Category Archives: Staffing with YWAM

Back in Canada – Summer 2017

Old News for some, maybe new for some…

I thought I had posted this in June!!! I hope to do better at posting regularly…

June, summer is here – and it is over three months since we posted any news. We made it back to Canada, in time to celebrate her 150th birthday. This post is longer than I prefer so reserve a bit more time than usual for reading. 🙂

In between working, we have been traveling: Penang, Malaysia; Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon; and also within Vietnam, Andy went to Lao Cai, & we both visited Ninh Binh, Nam Dinh, very close to Thai Binh, and Tuyen Quang. And we have traveled back to Okotoks, Canada, from Ha Noi, via Tokyo and Vancouver.

Our 90-day tourist visa for Vietnam expired Mar 18, so we had to leave Vietnam to re-enter and get issued a new visa. The process was a less complicated than we had anticipated, when planning this time in Vietnam, we decided to allocate a few days for visiting with friends. We thought we may go to Chiang Mai, Thailand or Penang, Malaysia to see people we had met during our first trip to YWAM Kona. As we prayed and sought opportunity, airplane tickets, and accommodation, Penang rose up as the place.

Glenda had a neck and shoulder problem throughout the trip that made the flights uncomfortable. You can see Debra providing a gentle massage, undoing some of the damage.

We flew from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur and then to Penang Island, and stayed for 4 nights. We visited with the Lindsay’s, a family who were part of our Crossroads Discipleship Training School in 2014, who are now serving full-time in Penang. We also took a drive across to the back of the island to Balik Pulau. Here we met up with Debra, a Malay, who was also a classmate. She works with children and is planting a church with a Korean pastor.

There are Chinese, Indian and Malay in Penang, and you can see and feel the British influence from the colonial days. English is the language we heard the most, sometimes we forgot that we could talk and be understood. Cars drive on the left and crossing the street, they stop at traffic lights and crosswalks and yet it seemed more dangerous. Coming from Hanoi where pedestrians, motorbikes, cars, buses and trucks (lorries) all chaotically mingle together on the streets, we thought Malaysia would be easier, but we found ourselves looking the wrong way, and stepping out in places we shouldn’t.

All in all, it was a great trip, the blue skies were a treat, the food was awesome, the time filled up with fellowship and catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

 

When we returned from Malaysia with our new 90 day visa we settled back into our routine for a week then flew to Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon, in the south of Vietnam. We did this to take part in a seminar that was being held there. The meetings were in a Korean church, in a neighbourhood that had many Korean businesses, schools and BBQs. The seminar was called ‘Restoring The Foundations’ and it lasted for two weeks. While we were in Saigon we did get to visit the downtown area and saw the city panorama from the observation deck on the 65th floor of the  of the Bitexco Tower, the tallest building in the south.

 

We added a new English Club at the Hanoi Medical University after we came back from Saigon. With the VTV/Helio Cafe English Club and two at the Mustard Seed we now had clubs every day of the week. Each of them were created to be safe-environments in which members would be encouraged to speak. Manu young Vietnamese have several years of learning english grammar in school but very few get a chance to practice speaking. The clubs are also a great place to share our stories, our cultural

Andy had an opportunity for a brief visit Lao Cai, a city in the mountains located on the border with China.

Our visit to Ninh Binh was a gift from the outreach team that we took to Ha Noi back in December of 2016. They left in February, without us, and we decided to wait for nice weather for our trip. It was a great blessing, we really enjoyed the time being rowed around the waterways, and were surprised to visit one of the locations used in the movie Kong: Skull Island.

A day trip to Nam Dinh, fulfilled a 2 year old promise to visit David’s hometown.  We traveled by bus, it was full, very well, so we sat on small, very small red plastic stools almost all the way.

 

 

Hà Nội without a team.

We have been in Hà Nội for three weeks without the team. We have followed them on Facebook and Whats App as they debriefed in Kona and moved on to the next phase.

We have moved into a different apartment on the west side of Hồ Tây, West Lake, near where we rented the first year we visited. Back in the old ‘hood, you could say.

We have continued with some of the work that started while the team was here, particularly the VTV3 (Vietnam TeleVision) English Club. We have started a couple of new clubs, two at the Mustard Seed, where our students range from 4 years to 74 years!! One of the ladies at the VTV3 club invited her husband a couple of weeks ago. He is a well-known doctor, known as Dr Happy. He asked if we would host a club at Hanoi Medical University for some of his colleagues; so this week we will go there for a test run. Out of all of this, we have some one on one tutoring in the works. In all of this there are so many opportunities for sharing life and our culture and worldview. This nation is hungry – hungry for English, hungry for the good news, hungry for relationship, hungry for mothers and fathers…

…and hungry for food.

There will always be food pictures. Here in Vietnam, fellowship around a table, or  on a floor mat, is a integral part of the culture, whether it is a TET meal, Lẩu, Bún Chả, Phở, Cơm Rang or Nem Rán. An invitation to share a meal, even from those who have little to offer, is hard to refuse. There is so much life in the sharing.

 

We will leave Vietnam for a short trip next weekend to renew our visa, we have been in the country for 90 days, already. We will visit friends in Penang, Malaysia, flying from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur then up to Penang.

We are picking up a bit more tiếng Việt, Vietnamese, but we are still asking Dad to wake us up one morning fluent in this tongue.

Still watching and listening for all other reasons we are here. Please keep praying for us to have the boldness and wisdom to walk in obedience to His voice.

Until next time be blessed and be a blessing, A&G

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Scripture fromEnglish Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 byCrossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

“At the Crossroads” Again – It is over, WOW!

Glenda and I remain in Hanoi. Our team flew back to Kona, leaving us behind. The past two months have flown by at light-speed.

So many great things have happened that it will be hard to report. Actually, reporting is hard because words can never do justice to the experience. For example, we can show a movie and talk about crossing the street in Hanoi, but until you step out into the traffic you cannot experience the parting of the sea. I am sure the Israelites had a similar experience when crossing the Red Sea. They also had to step out in faith. Can you imagine trying to describe that experience to others who have never been there? That is how I feel every time I try to write a post here.

Since our last post, we have been involved in may different activities

We were able to share in an English Club with Detech Gateway. This club was held at Gateway International School, many of the students were staff and teachers at the Sakura Montessori School which is located on the same campus. Here is a picture of one of the classes on the day that they brought TET food to share. Many great relationships were formed between our team and the students as we shared english and some of our western culture.img_0965

Our team was able to sing some kids songs at Hota Kindergarten’s outdoor gathering. There were lots of people, here are some our team leading the song “Feel it in my Bonesdsc_7694.

We spent some time in some drug rehabs where members of our team were able to share life-testimonies and stories about the freedom they have experienced. We were able to teach how addictions can be cured and complete healing found when we walk with the way, the truth and the Life.img_0655

A new opportunity came about this year as we were invited to start an english club at the VTV3 television station. This is a great story and the club will continue as we stay in Vietnam.img_0827

Our overnight trip to Ha Long Bay was a time spent on a boat on the calm waters. The first day was the clearest and brightest, with very good visibility, the second day was a bit cloudy, foggy and rainy. Andy was able to kayak and take a winter swim in the bay, Glenda visited a floating fishing village and we enjoyed a spectacular sunset.dsc_7809

While in Sa Pa we visited a few ethnic villages, we stayed 4 nights and the town was in the cloud the whole time. Even though it is in the tropics, the elevation makes for a cold and damp climate during winter. The last day we took the world’s longest cable car ride to the top of Fansipan mountain. We started out in the cloud, the 20 minute ride was almost all in the cloud, then we broke through into brilliant sunshine and blue sky just before we reached the summit. It is the highest point in all of south-east Asia, 3,143m (10,311 ft) and is the first peak in the Himalayas. We spent time leaving footprints on the high place and proclaiming the word over the nation. There are several temples and pagodas under construction on the summit, some of our Vietnamese Christian friends say there is a push for a church to be built to represent their faith as well.dsc_8068

We were able to eat many TET meals as friends invited us to their homes to share these special meals with us. These were times of great blessing for us as we fellowshipped with no other agenda than to enjoy each others company.

So now, we are in Vietnam until June, seeking direction each day, and looking forward to what will come about. We are planning a trip to Ho Chi Minh City in April where we will visit with some Y friends and take a course.

Until next time be blessed and be a blessing, A&G

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Scripture fromEnglish Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 byCrossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.