Saturday, July 9, 2011

Some Pics

There's a new post from yesterday under this entry, but I just wanted to post some pics for those who can't see the entire album on Facebook!

With two girls at the Atlanta Aquarium, in the Underwater Tunnel looking up at all the sharks!

Starfish and sea urchins in the touch pool at the Aquarium

All the Eritrean kids that hang out with us!


Playing tag at Summer Camp

We play lots and lots of tag....

Listening to instructions at Summer Camp

Friends from the complex

Friday, July 8, 2011

Swings and Aquariums

As I mentioned in the last post, this has been a much-needed week off for the interns. I’ve really loved the opportunity to just spend time in this community hanging out with the friends that we’ve made here. I’ll just share two quick stories to illustrate my point.

I’ve continued to teach ESL this week, and the three ladies that come has grown to four, along with a couple more Somali women who speak pretty good English and can help translate. And they bring their young children as well. So basically, ESL has gotten wilder, louder, and a lot funnier as the women relax and begin to hold conversations in English. I’ve really enjoyed their exuberance this week; they always seem to be able to reenergize me.

Today, we got to take two of the older Eritrean girls to the Atlanta Aquarium. It was definitely a treat to see their faces when we first entered! They weren’t quite sure whether to be scared or just amazed at all the fish and the tanks of water. We saw all sorts of exotic fish, Beluga whales, otters, starfish, gigantic manta rays, and even whale sharks. They got to pet a lot of the animals as well in the pools of open water. It was so awesome just to see these two girls trying to take it all in at once, as each tank held something more amazing to them than the last. Thank you God for the blessing of these friendships!

Some things to pray for...
- that the Eritrean girls here would really understand what it is to follow and know
Jesus. They are cultural Christians, but they need to know God on a more
personal level
- that God would provide someone to come after me to teach my ESL family
English. I would love to be able to provide them with a teacher after I leave

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rest Week

This week is our week off, thank goodness : ) It will be nice to have a break from the craziness of short-term teams. I love having them in Clarkston with all their energy and excitement, but the our batteries were definitely beginning to run low after three straight weeks of having teams. So this week, we will spend time praying, quiet time alone with God, and time in the community just connecting with the refugees. I’m going to continue teaching ESL to my family with another intern, and other than that, I plan on taking every opportunity to interact with refugees whether on the playground with the kids or in the homes of their parents.

Last night, though, all the interns went to a Braves game and fireworks for the 4th of July. It was really nice to get out of Clarkston just for a few hours; I kind of felt like I was crossing the border to reenter the US, like I needed my passport or something. Clarkston is almost a completely different country, so seeing normal American society just a 20 minute drive from Clarkston was surreal. We ate at a buffet and then went to watch the game in the $1 ticket seats. It began to storm towards the end of the game, but it was still awesome as the fireworks were going off with lightning in the background.

But back in Clarkston, God is doing some pretty amazing things. Here’s just a few examples out of the many places that we see God at work. The other night, I was at a Bible study for refugees at another apartment complex, and we got to hear one Iraqi women speak in broken English about how she and her husband “love Jesus” now because He gave her a dream about Himself when she was a child. Over and over again, we hear stories of Muslims here in Clarkston coming to know Christ because of dreams and visions that they have of him, adults and children alike. It’s pretty earth-shattering to realize that as much as we try to witness to the Muslims in our community, God can always do it better by revealing Himself directly to them.

Another intern was called by her ESL family, an African family with lots of little kids, to take their sick son to the doctor. Because many of the refugees either cannot drive or speak English, it’s very difficult for them to get access to a doctor when they need medical help. He’s only 5 years old, and when she got there, he was running a fever of 102. She couldn’t take him to the doctor at that moment, so she and another intern prayed that God would heal him. She returned a few hours later after the Tylenol she had given him would have worn off to find him running around completely healed. That’s just one example of the healings we’ve seen God work. The other day, while walking around in an apartment complex. a couple of interns met a former Buddhist who had been paralyzed on half of his body. A pastor miraculously healed him of paralysis through God’s power, and ever since then, he has been following Jesus and telling all of his family and friends. Pretty crazy stuff!

Basically, just know that we’re seeing God at work in many miraculous ways here in Clarkston. Sometimes, I think we forget that God can speak and act for himself; He works through his church, but He is still perfectly and wonderfully capable of doing His own work with or without us.

Some things to pray for include...
- rest for the interns; that we would spend our time well this week
- for my ESL family, that I would be able to communicate clearly
- that the short-term teams would be able to apply the things that they learn in
Clarkston to their lives back home