Parade of Pictures
Professional photographer/videographer, Paul Rogers, is with us for a bit, working on some videos for us. He was so kind as to share a few photos with us along the way. You'll see many of them below. Paul is from Vermont and brought us an appropriate gift: Vermont maple sugar candy. This brought a little bit of "home" to me - and to Alicia, too!
We first met Paul at Soulfest, a few years ago. Speaking of Soulfest, here's a reminder. If you haven't purchased your tickets yet... What are you waiting for? Come on up to Gilford New Hampshire. Help us out at the MOHI tent and enjoy the music - especially the music coming from MOHI's band, the Light of Hope.
We welcomed Hal Eban to MOHI this week. Hal comes to us from Charlotte and is a native of Vietnam. She has been working with Angie in the clinic and will begin some English classes this week. Hal plans to serve with us for just under a month.
I ran into internet problems last week, so I wasn't able to post this really good news: The water drilling company finally came out last week. We have a great, new well on the extended campus in Thozin. It can pump up to 50 gallons per minute. That's the strongest well we've ever had drilled.
We were so happy to have our Mission USA and Strength of Heart Ministries friends here with us this past week. They arrived Saturday night, waaaaa-aaaayyyyyy past their ETA. We are into Carnival season and apparently everyone was out on the roads traveling. They did eventually arrive, where Holger and the staff had dinner waiting for them.
The first part of the week focused on ministry to the disabled community. The team brought down 15 wheelchairs!
Shanda Gobeli, founder of Strength of Heart Ministries, visited several of our friends in their homes and then organized a special event for them at the missionary compound. The team worked hard to prepare the grounds and our staff prepared some of their favorite foods.
There are many things I admire about Mission USA. Their volunteers are always looking for ways to serve others and they jump right in to make things happen. They never shy away from work and are quick with a hug or a word of encouragement.
Mission USA always seems to consider the work that goes on behind the scenes and they endeavor to support us with hands on skills to help with maintenance tasks, repairs, and creating new spaces. This often includes going to the hardware store personally, to find the parts that will work for us.
Steve and Marlene Miller organized a food distribution and Steve taught the team a skit that the they shared with our students.
There may have been a little bubble time with the students, too...
Sigrun worked with Suzanne and Ozella to implement a 5-day baking curriculum for two sets of students, one high school aged and one middle school aged. My oh my! I've never seen children pay attention and show true interest for such long periods of time. They loved getting to do things hands on, but even when they had to sit quietly and watch, they seemed to be enjoying it.
The students got a tour of the kitchen, including information about the different pans, utensils, bowls, and equipment. They were instructed in safety and sanitation prior to beginning their first recipe. Each class worked with their instructors to make cookies, cakes, cupcakes, quick breads, and savory and sweet yeast breads. They even learned to fill and decorate cupcakes, decorate cakes, and how to display the finished products.
The final day of class was pizza day. Together the classes prepared 4 full sheet pizzas and 3 half sheets. They were topped with a variety of ingredients; some "normal" like pineapple, ham, onions, peppers, chicken, hamburger, and some not so normal. Baked beans???
Friday afternoon, each student brought one friend with them to our giant pizza party. They enjoyed pizza and lots of baked goods, as well as an ice cold soda. At the end, each student was recognized for their efforts with a certificate of completion, presented to them in front of their guests.
Alicia shares about a special afternoon in front of the missionary compound:
"He saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fisherman, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore...he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.' Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.'
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, 'Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!'
Then Jesus said to Simon, 'Don't be afraid; from now on, you will fish for people.' So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him." Luke 5:2-8, 10-11
Last night after doing a food & clothing distribution in the local villages, the current visiting team, myself, Jephte, and Angie all returned to the house. There was a big commotion outside our gates, by the water. We all piled out to the shore to see what was going on; there were local fishermen with a boat load full of fish, so full that they were sinking.
The fish were in such abundance that they were giving out portions to the locals who were on shore. I have never witnessed such joy in my entire life; those that we knew from the village were walking away with hands, bags, and buckets full of fish.
One child was doing flips in the water, his fish in hand. The men finally pulled their boat on shore, and let people take even more fish from the floor of the boat, pictured here.
The overwhelming joy of the people that I have come to know and love filled my soul, and brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't help but hear Jesus as if he were on the shore with us all, laughing along with everyone else.
What's more, we had just finished distributing rice and beans to those local villages. Now, in addition to that, they had a multitude of fish.
Today, in those very same waters, several people from the US team got baptized. God is on the move here.
(Thank you for sharing, Alicia!)
Most of the team traveled to Port Salut on Wednesday, to build a house, conduct a mobile medical clinic, and distribute goods.
As you can surely tell, we had an incredible week with Mission USA. We did, however, still have school each day, as always.
And church this morning was a blast. Pastor Lex was talking about bringing our burdens to Jesus.
Thank you Mission USA for serving with us once again. And thank you to everyone who takes the time and energy to pray for MOHI and send financial support. We wouldn't be here without you!