Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Unreached, Unengaged and Opportunities Abound

This is an urgent fill job listing from the IMB website:
Medical CoordinatorThe Medical Coordinator  is responsible for assisting IMB personnel  with a wide variety of their medical needs. The primary duties  are (but not limited to): answering medical related questions of field personnel, knowing the capabilities of medical facilities within their area of coverage, arranging for medical related travel for field personnel, approving for field personnel to return to their field of service once they are cleared medically, interfacing with the medical department at the Board,  and keeping field personnel informed of medical issues that pertain to their area of service.    Education and experience such as RN, PA, or related fields and good administrative skills are required.

The Muslim Rajput people group of Nepal.
 I was doing a little research on some of the countries with the highest number of unreached and unengaged people groups. When most people think unreached people groups, they envision a Papua New Guinea  scenario with vast, dense jungles, indigenous people groups who've never seen a Westerner or heard any language but their own. The truth is, that place has been saturated and is almost completely reached and has already been completely engaged.

Woman from the Hindu Koiri people group  in Nepal
The world missions focus is being sharpened to many nations in Asia like Nepal, India and Thailand. This morning I was looking into Nepal. I have always loved this country, ever since reading John Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" and watching the IMAX documentary "Everest". This Country is home to the 8 tallest peaks in the world! The country itself is beautiful with some of the world's most hostile terrain, a very remote and isolating geographic distribution of people groups, and unseen and unknown valleys, canyons and mountains that likely have yet to be conquered by outsiders.

Nepal, which seems to be primarily Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist has the largest percentage of unreachd and unengaged people groups that I have been able to find (check out The Joshua Project to see if you can find a nation with more).

Man from the Buddhist Jirel people group in Nepal.
Due to there geography, Nepal has managed to remained isolated from the rest of the World. A cultural anthropologist might find this nation to be a treasury filled with untapped data and information, but human life doesn't amount to just statistics and research potential. There is a need there to bring them the gospel. A whole bunch of people need to suit up and set sail (not literally, the countries kinda landlocked) for this nation intent on sharing God's love for all people. It wont be easy and it will come with some risk, okay, maybe a lot of risk. But they need to at least hear the gospel message and someone needs to be willing to bring it. Is it you? Why not?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Follow-up: Sleep Out 4 Haiti

I am happy to say that we have reached half our goal and are on track to be entirely funded for the November Medical Mission to Haiti, with your help of course.

Let's first talk about our meteoric success! We spent three days and two nights camped out in the heart of Modesto, CA at Orangeburg Ave. Church. While it was was difficult to find other who would brave the elements with us out doors, we had several visitors and support.

The first day was hot, 100 degrees actually. At night, the humidity level swelled to 88% (that is unusually high for central California) and the temperature hung in at 84 degrees all night. This made for a long night of sleeping, but before any of us could go to bed, we made a camp fire, enjoyed some s'mores and a camp fire sing along type setting (as much as is possible with our eclectic array young-adults and youth). We got to meet some of the local night crawlers, a few drunks who were somewhat belligerent with the ladies and a homeless couple looking for some money (we all wished they would have stayed longer than a few moments). We had no money on us... no really... but we had a lot of snacks and junk food that had been donated and tried to pawn that off to every wanderer-by we could.

From Left to Right: Roni, Matt, Me (in the ballcap), and Abbi
It rained a little the first night, but that was no comparison to what day 2 had in store for us. Our camp was ravaged by seemingly unnatural winds with gusts up to 25 mph and sustained breeze at about 12-15 mph. Sure, we have weather like this all the time during the Winter and Spring, but never in September. The "tent city"" and boxes were destroyed. The dwellings, though, weren't our primary concern. Our 4 foot by 8 foot Styrofoam signs were the biggest problem.

Right next to a main artery from East to West Modesto, our signs became sails threatening to fly out into the 5 lane avenue and give someone some very targeted advertisement, that they surely wouldn't be able to ignore. We attempted several ways to secure these signs and ended up just relying on my sons to hold cardboard signs and run up and down the sidewalk yelling "Donate to Haiti!"

Don't laugh, it worked. Donations started raining in. Not big donations, but the cars apparently found our humble abode to be a bit more approachable with the little kids at the helm. Even before that though, a woman, not known to any of us, dropped by with drinks and snacks for the the team hanging out with the tents.

We had hoped for more visibility and had called several news and radio stations as well as the Modesto Bee. In all we contacted Air1 (who said they needed more notice), KOVR 13 News, Good Morning Sacramento, KCRA 3 News, and our Local News 10. No one came out, which was both surprising and disheartening. The lessons we learned from this and the edification we derived from this experience was more than made up for it. Among our youth and college young adults (many of whom I've taught in the college and youth Bible studies) one thing was understood: living in tent cities, even just for a couple of days, is NOT like camping out in the forest. There's a lot more noise and much less sense of security, which we surmise would be even more so in the historically violent and unstable urban environment in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

All said and done, we have several people to thank for an unprecedented amount of moral and material support from our community and church. In total, that wee we raised $1327.53.

Our Corporate Sponsors:

Gary's Rent A Car, Inc.

Our friends who provided much needed and generous material and morale support:

Andrew and Vivian Birch
David and Debra Cline
Lois Fruendorfer
Mark and Debbie Greenlee
Judd and Nancy Hubbard
Dr. Peter and Kathleen Lai
Armando and Nora Magana
Richard and Leisa Proctor
Tegan Wells
and the anonymous givers and those of you who've pledged to donate... 
We love you guys too!

Our Friends who hung out with us:

Matt Bitz
Mary Blaine (Gigi!)
Karen Farrell
Johnny Farrell
Kaila Farrell
Tyler Gallasso
Liam Greenlee
Mark Greenlee
Owen Greenlee
Matt Magana
Drew Mathews
Roni Mathews
Alexandra Parker
Riannon Parker
Sierra Parker
Tina New Parker
Gabe Proctor
Leisa Proctor
Richard Proctor
Mary Willingham
and last but not least...
 that crazy drunk guy who confused us all with his random rants about how to run a waffle house

Most of all, Abigail, the rest of the crew, and I thank and praise the almighty God who is steadfast and faithful through all things and cares more deeply for the people of Haiti than any one of us could ever fathom...