Saturday, January 28, 2012

Missions Fest Vancouver

"Missions Fest Vancouver is part of Missions Fest International and highlights global mission opportunities, showcases over 260 international mission organizations..."

260 International missions organizations!

It's true, and although I didn't count, there were indeed PLENTY of booths set up in the exhibition room. While I enjoyed walking through the many isles and losing myself in conversations about local and overseas work, it seemed second nature to be seeking out information about people located in the 10/40 window (, and more specifically the Middle East. I cannot claim that I spoke to every single exhibitor about Israel/Palestine and the surrounding few countries, but after a couple hours of finding nil through polite roundabout conversation, I certainly forwent the icebreakers and facades where I tried/pretended to be interested in other regions. What I found was this:

-4(or so) Organizations who had projects in either Iraq, Jordan, or Afghanistan
-4 Pro Israel organizations
-No groups that had projects in Iran
-No groups that had projects in Palestine
-No groups that had projects in Syria
-No groups that had projects in Lebanon 

...I forgot to ask about Yemen. I know. I wish I had remembered. Have you seen pictures of Yemen recently? What a cool place! Sadly, the population is statistically unreached with the hope of Christ. 

Comparatively speaking, there was an abundance of known activity happening in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Of course that isn't to say that there aren't any large umbrella organizations in the above above listed areas, just that they weren't represented at this specific conference. 

I wish that I would have know that I was going to blog about this, because I really would have taken better notes and sources. Anyhow, these aren't academic musings. I'm not saying that there isn't a Christian presence in the "forgotten" countries (because there most certainly is), but that presence is definitely a lot more grass roots (grass roots is awesome, just difficult to follow abroad). As people looking for opportunities to go overseas with the intention to work/serve/volunteer, I feel strongly that more focus should be given to the forgotten promised land, not simply because there is a lack of Gospel being circulated, but because many areas are actually very impoverished and therefore needing plenty of practical help with things like community development, access to clean water, and education. I'm specifically thinking of refugee camps in Palestine, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. 

As a side note, there seems to be quite a few established English teaching opportunities in Iraq. Shane Claiborne shared a bit about his experience with the local church in Baghdad and his stories were intensely captivating.  If we come back safe and sound from Palestine/Israel, perhaps that will be a future TWU trip proposal. Haha, that's mostly a joke for my mom. Sorry.

If you're interested:  [Shane's site]

Blessed that I could share this with you.
Happiest of Saturdays and peace,



Monday, January 23, 2012

"We talk of the Second Coming; half of the world has never heard of the first." 
- Oswald J. Smith, Canadian pastor

"To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with him." 
- John Piper

Sunday, January 22, 2012

starting something new and wonderful

This is a blog about six spirited college kids who are stepping out from Trinity Western University to go where no Global Projects team has gone before. Until this year, TWU has never sent students to the Middle East in order to build community and serve with volunteer work. This summer will be the fulfilling of a wonderful vision given me in September of 2010. It has been an exercise of faith to get this started, but God has recently given our project wings and it has taken off much more gracefully than we could have envisioned. Besides myself, there is co-leader Emily Gemmell, Emily Zmak, Rhys Volkenant, Lindsay Dijkman, and Levi Jerome embarking on this journey to the Holy Land of Palestine/Israel. God-willing, we shall go for six weeks, commencing at the beginning of May 2012. That means that it will be less than two years since my last visit to the region. I am so pleased at the opportunity to go back to my heartland. Emily Gemmell will also be making a return to the refugee camps and we couldn't be more thrilled with the passion moving our souls. We would really appreciate it if you would consider praying for our team's guidance, courage, provision, and humilty from now until our safe return mid June. 

I reckon that this blog will be updated regularly by either myself or one of my inspiring teammates. I hope that you won't mind the casual nature of these entries. I think it would be neat to post pictures, poems, verses, short blurbs, dialogues, songs, and videos in order to share what's stirring amongst us. 

It would be unreal if this blog could stay in service for years to come with other teams travelling to serve in the Middle East. What a blessing that would be. I really hope that this is just the start of something new and wonderful in our hearts and on campus.

I feel like this song encompasses some of what's going on right now.

"there's a pounding in my heart
 it's gonna leave a mark
 it's a knocking on my door
 it's the signal of a start
 it's You, it's You."

More info to come.
Salam, Shalom, Peace,

Miss Chelsea Ayers

city of the moon [Jericho]

running in Aqabat Jaber