Hello friends! So with the start of fall is a new homeschooling year and the beginning of all of our activities, from Spotlight English Club to Alpha. Please find our latest update below. Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and p*ayers… we miss you all and look forward to seeing most of you next summer!
When curious but non-obvious things happen, is it the movement of G**? Do coincidences even exist or is G**’s hand always moving? I’ve thought about these questions the past few weeks and have concluded that it’s the latter… that even in the most unassuming circumstances, the L*** is planning his course for all people.
A few weeks ago, one of the students that I’d been spending time with last year (teaching English at the university) randomly reached out to me. These days, we don’t meet up regularly because the guys have graduated and are now working all over the place. In any case, he asked me about Spotlight English Club and that he wanted to start coming. Sure enough, that next Wednesday he was there. On this particular night, I was promoting and inviting all of our students to the Alpha Course, giving them info and showing them the “movie trailer” on YouTube. He was intrigued!
After a week of asking questions about it and proclaiming his allegiance to agnosticism, sure enough he came to the 1st Alpha session. He is a brainy one… perhaps too smart for his own good. But still, (let’s call him) “Troy” wants to talk about faith, purpose and life. I look forward to going on this journey together with him.
On a separate occasion, I got an urgent text from one of my old Book Study members… she requested that I meet with her and someone she met who is fervently seeking spirituality and that he wanted to know more about our faith. I asked her about his background… the usual things like how good his English is, what type of family life he had, etc. and to my surprise she let me know that he was a British ex-pat who was working in Hanoi. Thrown off a bit, I agreed to meet with him (Adam) and her (let’s call her “Kate”) the following night which resulted in a 3-hour conversation.
I asked them how they met and Adam told me that since he was interested in spirituality, he was meeting Buddhists, Muslims, and of course wanted to know more about our faith, so he stumbled upon our Sunday Gathering Facebook page. Kate had written a review about our Place so he decided to randomly reach out to her to start a conversation!
After our long conversation I invited him to the Alpha Course and a week later he came, guns-a-blazing! He was asking questions, talking to everybody and anybody and even staying late to talk with one of our Viet brothers!
So this has been an auspicious start to our fall Alpha Season… There are quite a few Spotlight friends and others who I have met who attended the 1st session. Strangely, a good number of them already have an opinion about who G** is and some even come with axes to grind! Regardless of the final outcome, I look forward to all of our guests being thrown off-guard by the love and presence of our Father! Our team is ready to represent JC to the fullest!
- Alpha – In addition to the 2 gentlemen outlined above, please p*ay for this season- that our guests would consistently come, that new people would join and that the HS would be at work! As I mentioned, we have quite a few opinionated guests and I’d love to show them all extra love!
- Book Study group- So I started a new men’s Book Study group, mostly at the request of some of our members from last year. Our group consists of 2 Viet… 1 good friend of mine and 1 friend who I am d*scipling and 1 Korean ex-pat who was in our group last year. I’m especially excited, because all of them are also serving at Alpha. Please p*ay that as they serve that they would grow in their faith and that our father would show them new faces of himself!
- Business- my team leader will be working as an employee of our company starting in October. He will be tutoring English, not just in Hanoi but also in the countryside outside of the city. This is a very big opportunity for us to reach out beyond Hanoi! Additionally, I am still waiting on outsourcing opportunities with my friend’s company. Please p*ay that our worker’s visa and paperwork would get done without problems, that we would be legally allowed to teach outside of Hanoi and that the outsourcing opportunities would come through.
- D*scipleship program at our Sunday Group- some key Sunday group members and the Leadership of our Sunday group have agreed that d*scipleship is a critical element that is missing in our Group and in other Sunday groups all over the country. We want d*scipleship to be a core value and culture in our Group. I will be helping out in this endeavor by looking over some material and also ‘localizing’ it to our current context. Please p*ay that the L*rd give us wisdom in developing our program and introducing it to our Sunday Group, especially post-Alpha.
- Charlotte’s well being: Before delving into this p*ayer request, I just wanted to give a praise report that Megan and Madeline have made positive strides in adjusting to life here. Madeline is taking a rigorous online homeschooling program that is very challenging and as a result, keeps her quite busy. Megan has started opening up to old acquaintances and is more socially active than ever before. PTL!
However, Charlotte is struggling right now. Without going into too much detail, she is quite unhappy; despite our best efforts she remains unchallenged by her homeschooling workload, without enough social interaction and lacking in daily structure. We’ve witnessed quite a few breakdowns and we are at a point where we are worried for her well- being. We are currently in the process of applying to an international school, but we have no idea if we will be receiving any type of scholarship. Without one it might be impossible to send her! Please p*ay that our Father will help her through these challenging times!