Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kapan, Iran, and Pizza Hut!

Wow where to begin!? We have had 3 weeks of teaching and a week of outreach since we last updated! The teaching was good, deep stuff! One week was about how our wounds and sin affect our relationship with God and others and how to get rid of the bad stuff. Another week was about intimacy with God: hearing His voice, walking with Him day by day, and having fear of God instead of fearing man. Really good time of just focusing on knowing Him more and more. He is so mighty and infinite! We had fellowship with a Creative DTS team from Norway who came to Armenia for outreach and joined us in Kapan. It was a blessing to have them, and Evan and I got to perform together at a coffee house night they hosted. First performance out of the states whoo! It was really fun :) You can see the video here http://youtu.be/-PArKoxc0Go Then we had a week of Encountering the world of Islam course. It was eye opening, challenging, and very interesting to learn about our Muslim neighbors; created in God's image who we are called to love. We learned about the religion itself and a lot about the culture of people living in Muslim countries.

Then we got to put into practice what we have been learning with a week in Yerevan! Last week began the Islam new year holiday and thousands of Iranians came into Armenia to celebrate in freedom. We made the long, scary drive through the mountains (these roads are nothing like America) and we got the great opportunity to meet people and make friends! It was so cool for us to learn about their culture and just hang out with them, not something we get to do in America much. If you would like to hear more about the time there just ask we would be happy to share! We did have some frustrations as our 1st time doing outreach together, but overall we really enjoyed the experience. And of course Evan and I enjoyed the comforts of a big city: always running water, good food, restaurants, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc :) It was a busy, tiring week but also a refreshing break from the classroom.

Now we are back in Kapan for just 3 more weeks of classes! This week the topic is church planting with 2 guys from Norway and 2 girls from Latvia. I have already been reminded of the great blessing it was to be a part of the core team at River Church! I can only say good things about what they continue to do; love and serve others and share that I experienced a loving family there in a whole new way.

AND finally, we know where we will go for OUTREACH.... 3 weeks in Georgia then 4 or 5 weeks in ISRAEL!!! We are very excited!! The Lord continually spoke to our team about Israel during many times of prayer together. In the coming weeks we will seek His guidance for ministry opportunities, accommodations, visas for 2 team members (not so easy), and finances for the team. We did not anticipate traveling that far for outreach and it so we need God to provide more. Some students still don't have enough to cover even just the lecture phase. We trust that He will continue to provide for the expenses to where He calls us. He is always faithful! Please keep us and our team in your prayers regarding all these things! Your prayers are powerful and have great impact in God's Kingdom!

Today I shared about my life with the team. As I prepared and looked back at this journey I have been on I am full of joy. Joy that I have love and peace in my life and freedom that can come only through Jesus Christ. My pain and shame is gone! His grace is more than we can imagine and it is always enough to save us! This great adventure that I have found by following Christ is full of more fun and happiness than I have ever known or found in the world. All the traveling, concerts, parties, and drugs don't compare to the new life I live with Christ. My dad Always told me, "Don't do anything you'll regret." I always thought I don't have regrets, these experiences make me who I am. But now I can see I regret not having a relationship with Jesus sooner because I had pain instead of His great joy!

Shout outs: Congrats to Alex & Tiffany Baker on their MARRIAGE!! May your lives be full of God's love and blessings!
Congrats to Peter & Tanya & family, on getting their new boy Will from China!! It has been so amazing to see God lead and provide for their China adoption. God bless your family!!
Congrats to Will on his baptism! Blessings to you beloved brother!

We love you all, blessings!

Kapan, March 17 snow covered
 Evan leading worship at International Church in Yerevan
Mt. Ararat, where Noah's Ark landed!
 Typical Armenian mountain village
Republic Square, Yerevan

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