Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Spring City Indeed

From the 13th to 17th of May, Eng and I had the pleasure of visiting Kunming, China. The historical moment came about because we had our 20th wedding anniversary and we thought it deserved to be celebrated differently. So, for the first time in our marriage, off we went by ourselves to the Spring City (It has an average annual temp. of 15 degrees C! Really cool!). Please read the previous postings on what happened to our sons.

It was hard to believe that a mere 2 hour flight would bring us to China. For at least 2 days, I kept marveling about actually being there, a country I’ve been praying for since I was a teen. There was a side to Eng too that I saw for the first time. He was like a giddy kid taking pictures of just about everything (food before we ate it, streets before we walked it, stalls, sceneries, landscapes, etc.) We had a wonderful time, balancing it between checking out the sights and shopping. With regard to the shopping, it was overwhelming to find so many items to choose from! As to the sights, we saw the Stone Forest, Minority Village, Western Hill, Green Lake, and the Jiu Xiang Cave. It’s hard to say what you shouldn’t miss if you ever go to Kunming, they were all awesome. However, I just need to point out that the Jiu Xiang Cave doesn’t sound too well known but of all caves we’ve ever been in, it was the best! It was massive, complex, utterly fascinating (with no bats!), and aside from the usual stalactites and stalagmites, it even had a gorge, twin waterfalls, its own blind fish (since they’re so used to the dark), fossils, and natural pools. And to top it off, the tour starts with a 6 story glass elevator descent and ends with a cable ride over the two mountains containing the cave. Enough said.

Atop Western Hill, we had the chance to repent of the sins our ancestors committed (something the Lord laid in my heart before we even left for Kunming) and to pray for China as a nation. Eng’s father left China as a boy but did not want to ever go back to it. Linda’s grandmother’s mother was Chinese. It was a touching moment, repenting for the past that re-shaped and transformed our future.

Lastly, all our touring would not have been possible without our Korean friend Kwang Kim helping us out. He was simply amazing and a joy to be with. We thank the Lord for the glorious opportunity we had. It was an enormous blessing.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tai Khuns

The Tai Khuns belong to the Shan-Tai People Group. They are all from Myanmar (Burma), numbering 100,000. Unfortunately, no one works with them and no one believes in God either. Let's please pray for this group, that they would receive divine revelations about who God is, and that some people will go over to share the Good News with them. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Tai Nuas

The Tai Nuas are actually a subgroup of the Shan-Tai, and number roughly 300,000. They can be found in China and Myanmar, and are being worked with. Much like the Tai Long and Tai Mao, there are as of yet no believers. Please join us in prayer for the Tai Nuas, that the Good News would be spread, and that it would lead to the growth of churches, and that it would continue to grow from there. Thank you.

Just Last Week

This week can be best described, I think, with the words "return to normalcy". It's been a very long while, it seems, that the six of us were all in the same house, sharing meals and so on.

Last Thursday marked the return of my mom and dad from their trip to China. It was also the day on which Ethan and I were picked up from the OMF dorm, and the day Eric and Eli were picked up from the Feniak's house. My parents were gone from Chiang Mai from Sunday, the 13th, to Thursday, the 17th. On Sunday we were each driven to our respective homes for that week and my parents left that evening for their trip.

To say the least, I enjoyed dorm life. It was a very interesting experience since I had never lived in a dorm before, not even for a few days. It was really encouraging for one thing, seeing how all of the dorm kids lived in relative harmony with one another. They had homework times and chore sheets and everything. I was even drafted onto the after-meal duties. It really made me feel like I belonged.

Please pray for blessings on the Feniaks, as they had only just moved before my parents left. They moved only just down their street, and did not have too much trouble transporting their furniture and things. We are all very grateful to them for taking in Eric and Eli despite their minor inconveniences. Pray for the dorm also, I could tell they tried their best to acommodate Ethan and myself.

We thank God that we are all safely back at home with each other.

ps- This is also my first post back from what you could call an 'extended hiatus'. It's nice to be back posting again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Silent Retreat?

Usually, I would get through my once a month 1-day silent retreat without even a glance from anyone. If I do happen to be eating a meal in the dining room and another retreatant walks in, we just avert each other's eyes and concentrate our attention on our food. It's been an unwritten rule; no one talks in this Catholic retreat place. I often go there for an independent 24 hour period where I sleep, read my Bible, pray, be still, listen to the Lord, and finally, take communion. I simply love and treasure my time there.

Imagine my surprise when a knock on my bedroom door (a first!) distracted me from my silent musings. It was followed by a voice inviting me to eat (another first!) supper. I told her I wouldn't eat but she asked again. At this point, I opened the door and was truly shocked to see a Catholic Nun (habit and all) standing behind it. She asked another question and soon found out I was from the Philippines. As it turns out, so was she! She was an English teacher in another province and was just finishing a six-day silent retreat. Having been quiet that long, she was really ready to talk.

I asked to pray for her and she was soon in my bedroom pouring out her problems and concerns. It occurred to me as I listened to her that it was like being in a counseling session. Duh?!! It was a counseling session! Only, this one was obviously ordained by the Lord. Later, she kept saying it was providence and I had to agree with her.

When she left after over an hour, I had to marvel at how the Lord orchestrates situations. Although I thought I was quietly tucked away somewhere, I obviously wasn't. He still managed to send someone to me. I was actually pleased to be used this way. I just knew she had to be heard and knew the prayers had to be said. As Graham Cooke likes to say, the Lord is always up to something. This time, it was great to be able to see what He was up to and take part in it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Prayer Counseling

Last week, I (Linda) was able to once again participate in the Prayer Counseling Seminar (PCS) offered to our organization's workers right after Reunion. This is the 3rd year that I've been involved in it. My roles have ranged from Dish Washer, Logistics Coordinator of Snacks and Lunches, Worship Leader, Teacher, Secondary Counselor, to Lead Counselor. It gets to be very tiring when it's all over but worth every effort for me just to see the Lord moving in the lives of those who attend.

At Reunion, one of those counseled last year shared that he was at wit's end and wanted to not just leave the field, but end his life! He signed up to attend the PCS as a last resort and with a lot of resignation. In his mind he was thinking that it was for weak people and was truly quite surprised when he was ministered to enormously. His wife said he came back a 'changed man' after the seminar last year.

Each seminar starts with 2 days of intensive teaching followed by 2-3 hours of Prayer Sessions for each attendee. It's such a wonderful process especially since as 2 of the attendees are counseled, the rest are simultaneously praying for the sessions. What a remarkable experience when people in the counseling sessions are prayed for in specific ways (or receive a word) while the rest of the attendees praying in a separate room are praying for the exact same things. Then, it becomes too apparently obvious that the Holy Spirit's moving and it's so awesome to witness. I am grateful and shall always take great delight in being a part of PCS no matter what role I play.

Tai Longs and Tai Maos

There are 4 million people in this unreached people group. They live in Myanmar, China, and Thailand. Thankfully, there are workers reaching out to them but for such a big population, not one is saved! How can this be possible? Let's please pray for them in the next two weeks, that folks like you would be convicted to pray for them regularly to know our Lord. Secondly, let's pray that workers will be burdened to go and effectively minister to them. If even just 1% of them turn to the Lord, there would be 40,000 of them. Now wouldn’t that be awesome?