Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Last Teams home!

Turkey arrives this morning at 10:17 on Delta 2051. Ireland arrives this afternoon at 4:12pm on Continental 1681. And then that's it, everyone home.
But Deputation isn't over! Our retreat is on the 9th and 10th (in two weeks!). Email me if you didn't get the directions in your inbox.
Welcome home! I can't wait to hear all your stories!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Route 66, here we come!!

Top O' the mornin' to yeh! They never EVER say that here. So don't play that stereotype. I put up a substitute picture, since the real pictures take forever to load (and I'd have to go get the stuff), but I thought this might sum up our time in Belfast. We arrived at Derryvolgie Hall on Sunday afternoon - after being snuck out of the Kilcooley church so that we wouldn't be egged - and have been blessed with individual rooms and showers with AWESOME water pressure. We did some serious shopping on Monday, accompanied by good friends from both the Lowe Memorial and Lucan teams. I think we spent about 7 hours or something shopping, of course praying amidst it all to keep in mind that we are on a mission trip . . . but we got some great stuff. That evening we were priviledged enough to meet up with a portion of the Carlow team (our first team in Ireland) which was so amazing and quite good "craic". It's really strange to think that we didn't know any of these people before the summer started. Although, Mel and I did calculate it out, and it seems that we have met approximately 120 new people this summer, and that's just the leaders from the camps. You add in members of the congregations and all the kids we built relationships with, = mind boggling. Tuesday we took some time for ourselves (aka more shopping, and Brian got a hair cut, also watched Man on Fire with Jaffa from Carlow while eating sandwiches from the best place in Northern Ireland, apparently) and then met up with Michael and Julie Peacock for tea (dinner) which was absolutely fabulous. SO good to meet up with them again. I forgot to mention that on Sunday night we met up with Derek who is the minister of Fisherwick Presbyterian Church (http://www.fisherwick.net/home.htm) in Belfast and attended their evening service. It was great, and we also met up with him yesterday morning which was wonderful as well. We spent the rest of the day with Christine McClelland (who headed up the Lowe Memorial team) touring Bangor and the east coast. They have amazing ice cream here - honeycomb/pooh bear, and choco pooh bear. It's beautiful. We also had all you can eat chinese buffet - do we have Honey Chili Chicken at home? because it's everywhere and it's gorgeous. Anyway, today we are off to Route 66 Bible Conference in Cookstown, hoping to have a blast and learn a lot. There are a handful of people from camps that'll be there, which is exciting in itself. We can't believe we're coming home in less than a week, so if you could pray for our hearts to be prepared for that transition, and the fact that we have to give up living in Ireland!! I think it's a pretty sure bet that we'll all be coming back here some day. Thanks for your continuous support! Hope you all are doing well!
In Him,
Becca, Mel, Brian and Tyler

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Actually...correction to Turkey arrival

Contrary to previous posts, team Turkey will be arriving in Seattle on MONDAY AUGUST 29th, 8:54 pm on Delta 1178. We know you all would like to see our shining faces two days ealier, but, alas, we are very much enjoying our time and aren't about to let it be cut short! Please disregard the earlier posted arrival time of Sat. August 27 - unless you would like to wait at the lovely Seatac International Airport for approximately two days. We look foward to seeing you all on
August 29! Our thoughts are with all of you, home and soon-to-be! love,
The Turkey girls

Sunday, August 21, 2005

North Africa and Malawi are here!!!

North Africa and Malawi made it home safe and sound yesterday. North Africa was first, coming in a few minutes early and skipping easily through customs. They were pretty awake, yet kept saying, "It's weird to be home!" Malawi was a bit late and they din't make it as smoothly through. They had a long, long flight that ended up being sans a few bags. They were tired but in good spirits.
The next team home is St. Petersburg. They arrive Friday the 26th on British Airways #49 at 4:15 PM. Turkey then arrives MONDAY AUGUST 29th, 8:54 pm on Delta 1178.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Malawi Update

Hello all,
Well, soorry it has been three weeks since my last email, I have been here and there and didn't have a chance to go into town.
Life has been different lately, last thursday we left the farm, and the kids :( it was sad, but we had a wonderful goodbye ceremony with lots of singing and dancing. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were in Zambia on safari YEAH! I have always dreamed of taking a safari in Africa and I actually got to go on one. It took 8 hours of driving on dirt roads through Zambia to get there, but We saw all kinds of animals: geraffs, elephants so close you could touch them (it was actually really scarry) hippos, cranes, aligaters, hienas, on and on. It was so amazing. After we got home, monday we left for Lake Malawi again and had a time of debriefing. I used most of my free time to set up a CD of everyone's digital pictues so they could take them home to all the different places people go home to. SO, today is our last day in Malawi, and I am sad, but very excited to be home. I am looking forward to seeing
ALL of you and showing you my many... many......many pictures and telling you some of the stories. :) OK, thank you so much.
For a one Carol Soldano: Oh, and there was a request to bring fudge to the airport... :-)
Thank you all so much,
Kenny Soldano singing off from Africa ......for now.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Welcome home Croatia and Ethiopia! Safe travels Malawi and North Africa...

Both Ethiopia and Croatia arrived home safely this afternoon. Team Ethiopia had a few snags with their luggage; it was about 5 hours behind them! They were also a very tired bunch but both they and Croatia were excited to be home. Pray for them as they adjust back.
Next to arrive are North Africa and Malawi, both on Saturday. Malawi comes in at 4:15pm on British Air 49. North Africa arrives at 4:50pm on SAS 937. Feel free to join us at the airport to welcome them home.

Ireland in Bangor

<----Kilcooley Team
Hey Guys!
Quick update, as Mel doesn't want to be late for her football (soccer) tournament. We are now in Bangor, doing the Kilcooley team and having a whole lot of fun. They estimated that about 40 kids would come, and the first day we had about 75, and it just keeps growing. No joke. They are great kids, yet it's quite a different experience from our previous camps. "The Troubles" have hit this community more than any we have worked with in the past, and its quite a learning experience, and I'm sure Mel would be more than willing to talk to you about it when she gets back. Kilcooley is known for a lot of troubles of it's own, and these kids come from really hard familys - single mothers, drugs, and the influence of the paramilitary. Prayer for this community would be appreciated, as there is a lot of pain and hurt that has formed it into what it is today, and we really want these kids to know that this life isn't all there is. Needless to say we are locked in the Presbyterian Church from the inside pretty much the whole day, and that is quite a different experience. We had a great time celebrating Brian's 22nd Birthday, even threw him a disco up at the center (a place they have open for people in the congregation to come and chat) just a minute from the church and we all danced our hearts out. It was amusing in another sense, because Brian mentioned to me how he was getting a little clausterphobic being locked in a church all day, and then we proceeded to blindfold him, walk him to the center, which we also locked. But it was still an awesome par-tay. Prayer would be great for Brian, as he was playing football yesterday and hurt his already damaged knee, which is now quite sore although still in one piece. I'm working with the 6-11's with Tyler, and Mel and Brian are working with the teens, and in the evenings we all hang out with the teens. Just pray that we can really get deeper with these kids, as we have a great time hanging out and playing games with them, but that we can really bring Christ to them as a serious part of their lives they should consider. After this week, we get a few days off (to SHOP!) and then it's off to Route 66, which I accidentally wrote as Route 55, and I blame that on fatigue . . . Anyway, we are going to finish strong, although not on our own strength but soley on JC, because there is no way we could be doing this without him. Amen!
Hope you all are doing well, and if we don't get a chance to post again, we'll see you in two weeks!
In Him,
Becca, Mel, Brian and Tyler

Monday, August 15, 2005

Our Final Farewell From Fuzine!

Lindsay and Hillary on the streets of Zagreb (Croatia's Capital City)

Mirta, Hillary, Lindsay, and Dinko near the river in Zagreb

Lindsay, Mirta, and Hillary Souvenier shopping in Zagreb

Lindsay, Flutra, Sanela, Fellanza, Daniela, Hillary, and Sithabile sight-sighting in Zagreb

Hillary, Christine (Mom), Tihomir (Dad), and Lindsay visiting the Catholic Cathedral in Zagreb

Look who joined us this week! It's Allen Belton from UPC. A ROM legend!

Jan, Lauren, Kristin, Hillary, Lindsay, Allen, and Sandra in the Hope House Office

Hillary and Lindsay singing 'Enough' by Jeremy Camp for our International Talent Night.

We were a big hit. Hi-5s all around!

Well our stay in Fuzine has come to an end. We leave for the Zagreb airport in less than 24 hours. ROM has been amazing. We have made wonderful friends, learned difficult lessons, and dreamed beautiful dreams for our futures at home in Seattle! When we return we will inform you of all the details about how ROM went.

Thank you for all your support, prayers and encouragement. Much Love, Lindsay and Hillary

DR is home!!! More on their way...

The DR team arrived in Seattle safe and sound this afternoon after a longer than expected journey home. Erica, Kelsey, Brent and Gib arrived at 1 pm with Carmen and Emily getting in about 2:45. They were all happy to be home. I'm sure we will hear their stories soon!
Croatia and Ethiopia are next. They both arrive Wednesday. Ethiopia Arrives on United Airlines #221 at 2:50 pm. Croatia is on LUFTHANSA #6292 at 4:50PM.

North Africa Update...

We will be home in less than a week! Thats so crazy. We returned to AH from the capital last monday. The long drive went well, and guess what we encountered on our way back when we stopped for lunch?? Rain!!! They arent used to rain here, its kinda funny, the bathroom window was just a hole, so it definitely rained in the bathroom too. That wasnt enough rain for me though, I went and found a puddle to jump in. Those of us riding in the van were pretty happy about the rain, however, those of us in the truck had a lil different opinion, but thats understandable. Up until that point it had been really hot, after the rain it was still warm, but better, it rained off and on the whole way home.
Tuesday mornin we went back to work, that night we had a big storm here in AH. Rain, thunder and lightning. It was neat to watch, and kinda crazy that it was pouring rain, but still warm. However up in the countryside, it probably wasnt so warm. And so many of the people still live in tents. At least the bad weather was all done by Wednesday morning. So, we got back to work. A few of us worked at the same site we poured the floor at last week, but on a different house, preparing that floor. We will likely pour that floor tomorrow, our last work day, we start home on wednesday. A few also worked at the first site, prepping the govt house for pouring the rest of the roof, which we did today. Oh, and I got to dig in my hole, the hole is deeper than I am tall now.
We also got some exciting news this week. Three of the kids at the first site, Salim, and eleven year old boy, Usara, a ten year old girl, and Hessna, and seven year old girl, will be going to live in the capital, with a very very rich person. How did this woman even hear about these people?? The ambassador came our first week here, and there was a lot of press, this woman wanted to help somehow, so she wrote and asked if there were three children that would be able to go live in the capital city and go to school. There are seven kids in this family, one older girl, thirteen, two younger girls, maybe four and five, and a baby boy in addition to the kids that are going to the capital. There is no father around, Zulihah, the mother, moved back with her parents and family after the earthquake and is living in a tiny house. It is one room, made from rocks with dirt over them, the houses they lived in before the earthquake that fell on them, there still are earthquakes up there often, about once a month. Its her and seven kids. Tonight though, the three kids moving will be coming back to the house we stay at tonight, and leave for the capital tomorrow morning. They are going from a place where they have to ride a donkey for a few hours for water, theres no electricity. Alright, so I lost my train of thought there because I went up to the mountain to get the kids. We just got back a lil bit ago. Think about this, they probably found out they were going on friday, then today, they found out they were coming here tonight, and going to the capital tomorrow. Their mom was crying so much. They werent sure if they were going to let Salim go, because they kind of need him to help out around there, but his mom was around the corner crying, and told us to just go. Salim cried when he said goodbye to his grandmother. Both girls cried a lil bit. Then the kids and I climbed in the back of the truck for the ride back to the house. Between the three of them they have one little backpack and a plastic bag with clothes and I dont know what else. Only their oldest sister Hannah watched the truck leave, and as soon as the car began moving she turned away and cried. The three kids in the truck didnt even turn around, they just looked forward with a straight face. It was really hard to watch it all. In their eyes I could see the fear of leaving everything theyve ever known and going to live somewhere theyve never been, with someone theyve never met, with luxuries they have never even imagined having. In the mountains there really isnt any opportunity for even going to school, and now they are going to be able to. Please be lifting up their trip tomorrow and the new life they are going to have. They will probably be able to return home for a visit next summer, but they will continue to live in the capital until they are finished with school, and possibly beyond that. Also please be lifting up the family that still lives in the mountains.
Well on a different note, yesterday we had a service here at the house, there were over thirty people. Three people from the countryside were baptized. It was a big celebration, a wonderful thing to be able to witness.
Thank you all for lifting us up! We will see you soon!


Sunday, August 14, 2005


DR News: For those of you who were thinking about going to meet the DR Deputation team at the airport, there has been a delay to the arrival. The team will now arrive at 12:50pm, Monday afternoon on American Airlines 2315.
In Him,

St Pete Update!

Sorry there hasn't been an update from team St Pete in awhile. I sent an email off to Brandon last week and discovered this week that it was returned to me! Didn't make it across the ocean, apparently!
This past week has been quite the challenge. We are working with runaways at a center. The center is divided into 2 sections, upstairs and downstairs. The downstairs kids are the ones who just came off the street. They are literally locked in a space the size of about 4 or 5 dorm rooms, and can't go outside because they'll run away again. When they are picked up off the streets, they are brought to the center, cleaned up, the heads are shaved on the boys, and they are issued clothing, and in they go. For about 3 weeks the center will search for parents, relatives, anyone. But about 3 or 4 weeks, the kids are there to stay. We haven't figured out if there is a timetable for them to stay downstairs, but one boy said he's been there for 2 years!! There are about 12-14 kids downstairs. The upstairs kids have more freedom, but not much. They are the kids whose families were never found, but they won't run away. Sort of like Russian foster care. They can go outside, but we can only take 5 out at a time, and there has to be 4 adults outside also. I think there's 15 or so upstairs. It's hard to say exactly, because the downstairs kids come and go each day. When we leave each afternoon, most likely there'll be some gone and some new ones the next day.
The downstairs kids are very sweet, something I wouldn't have expected from street kids. They are generous, and gentlemanly even! They are also so starved for attention. They never see anyone but their counsellors and the other downstairs kids. When we come, we love and pay attention to them, and they eat it up. The challenging part are the kids upstairs, who don't seem to care about anything. As Carly said, They have teen angst. We think some of them are glad we are there, but they don't want to show that they are glad....you know teenagers!! :)
So this week we have a mini skit and a lesson planned to introduce God to the downstairs kids, because they finally trust us enough. So pray that something willl be retained from what we say. Also pray for guidance as we deal with the upstairs kids and figure out how to reach them. Unfortunately time is not on our side, as we only have one more week with them!!
This weekend was good for relaxing, as we saw Swan Lake on Friday, went to Peterhoff on Saturday, and explored more of the Hermitage today. We had a Peterhoff adventure as Carly's camera got stolen by gypsies. It was the strangest thing ever, and we actually have part of the theft on video. But since they are gypsies, we couldn't get the camera back, even though we launched a nearly 3 hour long operation to recover it. She lost all her 300+ pics....
The gypsy story is really long, I'll have to tell it in person, it sounds better that way anyway. Wow, our team has so many adventures/problems, but our leader Tanya, said that if we didn't have so many problems, she'd be worried because Satan is going to try to stop us as we work for God. We must be having an impact here that Satan is worried about!
Sadly, our trip is coming to an end, as we fly out from St Petersburg on the 25th and arrive back in Seattle on the 26th. It seems so natural to be here, it's so strange to think about leaving!
This is really long, sorry!!
с богом


Thursday, August 11, 2005


"Big Sinisa," Hillary, and Nada singing with the ROM music team.

Lindsay and Kristin (Utah) being cute!

Hillary's ROM small group, "Chayal," creating their flag.
Chayal is Arabic for "imagination," and Hebrew for "soldier."

Fellanza (Kosova), Vedrana (Croatia), Sithabile (Zimbabwe),
Hillary, and Jeanmarie (Texas) at Golubinjak Park after repelling into a cave.
It was a great day of team bonding with our small groups.
Hillary, Mirta, Lindsay, Marta, Bojan, and Jan at a Pizzeria in Punat

ROM group at monastery on Kosljun Island

Lindsay, Jan, and Hillary on the boat from Punat
to Kosljun during ROM's visit to the island of Krk
Hi, everyone! We apologize for not updating the blog recently. We have been so busy with ROM that we hardly have time to sleep. But it has been great. All the people here are amazing, and we are learning a lot from each other. The first two weeks of ROM are over now. Our first week of ROM was really fun, and mostly spent getting to know each other and our small groups. The second week has been really intense, and we have been talking a lot about painful memories of war and ethnic conflict. We watched some footage of the recent Balkan wars, and heard people's stories of their experiences as victims and refugees. It had been eye-opening and very emotional. Next week, we will be talking about where to go from here, and how we can make a difference in our hometowns. The brief summary we have given here really does not capture what has been going on here. As everyone keeps telling us, you just have to experience ROM to understand what it's like. It hasn't all been work, though. As you can see from the pictures, we got to go to the coast again, and tomorrow will be going to Zagreb for the day. Tonight we did some great karaoke, and they are still going strong downstairs! Our time here is going so fast! We have 6 days left until we are back in Seattle. We will be glad to see you all, but sad to leave this beautiful country and all the great people we have met and grown to love. We will send another update before we leave. Thank you for all your support. We love you all.
~Hillary and Lindsay

Ethiopia's Last Update

Salutations and Selam!
These 8 weeks have absolutely flown by and it’s hard to believe we are on our last day in Mekele, Ethiopia! We’ve been saying our goodbyes to the kids, adults and everything in between and though it’s been hard all of us could not have imagined a cooler experience! This last week has been one full of lunch dates at the kid’s houses, coffee dates with friends and the finishing up of classes. This last Saturday we held a pancake breakfast for the little kids at the center. We told them to come over at 8 am and they were there very promptly….at 6:45. We had a ton of fun though and learned that the kids are definitely connoisseurs of jelly and syrup and by that we mean that they enjoy a little pancake with the jelly. They pile it on, eat it off and ask for more (I like their style personally!). We played soccer, ate pancakes and introduced them to the Frisbee which they really seemed to enjoy.
On Monday we had our last English club and the summer we have been studying different countries. We decided to end on the USA and our activities consisted of playing basketball and making/eating PB&J sandwiches for the older kids and making hemp bracelets for the younger ones. Kelly has taught a couple of them how to make bracelets and necklaces and we think she may have spurred the next major export out of Ethiopia! The basketball was particularly entertaining as it basically turned into a game of American football with occasional dribbling. We didn&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;t have any broken bones so it was a victory in our minds! The PB&J had a similar result to the pancake feed. The kids loved them, but we eventually took the bowls of jelly away when they were fighting over who got to lick the bowls. Tuesday we had our last reading club in which we played numerous rounds of musical chairs and had a
ton of fun! Tuesday night we had a goodbye bonfire for the older kids. We figured it was the Ethiopian equivalent of lighting wooden pallets or maybe a couch on fire! We built a big fire in the backyard and just hung out with everyone. We found our Sunday that another fast just started to there was no grilling, but we still had a lot of fun!
Kelly and Jamie finished up their Anti-Aids clubs, Mike finished his computer classes and I finished my HIV classes so we&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;#8217;re officially ready to go. An on an additional note we don’t think anyone is play host to anything right now (translation = No one is sick!). Also, Millione and Yohannes (Two of the little guys who have been very helpful and who all of us want to take home) are here and they say hello!
Friday at 6 am we head out for Lalibela to see the rock churches (google it, they’re cool!). A couple of us checked out the bus yesterday and were told it was more like a military convoy vehicle so we’re working on that. As much as we would love to sit sideways on benches nailed to the floor of an old flatbed, we figured we would see if they have anything else! We’ll be there until Sunday morning, then it’s off to Addis Ababa for a couple days and then to America on Tuesday at 11:55 pm. We fly for something like two days and touch down in Seattle three hour after we left, should be fun!
We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers for us while we have been here and though we’ll miss everyone and most things about Ethiopia, we’re all excited to see all of you when we get home. The experience has been one of a kind and has shown just how big the love of the God is! We’ve all learned a ton and are excited to share (either the short or long version) with you when we get home!
With Much Luv,
The Ethiopia Team

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

India is home! DR is next!

Team India made it home last night! They were tired after their 30 hours of travel but the were all in a great mood! We will hear more from them soon I'me sure.
The next team to arrive is the DR. They get home at 1040PM on Sunday evening on Continental 1481.

North Africa Update

We started working a little bit on a new site this last week! we were able to get the floor poured on wednesday. We actually only poured about two thirds of the floor, the rest had already been poured by the government. The government sometimes builds about half a house, if even that much for people, walls that still need a little work, holes for windows and doors, part of a ceiling and part of a floor. So the people with these houses still live in tents because they dont have the money to finish the house. There is a lot that goes into pouring a floor. We have to dig and make the ground level, then we go hunting for rocks to lay over the dirt. Usually we kick them over and hope there are no snakes underneath. Wheelbarrows full of rocks go into the house and its like a giant jigsaw puzzle without a picture trying to make it all fit as closely as possible without being too high. It was a total of a two to three day project from when we first started digging out the floor. We also got to do some other digging, behind the house to get the dirt away, and a septic. John and Derik dug a few of those at first, but this time I got a chance to be in the hole for awhile, dont worry, I've got pictures, I will make sure to post them when we get home. For the remainder of the week we were joined by a local married couple as well as a family from australia that is currently living here, they stayed at the house we are at and helped out at the first site, setting up to pour part of the roof on the half government built house on that site. Early friday morning, one group at four, and the other at seven, headed towards the capital city for a long weekend. The truck, which left at four broke down a little over halfway here, but it got fixed and we all arrived safely. We slept in and got pancakes when we woke up, usually we just have a pastry or bread and tea. So it was a treat for us. We went swimming at a nice pool and a little at the beach for much of the day, then went out to dinner. Sunday (this) morning we were able to go to a service in english, which was also a treat for us. After service we spent some time relaxing at the house, then walked through the market. After the market we got to go bowling, its a pretty new thing here, I think we all enjoyed ourselves, even though some of us, lets just say, dont bowl very well. tomorrow we will make the eight hour drive back to where we are building houses. We only have about a week and a half left there though, we start our adventure home the 17th of august.
Thank you for lifting our team up! I will try to write one more time before we return home.



Hey Guys!
Lowe Mem was an absolute dream of a camp, or at least we consider it as such in retrospect. We are excited to meet up with some of them on our break (some shopping in Belfast!) and a few we'll see at the Route 55 Bible conference at the end of August. So now we're up at Tobermore, and we really have no idea where that is in relation to Belfast, because all of us were taking naps on the ride over. But my sources tell me that is Northwest. Anyway, we were a bit tired coming in, and have tried to get as much sleep as possible, but it's tough jumping from camp to camp. However, I did manage to finish Harry Potter 6 earlier this week! INSANE - but I won't give away the ending if you haven't read it yet. The theme of this camp is Formula 1 racing, and "Grand Prix Winners!" There are about 25+ people on the team, and it has been AWESOME getting to know all of them. Brian is working with the teens, Mel is with the 11-14 and also sittin' in with the teens, Tyler is with the 8-10 yr olds, and once again I am blessed with the 7 and under catagory. They're all so cute and sticky. We're staying at the Baptist Church up the street from the Presbyterian Church the camp is held at. We get really nice showers at the local fitness center, and they feed us well as Ireland has the best sausages ever. They're keeping us pretty busy, from about 7 to 11 and no time for naps inbetween - although Tyler emerges from rooms a little bleary eyed in the middle of the day and we can't figure out how he gets away with his siestas. God is really making himself known to us through the hearts of the kids, and it's so encouraging to seem them excited about the stories and tesimonies we have to share with them each day. We ask for prayer that we will still have energy and strength as we go about our days, and especially prayer for work with the teens (mainly haughty 13/14 yr olds). Thanks for all the support and prayer you have blessed us with so far, and pray for our transition on Saturday as we continue on to Kilcooley. Miss ya!
In Him, Becca, Mel, Brian and Tyler.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Smiles from Turkey!

Heather & Mary at Duden Waterfalls (very close to where we live).
Kim at Aycov with the kids... they looooove gymnastics!
Exploring the ruins as Side... so amazing and beautiful. (That's Alisha on the left!)
Red-Light-Green-Light... I couldn't tell who tagged me first this round!

Friday, August 05, 2005

India Update - Last Days in Bangalore!

Team India leaves Bangalore on Monday night and arrives back at SeaTac on Tuesday afternoon at 4:15 pm. There are some things we can be praying for right now:

1. Pray for a strong finish, that they would finish their classes and relationships strong.
2. Pray that the beginning of the debriefing process would begin smoothly.
3. Pray for a safe trip home…
Mumbai (Bombay) has still been experiencing flooding. The team is scheduled to fly through there, so pray for their trip. Also lift the people of Bombay as they have been dealing with much destruction and many deaths.
4. Pray for a smooth adjustment home.

All said, the team has had a great trip and will return with many stories to share.

Team India arrives: British Air, 49 at 4:15pm

DR Update - finishing up...

An Update from the DR Blog (8-2):
Yes.. we are still alive!
So I´m not sure how many of you are still checking our blog since we have not updated it in quite a few weeks but we are still here. Some of us have definatly melted some from the hot hot HEAT that we have had this last week, other than that we are ok. Since our retreat in La Romana, we have all enjoyed getting back to our regular schedules; batayes in the mornings, lunch at the beach house, and afternoon activities. We have all been keeping VERY busy! The girls have put on two purity convernces for the girls at the bateyes. We are winding things down this week and next. Having our last soccer practices before the big game. Brent and Erica have organized and painted a mural at Don Bosco with the children in 95 degree heat. Kirsten has been working with her dancers so that they can perform at the big game during the halftime show. We are trying to get in as much as we can in our last two weeks here. The calender shows no room for breathing. We are spending as much time at the beach as we can. All of our host families and the interns will be going to San Rafeal this saturday. It is an amazing river that flows down onto the beach where warm meets cold and its well... Glorious!!We are all doing great and none of us are ready to leave our new families and friends. If you do not hear from us again, due to our busy schedules, we will see you all soon!
- With love, your interns.

The DR team arrives next Sunday, 8-14, on Continental #1481 at 10:40pm

Ethiopia Update

An email from Tim (8-1):
HI everyone!
This is Tim here, and I’m writing from The Ranch in beautiful Mekele, Ethiopia. We just had a big rainstorm, complete with lots of hail and some flooded streets, but don’t worry, the sun will be out in a few minutes to dry everything up. That happens almost everyday here and we just learn to carry an umbrella and sunscreen in the same backpack.
It’s hard to believe we have only 11 days left here in Mekele. We’re really feeling at home here; our week is full of lunchtime coffee ceremonies in the homes of the kids from the youth center, and we’re slowly picking up the language. The girls (Kelly and Jamie) are busy with English and reading clubs, anti-AIDS club (where they are choreographing some awesome dance numbers with the 75 girls in it), and some exciting activities for the girls on Saturday mornings. Matt and myself (Tim) seem to have won the kids over in our English clubs. Matt has befriended most of Mekele. Mike is molding all the kids in his computer classes into the future Bill Gates’ and Steve Jobs’ of Ethiopia as well as doing Gung-Fu with some aspiring Bruce Lees in the mornings.
There is a lot of work going on at the youth center, building a new classroom, painting, doing maintenance, which we also help out on. I really feel like we’re investing in not only the youth center building, but also the lives of these kids with all of our work there.
When we’re not at the youth center, we’re having Ethiopians over for a bonfire in our backyard, or some grilling of hamburgers on our awesome new grill that some enterprising young deputee designed and had the town welder make for us. We also like exploring the area, as I’m sure you read about in detail in the last update. Everything is so green and beautiful here!
The reason we only have 11 more days (as of this writing) left here in Mekele is because we are planning on taking a trip to Lalibela, home of the world famous rock churches (I think there was an Amazing Race episode where they had to run through these rock churches in search of some flag or something) ANYWAY, we are in for a 12 hour bus ride with a few Ethiopian friends, a day tour of the sites, then it is off to Addis for our last few days. Yowza!
So, we’re really cherishing our last days here, just enjoying seeing the work that God is doing. Speaking of God working, please keep praying! A few of us have been a little sick, most notably Jamie, who is bed right now with some tummy troubles. We have good doctors here, but health for our whole team is always a concern. Also, please pray that in these last days here, God would continue to open our hearts for the needs of these kids, that we would be able to show them the love of Christ through our relationships with them.
We’re loving Ethiopia but missing you all…
-Temesgen (Tim),
For the whole Ethiopia team

Malawi Update

A message from Melissa, Rachel and Shannon (7-30):
Muli Bwanji!
It’s a beautiful day in Malawi. Us girls decided to walk to town on our day off. Walking to town can be quite an adventure with cars swerving, honking and racing by us because there are no speed limits in Malawi, but don’t worry mom. Currently we’re sitting outside a cute little café drinking yummy cappuccinos and being reminded of Seattle. We’re relaxing after a week of camp at Lake Malawi which was really awesome. After a two hour drive we arrived at the Teen Missions Int. campground where each intern was responsible for two to three campers in each of our tents. Most of us had at least one camper from our ministry at Chitipi as well as a camper from Chiwengo (another COTN site). It was a good opportunity for us to get to know the Chiwengo kids whom we never get to see. Although the language barrier could be difficult at times, we tried to keep in mind that the camp was for their enjoyment and not necessarily for our desire to minister to them individually through our words. To sum up camp, we’ll walk you through a typical day. We woke up at about 6am with the sunrise. After breakfast we would split into two groups (older and younger) for bible activities, until mid-morning tea-time. In our free time until lunch,we would play fun games like Drip-Drip-Drop (like duck, duck, goose w/water) or arrange a soccer game between interns and kids. Somehow we managed to pull through with a win—despite that they’re African children who are naturally skilled at the sport. We were pretty impressed with ourselves seeing as we haven’t had any intense athletic activity in the past two months. After lunch, we would start on our half hour walk to the lake. The scenery on the way to the lake was how we originally pictured Africa to look like with large open fields of golden grass, huge Baobab (bay-oh-bob) trees and intense sun beating down on us. The lake was gorgeous—picture the ocean with warm water and no salt, and white sandy beaches. Swimming in the lake is the kids’ absolute favorite part of the day and a lot of the kids were eager for us to teach them how to swim. The lake was also the location of ourdaily bathing rituals. We felt ‘exotic’ shampooing our hair while immersed in water. The day concluded with dinner and an evening Bible lesson. The lake was quite a memorable place. The sunrises over the water were breath-taking—however, the trash burning was also breath-taking but in a different way…The bathrooms weren’t the most delightful either, especially with the presence of a large, disgusting, hairy, frightening spider—MUCH bigger than the typical 8-legged creatures found in Washington. However we are still thankful for the time we spent at the lake! Random tidbits: Shannon is preparing for a talk she was asked to give at a church gathering next week even though she is terrified. Rachel is recovering from being under the weather for a few days and is attempting to whittle. Kenny recently went to get a buzz cut with the kids from the farm. Carly and Melissa enjoy making mochas at night, and Nolan’s 22nd birthday is on Tuesday! This summer is quickly passing by for all of us. We only have two weeks left with the kids until we leave on our safari. We ask for prayers that we may be able to take advantage of all of our time left with the kids. Also, that we may be able to leave Malawi on our scheduled departure day, as the workers of South African Air are currently on strike! We hope everyone is doing well, wherever you may be.Peace and Blessings,The girls of Team Malawi (Rachel, Shannon, Carly, and Mel)

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ahoy, Mateys!

Hello all!
We thought we'd send ya a wee update from the green Isle. We had a fabulous holiday, and saw much of Ireland, and believe it or not - in sunshine! We arrived in Belfast on Friday afternoon, taking a large bus up from Dublin - and it didn't have a bathroom on it was was terrible for Mel and Brian as they are avidly using there Nalgenes. So we're at Lowe Memorial, and started our first day of camp today, with the pirate theme of Landlubbers, which is the same theme as Carlow's camp, so I guess we're a little more experienced this time. We are staying in the church, and the team is only about 15 people or so, which is smaller but really nice as we make a pretty close knit community. And they are all so much fun, and also hilarious. Lowe Memorial is in Finaghy, which is South Belfast, and it's been raining the past few days but amazingly the weather is beautiful today. Praise the Lord. No, seriously. We got to participate in the Sunday service yesterday, Brian on guitar, me on vocals, and Mel did a scripture reading and Tyler in support. Brian and Mel this week have alter egos as "Yo Ho" and "Heave Ho," respectively. And they are doing an amazing job letting there inner-pirate come out to the 4-11 crowd. Please keep us in your prayers, as these next few weeks are going to be extra tough with immediate transitions from one camp to the next. We miss you all, but they keep us happy and well fed, so don't worry! Shiver me timbers, God bless!
Much love - Becca, Melinda and the Best Team of Pirates to Sail in an Airplane over the Atlantic.