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Growing and Learning With the REACH Teams

The following REACH updates are adapted excerpts from their team blogs, and give a small glimpse into their lives over the last five months.

Team South Asia Update- Abundance of Fruit

Recently, we spent some time in a village. We loaded up the jeep and headed to what would be our home for the next ten days, and as always, we arrived to one of the warmest welcomes you could imagine. As soon as our feet hit the ground, we were rushed into chairs, handed coconuts for drinking, and given more apples than we could eat. This was the start of our fruit overload that would last our entire visit. The next morning we woke up to rice cakes and chutney, a type of spicy peanut sauce that is probably my favorite breakfast of all time. After breakfast, we started right into telling Bible stories at two different churches. This started a pattern of this breakfast and sharing in two or three churches, and because of the constant chutney and fruit (and the fact that we can’t pronounce the actual name of this place), I call it The land of Fruit and Chutney.

But the fruit wasn’t just physical. Each day, I’m sure God was producing fruit too. Our stories have been received better here than anywhere yet, and our new Bible stories are bringing tons of non-church members in to see what’s going on. I’ve only ever heard stories of things like this before, and it’s such an honor to a part of it. Man, I can’t wait till I can see you all and tell you about it in more detail!

– Killian

Team Spain Update- New Life

It has been another productive work here at camp! We have gotten the garden fence all set up and the ground tilled. The seeds will soon be planted. This week we also painted the farm house rooms at the camp where guests stay. It seems like the whole camp has been undergoing a makeover while we’ve been here, and things are looking really good! We hope that all of this work will bring glory to God by being an inviting place where people can relax and listen to the Father.

The camp is one aspect of our time here, but another huge one is being involved in the church we go to in the city. This Sunday was especially important for us. One of our friends, whom we have known since we got here, made the decision to proclaim her faith publicly and be baptized! Many church members gathered on the beach to celebrate the event. Our friend shared her story, and we sang some songs. Then it was into the Mediterranean for her to symbolize her new life! It was an unforgettable opportunity for us to witness this step, and we are all so proud of her. Being able to witness that event and how Christ rules in her life has really encouraged me. I ask myself, how can I hold onto less and let Jesus take control of more? How can I show Jesus to the world? These questions have been challenging me recently.

– Joel

Team North Africa Update- Unexpected Appointments

It’s sometimes hard to see the father working in the little things, especially in a culture where it usually takes years see any sort of fruit It can be discouraging and many days we go to sleep wondering if we really did anything that was of great importance. But yesterday I was reminded that we don’t need to do anything to be used by the father. He is working in ways we don’t see and will never understand.

Riding the bus recently, Asher and I sat right across from a man, and as our destination city came into sight he leaned over the aisle and asked me “would you like to come and eat with me?” Honestly at first I was taken aback. I had spent the whole day traveling with this man, saying all of 5 words to him. He kept to himself the whole time, except for when he was showing his dissatisfaction with there not being any taxis (the reason we all ended up taking the bus). Yet here he was offering for us to go and eat somewhere with him. I looked at the guys, and we all agreed these are the things that we are here for, and we accepted the offer.

Stepping off the bus we met up with some of his friends and then he told me “follow me, we’ll go to my house.” As it turns out this group of three guys are studying here in the city, but are all from the village where we currently live. They were very excited to have us over, and told us that their house is our house if we ever need a place. We had a great conversation and ended up leaving their house after 11 p.m. They were surprised that we had a place here. They were fully planning to host us and have us stay the night with them. We exchanged numbers and went on our way.

I would give an awful lot to know what that man saw yesterday to extend that invitation. I definitely wasn’t saying anything that got him thinking we were good people. Someone else was speaking to his heart. We don’t know many people around our age, but now we know three guys that also spend time in both the mountains and the city. It was quite an exciting unexpected, yet divinely planned, appointment.

– Levi

Team Canada Update – Focusing on Blessings

This week the girls and I had the awesome privilege to go to the Living Hope Native Missions ladies’ prayer retreat in Dorian, a camp an hour away from our apartment. There were 11 ladies total at the retreat and they were some of the loveliest ladies I have ever met.

It proved to be an encouraging, challenging, and refreshing two days. One of the topics was thankfulness. As humans, we tend to focus on negatives more than positives in our lives. I'm sure that sometimes our Father feels saddened when he has put so many blessings right in front of us and we’re too blind to notice them because of our selfishness in looking towards the negatives. The women who shared this also encouraged us to be thankful and write down the gifts our father has given us.

I personally found that challenging; more often than not, I grumble about little things when Dad has placed something spectacular right in front of me for that particular time. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel foolish. It was a humbling experience.

– Hope

Team Himalaya Update – The Blessing of Safety

I want to start out by giving our father a shout out of praise! As I am sure you have all heard, there was a huge earthquake here, possibly the largest that has ever hit this nation. We experienced a 7.8. We are staying in a village that is in the same district as the epicenter; it is around a four-hour bus ride from here. However, with the way the roads wind through the mountains, it is most likely a lot closer than it sounds. We are all safe and well. A lot of homes in the village have cracks, but very few have collapsed. It is a huge blessing that so few have collapsed. At the same time, all of the cracked homes are going to have to be torn down and rebuilt. This will require a lot of time, effort and money. Usually, the villagers come together a community to build homes. Now, however, everyone will have to work on their own homes. It can be discouraging looking at the future. Still, there is some joy in the sadness.

– Regina