a giant pink bus. If we made a movie documenting our time here, it would be called “Legally Blonde Goes to Sri Lanka”.
(6) We went into town to buy local fruit (Sri Lanka has the best mangoes!) and we were able to see a Pandor which is a large, light up structure that chronicles the life of Buddha. Buddhists use it as a means of evangelism. They play a recording that talks about each story of Buddha outlined on the Pandor. They also have a man talking the whole time, he speaks in rhymes and his skill is similar to rap music in the states. Our team made it into his rap. He said something along the lines of “some foreign girls came to see our Pandor, they should make a contribution”. This was a good experience for the team because we were able to see what life is like outside of the farm and gave us a more holistic view of Sri Lankan culture.
(7) Playing cricket with the boys! We’re horrible, but it is so fun. We make the mistake of throwing the bat after we hit the ball (like in baseball). The boys think it’s hilarious.
(8) We also spent time at the Ester Center making watercolor paintings with the women. We also shared with them Psalm 139 and Zephaniah 3:17. We wanted to affirm the women in their identity in Christ. It’s been a privilege to be part of this ministry. At the end of our time with the women we were able to pray for one another. It was a really wonderful time to bless and encourage one another.
(9) There is a small chapel on the farm. It’s absolutely beautiful and is made completely of wood. We spent some time there as a team sharing testimonies. We all agree that it was one of the most meaningful times we have had here as a team. We’ve been getting to know one another throughout the past semester through fundraising and team events, but sharing our testimonies has been a way to understand each team members unique back ground and history. It’s really awesome to see where everyone has come from and how God brought us all together to come to Sri Lanka. We really do love each other.
Those are just a few of our favorite memories thus far. WE MISS FAMILY AND FRIENDS SO MUCH! We’re so thankful for you prayers and support, even when we’re on the other side of the world. Here are some more prayer requests:
Pray that the Lord would continue to use us in the work that He has already started in Sri Lanka. Pray that God would continue to heal the hearts of the women and children that we are ministering to. They have been so deeply hurt in the past and only Christ can truly heal them. Pray that we would be humble servants that are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Pray that we are able to communicate God’s love to the Sri Lankans despite the language barrier. Pray that we would continue to stay healthy (we’ve had a few bouts of intestinal issues, especially since the food is so spicy!). Pray for perseverance as we finish out our first week and look ahead to 5 more. Pray that we get quality rest at night and wake up ready to serve Him in anyway possible. Pray for each team member, that the Lord would overwhelm us personally with His love and mercy so that we are effective in ministry. Pray that the team would continue to be united and that our relationships with each other would deepen
Thank you! Your prayers are so needed. We love you all!
Grace and peace,
Team Sri Lanka
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
We have officially landed in Singapore. Praise God! Thanks so much for the prayers and continued support! When we arrive in Sri Lanka there will be a more lengthy update. For now, please pray for safety and health. Pray that we all keep track of our passports and valuables. Pray that we're able to get some sleep on the next flight. Thanks!
Team Sri Lanka