Thanks so much for praying! As I sit here in the ATL airport waiting for our flight back to Roanoke, I can hardly believe all the ways the Lord blessed us this week. Here are some highlights:
1. We had energy! Thanks to your prayers, our jetlag was almost non-existant.
2. We were encouraged- We got to see five couples (and singles!) that we went through training with us and have hit the field within the last three months. Their experiences, though tough, helped us to get an idea of what kinds of things we might experience as we move to Japan. We’re so thankful for all the workers the Lord is sending out.
3. God used us- Though I felt completely scattered at times, it seems like the Lord really used my talks to strike cords with the students. Riva was really encouraged during her counseling times as well, and gained a better understanding of what her counseling ministry might look like in the future. There were kids at the retreat who were wrestling seriously with their faith, and others who believe the gospel but just needed to hear it afresh. Some were struggling with real emotional and psychological issues, and others were as content as they could be. Some students were struggling to communicate with their parents, while others were feeling alone at school. Some hated their host country, and others just wished they had more Christian fellowship. Regardless of the situation, God used the diversity of personalities, interests, gifts, and experiences on our ministry team to minister to each student personally. It was such a blessing to be a part of such an incredible team! A special thanks to the churches and individuals who sent them!
4. God used our students- The Lord broke down walls that sometimes form around language, culture, and age. There were no cliques or bullying, just lots of love and openness. In small group, students listened intently and offered advice to one another. At the pool, older students took responsibility for younger students. During games, those who spoke English explained the rules to those who did not understand it as well. It was incredible to see such love and camaraderie, and it can only be explained by the fact that you all were praying for us. Thank you!