Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Easter Update!

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live…“  (John 11:25, NRSV)



“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.  Pursue the things over which Christ presides.  Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.  Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is.  See things from his perspective.“  (Colossians 3:1-2, The Message)

Hello all,

We pray your time of Lent and culmination in celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus has led you to new revelation of His goodness and incredible mercy shown to you on a daily basis.  Truly He has great purposes for us in all that He calls us to undertake!

Praying for the Nations
We are excited to be helping set up and dedicate a room on campus to be a Prayer Room for the unreached-unengaged people groups still on earth.  We will be putting in maps and info on various peoples, but mostly be leaving blank spaces for anyone, staff, student or visitor, to come in and hear God's heart for the lost, write down what they receive and prophesy it out.
I'm sure all of you have heard the tragic news of so many believers targeted and slaughtered in Sri Lanka, and we grieve with their families.  However, we also know this is nothing new and it is what Jesus told His followers to actually expect.  May it be a reminder for us to not grow weary in interceding for the Kingdom of Light penetrating the darkness in every country and nation around the globe.  You may not have heard, but Sudan's long-time dictator, Omar al-Bashir, perpetrator of countless abuses on his people (both in the north and the south) since taking over in a coup back in 1989, was recently deposed after protestors demanded his removal in the capital of Khartoum.  While many of us, including friends of ours that had served there and were kicked out alongside most other westerners in 2013, see this as a merciful answer to prayer, we also know it will be a challenging leadership transition and need to continue to pray for God-fearing leaders to fill the void and help usher in freedom for the many peoples of Sudan.  Of course, we continue to intercede for its troubled neighbor, South Sudan, praying that peace and development would finally begin there.  As the leaders are working on a new transitional government, agreed on last fall, may they receive conviction from the Lord that true leadership is about serving others interests and not their own.
What God has us doing
Thandi and I are now both serving with our local church, Church For All Nations, her on the Welcome Team with her big smile and contagious laugh and me getting some good experience behind the bar of the coffee shop, learning to make lattes and the like:)  This has given me some good customer service experience so I can better assist behind the bar in my new role at Kairos Coffee House as well.  I have volunteered to assist our new manager, Danny, a fellow staff on the BAM team, who is very gifted in coffee and people!  I am more behind the scenes, learning what it takes to run a successful business by running the books/weekly deposits, payroll every two weeks (we have 8 paid employees), and helping with maintenance and new projects.  We recently added on a new patio seating area just in time for the sunny summer here.  It has been great to build relationships with our employees, a few of whom don’t know the Lord personally yet, and seeking ways to be intentional in serving them and exercising the love of Christ.
Quick Testimony:  One of our employees recently opened up to me about a relationship he was struggling to navigate and needed to make a hard decision about.  I shared after listening and prayed for him after in full view of some our customers, many of whom know and appreciate why we operate.  The guy then came back the following week, and thanked me for the advice and prayer, giving him the courage to do what he knew was right.
I have also taken on a new role as Resident Assistant for the student hall on the other side of campus, so have been much more involved in giving orientation and helping new students with practical needs about their living arrangements. I also help with maintenance one day a week, which has led me to learn how to wire and install new heater/AC units among other things:).

Transitioning
I will now be taking a break from the weekly ESL classes through the local refugee placement program, as this next week we have our Spring staff conference on base and then the School of Business and Entrepreneurship (SOBE) commencing the following week.  It's been pretty fun working with the two guys from Eritrea and Afghanistan, though at times challenging to get them to focus and actually progress. It's like they are long lost brothers, always kidding and giving each other a hard time in jest.  Toor, the Afghan, I have been able to give a Pashtoo Torah and Dari New Testament, while I have been able to encourage Natinael, the Eritrean from an orthodox church background, to understand God is personal and wants to reveal His perfect will for his life.
I will be full-time staff on SOBE, which means attending all the classes as well as making time to meet one-on-one with three of the male students and grading their weekly assignments.  This year is the largest school to date with 21 students from various nations, the majority of which coming with business ideas they hope to refine and take to least reached nations!

Massage Parlor Ministry [Thandi Newsbite]
Happy late Easter from our family to yours!  We apologize for sending this update a bit late.  There are just so many things that are happening in our  ministry and we have just needed to sit with God to process and see things through His perspective. Our local reach team of ladies had our Easter massage parlor outreach on this last Saturday the 20th.  It was really such a blessing to see how many churches and community members showed up for the outreach. We are so thankful to God for providing gifts and Chinese literature that we were able to give out as gifts.  Since it was a big group of non-Ywamers we split up into groups and went to the different spots that we go to during the week on Thursdays. We encountered some different responses from the places that we went to: some were happy to see us and allowed us to share the gospel and pray for them, while others were quite closed off to the point of almost being hostile, thinking we are coming to monitor their activities.  
Our team was so surprised at how welcoming the ladies were and we really just saw the hunger from them as they wanted to learn more about this Jesus. We had such powerful times of prayer and were able to give prophetic words. In my team we had two Chinese prayer warriors and it was so amazing to watch them prophesying in their own language and seeing the women receiving those words. Other places that we went to the doors were shut in our faces and the ladies refused to take anything from us including gifts and prayers.  That was a bit disappointing as our team has gone to this particular place before and have found this lady to be open and very hospitable, so we don’t know what happened there but should also not be surprised when we face resistance from the enemy trying to control this trade.  The other place that we went to we could just feel the atmosphere changing, but we felt we should go to the building and see if anyone would answer.  We rang the bell about 3 times and no answer but we could see the lights on and heard the music playing.  We heard from Holy Spirit to pray outside the building and to leave the gift bags outside the door.  Another team that had two Chinese church members reported back of them leading two Chinese immigrants to the Lord in tears. We praise God with the work He is doing in these women!
Please continue to pray for our team and I has we seek for God’s will and direction in the hard places that we go to, that He will be giving us specific strategies on how to best minister to these ladies that feel they are forgotten.  One thing we are really looking into is other job opportunities for them.  I so appreciate each of you lifting us up and the role you each play to see God writing new things in the lives of these ladies. 

Prayer Points
·       Fruitful time in upcoming SOBE as I go through it a second time and refine my business plan while also pouring into others
·       Wrapping up homeschool year well with the kids and adjusting of curriculum for next year
·       Partnerships in Colorado Springs for job creation among the ladies Thandi is ministering to
·       I, Bryan, am praying about a possible trip to Turkey after the SOBE with an Iranian brother from our church who works with both refugees there and Turkish youth; we would run an English camp for them and would like at doing a BAM teaching alongside plenty of soccer ministry!

**Lastly, let’s remember to be praying for our Muslim brothers and sisters as Ramadhan begins May 5 and goes through to June 4th.  This is a special season for committed muslims who are more expectant in this time for God to be close to them and hear their prayers, and we always pray for revelation of our Lord Jesus to come in power during this time of fasting for them, breaking through the motions of religion passed on for generations and bringing true peace and hope! Here is the link to the annual 30-day prayer guide: https://www.pray30days.org/.
We are blessed to be a part of such a large mission community here, and often get news from around the world of what God is doing through our all-staff email.  We hope to encourage you with this recent update about more movement of Holy Spirit, this time in Algeria, and pray it goes beyond its borders during the coming time of Ramadhan: https://stories.om.org/resource/r62261.
For His glory among all nations,
B, T, B and E

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Merry Christmas!

“There’s no one quite like you among the gods, O Lord,


And nothing to compare with your works.


All the nations you made are on their way,


Ready to give honor to you, O Lord,


Ready to put your beauty on display,


Parading your greatness,


And the great things you do—


God, you’re the one, there’s no one but you!”


(Psalm 86:8-10, The Message)




Merry Christmas dear friends!

We want to wish you all a blessed Christmas celebration with as much family as possible this year, and a 2019 filled with the purposes of our Lord to work in and through you!  We trust you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration a few weeks back and are now enjoying a fresh experience of advent counting down to our Lord’s first coming. 


We can’t believe it’s that time of the year again, a time to reflect on the year and what God has ahead for us.  Quite different from last Christmas where we were so involved with Christian Heritage School, its students and all its wonderful programs. 

We can’t help but look back at the beginning of our season here in Colorado Springs and be so grateful to God for all He has done in our family and the relationships we continue to build here.  We have been blessed by my parents to be able to once again fly in to Seattle for Christmas, and will be up in Bellingham from the 22nd to the 29th.  We hope to connect with some of you that are able!


Our good friend, Virmz (Filipino YWAMer based in SA), visited us and we took him to Garden of the Gods; zoom in and you can see Busi and Eli sitting in the “window” of one of the many fabulous rock structures

Refugee & Immigrant Focus
Starting on January 7th, I will be volunteering 1-2 days a week teaching English to new refugee arrivals in Colorado Springs in partnership with Lutheran Family Services, which is the only refugee settlement agency here.  Before they wrapped up for the Christmas break I was able to sit in on one class and meet some of the students, including one Congolese pastor I could speak some Swahili with, whose wife and daughters were in another tutor group.  The teacher mentioned how she had never seen his face light up so much.  I am excited as currently Congolese are now the highest number of refugees settling in Colorado Springs.  Even though the focus is on getting them self-sufficient in their English to be more self-sufficient in all other areas of life, I love the opportunity to be able to instill value and dignity in the culture they are bringing to America as well!  I have been asked to be a lead teacher by the head coordinator, so should be a good challenge!  I have submitted my fingerprints for background check, so all should be ready for me to jump in and serve in January.  Here is a little blip about it from the church: http://www.first-pres.org/media/articles/refugee-life-skillsesl-volunteer
I have also been asked to be the point person for organizing weekly pickup games with the large community of Afghan refugees here (they have been the largest number of refugees settling in CO Springs in years past) beginning afresh in January.  A few of us YWAMers partner with a local nonprofit that specifically focuses on helping Afghans assimilate into American society while not losing their cultural heritage called Bridges: https://bridgescolorado.org/.  They are wanting me to try for every Saturday morning at a centrally located park, though I am still trying to see what my coaching schedule will be like with the Rush Club team I will hopefully be taking over.  Please pray for better communication with the other coaches in that club!:)
This past quarter I have been attending every public meeting and gathering concerning refugees and immigrants in the city, which initially started with my helping one lady that wants to help immigrants better assimilate into American culture to get her business plan for a coffee shop going.  While that plan has had to be put on hold, the lady is very involved in the community and has been giving me info on all kinds of events.  This contact, along with another Egyptian brother (not Ibrahim I spoke of last time) who I go downtown to evangelize with, and those I meet at pick up soccer games, I have been getting a good picture of the diversity of this second largest city in Colorado.  I am just praying with my department that we can connect with some of the immigrants to see them grow more successful businesses and minister through that.




Busi and Eli getting free lessons with US Olympic Stake Team (yes, Busi is Seahawk crazy like her Grammy)

Massage Parlor Ministry
Thandi has been joining some of the ladies on campus who have recognized just how rampant local massage parlors are being used as fronts for trafficking girls from all around Asia.  The core of the ministry is intercessory prayer, more often than not staying in the parking lots in front of the shops and listening to what God is saying about the situation and girls and speaking out His will.  Those that usually go in to the shops are a few Chinese women from the local church and one of our fellow staff who speaks Mandarin after living there several years.  Here are some of Thandi’s impressions from the time thus far:
Now that we have found a good rhythm in homeschooling the kids, it is nice to be able to find ministries that I can activate my gifts in the spirit.  Each time I have been able to join the ladies going to the massage parlors I have seen God do amazing miracles, often sharing with us exactly what is on the hearts of the women in the parlors before our team goes in to see them.  That is how one of the Chinese ladies broke down and surrendered her life to the Lord on the spot!  I just love to be able to join with what Holy Spirit is doing in people’s hearts, to be willing and available to partner with Him.
I have also been reminded how powerful and important prayers are, and that the behind-the-scenes work is just as important, if not more.  I loved to hear how big of a revelation this Chinese woman had of our God.  It has been a privilege to partner with a local Chinese church with very passionate women longing to reach their own people, and making sure to follow up in discipleship with those that respond.
Homeschooling
It’s been such a joy and a privilege to be able to homeschool our kids and to see so much progress and growth that is taking place in their lives.  Elisha is now reading on his own!  It has been so amazing for Thandi to think that she actually taught her own son how to read with confidence.  I have been trying to get the Word in each morning before heading to the office, though admittedly sometimes we get a late start and have to jump right into their math lessons after a quick prayer.
We have also been blessed to get plugged into a new local church called Church For All Nations that is very international and has an amazing children’s program that is really helping to disciple our kids alongside the homeschooling.  The church also does very well in engaging newcomers into sharing their gifts to serve the church as God intends.  Thandi and I have attended two out of the three growth classes required to be able to join the serve team.  It was also a Jamaican-American couple from this church that invited us to their home for Thanksgiving (and, boy, was it good:) on our first Sunday visiting!
Siyabonga (Thank you all)!



Thank you again for all your prayers and ongoing financial support towards us.  We could not be fully pursuing what God has put on our hearts if it wasn’t for our partnership.  We are still receiving $1000-$1300/month, and have been challenged to see that come up to at least $2000/month to cover our living expenses as well as provide more freedom to take training/teaching trips when the opportunities arise. 
We realize Christmas is always a busy, wonderful time to be with family, but we would love to catch up with any of you in the Bellingham and Seattle area in the next few days if it proves possible.  Otherwise, we will be looking to set up a time to visit next year to connect and share more of our needs and vision.  We would like to continue to make you aware of a new tax-deductible way to give through the base using our personal donor code.  This link takes you directly to our page:  https://www.ywamcos.org/support?code=677
For His glory among all nations,
Bryan, Thandi, Busi and Elisha