Applications for summer trips are flowing in! Click here to apply now!

Suriname 35-Day 2015

View All Images from Suriname 35-Day 2015

Hello family and friends,

The team has had a long day of traveling. The team was surprised to find out in Miami that we were on the same flight from Miami to Dallas. The team is doing so well and all the students are excited to see the rest of the teams.

 

Chad and Danielle

Good evening everyone,

God has blessed us with great ministry these past couple of days. Sunday, the 19th, we traveled to a church across town. We were able to present the drama for the church and hear a message. We were challenged to lay our answer to God on the altar no matter what He is asking. God wants to know that we’ll give Him our yes before He calls us. He asks for complete surrender. These students are coming back changed and willing to do whatever God calls them to do. Don’t let them forget the commitment they made this day.

We then went to a snack shop and performed for a crowd there. The students got to talk with several people. One group talked with a girl who had been to church in the past but was confused about what she believed. Since her father is Chinese and her mother is Indian, she has a mix of religions in her family. She began crying when she saw the crucifixion scene and sought to be clear about Jesus before accepting Him as her Lord and Savior. God does mighty things when we are obedient to talk to anyone He asks.

We headed back to the Bible college for a lunch and some laundry. We want to be seen as appropriate when we do the drama, so we washed our drama clothes again to get the stink of the rain and sweat out of our clothes before our last day of drama ministry. We have been so blessed by the Bible college, and some of our students got to serve them by helping with dinner. We concluded the evening with a time of worship and preparing for ministry we would do the next day.

Yesterday, the 20th, we began early by driving to the home city of John, our main translator and city contact. We are grateful for him coming to help us, which meant leaving his wife and two children at home. We were excited to meet them. On our way, we stopped at a school and performed the drama for a group of students. Even people from across the street came to see. People were led to Jesus over a fence, beside their classrooms, and under a tree. We got to see the true power of the gospel because we didn’t have a translator for every group. We were able to walk the people through the gospel with a card and then trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

We were a little late getting to our next school, so we didn’t get to share the drama. But our disappointment is God’s divine appointment! The headmaster allowed us to go classroom to classroom and present the gospel in front of the students. While many prayed in the classrooms, we pray that there are true heart changes and that God does something incredible in this high school. This was great practice for our students, most of whom are high-school aged. Even though we may never get the chance to stand in front of our class and openly share the gospel, we can talk about it in conversation, and even when laughed at, we can know we are doing His will.

Next, we went to the village area where John lives. The team went out and invited people to come. We gathered under a pavilion and danced with people of all ages before presenting the drama. Again, we trusted in the Holy Spirit to work while we used the cards. Every group had someone pray to receive Christ, and they were patient as they waited for John to come around and share more.

When we got to where John lives, we realized his home is right by a store he owns and the church he pastors. We got to see where they are building a new church before being treated to a delicious lunch. We had a version of chicken and dumplings with some pineapple juice. The team needed to clean up before presenting at the church tonight, so we took some students to the river, and some used the showers available in John’s house and church. We know that we perform the drama for an audience of One, but we also never want to offend the culture by looking like we don’t take care of ourselves.

Tonight we got to see many come to know the Lord after presenting the drama one last time for John and his church family. We cannot think of a better way to end our drama ministry than to strengthen the church of the man who has been so good to us this trip. We praise God for John, and we know he gives all praise to God.

Today we went shopping and had a special dinner with the team. We are praising God for all He’s done through us in Suriname. Please pray that God allows ministry even as we travel tomorrow and that we can remain fully trusting in Him.

Many blessings,

Chad and Danielle

View All Images from Suriname 35-Day 2015

Greetings Everyone!

Today was a great day of ministry. We knew we had quite a drive this morning, so we awoke ready to head to another city area and do Jesus’ ministry. Moenge (pronounced Mongo) is a city about two hours from where we are based in the city.

When we arrived, we met up with a church and some of its members to share a meal and get ready to go out. They fed us well with fried rice and roasted chicken. We were blessed with some soda and feeling pumped about the ministry ahead.

The first site they took us to was a neighborhood with a random stage in the center. The group went out in the pouring rain to invite people to come to the drama. Thankfully the rain stopped and people showed up. We estimate around 150 people there to watch. Our team is doing so well at engaging the culture and making sure they feel like a part of the drama. The students literally had the children in the middle of the drama. They were jumping over the children and making them laugh as well as scaring them at the appropriate times. Afterwards, the students talked to big groups. One student was talking to a group and noticed that a guy kept gradually coming closer and listening. When the invitation of a relationship with Jesus was given, this man was the first to raise his hand. The Holy Spirit was drawing him in and there was a divine encounter. The Bible teaches that we will be washed with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5), and this man as well as many others were.

At the second site, we went to a local soccer field. Many young men were there already playing and more gathered soon afterward. The rain is now becoming a part of the drama for us, but we are thankful that the crowd doesn’t scatter when it comes. One of the student teams went to talk to a group of young woman. After sharing the gospel, one girl was very eager to accept Christ. After talking with our student more, she confessed that her father had beaten her. Our student encouraged her by saying that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and has adopted her into His family. The girl was grateful, and our student continued by adding that when Jesus was on the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And just as they didn’t understand, the girl’s father is living in blindness, too. They told her to keep praying for her father. She received a tract and began reading right away. She asked for more so she could share with her friends. She knew the Good News and wanted to share it with everyone! This girl left as a changed girl!

We then traveled back to the church where we had lunch for a combined service. We will be able to present the drama for different churches in the area and then hear a message before making our long journey back to the Bible School.

Praise God for His faithfulness to answer our prayers of full ministry. Continue to intercede on our behalf for ministry to be full and focus to remain on Him. Tomorrow we start early by heading to a church service so pray for great rest.

With Love,

Chad and Danielle

View All Images from Suriname 35-Day 2015

Hello friends and family,

Everything is going really well with everyone on our team. Right now the team is waking up after a much-needed rest from a late night of ministry.

Yesterday was a national holiday here in Suriname. Due to this we stayed at the  Bible school most of the day and dove into the Word of God. We know that we only have a few more days of ministry, so we want to make sure that we stay focused on the task at hand. It can become easy in the Christian walk to become satisfied and just go through the motions as a Christian. We want to engage in the battle and be intentional in all that we do.

In the afternoon we loaded up onto the bus and went to a church in the city. This church is fairly new and meets in a school. Across the street from this church is a small convenience store. The pastor said that we would do our ministry in the very small parking lot. Upon stepping foot outside of the school compound the team noticed many young men gathered in front of the store, drinking beer and staring at us. As we approached, this group began laughing at us. But this didn’t stop the team at all. We started doing the drama and about halfway through, it started to rain very hard. But even that did not stop the students. Though there were many people laughing at the start, they all stayed and watched the drama with much interest.

After the drama was over, the students went out into their ministry teams to begin sharing the Gospel. One of the students went to three young men and began sharing. About halfway through the presentation, one young man stopped her and said, “Wait, I already have a relationship with Jesus”. He was a missionary from India. The Lord had called him to Suriname to share the good news! The Lord then used one of our students and the man from India to point the two other young men to Christ.

One of our other ministry teams went to a group of four or five men and began presenting the Gospel to them. They all accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They shared the story of Nicodemus and how we must be born again. Then one of the men asked our students about the power of prayer. This allowed one of our students to share about how the Lord had healed him from a kidney stone a few weeks ago. Still unconvinced about what the Lord can do through prayer, the man mentioned something about his mother who was sick. This allowed another of our students to share his testimony about his mother being sick and how he continues to pray for her daily. It was evident that the Lord was doing a work is these men’s hearts. As they prayed and parted ways the men poured out their beer and threw it away.

Yet another ministry team went and shared the Gospel with the store owner. The Lord spoke to his life and he surrendered ll to the name that is above all names. This Chinese man and his wife blessed the group by giving each of us a bottle of soda. This amazed the churchgoers and other nationals because they say this would never happen unless the Lord did a mighty work. They say that store owners do not do that in Suriname.

As we went back to the church and some students got to share their stories, the pastor shared a conviction the Lord had put on his heart as well. Every day, he drives past that convenience store. Each one of those men knew he was the pastor of that church, but he did not know one of them. So many times we are too afraid to step outside of our homes or workplaces to see the seeking souls that the Lord has placed there just waiting for a willing witness. We must not assume it is somebody else’s job or that somebody else will do it.

The pastor’s conviction was a great reminder for us all. Whether we are in Suriname or America, there is always work to be done.

Please join us in prayer as we finish our last days of ministry strong. We know God has divine appointments set up for us in the time we have left.

Chad and Danielle

 

Pictured are the MOM and POP groups

View All Images from Suriname 35-Day 2015

Good Morning!

Yesterday was a long full day for the team. We awoke early to head to a school. Our main contact and translator is a prompt man, so we got to our site early. The students were eagerly awaiting us and sang us songs as we entered. We are always excited by the exuberance we see in these children. The school is in a rougher part of the city, and they rarely get special guests, so when they heard we were coming, they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss anything.

One student got to talk to some teachers. Most were believers, but one woman said she doesn’t go to church. Our student encouraged them that finding a body of believers can help her in her walk and that prayer plays a crucial role. The teacher continued to ask questions about church and prayer. The student answered her questions and prayed for all of them. We were encouraged that they are truly seeking. Several of our students got to lead groups of children to the Lord after explaining a clear gospel to them.

Since we were early to the first school, the headmaster led us down the street to another school where she is also the headmaster. Divine appointments were made! Students lined their classrooms to watch. We had many students to engage with as we were preparing to sit up. The teachers were helping us translate and were thrilled that we were able to “fit them in.” There was such sincerity in their prayers and we were all encouraged by their spirit. “Whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it” (Mark 10:15).

This school’s ground was wet and therefore, the sand was muddy. Our pants and vests were dirty. In Suriname, when your clothes are dirty, people look at you as if you are dirty rather than hearing the message you have. So, a brother let us use his washer and dryer to wash our drama costumes. While we were waiting for them to dry, we went to invite people around the neighborhood to the church where we were performing that evening.

We got to share testimonies of what God did in the interior and then share the drama with the church in the poor area. Many people crammed into the church to see what we were there doing. As a message was presented, many people understood the story and prayed to receive Christ.

Later in the evening, we had a gathering with the students here at the Bible school where we are staying. Again, we shared stories of God’s faithfulness in our lives and throughout Suriname. We worshipped together and rejoiced in the glory of our great God.

We went to bed to get some well-deserved rest and got to sleep in a bit this morning. Today is a holiday in Suriname so we are taking the morning break to fill ourselves up on the Word of God.

Praise the Father for his continued blessing of unity and safety. Join us in prayer for focus in our last days here and that God uses us through every moment.

Blessings,

Chad and Danielle

View All Images from Suriname 35-Day 2015

View All Images from Suriname 35-Day 2015

Hello friends and family!
Today was a wonderful first day back in the city! We started off with a nice meal of breakfast sandwiches with a nice glass of tea to top it off. Then we spent some time conversing on the wonderful quiet time written by the lovely Mrs. Pieper and discussing our superhero attributes.

After breakfast we headed to the city where we had the opportunity to do three dramas at different points.

At the first drama site we had the opportunity to do a performance outside of a store. Tons of people gathered to watch and film. After the drama, some of the students got the chance to talk to a group of high school students about the Gospel. While they said they were believers, they mentioned that going to church was hard for them because they still sin so much. Then, they got to pray for them as they continue in their studies. Join us in prayer for them to return to a body of believers and experience true forgiveness. Another student got to talk to an ice cream vendor who watched the entire drama. He prayed to receive Christ! We also talked with several people who are already Christians and got to encourage them.

At the second site, one of the students got to talk to a person of the Hindu religion. The student allowed the Lord to speak through them and present the Gospel clearly, and the man accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. It was made known to him that Jesus was the bread of life. What an encouragement!

At the last site for the day, God brought a much smaller crowd than at the other two. It was such a great reminder to the whole team that we do everything for an audience of One. Whether we are doing the drama for five people or 500 people, we will do it all for the glory of God! A student talked to a man who had never heard the name of Jesus but after learning, he prayed to receive Christ. There is power in the name of Jesus, and He brings people exactly where they need to be at the perfect time. Our translator was able to tell him where he could find a church and get a Bible.

Please continue to pray as we continue to do the Lord’s work in the city tomorrow!

Grace and Peace to you,
Tyler & Crystal

Hello all,

The team is doing really well. We have done a lot of traveling in the last few days. Our base Camp Village has been such an encouragement to us.

On Sunday July 12, the team led the combined (people from many different villages) church service at Godo. We experienced their cultural dances and singing. Our team performed the drama and shared the Gospel afterward. Some chose to follow Christ while others asked to be prayed for so that they would be sold out to Christ in all that they do.

We quickly ate lunch and loaded all of our stuff into the boats to head back to our home village of Foetoenakaba. The skies opened and dumped rain on us as we traveled in the boats. The nationals kept reminding us that rain is a blessing. Most of us were not agreeing with them at the time. The team spent some time together in fellowship while playing some games (It must be said that the girls continually put a whoopin’ on the guys).

On Monday, July 13, the team spent the day doing laundry. Laundry is a full day’s work when you have to scrub your clothes against the rocks one piece at a time, wring them out, and hang to dry. Parents, you might get your child to do their own laundry back home when you remind them that they did it themselves in the jungle. Each person washed almost their entire bag of clothes.

That night, the village surprised us with a big celebration. They cooked us wild meat (freshly shot by the village hunter), rice, and a desert (made from rice, coconut and sugar). The village all gathered near the light and encouraged us with many kind words. It was such a blessing to hear men and women stand and talk about this team. Many were overwhelmed by the maturity of the young men and women that make up this team. They were also trying to get many of them to stay and be long-term missionaries. Don’t worry, we will bring them all home.

A lot of these men and woman have prepared the way in Suriname as John the Baptist did for Jesus. He was not always treated kindly but did what the Lord asked of him. The people of Foetoenakaba have been faithful and we just get to reap the harvest of the seed they have sown.

Today, July 14, we loaded the boats one more time, but this one had a completely different feel. This time we are leaving to go down river back to the capital city. It is so hard leaving people you have gone to battle with. These people have become family. We will miss them greatly.

For many, heading back to civilization is such a blessing. They will miss the family and new brothers and sisters in Christ but will not miss the bug bites, spiders, river bathing, bats flying around, or the sticky, sweaty nights.

As we begin ministry in the morning, please pray that the there would be divine encounters. We know that God has a plan in having us in the city. The team is excited about doing ministry for larger adult crowds, but we know the enemy will be at work. We covet your prayers in this last week of ministry.

Praise God for safety and health! Pray it continues.

Love and blessings,

Chad and Danielle

View All Images from Suriname 35-Day 2015

Greetings everyone,

We’ve had a busy two days here in Godo. Yesterday, the 10th, we went to another village nearby and performed at a school. This village is just across the river and has a clinic right next door. Therefore, people who aren’t even connected to the school got to hear. One student got to pray with the school leader as she asked for patience with the students. We also got to pray for the students as they get ready for a big test next week.

After we returned to our “home” village in Godo, we did a drama for the school here. People in the village were curious about what we were doing in their village, so they came from all around. The students were dancing with us and paid great attention to our story. The pastor was able to share as well because they have a church here in Godo. The students are learning to step out in faith and trust their words to the Lord. He is always faithful and as a result of their trust, people are coming to know Him as Savior!

We took a well-deserved rest time to continue the connections we have made here in Godo. Some students even got to do their workout routine with some new friends. The captain’s wife has been so good to cook us dinner every night here and do all of our dishes. The team is getting really good at making sure we always have filtered water ready and flowing. The body of Christ is at work here.

The last drama for the day consisted of traveling a bit down river and going to invite house to house. This is always an enjoyable time to see villages, pray over them, and spend time with the nationals who go with us. After the drama, as the students went out, they got to explain the gospel. From young children to older adults, people prayed to receive Christ. Praise God, His Word never returns void.

Here in Godo, our shower is the river, so we put on our worst clothes and had community shower time. There isn’t much that’ll bring a team together like getting clean together in a river. After a long hard day, the cold river is so refreshing. We ended the night with being open about what we have struggled with this summer in our MOM and POP groups. Praying for and encouraging one another is always a good way to fall asleep.

This morning, the 11th, we awoke ready to finish our last full day here with zeal. We learned when we got to breakfast that a sister here at the church wanted to willingly wash all our drama clothes. Bless her because we stank! While we were waiting on them, we went out and walked around a few close villages to see what God had in store. We walked and prayed and talked with people as well as handed out tracts. Every seed planted counts. Several students got to talk with people outside their houses and share what we were doing and pray for them. We met the chief of chiefs (not quite the King) and got to pray that he would lead with compassion. He is just filling in until they find a new head. Join us in praying that the new head chief would be a believer and start a revolution.

After putting on our newly-cleaned drama clothes, we headed out to invite people in the villages near where we are staying (on this side of the river) to come to a church service tonight and see the drama. We pray that whatever happens tonight, God gets glory!

Tomorrow we will do a church service for four churches in the area combined. We will then head back to Foetoenakaba. Please pray for the churches to continue to grow here and for safe travels tomorrow. Praise God for His protection over this team.

Love you all,

Chad and Danielle

Hello friends and family,

We are experiencing the power of the gospel unto salvation. This team has been boldly proclaiming the truth that breaks the chains of sin throughout the Suriname River. Each day has looked very similar. We wake up and start the day in the Word of God. This is followed by breakfast and water filtration. The men of this team have taken on the responsibility of making sure the team has plenty of water. It has been very hot and humid here. The team has gotten very good at loading into the boats. The students begin to pray for the destination village.

On the 8th, we have arrived at Kankantrie. This is a smaller village about one hour boat ride away from our home base. We arrived to a school of many excited children. They sang for us and paid excellent attention as we shared the drama. There were teachers whose lives were given to Christ! We pray that as they teach with a new heart, the children can see Christ.

We then went to another village to have our PB & J while we waited for the school children to get home so we could share with a village. The team got to prayerwalk the village before performing. We got to meet and pray for the chief of the village, who is blind. We ask for divine healing, but ultimately that glory goes to God. The team also prayed for a little boy who was mute and had a disability on his right side. We are learning the power of prayer and that God is sovereign. Please join us in prayer for these people. As we continued our walk, we encountered a man that a student began to share the gospel with as a woman walked up. By no other reason than the Holy Spirit did she show up and begin to listen. The woman is older in age and in this culture, that usually means stuck in traditions, but praise God he is greater than traditions and age! She accepted Christ and was eager to pray.

As we set up to do the drama, we experienced technical difficulties and had to perform without music. Our translator listened to the drama play on a phone as we yelled the drama words to the crowd as the students performed with counts whispered. We are grateful for the chance to be fluid and we are indebted to our translator for his above and beyond work. God is faithful and even through our difficulties, He works. Souls were won. Freedom was claimed!

We have seen many altars and shrines to false gods and spirits. This belief is practiced throughout the interior of Suriname. Although we would love to call out the witch-doctors as Elijah did the prophets, instead have been outwardly respectful to these places of worship but have prayed for God to reign over each village. We know that this battle is not against flesh and blood. Please join us as we seek  to be light in this dark place.

This morning, the 9th, we traveled to a village called Godo. This is the furthest up the river we’ve been and we will camp out here for 3 nights in order to minister to the people near this village. On our way, we stopped at 2 villages with large schools to proclaim Christ.

The first was Simoisie. This was a school where we were again greeted warmly. The pastor definitely has some follow up to do in this area because decisions were made and we never want to just say a prayer and move on. Secondly, we performed at school that is run by a man names Jerome. Jerome is from Amsterdam and as we learned is an atheist. He loved our drama and understands why we go around sharing but he says it is not for him. God used this man, who doesn’t even follow him, to spread the gospel. Many people came from around the village to see what we were doing. One student spoke with a man who had questions but after all were answered. He asked what he needed to do to have this relationship. The children he was picking up now have an earthly father who can lead them to their heavenly father. Please pray for Jerome that the truth he heard will one day impact  his life.

We are going to rest well tonight! Pray for continued unity and for the Lord to use us in whatever way He chooses.

Chad and Danielle