Sunday, February 27, 2011

Panama and PBU!

After 2 years of asking God to send us to Panama on a short-term trip, God opened the door in February!

Here's our team - Edyl Cunampio (his wife Kersten was on our team but stayed in PA due to her pregnancy!), Matt (our translator from Panama City), us, Owen and Amy Davison, Carl and Patsy Green
We were invited by Edyl's tribe, the Embera, to teach on Biblical Marriage.  Teaching was a process!  Owen, Carl, Amy and Patsy taught in English and then Glenn, Susie, Matt and Marianella translated into Spanish, and then Edyl, Bienvenido (the pastor), Cornelio, Loida, Elisabet and Leonora translated into Embera!
Glenn and I were able to shorten the process by teaching in Spanish...and then only needing the Embera translation!
Several weeks before we arrived, many Embera couples decided that they wanted to get married legally and in the church!  Here are 12 of the couples patiently and happily going through the process of meeting with the judge and then getting fitted for their wedding bands!
While the couples were waiting, the wedding ceremony preparations began!  Twelve children were "painted" - an Embera celebration tradition - so to serve as the ring bearers for the twelve couples!

The wedding ceremony was finally ready to begin!  Here the grooms pose with Edyl (who was beyond himself excited to see his father (below), grandfather, brother AND pastor get married!

Approximately 250 guests were present to hear Carl preach (and Matt and later Edyl translate) on Biblical marriage and then witness the 12 couples, who came forward three at a time, exchanging their vows and rings!

The youth not only did most of the wedding preparations, but they wrote and performed a song for the couples at the wedding ceremony!

After the wedding it was picture time!  Above, Glenn and I pose with the family who allowed our team to eat every meal in their home!  Below are the couples (minus Edyl's Grandpa who was taken home immediately after the ceremony due to his health).

 The food at the wedding reception was incredible!  Below is Edyl's sister Raquel serving yet another plate!

 The Panama trip ended all too soon, but we were able to share what God had done with 30 PBU students as well as teach them some of what we learned in Portland in January!

 What a joy it was to learn together with the PBU students as they shared their questions, stories and experiences, and participated with us in our teaching!  Below Susie poses with two members of her Bosnia team after the seminar!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January in Portland!

Yes, we spent the ENTIRE month of January in Portland, Oregon with these wonderful people!
 The training was entitled "Creating Understanding"...the goal was to learn how to understand ANOTHER culture, while better understanding OUR culture, so that we can communicate Biblical principles in a way that is culturally accepted, understood and makes a lasting impact.

We did this by spending ALOT of time in the classroom, as well as in smaller study/project's our group doing homework (recording our observations) late one night...
 We focused our studies on the Chinese culture in Portland and spent time in the community observing, interacting and learning!  Here's a short video of our time in a Chinese tea room...
 We have no pictures of the classroom where we spent MOST of our time, nor of the incredible foods we ate at the Worldview Center where we stayed...nor of all the amazing staff and residents who made our stay so enjoyable...but here's where Glenn and I slept and did homework...
 In between classes or on Saturdays (our day off!) we got outside as much as we could!  Because the Worldview Center is located at the base of Mt. Tabor, we often climbed it, and on a clear day we could see Mt. Hood!
 We even got to climb to the top of Multnomah Falls which looks out over the Columbia River in Oregon!

God blessed us with the chance to study with a long term friend from our home church and with many new friends and MANY new tools to use to communicate His Word clearly in Ecuador!  To Him be the glory!