Thursday, June 26, 2008


This Is Mexico. Our team motto thus far. We arrived safely in Merida at 2:30am the morning of the 25th, after an unexpected 15 hours of traveling. The Mexico City Airport turned out to be much more confusing than we ever could have expected. We probably walked a marathon just trying to successfully find our gate. We were punked by Mexico for the very first time - the first of many Mexico punk-ings.

Byron and Inez, the local missionaries here in Merida, have been incredibly welcoming and hospitable. We have stayed with them in their house until now, and it seems incredible that we are so comfortable with them already after only having spent a day and a half with them. Yesterday, we did a lot of shopping for VBS supplies and other equipment, then spent an amazing evening with Byron and Inez's ESL class. We made skits and sang "O, Magnify the Lord", which involved a lot of motions and great times. The best part by far was simply sitting around and talking in a mix of Spanish and English with all of the people. The biggest thing that we have noticed so far is that (a) it feels like a sauna everywhere we go and (b) the people are incredible.

We just got back from walking through an everyday rain shower - aka a torrential downpour. The roads turned to rivers and the rain was literally stronger (and warmer) than our mroning showers. It was chevere (awesome). Tonight we will be leaving to stay with host families here in Merida for the next 3 nights, then leaving for Chapab on Sunday after church.

So far, we DO still like each other, even though "Nicole sleeps more than a koala" (quote Stu). We have been living the luxurious life, so we haven't encountered many difficulties as of yet. Our spirits are high and our hearts are even higher. God has already begun to show us the beauty of a simple life and the amazing hearts that Byron and Inez must have to be missionaries down here.

Ya les echamos de menos. Paz afuera en Cristo, les hablamos a ustedes pronto.
Josh, Stu, Anna and Nicole

Team Turkey Lost in Translation


Greetings from Team Turkey in Antalya! As we write this, we are all four gathered in our living room getting some rest after an eventful day with the kids. Tomorrow will mark the end of our first week working at the Kres (Turkish for pre-school). This week has been filled with surprises and schedule changes. The surprises started first thing Monday morning when we came prepared with crafts and curriculum for 7-12 year olds but instead were greeted by a group of eager 3-5 year olds. The summer conversation club we were told we’d be running is postponed until next Monday due to an unforeseen standardized test imposed on 5th-8th graders by the Turkish Government. That Monday we scrambled to adjust and simplify our activities to accommodate the younger kids. The language barrier has been more challenging than expected due to the lack on translators since the first day. Fortunately we have had the help of a delightful 11 year old who barely speaks English buts want to help and learn.

We’re excited because as the week comes to an end we like we are building relationships with the children. Although it was a hectic start we are thankful for the time we got to spend with the young kids… they are adorable and bring a lot of joy to our days. This coming Monday we will begin the English conversation club as originally planned as well as continuing to spend time with the 3-5 year olds.

Last night we got the opportunity to witness the intense passion Turkish people have for their futbol (soccer) team. We were invited by the owner of the Kres to watch a viewing of Turkey play Germany at an outdoor restaurant with her family and friends. Although it was a sad loss for Turkey it was a fun cultural experience.

For those of you that are wondering… it’s still insanely HOT but we are enjoying the beauty Turkey offers and it helps to be near the water.

Thanks for your support, please continue to pray for our patience and flexibility as we enter our second week.

Much love,

Caitlin, Liz, Mandy, & Katelyn
Team Turkey

Ireland Team Will NOT Work for Money

Here is the update I got from Quinn McGinnis who is part of the Ireland team:

The Ireland Team has arrived safe and sound in Belfast. We were detained, however, for an hour and a half, at Belfast International, because they thought we might be working for money (and in that case we would need a work permit). Graeme and Christine met us at the airport and are basically managing our trip. We are at Derryvolgie Hall in Belfast where we are staying for a few days for orientation. After that we will go to our first camp at Faughanvale. We're all very tired, but doing fine. Thank you for your support, prayers..

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Team Yucatan and their hammocks...

This is an update from Byron Ahina who is the host missionary for the Yucatan Team:

Thanks to God, the team has arrived safe and sound here. There was a flight delay so they landed around 1:30 am. They are just beginning to wake up now and learning how to fold and hang their hammocks. We are so pleased to have them with us in Yucatan! They will be with us for a couple of days to get the “lay of the land” and will have the opportunity to practice their Spanish with our English students tonight who are very excited to meet them. We are having a welcoming fiesta for them. Then they will be off to their Merida host families tomorrow and then, on Sunday, off to the village (Chapab). God be with you.

Hopefully I will receive an update from the team soon!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Team Malawi have arrived safely

Just letting everyone know that Team Malawi have arrived well in Lilongwe. They're very tired and will update tomorrow when networks allow. Praise God that all went well in transit!

Monday, June 23, 2008

TeamIndia uses big words!

This is TeamIndia (yes we meant to leave out the space, TeamIndia is how refer to ourselves) reporting from the home of our hosts Prem and Rita in Bangalore. We have opted to update the blog as a team so we are all sitting in our new home dictating our thoughts and feelings.

On our first day Prem described India as being known for Colors, Smells and Sounds. A truer definition of India we could not attain. From step to step the smells you experience change from wonderfully sweet to putrid and rotting to savory and mouthwatering. The whole
gambit is represented nearly simultaneously and the result is exhausted nostrils. Simply crossing the street is a near death experience. Lanes are barely a kind suggestion as cars, motorcycles, and auto-rickshaws cram 4 and 5 abreast in small two-lane roads. Sound is a constant as well from the mass of blaring horns to the shouting merchants and street vendors.

Yet after only 4 days this all seems very natural and we feel very much at home mostly due to the exceeding hospitality of Prem and Rita. Another interesting experience has been learning to eat our meals with only our hands. We are all pretty good at it except for Kevin. None of us are sick and we have been careful not to eat or drink anything that would make us sick. We’ve only spent one full day at the school so far, but we are chomping at the bit to spend more time with the kids. We are all curious to see how we will fit in to different roles in the school and what gifts of ours God will reveal to us. To all family and friends at home we miss you dearly.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Team Turkey Update

Below is an update from Team Turkey:

Hello Everyone,

Our travel to Antalya was relatively smoothly…for the most part. Although it was amuzing watching Turkey security guards search our luggage filled with crafts for the conversation club. We arrived in Antalya yesterday and with us we brought the hottest day of the year thus far. When we stepped of the plane it was a serious 120 degrees. It was like walking into a hair dryer just like our shepherd Lindsay had warned us. When we got of the plane we were greeted by Verna who we have come to find is amazing and Kim who is a former Turkey deputee who is interning for Ben and Verna. Ben was waiting in the car to keep it air-conditioned. Ben and Verna are our awesome coordinators.

They took us to a lovely Turkish restaurant for a Turkish dinner, where we got to know them better while we enjoyed a delicious Turkish meal. After the meal, they took us to a Turkish dessert shop. There we enjoyed desserts and had chi tea which is nothing like it is in the States. Afterwards, we went back to our apartment and to our pleasant surprise which was beyond our expectations. We have Klima (air-conditioning) in the living room and in our rooms…

This morning we woke up and explored around our apartment. After just the first two blocks we had to stop for emergency water. It is that hot. When we got back to the apartment and met with Kim and she took us to go swimming. We walked about a mile and a half there. It was rocks you could jump off into the clearest blue water. After we got back we met with Verna to do our orientation.

Tomorrow we get to go see the location where we will be doing the conversation club. We are so excited to met the kids and begin working on Monday. We begin working on Monday. We miss you all. You are all in our minds. Please keep us in your prayers.

Love Team Turkey

Turkey Has Arrived!!

Apparently there was a hickup along the way but the girls got a nights stay in Istanbul for it so they probably aren't complaining too much! I have gotten word from the missionary that is hosting them that they have arrived in Antalya and will be doing some orientation and resting for the next couple of days. Please continue to pray for both the India Team, Turkey Team and the Bethlehem Team that leaves later today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

India Team has Arrived Safely

We have already sent out two teams up til this point. On Monday night, we sent out both the India Team and the Turkey Team and so far the first two teams had no complications taking off! I have received word from the India Team that they have arrived safely and they are doing well. When I hear word on the Turkey Team I will post it on here.