Thursday, July 19, 2012

Student Highlight: Tadesse

Meet Tadesse from Ethiopia! He has been thrown into prison 2 different times for preaching the Gospel, has planted four churches in Ethiopia, and has a passion for training and equipping Christians in Ethiopia to effectively reach out and share the Gospel with Muslims. Persecution of Christians by Muslims is quite intense in Ethiopia so please pray for Tadesse along with his wife and daughter in Ethiopia. As a Christian living in America I have never experienced persecution or known what it is really like to suffer for Jesus' name. I am the teacher in the sense that I have studied and am teaching a technical subject (New Testament Greek) but I am also a student.

Student Highlight: Timothy

It has been a busy yet wonderful three weeks since we arrived in the Netherlands to teach at Tyndale Theological Seminary for the summer. Tyndale trains and equips pastors, evangelists, church leaders, and teachers from around the world. The best part of the ministry here is interaction with the students: they are passionate followers of Christ from diverse countries and cultures. It is so easy in America to lose sight of the global nature of Christianity and to think that God's kingdom is focused on America (hint: America is not God's Kingdom; God's kingdom is so much larger and grander, greatly surpassing any human geo-socio-political boundaries).

I want to give you a glimpse of the quality and passion of Tyndale students along with the ministry we are involved in here so I am beginning a series of blog-posts that will highlight various students through informal interviews. Please watch, listen, and pray for the ministry here and throughout God's world.

Timothy has a passion to evangelize the least-reached areas of Cameroon; please pray for his wife and children who had to remain in Cameroon during the course of his studies.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Celebration and a SIX hour time jump!

Well, finally here it is...the tale of our trip!  The beginning to the beginning of our great adventure!  It all started with chocolate chip pancakes and the singing of Happy Birthday to our sweet Benjamin who turned "5" on the day our plane flew out!  

Chris and Sarah saw to it that we arrived at the airport in time and before we knew it we were seated on the airplane and taking off!  I need a moment to brag on the boys.  They were amazing travelers!  Oh, if you could have seen the grim faces of everyone who saw us made me laugh.  No really, I laughed all the way to the back of the plane where our seats were!  Thankfully God is all about details and as He planned it the lovely lady sitting next to me had two grown sons and was excited to hold Micah to give my arms a break.  Elijah, Benjamin and Paul all agreed that riding on an airplane must be like riding a big roller coaster because it "tickles the tummy".

Our first flight ended in Iceland with a 16 hour layover so we decided to stay in a hotel type place (it used to be a US Airforce base) and get some rest.
We brought just a few things with us!
Micah and me with a beautiful Iceland sunset at midnight...I don't know when it got dark but I know it was not until after 2am according to the time there!
Iceland was a very wild and "untouched by man" type we flew over it Benjamin asked if we were going to be camping because for as far as you could see there was nothing but flat fields of lava rock with grass and purple flowers sticking up every now and then.

Flying from Iceland to the Netherlands was peaceful.  Watching the landscape change between the two countries was amazing!  God's creation is so diverse and beautiful!  When we arrived and went through customs at the airport I was overwhelmed by the variety of languages I heard around me!  My sweet little Southern USA raised boys kept asking "is he speaking Spanish?"

We were greeted by one of the staff and a student from Tyndale and they helped us settle in at the home where we are house sitting for a wonderful family from a Church nearby.  We are so thankful for them opening their home to us!  We finally convinced the boys and ourselves to go to bed by 2am (8pm in the US) and slept until Noon (6am in the US)!  Needless to say the time change has been a bit of a challenge but almost 2 weeks later and I think we have adjusted!

We are house sitting this lovely place for a month and then to a one bedroom apartment we go!
 Our first day we got to experience the life of not having a car, not speaking the language and having no idea where the grocery store was!  God is good and provided what we needed for the day...legs, Dutch dictionaries and maps!  We also had the thrill of meeting the summer students who, as Alex posted earlier, are from 15 different countries!  Tomorrow will be the start of Alex's second week teaching and he loves it!  God is so good to PREPARE us for what He wants us to do, PROVIDE for what we need to get there and give His PEACE as we go through the changes!

Alex, Elijah and Benjamin with some of the students from Tyndale!