Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What now for the Leages?

What now for the Leages? We are in the process of sorting out things (amazing how much you can collect in such a short time), cleaning, and beginning to pack. We leave the Big Island for Colorado on the 6th of July where we have the wonderful opportunity to visit family, friends and supporting churches for a couple of weeks. We return to the UK late July.

Our time here has been very mixed with challenges that have caused us all to grow. We have made good friends and will be sorry to leave them. But we all have good friend to return to!

The expected leader for the future Kona BTPS’s will not be picking up this role so we believe it right that I should run the second one (and probably the third) to help see it established and leaders and staff trained. Now that we know our way around this campus we will not need so much advance time to prepare, with much preparation work able to be done while I am in the UK. We think we will return here late December in time for the school start early January 2011, staying until the students go on outreach at the end of April. I will then return alone for the final debrief of the school. This means we will be a mobile family for the next couple of years.

The Final Week

Last week the students returned from their outreaches and we are now in the process of bringing the first Kona Biblical Teaching and Preaching School (BTPS) to a conclusion with the final week of lecture and debrief. I am so proud of each student, at their humility, eagerness for input and the change we have seen over this last six months. The highlight of my time in China was witnessing the clarity and anointing as I listened to two of my students lead a guided discussion with a group enquiring university students. The humble confidence of each of them was a great reward.

Celma (from Brazil, and a seasoned missionary to Portugese West Africa) was involved in seeing a small church in a Montana cowboy town turn a corner from general unbelief toward a new level of faith. Her testimony of seeing people healed, delivered and even raised from the dead made a profound impact. This same moving of the Holy Spirit was then evidenced in this small church (not the raising from the dead, though!) She made a lasting impression, with seventy-five percent of the church making a fresh commitment to missions on her last Sunday.

Luke from the UK invested his first month working with inner city gang kids in LA, then continued to work with the youth at local church here on the island. His investment will have lasting fruit.

It has been a new experience having A. from China join us for this last week via Skype. Her visa was not multiple-entry so she could not return easily to the US, but she has been able to finish with her classmates with the help of this technology.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And where are you from?

Linda's brother and family vacationed in Hawaii a few weeks ago. We joined them in seeing the sights, playing in the sand, and (of course) watching England vs USA in the World Cup!!

One highlight was all of us attending a luau at the King Kamehameha hotel with a Polynesian dance show put on by Island Breeze. It was a wonderful event - highly recommended.

When David and the family were introduced to our friends here, many seemed surprised that Linda's brother was NOT from England! Her confused accent still has many thinking we're all from the UK.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wrapping Up, Gearing Up

Phil returned to Kona on yesterday (Monday) from 2 weeks in Japan and China. He came back a tired but happy boy, with tales about the people he invested in, the needs in these lands, and the vast opportunities there. Our long-term workers there are heroes!

Jonathan finishes his school this week. Recent highlights have been dissecting a wild pig last week, and tomorrow’s finale is the dissection of a cow’s eye. Very hands-on. The Junior High will finish with a two day trip into the north of the island and overnight at Makapala (where Phil spent 3 years in the 1980’s). This school experience has been one of the most positive ones Jonathan has had, and we’r

e so grateful for it.

Elisa’s on-line school can’t compete with these activities, yet she is also rejoicing at ending her coursework this week. Our social girl has missed having classmates during the day, but she can see she has learned more this year than has been her experience.

With 6 weeks left of our stint in Kona, we want to make the most of each day. I will be able to train my replacement for Staff Services (a miracle provision) which is something that was very important to me. Phil has one more week of teaching (Zechariah with the SBS in Egypt via Skype) before his students return for debrief. The Kona SBS staff are glad to have him back because they say they miss having him in their office.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Japan Update

Tokyo, or at least, the little I saw of it is a truly amazing city. Everything seems to be electronic and extremely neat and tidy, very compact also.

For me it was an excellent week of teaching, with some significant feed back from the students. The work of YWAM there is fresh and full of new promise. I think the attitude of many of the students to the scriptures has changed with very practical tools to help them continue to dig in on their own.

The leader of the work there, John Sommers-Harris, was a friend from my teenage years, we went to the same youth group together in Hove England. What an excellent job he and his wife Rhonda are doing there. Also, my translator for the seminar, Shinji, was a class mate from my School of Biblical Studies way back in 1983. What fun it was to fellowship with them both, especially in the Japanese hot bath house!

I was invited to teach a weekend seminar for the local church, which happened to coincide with a large gathering (large for Tokyo that is) with a very well known speaker from the States and Chris Tomlin leading worship. Hmmm, guess who won! Even so we had a significant time with those that did come. Japan is one of the most needy nations in the world with regards to the message of Life. I am excited at what will be happening in these next years with YWAM there.