Saturday, May 21, 2011

Why Would Anyone Want to Go to Nepal?

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9:57 AM
Dear Family and Friends,

Seema had left the poverty of her home village to work in Kathmandu, Nepal. She was barely twelve when a smooth-talking flesh trader lured her to Mumbai, India, with talk of a better job. She hoped to become a film star. Instead she was sold into a brothel. At first she resisted, screaming, crying and fighting off prospective customers, but the madam who ran the brothel would have none of it. Seema was beaten. But Seema’s spirit was not broken. Nine months later she escaped from the brothel and boarded a train, hoping to eventually get back home. A soft-spoken lady promised help. She lured the young girl to Calcutta and sold her. Seema had only escaped from one brothel into another. And Seema’s story is just one of thousands from the brothels of Nepal and India.

I tell you Seema’s story because this summer I’ll be doing an 8-week outreach to the capital city of Kathmandu, Nepal, with my two schoolmates, Corey and Rebekah. As we have studied & learned together through our lecture phase at YWAM Orlando, we discovered that God had given us all a similar burden for preventing human trafficking. Each of us feels that fighting the injustice of modern-day slavery is part of the ministry God is calling us to. So as we began to pray and plan our outreach, the theme of human trafficking became evident and God began to provide ministry contacts.

Nepal is a source country for human trafficking to India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, with thousands of victims trafficked out of Nepal every year. But Nepal also has a growing demand for forced labor and sex trafficking itself. Author Tim McGirk estimates that more than 200,000 Nepalese girls are involved in the Indian sex trade. The girls are bought for as little as $20 and later on sold or re-sold to Indian sex market agents for up to US $600. Our team will bring hope to in the heart of this problem, in the capital city of Kathmandu.

While helping the local YWAM team in Kathmandu, we will bring the hope of Christ to those seeking a way out of prostitution and slavery. Through mapping & documentation, our team will work to provide accurate statistics to those who will end slavery in Nepal.

Please pray for my team and I as we finalize plans, purchase plane tickets, and prepare for this spiritual/physical challenge. Please join us in prayer that each person we meet will become an ordained appointment in their spiritual journey and provide a solution to the deepest needs in their world. I’m excited to invite you to journey with me through abolishing Nepal’s growing injustice of human trafficking and releasing the freedom God wants to bring. Follow my stories at: http://bindingthebroken.blogspot.com

God Bless,

Joy Engdahl
http://bindingthebroken.blogspot.com

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Good News

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9:53 AM
This week, my SOMD and staff went to the beautiful Miami, Florida for a time of teaching and ministry with YWAMer, Bob Felder. Bob also taught in my DTS, so I knew we were in for a great time. Bob and his team do campus evangelism at a couple Miami-Dade Community College campuses. They are on the front lines, sharing the gospel with anyone who will listen. I thought I'd be pretty intimidated, but it ended up being a great few days of ministry.

We drove down Sunday afternoon, and it was only a 4 drive, so we got there in time to have dinner with Bob and his family. We were staying at his house, which is huge and has a pool and hot tub, and the most beautiful tropical trees. Monday, we had class all day on the back porch, sunbathing and swimming during a break, and eventually finishing classtime while in the hot tub. Refreshing and relaxing don't even begin to cover it!!

Best class time ever? I think so!

Me and Corey on a class break

Dean & Theresa's baby, Elias, totally loved Miami life as well

Tuesday, we went out to the Miami-Dade North Campus. We split up into pairs and began to evangelism the campus by storm. Well, Storm Joy & Dean [my school leader] lasted about 30 seconds. While talking to our very first person, we were stopped by security and told to stop what we were doing, because we didn't have proper identification. While we knew that the club we were had permission to be active on campus, we didn't want to defy authority, so we stopped sharing for the day. I sat at the campus ministry table and talked to people as they walked by, while my other schoolmates and staff were out sharing. It was really encouraging to hear their stories from the day and it inspired to get out there and try again on Wednesday [on a different campus].

Dean, after getting shut down by security.

Corey, deep in though about evangelizing, and the WAVES Campus Ministry table behind him!

Wednesday went really well at the Miami-Dade Kendall campus, as Corey and I teamed up and began approaching people at the campus coffeeshop. I was still pretty nervous though. Evangelism to strangers has never felt natural to me, and all too often it's the crazies that are the ones doing it. I'm not a crazy person, nor did I want to come off as one. I think I was more fearful of coming off as crazy than I was of actually talking to people. But once we walked up and started the conversation, it felt way more natural. We talked to a few believers, and were able to connect them to the campus ministry. But we also talked to a few nonbelievers, and we were able to clearly lay out the gospel and the plan of salvation to them. We prayed with some, encouraged some and hopefully moved them closer to a relationship with Jesus Christ. I guess some people would say we "failed" because no one actually prayed to receive Christ with us, but I think any spiritual conversation you have with someone that shares the truth about the gospel is a success. And that's exactly what we had. A lot of successful conversations.

We left Miami on Wednesday afternoon encouraged, refreshed, energized and much closer as a school. I jokingly compared our trip to a family vacation instead of a ministry trip. We laughed a lot and just had a great time being together. It made me excited for our outreach this summer and all the amazing times we will get to share together! More on that in my next post....

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's All Elemental

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8:27 PM
Last week, we had Steve Sizemore teaching in our school on the Elements of Personality. I must say, this was one of my favorite weeks of teaching. I love any type of assessment quiz or personal inventory questionnaire. I'm such a nerd that way. I was definitely excited to take this specific personality assessment, and see which element I am most like.

The basic premise of the profile is you are either a Fire, Wind, Water or Earth personality type. Everyone has all four to varying degrees of intensity. And a few people are a fusion, with an equal balance of all four. The results of this test are usually easy to remember, as the elements are intuitive. The way you would describe the wind is the same way you'd usually describe a person who is a Wind, which would be fast-paced, swift, refreshing, uplifting, unlimited, untamed, supportive, energizes, and productive. Someone who is an Earth could be described as sold, life-giving, secure, deep, strength, ordered, perfectly poised, scheduled, detailed, works silently, and preserves. A Fire could be characterized with words like hot, passionate, intense, dazzling, warms, visionary, attractive, ignites, consuming, and captivating. And a Water would be described as flexible, reflective, healing, deep, vital, accommodating, refreshing, adaptable, and irresistible.

Along with discussing our elemental personality profile, we looked at our spiritual gifts, our strengths and our talents. We discussed how to function in a team, as a leader, and what each element brings to a team, and how to best communicate. It was very practical and simple to grasp. At the end of the week, we wrote our Personal Portfolio, which is something like a summary of who we are and what we offer. Here's mine...

I am Wind. I love for things to be fun and exciting. I am optimistic and extremely flexible. As my Fire comes out, I am constantly motivating and exciting people to do something, to know something, or to be part of something. This is also expressed through my spiritual gift of Teaching. Whether it's one on one, or in front of a large group of people, I enjoy communicating and sharing information with others for their benefit. My Earth keeps me grounded in reality and inspires me towards study and facts, which makes me a better teacher. Sometimes through teaching, the spiritual gift of prophecy will emerge, as I am able to edify, encourage, or comfort someone else. I don't like heavy/somber moods, even if I'm discussing heavy/somber things - it's my natural tendency to keep the atmosphere light and airy. I recognize the power of words and am consistently wanting to wield it well in the world, to inspire change, promote growth, challenge adversity, and bring healing.

As we learned, through self-awareness, we are brought into a place of stewardship. The more we discover about ourselves, the more responsibility God puts on us, just as Jesus taught in the parable of the workers and the talents [Matthew 25:14-30]. I pray that as God continues to show me things about my character, my personality, my strengths and my giftings that I am constantly putting them under His stewardship so I can be a tool used for His kingdom. What more can a girl ask for in life, right?

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Wonder of Wandering

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10:29 PM
Nothing profound to add here...just a great quote from a great author. For all those who love to wander!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

i Know What I Know

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3:56 PM
It's taken me a few extra days to get a blog posted recapping last week's lecture. Maybe its because I had a weekend full of other things, or maybe because I'm still processing all that Al McBryan had to teach us. Al is one of the smartest people I have ever met, and sometimes sitting in his class is like doing mental gymnastics. He asks questions that I never thought of asking and discussing topics that have never crossed my mind. But I knew this going into the week, so I'll say I was somewhat prepared.

Al McBrayn, getting comfortable for class time!

Our topic was "Essentials of the Gospel". Basically, we talked about the gospel, and what were the essentials someone has to know to be saved. Basically, we started with how do we know God exists, and if He exists is there a reason to believe His is there to be known. We had some great discussion on proving the existence of God. We then moved into who is God, and what is He like, and a discussion on the nature and character of God. From there we talked about about How and why must everyone come to know God, and it was here that we really delved into the process of salvation. Finally, we discussed why is Jesus the only way back to God. There were so many big theological ideas thrown about. Some I wholeheartedly agreed with and some I'd never considered before, and it challenged me to go back to Scripture and gain perspective. I've also been reading Rob Bell's new book, Love Wins, which has itself become quite controversial among many Christian circles. So last week I was really feeling challenged to KNOW that i KNOW where I stand on these issues. I mean, think there's always going to be the mystery of faith, and some things will ever be able to be explained with human logic. And that's OK. Faith is essential to the gospel. In Hebrews 11:6 it says "It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him." This current week's teaching is completely different than last week's, and I'm grateful for the change of pace, but I'm definitely still wrestling with some of these points and questions we discussed. But I guess that all just part of this Christian journey....the believing, the doubting, the grasping, the revelations, the understanding, the experiencing and the sharing. What a beautiful process.

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