Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wow, What an Amazing Prayer!

Ephesians 1:16-20

"I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places."

I read this this afternoon and was struck and encouraged by three of the things that Paul prays for for the church in Ephesus.

-That they may know what the hope is to which God has called them.

-What the riches are of his glorious inheritance in the saints

-What is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe. A power so great that it raised Christ from the dead.

These are such great reminders of who we are in Christ and the blessings of being united to him. I pray that my eyes would be enlightened to these truths everyday!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Asia/Pacific Area Retreat 2011!

The Malaysia trip was pretty incredible. With this trip we finally completed our circuit of the globe and have spent time with the students from all of the areas MTW is in. What a privilege! This retreat had about 50-60 students, and it was awesome to get to know them and their different contexts. As the students came in there was a degree of hesitation, each of them wanting to test the waters to see how the group would feel. Some dove right in, some held back, and some were determined to be unimpressed - one student even walked in saying "so raise your hand if you think being here is lame." However, as the week went by, it was beautiful to see how everyone gelled as a group. By the time the week was over even the student who polled the lameness of the group was heard walking out the door saying, "look dad, I got all the phone numbers of my new friends!"

Twice throughout the week we took time to pray out loud together, and each time the most commonly repeated prayer was "thank you for this youth group." This might be a common thing here in the US, but for these student scattered over a dozen countries throughout the East, to be a member of a cohesive group is a unique and profound experience. This connection and unity they felt is a major piece of work we are doing, and hearing them voice their gratefulness in this way was a huge encouragement and blessing.

The small group times, which are the heart of our time with the students, can sometimes prove challenging as it can take some time to open up, but even in these it was exciting to see how quickly the students grasped the opportunity to engage. One of the things we were most excited about was the ability to connect with several students who will soon be coming back to the US for university. It was AWESOME to hear how excited they all were to know that we would be here waiting for them, especially those that will wind up in Chattanooga at Covenant College!

Drew's small group

Lindsey's small group

The whole group!

On the final evening of the Asia/Pacific Area Retreat, after we had said all our goodbyes, we walked out the doors of the youth room and saw written on the windows in the humid Malaysian condensation, “In 4 years! 4 now, Bye!”
Four years is far, far too long.

Thank you so much for all of the prayers while we were there and since we have come back. Please continue to pray that our support would be raised quickly so that our team can begin to shrink those four years.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Wedding and LOTS of Family Time!

After Malaysia I caught a terrible cold that had me out for about two weeks. After getting over the cold we hit the ground running with our jobs and support raising. Drew had the privelage of meeting with our friend David Diaso who is a fellow MTW missionary. He is very experienced at raising support and we found a lot of encouragement from him.

On November 5th Drew's brother Chase married his beautiful bride Cait. It was a wonderful celebration. Drew had the privilege of officiating the wedding. Cait asked all of the sister-in-laws to be honorary bridesmaids so all of the family was able to participate. We had a blast spending time with our family laughing, sitting around the fire making smores and drinking warm tea, and visiting Gettysburg PA for a day!

We are working on a post to show more of our experience in Malaysia as well as working on our November update. Here are a lot of pictures to show you what we have been up to!

So beautiful!
I love this photo!
So thankful to have such wonderful sister-in-laws!
Drew and his niece Lucy hiding from Grandpa
All the Wilkins Men!
Beautiful Gettysburg
It was such a beautiful day
In a conversation with Abe Lincoln, Abe stole Drew's hat!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011