Las Vegas. Mardi Gras.

It’s hard to believe we are now entering week 6 of this quarter! Time is flying, and soon the Boarders DTS students will be on their way to one of three locations; Panama, Thailand (!), and Mexico. The WISE school will be graduating in 6 weeks, and either heading home, staying here for another school, or heading on outreach with the DTS (which is an option).

I’m writing to share some of the exciting things coming up. In fact, the next few weeks will be crammed! Ted was asked a few months back, to teach in the YWAM Las Vegas DTS on Grace. Ted is super excited about this opportunity to teach on this, for God has really given Him a lot of revelation about Identity, who we are in Christ, and Grace! They also decided to bless us with a ticket for Ted AND a ticket for me to fly out as well! So, Saturday (Valentines Day) Ted and I are flying out to Las Vegas until Tuesday evening. Ted will only be teaching two days due to the fact that he will be leaving for a WISE school outreach to Mardi Gras that Wednesday (Feb. 18).
Ted and the entire WISE school & staff will be heading to Mardi Gras February 18 – February 26. Originally they told me that I would have to take vacation time to travel with them, so Ted and I were super bummed that I would have to stay back. My vacation times are very limited, in fact after the trip to Las Vegas I will only have 1!
After finding out I could not go to Mardi Gras, a family here on staff which some of you may know from our wedding, the Murphy Fam, asked me to watch their three oldest Isaac 6, Jada 4, and Emily 2 for about a week! I LOVE these kids a whole lot, and that brightened that week for me, seeing originally I would have been alone. My mom will be coming for a few days to spend with the kids and I as well, which is a blessing too because I will still need to work on my intercession and website jobs throughout the week.
I actually found out a few weeks ago, that I could go to Mardi Gras and help run the food side of things, but I declined because I already made a commitment to the Murphy’s, not only that but I had already prepared myself for not going, and was looking forward to the time with the Murphy Kids. Plus, being prego and traveling hours in a van with 14 other people, then getting to Mardi Gras and being mixed in with all of the smells… too much I would think!
Anyways, please remember to pray for the Ted’s teaching in Las Vegas, for Ted and the WISE school as they head out to show the love of God among Mardi Gras, and for me as I become somewhat of a “mom” for a week-ish! P.S. I don’t have to take vacation time to watch the Murphy kids because John & Bethany are traveling to Hawaii for a YWAM conference with the directors of our base. Another blessing!

SBF Teaching.

Just a quick little blog-note asking for prayer for my hubby! He is teaching in the School of Biblical Foundations (here at YWAM Denver) tomorrow. He will be teaching on the nonpauline Epistles, and on the history, authors, and more.
He is super excited! I’m not sure if any of you have ever heard him speak, but He is very gifted in this area! Please pray for him tomorrow when you think of this!
(Thursday August 28 -5:30 pm edit: HE DID GREAT!! He says “It went smoothly, and was very chill.”)

An End with a Beginning.



Oh golly, where to begin?

Well, to start, we are back in Denver. We arrived here on Friday around 2:30 am. Exhausted and dreaming of a bed!
I would have to say our last week of outreach, in Vegas, proved to be the longest and hardest stretch. After experiencing a culture with the limited “comforts” that we normally have, and arriving in a city where there is everything imaginable. 12, 000 kinds of candy, clothing, shoes, ice cream flavors, etc… it was a slight temptation for most of the team. A temptation to check out and head right back into the comforts and not into the flow of what God wanted to do in Vegas.
Our week began with many a jet lag-ged folk, getting only a few hours of sleep each evening, and finding ourselves completely exhausted by the afternoon, ready for bed. We worked hard to get everyone up and ready to work at the Pier, cleaning and moving things in.
It took a lot longer on each project than anticipated. But the end result was good! The base really felt blessed by the team, and they blessed us in return with their encouragement and prayers for us.
Our team had a huge struggle in unity in Vegas. There were two visions that were given to our team, visions of destruction and disunity. They were actually really frightening to Ted and I, making us wonder what is going on? What, if anything, would happen? It was a tiny bit upsetting.
Ted and I prayed and felt with the first vision we need to trust God and put it on the back burner. So then when the second vision came, this one specifically about all of the girls of the team, Ted and I knew there was something God wanted to do. Something that God wanted teach us as a team.
Within a day of the 2nd vision Ted and I saw exactly what God was trying to show us all along. Little ways which the team, mostly the girls had compromised while on outreach. In their talking, in their relationships, and in their times with God. Not that there is condemnation, not at all!
He was just trying to show them areas in which they needed to grow. And as a whole, areas in which the team needs to grow and be humble in. We had 2 days of complete disunity. Ted and I felt terrible, like nothing would be resolved among the team. We felt weary and afraid.
God really spoke to us about speaking with the team and about loving each other. Don’t get me wrong, our team unity for most of the outreach was really amazing but God saw deeper and wanted to deal with the few things.
One night Ted just poured his heart to the team, speaking of what God had shared with us about the team. A challenge to love as Christ in EVERY circumstance, not just in the moments when we feel like doing so. It is a struggle to do so, but you can!
The next day we decided to get the team together for a time of talking, apologizing (if needed), being humble, tears maybe, and ultimately  restoration. Ted and I felt like we should lead however God wants to lead, whatever God wanted to do, He would do it.
And He did.
He brought complete restoration and encouragement to the hearts of the team. I call this blog An End with a Beginning because I really felt like our last week was just that for the students and for Ted and I!
Thank You for your prayers while we were gone. Honestly we could really feel them and we knew that people were standing behind us, lifting us up each day!
THANK YOU!
we love you
Jami Joann

Sisaket (a very delayed blog)


Hello!

We are currently in the village of Sisaket working with ‘We love Isaan’. Each weekday morning we spend teaching english and playing games at the village school. Our afternoons are spent working on what is called a reading room which will be used as a means of teaching english to the children in the village. We’ve already begun work on games on extending the buidling here and renovating the current one to fit their future needs.
We’ve spent this week mixing concrete and laying cement for a kitchen, bathrooms, and sidewalk, a lot of painting indoors and out, building a roof, walls, deoing all of the plumbing, tiling, etc…and al thai style which takes a BIT longer than we do in the USA.
The team is pretty exhausted from the work, but mostly from the spiritual atmosphere here. As a whole, we’ve been struggling with sleep, with our times with God, and in relationship with the people we are staying with. We spent this morning (monday) reflecting on the past week and our team could really use your prayers. In selaphum, we were able to building relationship easily with the people around us despite the language, and here it has been a lot harder.
Casey (the man with the vision of We Love Isaan) and his family are the only christians in this village of 100 families. And you can feel the spiritual oppression surrounding this village. One ray of light in this village is the children, wide eyed and ready to learn about Christ. The children flock to their home each day with a longing to play with the fah- rangs (foriegners) and the impact that Casey’s family has had here is definetly evident among the children’s lives. Please pray that this continues and that the children will come to Christ and affect their families with His love in a deep, life changing way!
We leave this saturday, so until then we will finish working on the projects we started last week!
Prayer requests:
“Choosing it” daily
Against fear
Walking in victory in Christ
GOOD SLEEPS
Love you guys!
Jami

Traveling Times.


Hey Family!

Here we are about to finish with Week 3 of outreach. How time flies! Today ( Friday) we finished working at a local thai school where we’ve spent the past four days teaching english to grades 1-6. The team really enjoyed the challenge, the games, and the children and all of them did very well! And most realized just because you can speak english doesn’t mean teaching english comes easy…it was a good challenge and they we’re quite amazing with the creative ways in which they taught.

Three evenings of this week we hosted an english camp for 35 compassion international children. Most of our time was spent playing games to enhance the little english some of the children knew. This was difficult at times, but for the most part, fun. The team was able to spend some quality time with the children, and truly making an impact in their lives for the better.

Tomorrow morning (Sat) we head out by bus for Sisaket, where we will be working with a new ministry called We Love Isaan. There we will begin with teaching english at a local Thai school, as well as a few projects and some activites and games with the children. Our afternoons will be filled with a lot of manual labor, which the team is looking forward to. Well, at least right now they are. Please pray that this enthusiasm lasts each day!

Thanks for taking the time praying for us! Oh, and last week i forgot to mention that some of the team is having difficulty sleeping at night! Please pray for deep sleep and good rest!

More prayer requests:
Energy, God’s grace, strength, flexibility, patience with each other, health, and travel.

Love,
Jami

The Beauty of Thailand.

Hello Friends and Family!

This week began with a 8 hour bus ride over night to Selapume. We arrived early morning at the home of our translator Teek. Her family has started many ministries to help the surrounding village area. It has been such a blessing to stay with a peaceful christian family, dedicated to serving and loving others. Not to mention the food which is amazing.

Week day mornings our team split into two groups; group one working with children at the hosts’ home (daycare-like) and group two going to a leper village and one morning of work on a farm. Working with children (ages 1-5) who speak only thai has been interesting, but most of the team has really enjoyed the time with them. The minsitry working with people with leporasy actually ended up being slightly different than we thought. The majority of the time spent in the village was just hanging out with the people and asking them questions. It was actually a lot of fun, and most of the people were very excited to see us and speak with us.

Our weekday afternoons were spent doing dramas, testimonies, games, and activities at three local Thai elementary schools. The team has has done wonderful time pressing in despite the heat, really putting their whole heart into the dramas, skits, and activities. After the dramas, skits, etc. most of the focus would be on getting our photo, or shaking our hands, and honestly treating us like celebrities. This part of our day has been somewhat of a struggle. Please pray that as we go out next week, the students would see the meaning behind why we are here, and most importantly be able to see Jesus through our lives.

Most evenings here have been spent teaching english to our host and the staff of their ministry. This has been somewhat challenging at times, but very fun once we begin making conversation and really getting to know each other. In our free time some of the young staff hang around to play games, guitar or to chat.

Next week we will be teaching english 6-8 hours a day, so please pray for us!! We will be leaving selapume saturday and heading farther north to Sisaket where we will work with a new ministry called we love isaan.

Thanks for your prayers!

Prayer requests:
Health
unity
travel

Love,
Jami Joann

Breaking of the Heart.


Sawadeekah from the Land of Smiles!

After an 18 hour drive from Denver to LA and approximately 20 hours of flying, we’re glad to say we’ve finally made it to Thailand!
Our main focus this week has been night ministry in the Red Light District. We are working with a ministry called MST (Male Sex Tourism), a project dedicated to reach the men who come to Thailand primarily for the sex industry. Each evening our team takes time to intercede about where to go, and what God is speaking to us specifically about the men we might meet. Once downtown, we split into groups of three and spread out amongst the red light district, asking men to take anonymous surveys. About 40% of the men are curious and stop. The survey has a list of questions such as: what country they come from, age, religion, and most importantly their views on prostitution and how informed they are about HIV/AIDS in Thailand. After the survey we ask them if they are interested in receiving a packet about HIV/AIDS, a story of a former bar girl, and a story of a former costumer, both of whom God redeemed. About 20% of the 40% who stop take the packet.
It’s really not about the surveys or even the packets, but about relating to these hurting me, and being someone to listen to them, and show them we truly care. Most of them men have such a seeking heart, and a hunger and most shockingly a desire for something more satisfying then what they have found here. Most often when we hear about the red light district as Christians, we can’t help but feel compassion in our hearts for the women. Sometimes we forget the men are hurting, seeking, and in need of Christ’s love as well. It’s been a struggle for the team, to see them as Christ would, but God is truly beginning to break our hearts for these men.
Unfortunately our day ministry while in Bangkok fell through two days before we arrived. Instead of working in rehabilitation homes for former bar girls, we have done one day of painting and cleaning, and most of our days here have been spent in prayer and intercession, worship, and a lot of team bonding.  Our team was pretty disappointed at first but we’ve all begun to see the change of plans was definitely God. We really needed this week of prayer and preparation for our time here.
We leave Bangkok tonight at 6pm (5am MST time). We will be taking an 8 hour bus ride overnight to Selapume (Northeastern Thailand) where we will be spending the next 2 weeks and then heading a bit further east for another 2 weeks. We’ll explain in more detail later about our ministries there.
Thank you so much for your prayers, they are what uplift us while we’re out here! Our team is one week in and doing wonderful!
Prayer Requests:
  • Team unity
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Against exhaustion & distraction
  • Taking every thought captive
Love, Jami Joann

Fullness of Joy

This morning as our team had prayer and intercession, I couldn’t help but feel the presence and the fullness of the joy of Christ. We all could.

It was incredible to say the least.
I know that during our time here God is going to do such a work in us, and in those that we reach around us. God is really speaking to our team, and working in our hearts and preparing us for great things. Both personally and for the people we come in contact with.
Personally God has really been speaking to me about where my focus is. And to Ted God has been speaking about where he is allowing God to reign and where he is not. It’s been amazing to see how these two are linked together, but we both are also growing separately as well.
I was writing in my journal a prayer yesterday when I wrote something my mind did not even think about. When I read what I wrote I was shocked. What had been on my mind I began to write, but what had been on God’s mind for me to see is something else. I literally did not intend to write what I ended up writing.
As soon as I read the words, God spoke to me. Telling me not to try and transform Ted or the team or people around me into who God is creating ME to be. I realized that I had been putting Ted and people into a box and trying to form them into me.
It was pretty straight forward, and opened my eyes for sure. I am very excited to move forward knowing what I have been doing and changing this area in my life.
If you could pray for me in this area. I would love that a lot.
I need to run.
Love,
Jami Joann

Orientations & Celebrations.

3:10 P.M. June 24th

We have finally arrive in Bangkok, Thailand! Notice the time difference! Mountain Standard Time is 2:10 A.M. I almost just called my family through SKYPE at home, then realized this very thing.
We arrived late last night, and awoke to a full day of orientation, delicious Thai food, a team scavenger hunt to get to know the area, and a celebration.
A few prayer requests:
  • Team unity: We’re doing really great in this area, but we could always use prayer for this for the duration of outreach.
  • Adjustment to the food, smells, people, culture, & heat: Again, doing fine so far, but it’s also just day 1 really.
  • Being resourceful & wise with team expenses. We have a much lower budget this outreach than our last.
  • Ted & I leading: please pray for us as we know that God wants to really teach us how to work together better and how the enemy would love to see us torn apart as leaders.
  • God to work through each person on the team (all 13!) and for everyone to go deeper with Christ, and walk in Him daily.
The celebration part of our day is this: today is our first year anniversary! I still can’t believe it’s been a year. Whoa. I’m so blessed to be married to such a great man and I’m excited for many more years to come!
Love,
Jami

100 Miles No Service.

“Hey Guys, we need to start praying. We’re now on empty and there’s no service for another 100 miles.”

I awoke to Ted speaking these lovely words, as our van heading to LA drove through the desolate Utah mountains.
And I actually thought he was kidding, so I leaned forward and looked for myself. Sure enough, we were on E.
Our team began to pray, asking God to just fill us up until we reached a gas station. We traveled another 20 miles, and still were rolling. We all continued to lift our voices to God, asking for His favor. And sung a few songs of worship and then waited.
Sure enough we ran into a sign that said a town was nearby. So we turned off and found a sign which read “Emery 25 miles”. I’m glad and so thankful to say we made it to this little town in the middle of no where. I documented this so maybe i can post photos later.
All of this to say, we did make the drive to Los Angeles, California. 18 hours of off and on sleeping, fuzzy radio stations, catch phrase, games with students, laughter & occasional crankiness.
We are now sitting in LAX & flying out in 2 hours for Tokyo, Japan. I believe our first flight to Japan is 15 hours, and from Japan we will fly to Bangkok, Thailand (!!) which is a 4-6 hour flight, I can’t really remember.
Also, we had to release two students, due to some guidelines being broken that we just recently became aware of. We are now a team of 13 instead of 15. Please pray for our team to really move forward strong. Also, I will be joining the group in a few dramas, and ted probably as well, because we are missing two people. Pray that we’ll learn quickly!!!
We love you all, thanks for checking up on us, and for your prayers!!
Love, Jami