Hello! Below you’ll see the final update before the SE Asia travels back to the USA. This was received yesterday morning. Thank you for your prayers as they debrief and process all that they experienced!
As we spent time this morning debriefing and worshipping our hosts asked us to write a one, three, and five sentence description of our trip in answer to the question “How was your trip? This being our last blog, Jeff and I asked each of the students to share one of their stories, to give you some glimpses of our trip. As we continue to rest and reflect during our last day at base camp, continue to pray for our hosts, our guides, and our trip home. We have learned so much during our time in SE Asia, and can’t wait to get home to share more of our stories with you. In the meantime, thank you for your prayers and support. I assure you we have felt them. – Natalie
It was incredible, a huge piece of my heart will be left in SE Asia. Learning the ministry of presence and loving on people abundantly has taught me so much. There is something so powerful about learning and loving together. – Amy
The last night on our second island our house mother decided to put henna on us–which meant putting this weed paste on our palms and fingertips. While it was drying, we began to talk with our host mother and father about Islam and Christianity. Lying on the floor, palms up, I was moved to tears when explaining to these beautiful and loving people how deep and everlasting God’s grace is, even to a sinner like me. Our henna was drying, we couldn’t move, and meanwhile we were sharing our Lord with these unreached people. I don’t know how much they heard and comprehended, but we planted seeds, and that’s how my trip was. – Natalie
I really learned to rely on God this trip. I was constantly praying for his strength and love to coat me and others on the trip. Towards the end of the trip my house group was praying constantly every night and at every meal for the people we were reaching, our group, wisdom, power over the evil one, and whatever else was on our minds. He is quick and faithful to provide for our needs and beyond. -Josh
I learned a lot about prayer and enjoyed showing love, whether it was to kids, my host families, or by sharing something about my faith. I will miss smiling at people and seeing their joyful, rotten tooth grins beam back, their day made by a white person showing they care. -Abby
This trip was truly eye and heart opening. I learned so much about myself, the strengths God has given me, and learned to become a prayer warrior. This trip has pushed me in every possible way and I am truly thankful that God pushed me out of my comfort zone and had me live on three different islands with three different families. I learned that it is possible for me to fall in love with people whose language I don’t even speak and that their smiles and laughter could bring me so much joy. I have left a huge piece of my heart in SE Asia. -Valerie
It was heartbreaking to leave each island. The families on the islands became my family in such a short time. I saw The Lord make connections between people that didn’t even speak the same language. -Nicole
These islands taught me what it truly means to fully depend on God. Whether that meant praying for strength to get through an exhausting day, faith that God will protect me from things not of him, or trusting that he is in control of the salvation of the people we encountered, God showed me that he fulfills his promises and provides for me in every way I need. My heart has been opened to unreached people groups and they will forever hold a piece of my heart. -Maddie
It was a once in a life time opportunity to learn the culture and history of these wonderful people while we serve them. I have learned that God is powerful enough to use anyone’s testimony to glorify him, and above all, God taught me he loves these people more than we do.
“…And who knows whether you have not come to the Kingdom for a such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 -Yosef
It was great touring the islands with our Jesus-following hosts who are running a good business in this unreached area. -Matthew
From watching the butchering of a stingray and showering in the jungle to experiencing God’s power, love, and grace in our host communities, my time in SE Asia is one I will never forget. One of the many things I learned during my time here is that sometimes the smallest expressions of love–a smile, playing hand clap games with children, or genuinely engaging someone else’s culture–can speak louder and be more meaningful than words. The genuine love and hospitality of our hosts captured my heart and part of me will always remain with these people who so generously shared their lives with me. -Kayla
Sometimes I have no words to say and I feel like this is one of those time. There is so much I would love to say, but I just can’t put it into words. But thankfully God is so much bigger than words and his love overshadows all which was so evident on this trip. So often we didn’t have the words to say because of the language barrier but that did matter because love and smiles along with lots of laughter quickly became our language which was one of the best ways to pour out God’s love on all those we met. -Shiloh
A highlight for me was sitting with a group of Muslim friends sharing about the characteristics of a godly wife (Proverbs 31) and a godly husband (Ephesians 5). We had a connection around a topic that was important to all of us. I pray that these words from scripture and our ongoing friendship will spark an interest in the Bible and that we will sometime see them as followers of Jesus. – Jeff
My trip to Indonesia was life-changing. I saw people half the world away that were so kind and generous, yet had never heard the gospel of Christ. It was heartbreaking, but also helped to remind me of the need for people to be ministering to these people. Also, being in such a radically different place from America, I was outside of my comfort zone which is where I believe God transforms people the most. I was transformed spiritually, and I pray God does the same thing for the people I met on this trip. – CJM4
Overall, this trip has been an incredible experience in which my trust and reliance on God grew and we saw the hearts of the people in the village begin to soften for the gospel. We were able to have great conversations and truly love on the people. Personally, I saw my prayer life transformed, and God work in the lives of people that ways that was truly incredible. -Parker
This trip has opened up some once in a lifetime opportunities. I have learned to eat with my hands, shower with a sheet on and pee in a tiny hole; many of which I never thought I would ever learn. I have learned how to truly depend on God and to jump out of my comfort zone. I was constantly relying on God whether it was just for strength for the day or for conversations to arise. This trip has been a wonderful experience and there will always be a piece of my heart that remains here. -Baili
I had the privilege of hosting your sons, daughters, friends, family and/or loved ones here. It truly was a pleasure to serve together the men, women, and children on the 3 islands and everyone else in between. They were challenged, encouraged, and blessed. They loved greatly, served joyfully all the while giving God all the glory, praise and honor. Thank you for being a part of this team through your prayers and/or financial support. Thank you in advance for asking questions and listening to their stories. They represented your families well and they represented Taylor well. Thank you lighthouse for such an incredible program and the pre-trip training that is done as it is very evident upon their arrival. 15 hearts and lives have been changed because of this trip and many more lives of the local villagers. – the host
Pray for safe travels and on time flights!