Tag Archives: tesl

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


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.


Back at the Crossroads – The Arrival


Okotoks, AB

Leaving Okotoks felt much harder this year. When we came to Crossroads Discipleship Training School at YWAM Kona as students, last year, it was an adventure that was about our own pilgrimage. It was a time of exploring our life/lives and choosing a direction from the crossroads we found ourselves at, we were seeking a ministry direction where we could both travel together. The theme verse for the Crossroads school is taken from Jeremiah 6:16

Crossroads Bookmark Single

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Selling the house and buying a condo apartment, shedding clutter, moving, taking early retirement from a secure and meaningful job and setting off into the unknown (all within 12 months) should have been very stressful and yet there had been an inexplicable peace about the steps we were taking.We really didn’t experience a lot of difficulty. Saying farewell to family and friends after reconnecting through the summer was harder.

In many ways we are heading into the unknown again. Yes, we know the YWAM base, we know what the excellent teachings are, we know people here, we know the prayer room is air-conditioned yet as staff our responsibilities have changed, this is not about our journey, although we will see growth and transformation ourselves, it is now all about serving others.

This time we saw evil trying to overcome good, times when our peace was being stolen. We had spent a few weeks after returning from our DTS to allow the emotional attachments we had made in Kona and Hanoi to cool before considering the next steps. We knew that teaching english was to be an important part of “next” so we did get TESL certificates quickly. After the “cooling off” period we prayerfully considered the options before us. We felt led to return to Kona as staff, so here we are.

IMG_0264Our first Hawaiian sunset occurred while still 40 minutes out of Kona,IMG_3036 we saw it from the plane window and it was quite amazing, even the pilot commented and told passengers to look. We were above the clouds which helped, the two nights we have been on the ground we haven’t seen the sun go down due to rain clouds but it is brighter during the day. This morning we have clear blue skies to start the day and we heard that the trade winds are due to return which will help lower the humidity. That will be a relief!! The rain does cool things down a bit but we don’t want to see any more Flash Flood Warnings showing up on our phones.

Our room is very nice, we are feeling very blessed and praying in faith that we don’t have to move when the students arrive in a couple of weeks.IMG_0266 IMG_0274 Queen size bed, kitchenette and our own bathroom. As you can see there is no propane tank outside the window for those who recall our “room with a view” last year.

We begin our staff training on Monday. We have the schedule now; it looks full and some of it will be quite intense. We appreciate your prayers. I, Andy, have received 2 words from different places that seem to affirm each other. The first commanding me to “Step into it!” and the second equally direct “Don’t resist!”, pray that when the time comes to step into it without resistance that I will be bold and faithful. Thanks.

Ministry Card 2015

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

Week 16 (and 17.5) – YWAM Kona, At the Crossroads – Delinquent in Hanoi

We cannot believe how fast the weeks are passing by, we only have nine days left in Vietnam.

Our schedule has been full for the past few weeks, so I apologize for our delinquency in posting. Today looked like an opportunity for catching up on posts. Then last night we heard that there is a call to prayer today for YWAM Ships. A month ago they lost the 86 ton yacht Hawaii Aloha  and staff member, Aaron Bremner to a winter storm off the Big Island, today we will gather in prayer for this ministry.

DSC_1620DSC_1668DSC_1622Last weekend we headed out of Hanoi, to Sa Pa a community close by the northern border with China. Sa Pa is in the mountains and we had sleeping berths on a night train to get there, we came back to Hanoi by bus late on Sunday night. This was an interesting trip, we had a few hours of sunshine on Friday and almost saw the peaks of some mountains, but most of the time we were in the clouds, rain, fog, mist, it was the ‘hard-to-warm-up-chill-to-the-bone cold’, not the ‘dry cold’ of Alberta. The trip was filled with great joy though, as we were able to meet many H’Mong, a tribal people native to the area. The town of Sa Pa must hold the world record for most “the North Face” stores, I am sure I went in 27, they are interspersed with hotels, restaurants and massage places.

A little while ago we were asked if we would do it again, give up 5 months of our life to do a YWAM DTS. The short answer is “Yes, without a doubt, we would do it again.” We have done several short-term missions over the past 13 years, to Santiago, Chile, to Unitedville, Belize and in Tijuana, Mexico; these have varied from two weeks to five, each was centred around a construction project which we used in a variety of ways to build relationships. Some of the things we learned in short-term missions were helpful in preparing us for the outreach phase here in Viet Nam but the lecture phase at Kona was very different from any previous mission preparation activity. The teaching was intensive, very solidly Bible-based, challenging, provoking and practical; we would sit under that teaching again.

Our time in Vietnam has been quite different from all of our previous trips into the developing world which focused around a construction project as the tool to build relationships, have conversations and share cultural and worldview. While YWAM is not averse to practical assistance, often involving itself in mercy, relief and development aid around the world, it is not the focus of the Discipleship Training Schools outreach. Over the past few weeks in Vietnam it has been ourClass 1 participation in english language clubs and our involvement in classrooms that has brought about the relationships needed to be able to share life. One of our purposes in coming to YWAM was because we were at a crossroads in life and we were hoping to discover a ministry opportunityClass 2 where we could serve together. While we have both been stretched and pushed out of our comfort zones by the tasks that God has given us here, especially the university classes, we have seen many people who desire to learn more than just the English language. Discussions always seem
to go beyond the topic at hand around life management, coping skillsIMG_6262and cultural differences. Both of us have enjoyed sharing through english classes and clubs. We have registered for TESL/TESOL/TEFL certification course at the University of Calgary in March and are thinking that we can start an english club in Okotoks.

5 months seems like a long time to be away but we have found modern technology Skype and FaceTime has narrowed the gap, enabling us to see and chat with children and grandchildren as often we are able with a 14 hour time difference. We have done so, weekly from Kona and two weekly from Viet Nam.

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

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