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Appleseed Travel Journal

The Power of Storytelling

Many of us would think of telling stories as something that is good for children or those ‘less educated.’

This is a huge misconception when it comes to Biblical storying.

Imagine entering into a Bible story so clearly that you can feel it, touch it, put yourself in it, and tell it with emotion to another. Imagine how that story is impacting your own heart and life and how it has become a part of you.

Here is what the oral trainer said: “People who learn and can share fifty Bible stories accurately and naturally are more theologically grounded and, probably, more internally transformed than those who read and learn by book-learning year after year.”

I believe it!

In fact, Jesus rarely taught in a linear, western fashion. Instead he told stories because the message is deeper and touches people at a heart level.

The Africans are learning this lesson and discovering the power of story for reaching non-literates as well as literates. This tool will assist them powerfully in seeing lives transformed!

We likely have much to learn from them!

Practicing how to be an 'oral Bible' to others:

So Far It Has Been a Prayer Journey

Journeys turn into prayer journeys when there seem to be many things happening outside of our control. Well, that’s just real, daily life right? As we approach the start of our conference with 50 people from five nations, we feel like we have been pushed onto that prayer ride.

First of all, as I wrote to our prayer team last week, “With a busy travel week Brooks and I feel slightly under-prayed for what's coming and the challenges already rising up.”

And then, yes, those challenges kept coming!

  • Key leader’s mother turned sick and was hospitalized
  • Problems getting passports at the last minute
  • New yellow fever requirements at the border of Uganda

And then, even after calling on you to join us in prayer, two teams (17 people) were stranded at a flooded river in Rwanda on the day they were due to arrive in Uganda.

So it turned into a season of praying and waiting and seeing how God would take all of the pieces that seem out of control and weave them into His plan.

The great thing about it all is the reminder of how life really works:

  • Life out of control (isn’t it always on some level truly out of our control?)
  • Call on God, “Help.” And He is always there just wanting to break into our lives in both relationship and blessing.
  • Wait. God works. We don’t know the timeframe or what it will look like, but God works even when things don’t work out according to our own planning. (The 17 came a day late when all was said and done.)
  • Watch. He weaves it together yet one more time in a beautiful way. (The late arrivers built relationship among one another and the change in schedule for the rest of the conference proved to be beneficial.)

I have been reading one of Mike Bickle’s books on prayer in which he says, “weak people accomplish much with their prayers when they are in agreement with God.”

Okay, good. I qualify for the weak people part and still God has committed Himself to me. After all, so much of real life, on any given day, is outside my control, so it’s great to be walking it out in conversation and trust in the One who is.

Your friendship means much in these seasons… and the journey continues…

Everyone finally present:

Sleeping in Africa

Asking in a pharmacy at an upscale mall for a recommendation for an over-the-counter sleep aide, the young man helping me questioned about the cause for my not sleeping. Rather than explain jet lag, two days of little sleep and most definitely too many B rated movies to pass the time on the airplane, I said, “Oh, sometimes I am thinking about things and can’t sleep.”

He confidently responded, “I am wondering if you know about sleep hygiene?” Nope, I had to admit that I had never heard of sleep hygiene and instead, secretly wondered if the hygiene of sleep was anywhere close to the highest priority of hygiene concerns in Kenya. Nevertheless, very professional, wearing his white medical jacket, he went onto explain that I needed to shut off every kind of electronics, the television, the computer, and even my phone for at least two hours before I intended to sleep. Then, I must also remember to exercise for at least some part of the day.

In America where we are inundated with countless absolutes for taking care of our health, I had heard all of his recommendations before, but had never heard them referred to in the realm of hygiene. Somehow, using that term takes me to a much higher level of obligation, as anything less than strict adherence would somehow be grossly neglectful! So, still purchasing my always go to solution for any ailment—a pill, of course—I left the pharmacy with melatonin in hand—and a head full of strong admonitions if I wanted to achieve optimal results for a good night’s rest. So, I leave you for now, having high hopes tonight of turning my American day into a slumbering Kenyan night.

our digs in our hostel in Nairobi…

Take Off

We made it out the door finally on Sunday, loaded down with enough luggage that one Brit asked me if we were moving to a new country! Well, if so, we will be equipped with enough sanitary pads for at least 50 of the women in my new community!

You know how you don't want to be that person who has their luggage opened with their stuff spread out all around them trying to readjust everything because they are overweight??? Yep, well, that was us, EVEN though we had weighed and reweighed each of our four bags a billion times to make sure we were under the 50 pound weight limit. Oh well…either our machine was broken or theirs was…I much prefer to think it was theirs! ;)

But, all is well…we and all of our luggage made it to London, safe and sound and now awaiting nine hour flight to Nairobi. We'll be there for two nights, then make our way to Uganda where we will be for a couple of weeks.

First week is storytelling training and second is working with folks coming from South Sudan who are new to Disciple Making Movements. I'll definitely send more info on people and training once we are in Uganda.

In the meantime, for those who like photos…

planes flying so close this morning, felt we could touch them!
time for a very quick walk down one of the many footpaths in London…
…and bummer…if I'd only known…
hoverboard sign

Chiang Mai, Thailand Update

We are winding up our last day in Thailand. Just had breakfast with some of the folks and had a chance to recount all of the many reasons to celebrate what's been going on the past week.

With the almost 100 missionaries during the larger gathering, even though many got sick, many did not and the sickness was over in 24 hours for those who got it. Cultural shifts within this group are happening at a far greater pace than we realized which was evident throughout the entire week…which means they really are already seeing Greater Fruit and now have stories to share giving others hope that they can do the same. It's so exciting and a huge privilege to get to be part of this intentional and very passionate group.

Now, as they all head home, we ask you to join us in prayer for these busy leaders as they re-enter their lives.

For us, next up is Africa, leaving May 2. We would ask you to pray for the leaders we are working with there as we prepare to gather in Uganda for Story-Telling Training.

Sunday Night Market in Chiang Mai


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