While many students headed home and are enjoying their summer break at the local pool, beach, or working a summer job, a group of Toccoa Falls College students are extending their hands to the world.
TFC’s students are serving all over the world from holding tea parties for women in Paraguay, leading interns in Gabon, caring for prostitutes in India, to helping a nation clean up and rebuild in Japan. There are still many students in between and some getting ready to head out, and they all need our prayers.
For some, the decision to travel overseas is a requirement to graduate. For others, it simply is a decision made from the heart to spend their summer serving, praying, and teaching overseas. No matter the circumstance, TFC’s students will return with an unforgettable experience and are impacting the world for Jesus Christ.
Here are a few updates from some of the students and following are links to their blogs so you can continue to encourage them with a little message or remember them in your prayers.
Hannah Segool & Brandie Hayes in Paraguay
June 21, 2011
“This past Saturday was the Ladies’ Tea at the church. It went pretty well! We spent all day decorating and setting up the church looked great! A woman from Florida shared a strong testimony and we were very thankful for her wise words. I was able to sing a song called ˜You are Good” by Kari Jobe in Spanish! Although I was super nervous, I hope it was a blessing to the women. Brandie did an awesome job planning the games and I know the women had SO MUCH fun with that. Lots of laughter
“The Lord really grew my heart for these people on Sunday. As we sat with the team atop a huge monument overlooking the city, I was thinking about how much the Lord loves these people and desires to show them life. It brought tears to my eyes to think about how lost some of them are, and how much darkness covers parts of this country. In a way, I felt helpless and hopeless. It’s too much for me to do! But in reality, Lord is showing me that it is HE who will change this country, and we can do it together with His strength. He’s definitely shown his faithfulness.”
Allison Gibson â€“ Thailand
“Day five is almost complete. Yesterday (Saturday) was the best day I have had here so far. We spent the morning and early afternoon hanging out with orphans and it was absolutely wonderful. Although, I thought I knew what heartbreak was until yesterday. As much as I loved being with the kids and seeing them smile, my heart was also breaking knowing what kind of lives they had. I just want to pack them all up and bring them home. There were quite a few times when I had to hold back tears.
“The Lord really blessed me yesterday through these sweet young lives. Even though their lives are not great, they have such good attitudes and sweet spirits. They were such an inspiration to me. After we hung out with the kids we went out to ‘eat cake’ with some of the leaders. A few of them are Christians but many are not. They are around our age and some a little older. We had a blast and laughed for hours. We will definitely be hanging out with them more. This morning we went to church at The International Church of Bangkok, one of the biggest churches in Thailand. It was a good service and there were many different Nationalities there!”
Don Schaeffer & Calvin Khiev â€“ Japan
“Sunday was one of my best days yet in Nasu. The night before, Yoko-san had asked Calvin and I if we could play special music, so we playedã€Œä¸»ã®æµã¿ã¯ã¨ã“ã—ãˆã¾ã§, the song below this post. Although my voice was half gone, God used our music to be a blessing to the church. I would love all of Japan to learn that song. After some tea, we went to the church cemetery to weed. Right next to the church grave was a Buddhist cemetery where many of the graves had cracked and tumbled over due to the earthquake. However the Christian gravestone was completely intact. It reminded me of the Ark of the Covenant in the Midianite camp in Judges when Gideon and his army is trying to return it. God had caused the idols to fall down in front of the ark.”
Breanna Schultz in India
“One highlight of this week…
“I wanted to do something tangible for the ladies before other teams come and things get a little crazier. My teammate had the idea to buy them each a mirror, write a verse on them, and give them to the women.
“We decorated the small mirrors with their names, the words ‘you are beautiful’, and Ephesians 2:10 which says, ‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.’
“We tried to explain through stories that they have a purpose and God has made them specially to fulfill these things.
“They were really grateful, and I hope they treasure these mirrors forever and that they feel valued. I know I am only one of the many that comes here to work with them, but it is awesome to think that all our efforts put together make a difference in their life.”
Here are other students that you can follow and continue to pray for.
Brandon Pearce (Japan): http://brandonpearce.tumblr.com/
Andrew Griffin (Spain): http://andrewtospain.blogspot.com/
Eric Bill (Gabon): http://gabonreunion.blogspot.com/
Lane Arnold (Austria): http://la-ccadventure2011.blogspot.com/