Friday, July 21, 2006

Last Post From Malaysia!

We're down to the final days here in Kota Kinabalu! Monday, , and today we spent with the kids here at the daycare/tutoring at the corps youth center. Basically, our time with them has been like this: We help them with basic math and English all morning, get take out for lunch from some place around here, and then play games/watch a movie all afternoon until 4:30 when they go home. They are so much fun, but also full of energy! There are 6 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, but it takes all of us to keep up with them! Today was our last day with them, so we took them to a park and played there for a while as a treat.

On Tuesday we went to Mount Kinabalu ( the tallest mountain in Malaysia) and hiked trails and went to the hot springs. There was one trail that was actually a canopy walk - like a catwalk through the canopy level of the rainforest. We didn't see much wildlife, but it was a fun experience!

I forgot to mention this: Last week we went to the high school that Captain Mehing works at as a counselor and spent time with the special needs kids and a group that she councils. Even though we only spent a couple of hours there, we had a lot of fun getting to know the kids and came away with a lot of friends and good memories.

This may be the last time I get to write on the blog (at least the last time from Malaysia), so let me say a few things abnout this summer: Our team has worked really well together, and I think we've been doing a good job with everyone helping out whenever anything needed to be done. Perhaps we haven't done many "work projects" - painting, etc. - but since we are the first service team they've had here (if not for ever, at least for a long time), it's been an experiment on both our side and our hosts' to see what we could do and what needed to be done. I think the most important thing we've done this summer is build relationships with the people here. We've made friends everywhere we've gone and hopefully left a good impression on everyone we've met. It's been a good summer!

We've been blessed overall with good health for the majority of this summer, but today was different. Annie, Ben, and Vicki all have food poisoning. Please pray for their quick recovery and the continued health of the rest of us, especially as we'll have a long trip home in a few days, but don't worry! They've been to the clinic and have medicine, and hopefully after taking today off to rest they'll be feeling more like themselves tomorrow.

We miss everyone back at home and can't wait to see you (and the other teams!) in a few days!

We will also miss Malaysia!


Monday, July 17, 2006

Only one more week in sad!

This past week has been different for us...

On Monday, there were only two kids instead of the usual 6 for tutoring/day care because the van broke down and the others couldn't be picked up. So the kids were given the week off.

Tuesday we painted the outside of the corps. It was dirty work as we had to clean the dust off before painting, but we nearly finished everything that day.

On Wednesday we went to the beach.

Thursday afternoon the girls went to women's fellowship and taught them how to make scrambled eggs and french toast - the french toast was a huge hit! The guys finished us the painting at the corps. That night we took taxis downtown and saw Pirates of the Caribbean.

Friday we went to "the village" - where Captain Mihing's parents live. It's a really rural place, and we took a dirt road to get there. But once there, it was beautiful! we stayed in a lodge place - bedrooms, kitchen, porch - and there was a river flowing by and Mount Kinabalu (the tallest mountain in Malaysia) in the near distance. We spent that day swimming in the river and then had a barbecue that night. We dragged our mattresses out to the porch and slept there under the stars (and yes, some of us now have quite a few mosquito bites!) The next day we lazed around until Captain Jabid arrived with Major Bob, and then we all left for the city. It was a nice time to relax.

Sunday we had the 9:30 meeting - we did praise and worship, Ben and Annie sang, and Josh preached. For dinner we went out to Pizza Hut with Captain Jabid and Major Bob.

That all for now! Leave us some comments! We'll be home in a week! It's hard to believe it!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Day in the Life, with Lycra (in Peru)

The Lycra tube is the perfect size
for a puppet-show- tablecloth for our
now infamous puppet shows!

Tammy leads a teen Bible study
in the tube, and even Capt. Rojas joined the fun!

Ah, this is great! Let the fun begin!

Wait, something´s gone horribly wrong.
I think the question we should all be
asking is why are team members taking
pictures while Josie is fighting for her life!

This is how a lot of days end!

If only more things were made of Lycra, maybe we wouldn´t have to spend so much money replacing things we´ve broken. Quick list of things the Peru Knickerbokers have somehow broken: 4 cups, 2 chairs, 1 CD player, 1 glass vase with flowers, 1 ashtray, and 1 wall of a church.

We are all doing great in Chiclayo! The Lord is really working in the team as well as through the team!

Johanna turned 19 on Sunday and we had Pizza Hut, chocolate cake, and neopolitan ice cream! Add in some great services and an awesome team siesta time, and it was a fabulous day!

Cherika, Booth, and Johanna have all given great sermons at meetings at the corps and Tammy will speak tomorrow night.

Hillary & Josie both received their packages yesterday and shared goodies with the team!

We are really excited about our last 2 weeks in Peru, but are also excited to see our families and friends again. Keep us and the work in Peru in your prayers.

Josie & the Peruvian Knickerbockers

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Lots of Malaysia pics

Linds doing her thing...whatever that might be?
Teaching the girls a line dance
Manukan Island
Lindsey suited up for snorkeling!
Manukan Island
Ben playing with the kids
Chauncy tutoring some of the day care kids
4th of July celebrations

1st Week in Kota Kinabalu

Overall, our first week here in KK has been good. Communication is a little harder than it was in Ipoh because the officers here aren't quite as fluent in English as the ones in Ipoh were. We've made two friends - Michelle, who looks after the daycare/tutoring kids every day and Freddy, who works at the corps - they both speak English well and we spend our free time hanging out with them. They've been so nice to us, taking us around KK and taking us places! On the weekdays we teach the 6 kids at the youth center math and English in the morning, and then play with them all afternoon. It's a long day and can get kind of monotonous (for us), but we try and keep the kids entertained as best we can. It's a big help to Michelle, as she's usually the only one with them all day. Last Friday night we went to a Bible study at some of the corps members' home. It was a small group, but it was fun (although no one translated for most of it) and we played Bible charades and ate food. Driving there we came across some oxen in the road - very exciting! On Saturday Freddy took us to an island (we took a boat out) and rented snorkeling gear and spent the day swimming around the coral with the fish. In the evening we had a praise and worship practice and the girls taught American dances to some of the girls here. The Sunday meeting was from 9:30 to nearly 12:00 - we did a skit and participated in the praise and worship. We had the afternoon off and at night we took a bus with Michelle and went into downtown KK to see the Superman movie (which we really enjoyed!). This week we're back with the daycare kids, and there are only two today since the van broke down yesterday and the others couldn't be picked up. (This van has also been our main source of transportation, so hopefully it will be fixed soon! In the meantime, I think we'll have to become more familiar with the buses and taxis.)

I tried to upload some pictures....but I don't see them on here. We'll try to post them later!


More Belize Pics

Friday, July 07, 2006

Angel giving her testamony.

When you need to shower, you do it where ever you can! Even in front of Regional Heaquarters in the rain!
Scary man with machette!!
The amazing band and company at the Belize City Central Corps.

We are always flexible in our plans. Who needs swimsuits??
We went to the Belize Zoo but on the way back the car broke down and this is how some of us coped with the tragedy.

HOLLER...from Peru

Here are some pictures of some activities we have been up to over here in Peru. The computers are reeeeaally slow here so we will try to post a couple pictures each day for the next couple of days. We are in Chiclayo, Peru and will be here until next Thursday when we go to Trujillo for yet another congress. The 11 hour bus ride to Chiclayo was quite a fun-filled one, with Johanna winning BUS BINGO!!

Chiclayo has been great. We have been here a total of 4 days now and its exciting to see God working through the Army here. Unlike Piura, The Salvation Army is much more established here in Chiclayo. They have home league and youth programs and lots and lots of kids! The Youth here are really active in serving the community. It´s been awesome to work with some other young people and to serve together with them.

We are all doing well. No sicknesses at the moment which is just SUPER! We´re having a lot of fun and experiencing God in a real way with these people. We have had a lot of craft activities and devotions with the kids during the day and services with the community at night. Worship is great! We sing lots and lots of songs in SPANISH!! So for the gringas and well, me, we clap and smile!!!

okay well I think im pretty much through updating for the moment. It´s Dinner time!! wild guess, chicken and rice??? No, seriously, we are extremely blessed. The Captains have taken great care of us.

Dios Te Bendiga!!

Booth and....ok, the nicks.

- In His Grip -

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Well things have been busy here. We had to move last week. Rob and Heather took in two of the neighborhood boys so we had to trade houses with them so they would have enough room for the boys. Can I just say that I very much dislike moving. This move was for a great cause so it was all worth it.

We spend most of our time with the kids of the neighborhood and when we are not with them they are hanging out on our front proch anyways. I have been given the nickname NURSE thanks to Jaime calling me that all the kids do now. Nothing like the bellow of a 12 year old boy yelling NURSE across the neighborhood to get my attention.

We take them to the local pool on Mondays and Fridays. On the other days we do various activites with them. Mostly keeping them from pounding on each other or throwing rocks at anything that doesn't move. When you can get the kids in small groups they are great it is when we have them all together that there is a problem.

We have seen God really working in some of these kids. Just since we have been here there have been changes in some of them. They are learning that kind words get you farther than mean demanding words and that there is a better way to solve problems than with your fists.

Basketball is the main thing there kids do here. Sometimes till wee hours of the morning or until we take away the basketballs and put down the goal. Which we learned to do very quickly if we want any sleep at night.

We are planning a trip to a local amusement park with the kids in a few weeks and also a community picnic. I am very excited aout both events.

Please keep praying for us, pray that the fruits of the spirit will be in full harvest in each of us because we need it every day.


We're in KK!

The Malaysian team arrived in Kota Kinabalu (KK) on Monday night. KK is on the island part of Malaysia - look it up on a map to get a good idea of where we are. The journey here - two planes - was pretty uneventful, which was good. We were met by Captain Jabid and a couple of others and taken straight over to the corps, where about 30 of the corps members gave us the warmest welcome I've ever received. They were shaking our hands, taking pictures, and had us dancing and singing our national anthem within minutes! There was food of course, and it was good! We're staying in a hotel that is a few minutes' walk from the corps. The hotel is nice, but it's right above a kareoke bar, so we hear the singing loud and clear every night. There are mountains here, and the sea is close but we haven't seen it yet. The weather is hot, and so far it hasn't rained. Yesterday we had off to rest, so we spent the time finding places to eat, meeting some people, and then going out to a seafood market for dinner with the Captains, their toddler son, and a couple of others from the corps. Today we spent the morning helping out with tutoring six kids (ages 5-11) at the youth center (the floor below the corps) and then played with them all afternoon. They're still running around now playing with the superballs we gave them.

Our last days in Ipoh were good, and Sunday was our official farewell at the corps (Lindsey preached). We also went to the Old Folks' Home and said goodbye there. Madam Tong and Uncle Eddie gave us a fruit party - there was a platter piled with all kinds of fruit, and we had to eat it all! We did it, and got introduced to a lot of new fruits - rambutan ("hairy fruit"), "cat's eyes," mangostein, guava. Later that night they had us try durian - the strangest fruit any of us have ever had. It smells terrible, and tastes nothing like a fruit - and that's fact, not opinion! It was quite an experience!

We have posted pictures on our Malaysiateam06 blog! Please check them out. There's a funny one of Ben being scared by a monkey!

We have good access to the internet here, so I'll be writing again soon! Also, we miss you friends and family! So comment to us! Keep us in your prayers!


Monday, July 03, 2006

Belize Photos!

The Halfway Point

It´s incredibly hard to believe that half of our trip is over! We had a great two weeks in Piura. The Salvation Army is desperately needed there and we really feel that when the new corps is established it will do well! Johanna gave a devotion on the local Christian radio station in Piura and was amazing!
We were able to visit the beach in Mancora, about 3 hours away from Piura, where we had a wonderful day with the beach pretty much to ourselves. Traveling from Piura to Lima took about 13 hours by bus and while we were a little scared about the bus situation, it was actually pretty fun. The team (and one Peruvian guy who must think we were nuts!) had the bottom of the bus to ourselves for the night. The seats laid almost flat and were really wide!
This weekend The Salvation Army celebrated 96 years in Lima with an anniversary celebration and we were lucky enough to participate. There was an open air in an outdoor mall area Friday night and then meetings Saturday and Sunday with a march on Sunday afternoon. It was a long weekend but everyone had a good time. While in Lima we stayed at DHQ which has officer´s apartments on the upper floors. Our hosts have been amazing! Pretty much the whole weekend we have been eating Pizza Hut, KFC, and Burger King. It´s been great to have a break from all the roasted chicken, white rice, and fries that seem to be the main meal here!
We leave Lima tonight for another long bus ride to Chiclayo where we will be for about 11 days.
The whole team wants to say hi to the Malaysian Persuasion, the Belize Bobsled Team, and the Charlotte group! We are praying for you today.
Josie & The Peruvian Knickerbockers

Belize is off to Camp!

That's right, well be traveling to Succotz today for Youth/Home League Camp today. We have spent one whole week in the villiage of Georgeville doing VBS and various work projects. It has been amazing serving alongside Captains Mark and Vicki Gilden who are serving here as missionaries from the Western Territory. They are incredible people and are doing an amazing job here. Remember them and their three daughters in your prayers today.

We've had our fair share of trips to the hospital this week. Val, Alyce, and Leo are recovering well from their respective illnesses and the rest of the group is doing great as well.

Yesterday afternoon we drove back into Belize City to march in a parade celebrating 91 years of the Salvation Army in Belize. We then came back to Georgeville for the night meeting during which I got to enroll 3 junior soldiers! That was a HUGE honor for me, and I am grateful to the Gildens for allowing me to be a part of their corps family.

That's all the time we have for an update at the moment. When we get back from camp, we'll try to squeeze in some more details.

Much love!


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know, Malaysia has posted a few pictures on our blog. So you should go check them out when you get a chance. All is well here, we're praying for you all. 3 more weeks!!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Malaysia: last days in Ipoh

Another week has passed - here's what we've been doing:

Monday: Lindsey's birthday & our day off. We went to a water park in Ipoh and had the place almost to ourselves. It was great! Water slides, a wave pool, a heated pool, a lazy river, some rides and watching the tigers being fed took up a whole day. We had dinner at Pizza Hut (Lindsey's choice - she would have picked roti (a flat bread dish) but we had had it the night before). While we were relaxing & watching a movie at the Captains' house, Uncle Eddie & Madam Tong dropped by and insisted on taking us out for ice cream. It was fun, and the ice cream creations were amazing.

Tuesday: Work day! From 8:00-3:00, with a break for lunch, we all scraped paint off the playground at the Children's Home and repainted. It was long, hot, tedious work, but it needed to be done & it looks so much better now. In the evening we did a program for the kids at the home.

Wednesday: Since we had nearly finished our work the day before, we took the day off and Captains Ruth & Augustine & their two kids took us to Penang again. We spent the afternoon on a beach behind a residential area, so we had it to ourselves (Malaysians in general don't go to the beach). Some of us rented jet skis, but most of us were content to swim or sit in the sun. We wrapped us the day by going to a couple of malls and then eating at a Thai seafood market.

Thursday: We went to the Boys' Home to work, but were given nothing to do until 3:00, so we spent the time putting together a photo album for the Captains, organizing team bags, and planning programs. We actually did a bit of work - we put up borders on the walls of some of the boys' rooms. We were supposed to go get rocks to make a rock garden, but when the Major took us to where the rocks were, there were no rocks! So instead he left us for half an hour at the cave with the garden that we had been to the week before. We saw a bunch of monkeys and walked barefoot on the rocky path again - it's supposed to be good for your health, but it's pretty painful. In the evening we did a program with the boys.

Friday: We girls finished painting at the Children's Home, and the guys did some work at the Boys' Home. For dinner, we went out with the staff of the two homes to a 100-year-old Chinese restaurant.

Today: we made an American-style lunch for the Captains and then presented them with some gifts (photo album, craft materials they can use with the kids at the homes, etc.). Tonight we are doing a program for the youth and ordering pizza for them.

It's hard to believe that almost three weeks have gone by and we only have a couple more days in Ipoh. We're excited about going to Kota Kinabalu (KK) as it sounds like it will be a totally different experience, but we're going to miss everyone here - they've been so nice to us!


Thursday, June 29, 2006

A message for EVERY TEAM!!! Please read and respond!

Hey guys!

I've been working on figuring out how much extra money each of you has raised in order to send it over to you. So far, I've figured out that Charlotte has an extra $510, Malaysia has an extra $343 and Belize has an extra $60. I know Peru will have a little bit of money to use but I'm still working on figuring that out. I'll let you know when I have a number.

Here's what I need from you though. If you have found a project which you would like to fund for a corps or area where you are, please let me know specifically what it is. The money will have to be earmarked for that specific project and will then have to go through SAWSO and on to the territory where you are.

I hope that explanation is decipherable.

So, team leaders, please let me know which projects you would like to fund and I will make sure the money gets sent. If you have not seen a physical need that needs to be met (it's hard to believe that would be an option) transferring the leftover money to Child Sponsorship is an option.

Let me know what you guys want to do.

P.S. Please let me know by email or phone.

Monday, June 26, 2006


We live in Charlotte. It is good times. We received a stove and fridge. Hooray! And lots of kids. Today we're going swimming. We are learning to not complain, and to get over ourselves...and go swimming. YaY Jesus.
Pretty much things is good. Breakthrough with some kids. Hah- breakthrough. Sounds funny. What I mean is some of us are getting pretty close to some of the kids- it's cool to see God changing them...and us.
And that's Charlotte...

Pics from Orientation!

Below are some pictures taken at Service Corps Orientation. We had a few really great days of worship together! We sang, we danced, we bowed - all to the glory of God the father. Those service corps kids really know how to praise! The last picture is of the Charlotte team. I didn't have a picture to post when I posted all the other teams. Thanks Debbie for sending along a picture of your team. I appreciate it! Enjoy! Joy

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Malaysia Again

Hello again! It's been a couple of days since we updated, but we've done a lot!

On Thursday morning we had an orientation to the Old Folks' Home. It's a really nice place, and the 50 or so people living there seem to really enjoy themselves. After lunch, while the "old people" were napping, Madam Tong (she and her husband, Uncle Eddie, are in charge of the Home) took us out to see a Buddist temple in a cave. It was more of a shrine than a place of worship, but it was interesting. There were idols and writings everywhere. As Captain Augustine said, you have to know something about other religions if you want to witness more effectively to those people. The cave had over 500 steps up the mountain, and most of us climbed up. We were really hot and tired by the end of it, but the view of Ioph was worth it in the end. We returned at 3:00 to the Old Folks' Home and did a program for them - songs, a testimony, and a short devotion. (We've been doing most of the programs since we've been here, and we're getting pretty good at getting up and leading things.) Madam Tong translated for us, since they speak Chinese and hardly any English at all. Afterwards, Uncle Eddie took us to another Buddist cave/temple, and while this one was smaller, you could walk through the mountain to the other side where it opened up to a beautiful garden. We walked around the pond full of lotus flowers and saw some monkeys and even a komodo (komoto?) dragon.

Friday we took a day trip to Penang , a city about 2 hours away, with the old people. It is more tourist-y - we didn't stand out quite as much - and it has beautiful beaches, but we only saw one briefly. To get there we crossed one of the biggest bridges in southeast Asia. We had lunch at the Boys' Home there, visited a fort, a Buddist temple (with a large sleeping Buddah). The most exciting part of the day was going to a botanical garden full of monkeys. They were just walking around all over the place & we could get pretty close. One actually chased Annie, another charged at Vicki, and another growled at Ben. Once the initial scare was over, it was really quite funny - and we got some of it on film too. That night, back in Ipoh, Madam Tong took us to the night market, and we tried all sorts of food - Chinese pancakes, roasted chesnuts, various fruits - and everything was good.

Saturday was rainy, so we did a prayer drive instead of a prayer walk, but it was good because we got to see the entire area around the corps. We watched another Indian film (which is long, and we're finishing it today) at the Captains' home, did a bit of shopping, and then did the youth sports program that evening. Then, we all (us, the older youth fromt he homes, and Captains Ruth & Augustine) went to a fund raising banquet at a hotel, sponsered by a bunch of local churches. It was a lot like any banquet, except for the food. There were three courses with about 9 different plates, ranging from seafood to rice, to cabbage, to honeydew & bean curd soup for dessert. It was really good, but there was so much food we had trouble eating it all!

Today we did all of Sunday School (Lindsey did the lesson - David & Goliath) and most of the Holiness service (Kelsey led the songs, we all did praise & worship, Josh and Ben sang, Chauncy preached). We have the rest of today off because we don't have to do teh service at the Old Folks' Home, since the Baptist Church is doing their once-a-month service there today.

We're having a great time, and it's sad that this will be our last week in Ipoh (we go to Kota Kinabalu in a week), but we'll be too busy to think about it: we're spending several days painting and it sounds like we'll be able to go to Penang again for a day!

Well, that's all for now. We're all doing great - keep praying for us & for the people here!


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Malaysia: Week 1

Even though we have great access to the internet here, we haven't really had time in the past few days to go online and update. So here's what's been happening:

Saturday Night: 5:00-7:00 we did the youth program at the Ipoh Corps

Sunday: We led Sunday School - some songs, a skit, and Kelsey did the lesson on Noah's Ark. In the Holiness Meeting we led praise and worship, and Lindsey gave her testimony and sang. Captain Augustine preached - he's very enthusiastic, adding hallelujah's and amen's throughout his sermon. In the afternoon we went to the Old Folks' Home and sat through their meeting - we sang God is Able and Josh gave his testimony. We spent a bit of time with the residents. We had the rest of the evening off, so we went to the mall to the movie theater. Some of us watched X-Men 3 while others watched Cars. We also successfully took taxis home.

Monday: Day off! The captains took us to Cameron Highlands, a really mountainous area - the views were amazing! We went to a rose garden and a butterfly garden, and had tea at a tea plantation.

Tuesday: We visited a really poor area and took food packets to teh residents. It was only Capt. Augustine's second time there, so our main focus was making friends. One family was better off than their neighbors, and before we left they gave us lunch (spicy noodles & fried chicken). Two of the boys at the Children's Home were taken from that area, and it was so sad to see the conditions they had been living in. In the evening the girls did a program at the Children's Home and the guys did a program at the Boys' Home - both went really well.

Wednesday: We spent the morning cleaning out the area above the thrift store. They're planning to use it as a shelter for women. It was so dusty that for a while it felt like we were just moving the dirt around, but in the end we made some good improvement. And in the afternoon....we went to the spa! Capt. Ruth knows an inexpensive, good place, and we all got some sort of treatment - facials, nails & hair done, massages, or milk baths. It was great!

Well, that's all for now. We're spending the next couple of days with the Old Folks, as they're called, so that should be fun!


Another Belize Update!

We've been working VERY HARD in Belize since our last update. Belize it or not! Last Friday we were in charge of conducting devotions here at the school at the Central Corps. Devotions were about the wise man and the foolish man and where they built their houses. It rained pretty hard that morning, so we were able to tie the weather in with our theme! Later that afternoon we had craft time with the same 250 children at the school. They enjoyed making Salvation bracelets and sock puppets. Friday evening we conducted the youth meeting at the same corps. We were able to use a couple of the Jim Caine items and the kids loved it.
Saturday was incredible. We traveled to another part of Belize (about 4 hours away in a van on a very bumpy road) to visit the Mayan ruins. We enjoyed climbing (some of us) the ancient temple ruins, walking in the rainforest, seeing howling monkeys, and swimming in the river there. We also ate some exotic fruits there. On our way to the Mayan site we passed through a large Mennonite villiage. It was very interesting to most of us, and on the way back home we stopped in the villiage and the Mennonites allowed us to pick some Mangos from their trees. Yummy! The best part of our trip was the fellowship we enjoyed on the van ride to and from the Mayan site. Some of the youth from the corps came along on this trip and we used the 4 hours there and back sharing our personal stories and giving advice and just listening to their thoughts, ideas, and questions.
We spent Sunday at the Northside corps with Majors Robateau and Major Alice Buckley. What a wonderful time we had worshipping with the folks there. Our group was responsible was a special drama which the corps people enjoyed, and we also provided the music for the meeting. Angel gave her testimony and it was amazing. She did not hold back in sharing some rather difficult things about her life and I believe that God used her in a mighty way that day. The team was responsible for Sunday School which was at 3pm at the corps. We had about 30 kids to work with and we talked about the armor of God. After Sunday School we all went out around the corps to do some community evangelism. It was great to get the kids involved in this and they loved taking part and using the evangicards and cubes to tell their neighbors about Jesus.
On Monday and Tuesday we were responsible for League of Mercy Meetings at two nursing homes in the area. I was blessed to see the team serving others. It brought tears to my eyes. And by service I mean they were on their knees literally feeding and tending to and loving and talking to the precious people in these homes. I was blessed! On Monday night we also attended prayer meeting at the Central Corps. What a broken and hungry (spiritually) place this is! Belize needs your PRAY PRAY PRAY.
We spent Tuesday afternoon at the Belize Zoo. We got to see the native animals of Belize and we had a great time. We traveled there in three cars. The car I was in (which Josh was driving) with Shannon and Bethany, made it to the zoo which is about 35 miles out of town, but didn't quite make it back home. As we were leaving the zoo, the accelerator got stuck down (not good) and we could only use the brakes as the car went faster and faster. Long story short, Shannon and Bethany rode home with Major Robateau while Josh and myself got to be pulled in the broken down car. Little kids were laughing at us as we were being pulled along...we were going pretty slow at times. What an adventure! Don't worry...we've got pictures!
Update: Val's inner workings ar working as they should....they weren't moving for a few days, but all is well now! The rest of the team is healthy and having a blast as well.
We are now preparing for a series of evangelistic campaign meetings that begin tomorrow and go through Sunday. Please be in prayer that many will come or even walk by and hear and see that things that will be done here.
Much love to Peru, Malaysia, Charlotte, and YOU!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Week One Reflections

So, our first full week in Piura is done and the team is doing great! We´ve really gotten to know a lot of the kids from the neighborhood and with another week still to go, it´s going to be incredibly hard to leave the city. Every morning we´ve spent an hour playing games and sports with the kids (the lycra tube episode was one for the memory books) and an hour with a bible lesson, singing, and a craft. The puppet shows are so awesome we´re thinking of going on the road with the act. The story of Noah´s ark was especially good : ) Even those of us that don´t speak Spanish have been able to communicate with the kids (although yours truly has been caught speaking French occasionally when I´m not thinking).
It´s odd that it is incredibly warm to us and yet this is their winter and people are walking around with sweaters, coats, hats, and scarves. It makes us hot just looking at them sometimes.
We held the first Sunday School and Holiness meeting on Sunday morning (in the community center) and though it was mostly children there were quite a few adults (52 people total).
Today we spent the entire day in groups going door to door to meet the families and adults that live in the community. We went in, sat, and talked with them to find out what they as a group need the most. Apparently gangs are a huge problem in the area and all the adults are concerned that there is little else for the chilren to become involved in. Update: Booth is doing better, and in regards to the rest of the team, there have only been a few minor problems adjusting to the food.
Our first day off is Thursday and we are hoping to go to the beach!
We´ll let you know how the water is.
Josie & the Knickerbockers

The Phone Calls!

Yesterday I received two phone calls! One from Malaysia. It was 9:45 p.m. where they are and the same time a.m. in my part of the world! How odd to think that they are so far ahead of us. In just a few hours they will be waking up to tomorrow!

Annie told me about some of their experiences. She mentioned all the food they are eating. A lot of it looks really odd but she hadn't had anything yet that tasted bad. They've had a lot of Indian food. She told me that the majority of the corps members come from outside of the neighborhood where the corps is. Thus the prayer walk. She mentioned how the team knew that the majority of the people in Malaysia were Buddhist or Hindu but it didn't really hit home until the prayer walk where every home seemed to have a red prayer box with incense burning in the front to a god - not ours. It was lovely to hear from her. I'm so glad she called!

Then, at the end of the day I got a phone call from Belize. Josh was on the other end of the line telling me how great it has been for them. He said everyone on the team is getting along. They seem to be working hard but having a good time at the same time. The phone cut out on us while he was telling me an absolutely hilarious story about him reading the Scripture at the old folks home. You'll have to get him to tell it to you when he gets back.

If I hear anything more from the other teams, I'll let you know!
Have a great day!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Malaysia Update

Hello again!

We did get our luggage a couple of days ago - it's been great to have our team supplies for our youth meetings (and clean clothes have been a nice change as well!)

Just for clarification: Malaysia is 12 hours ahead of Atlanta, not 8.

We have spent Thursday at the Children's Home and Friday at the Boys' Home, both of which are in Ipoh. In the mornings we would have an informational meeting about the workings of the building and then a tour. We had lunch with the children (there are never many at lunch because the majority of them go to school in teh morning, and only a few go in the afternoon) and then we would have the afternoon to rest and plan our evening program. We spent both days getting to know the kids, who are all very friendly. They are very active and love games of all kinds. Communication is easier at the Children's Home, where they all know some English (some better than others), and harder at the Boys' Home, where they speak more Chinese and Malay and less English. However, when they are addressed as a group it is in English. Malay, Chinese, Tamil, and English are spoken here, and everyone knows at least one language, often switching from one to the other. Both evenings we did a game night for the kids. At the Children's Home it was very loud and confused because it was mostly the younger kids. We played some group games and taught them some songs (and new and improved motions to Father Abraham). Although we had about 50 boys at the Boys' Home, the game night was more organized and we could get them quiet enough to hear the instructions. With them we did a lot of relay games which they really got into. Both nights were a lot of fun for both us and the kids, and we came away tired and hot, but with a good experience.

Today (Saturday) we did a prayer walk around the corps area in Ipoh. There are a lot of Chinese in this area. For lunch we had Indian food at Captains Augustine and Ruth's home, and for some cultural experience (and because there weren't enough spoons) we ate our rice, beans, and boiled eggs with our hands.

By the way, the food here is wonderful and varied. There are so many kinds of spices and textures and blends of Chinese, Indian, and Malay influences. We're trying a lot of fruit as well - dragonfruit, waterchesnuts, mango.

This afternoon we're relaxing in the Captains' home and watching some Indian movies and planning the youth rally meeting tonight and the program for tomorrow. The Captains let us help out a lot, and the meeting tonight and Sunday School tomorrow will be lead by us.

Well, that's all I have time for now. Keep us in your prayers - there is so much opportunity for Christian growth here!


Frequently Asked Questions

Many parents, friends and family have been asking questions concerning the teams. I want to give some information which all of you need. If I don't answer a question you may have here, please leave a comment and I will answer it in my next post.

When do the teams return - date, flight, time?

The Belize team returns on July 24 at 8:05 p.m. on Delta flight 270. If you are planning to meet any members of this team at the airport, please remember that once they land they will have to go through customs so it may take a litte while for them to get to baggage claim.

The Charlotte team will arrive at some point during the day. They will be returning by van. Their arrival time is not nailed down at this point in time.

The Malaysia team will arrive in Atlanta on July 24 at 10:45 a.m. on Delta flight 7851 from Seoul, Korea. This team will also be going through customs before they can get to baggage claim so please be patient.

The Peru team returns on the same date at 6:25 p.m. on American Airlines flight 1216. They will not have to go through customs once they arrive in Atlanta because of a previous stop in Miami.

The teams will remain in Atlanta until July 27 for debriefing. We will discuss their summers and give the teams a chance to reconnect with American culture and each other after 6 weeks of being gone. For those Service Corps members who did not already have a flight booked home at the end of debriefing, I will book a flight for them within the next couple of weeks. I will email those team members flight arrangements to family members and corps officers who will need that information.

Many have asked for contact information. I am going to list it here but I ask that you only use the phone numbers listed for emergencies! I believe it would be okay for you to send mail - just remember that mail going overseas sometimes takes a while.


Regional Command
Major Errol Robateau
PO Box 64
41 Regent St
Belize City, Belize
1268 462-0115


Calle Zarazoga 215
Puebla Libre
Lima 21, Apartado 690
Lima 100
51 (1) 261-4576
Majors Nesterenko


Ipoh Boys Home
4367 Jalan Tambun
31400, Ipoh

PO Box 221
30720, Ipoh, Perak
Tel: [60] (05) 545 7819

Kota Kinabalu Corps and Community Services
20-2 Block A Inanam Business Center
Batu 6
Jalan Tuaran
88450 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

PO Box 14234
88848 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: (088) 433766

Please remember that Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of us. If it is 8 a.m. EST then in Malaysia the time is 4:00 p.m.


Heather and Rob Dolby
This team has email access - if you would like to request their address, please ask via email. I don't want to post Rob and Heather's personal address online.

I hope all of this information is helpful. Again, once the team members flights home have been booked, I will be in touch.

Have a great day!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hola from Peru

Hello friends,
Sorry it has taken so long to let everyone know how we are doing. The flights here were uneventful (though we did have to switch flights at one point). We arrived in Chiclayo on Tuesday morning and after a breakfast at the corps there we took a 3-hour bus ride to Piura, where we will be for the next 2 weeks. We are incredibly blessed: we all got here safely, all of our luggage made it with us, our host, Major Nesterenko, has been fabulous, and we are staying in a great hostel. Today, Thursday, we did our first full day of meetings, with door to door evangelism and children´s activities all morning. This afternoon we had an open air in the community where we are working. The Army wants to open a corps here and we have an amazing opportunity to be the first Salvationists these people see. Major Nesterenko left yesterday and we are here with Captain Rojas, Miguel - a Salvationist from Lima, and Wilmer - a Salvationist from Chiclayo. The food has been amazing, and the weather is perfect. In the 60`s and 70´s. On a side note: Booth is waiting patiently for his first bowel movement. The whole team is praying for him. We want to let the other teams know that we are thinking and praying for them. Hello to all our families, we miss you and love you - but we are doing great!
The Peruvian Knickerbockers

Greetings from Belize!

Greetings Friends from Belize! Or as we would say (since we're locals now)...How ya do?
We arrived safely in Belize as Joy so kindly shared on Monday afternoon. We were given an amazing greeting by the children at one of the schools run by the Salvation Army here. They made banners for us and each class greeted us with a song they had prepared. We were then taken to our home for the summer which is more amazing than any of us could have imagined. Our house is right on the beach, which is nice because we can get the great ocean breeze...and believe me, we need all the breeze we can get! (It's hot with 100% humidity to boot!)
This week we have mainly been touring the city and becoming familiar with our surroundings. Our hosts, Majors Robateau have been so kind to show us the ropes each day. We have also been around the city to visit all of the Army's facilities here in Belize. We have seen corps, a thrift center, men's and women's night shelters, and schools.
Yesterday we did devotions for the kids at the school and then attented a Rotary meeting with the Majors. After the Rotary meeting we were able to spend some free time at Cucumber Beach which is a private beach owned by one of the Rotarians. We had a fabulous time swimming, rowing, and playing on the rope swing!
Today we will have our official welcome meeting and we are very much looking forward to meeting more of the corps people and others who will attend. Prior to the welcome, we will have an open air meeting just down the street from the corps, from which we will march to the corps.
We are all doing well...even Leo!
Many thanks to all of you for your love and support and prayers. We are truly blessed.
Much Love!
The Charlotte Team is doing great. We all arrived safe and sound. What a greetings we had the neighborhood kids greeted us by running after the van. They were all so happy to see us. They could not wait to help us unload our luggage from the trailer. I will post some pictures later. We dove right in and started getting to know the kids right away. We have had some really bad rain the last couple of days so things have kind of different. Today should be our first full day as planned. I got lost downtown Charlotte last night and saw the stadium where the Carolina Panters play football. (I just added that for any football fans) Time to serve lunch to the kids more later from Charlotte.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Malaysian Persuasion Update

Hello everyone!

It's Thursday morning here (we're 12 hours ahead of Atlanta) and so today is our second full day. To get here, we took two planes - 14 hours to Seoul, South Korea, and 6 hours to Kualar Lumpar, Mayalsia. Because our first plane was over an hour late taking off, we barely made our connection to our second plane and our luggage hasn't made it yet. We're living off our carry-on items, and our hosts are looking after us well so we aren't lacking much. We all stayed at the Boys' Home in Ipoh Tuesday night (we finally drove in at 4:00 AM). We got to sleep in on Wednesday and then Capts. Augustine and Ruth took us to lunch at Pizza Hut and shopping for some necessary items. We had a quick briefing as to the next couple of days and then we girls went to where we will be spending the next three weeks - the Children's Home, also in Ipoh (the guys are staying at the Boys' Home). We had the rest of the afternoon off, and we spent our time getting to know the children (mostly girls) while the guys got to know the boys at the boys' home. After dinner, we all went to a concert featuring Scott Wesley at a Baptist church.

It's hot and humid here, but not too bad - it's a lot like Florida. There are mountains all around and everything is absolutely gorgeous.

Here's a link to our team blog, where we'll be posting more personal comments:

Keep us in your prayers!


P.S. While typing this, we recieved good news! It seems as though our luggage has least that's what the airport says. Hopefully we will get our luggage sometime today!

Some Pics from Orientation!

This is the lovely Peru team - acting like....well....themselves!

Here's the peaceful Malaysia team. We definitely sent the right group there!

And the Belizian Bobsled team was raring to go. Don't ask - it really doesn't make sense but they had fun making up a name, that's for sure.

I'm hoping for a picture from Charlotte soon! I'll post it as soon as I get it.

Malaysia has arrived!

I received a phone call from Annie this morning letting me know that the team has arrived safely in Malaysia. They got there early Wednesday morning and immediately took a bus ride from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. They arrived in Ipoh at 4:00 a.m. Today they have simply taken it easy and rested.

It was so good to hear Annie's voice and to know that everyone was okay. She did say it was muggy like Florida but that the girl's living quarters does have air conditioning. Sorry fellas!

Please continue to pray for them. I hope that when the team begins to minister they will be able to update.

Thanks for continuing to check back!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We Have Touchdown!

Dear friends and family of the Service Corps,

I have received word this morning that Charlotte, Peru and Belize have arrived at their host locations safe and sound.

I received a phone call last night from Belize letting me know that their acommodations were incredible and they all sounded so fantastic. It was good to hear their voices and their enthusiasm.

Our dear friend Marion has received a new name. He will now be called Leo instead of Marion because Leo is a man's name and Marion is not. I thought that was pretty funny!

I hope you all are doing well. I will let you know when the rest have landed and are safe.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Answers to the Most Popular Questions

I'm not sure if anyone is still checking this but I thought I'd post the answers to the most popular questions everyone seems to be asking lately.

1. Do we need to bring towels and laundry detergent? Towels are necessary. I would also recommend a small pillow that you can pack or even use on the airplane. I'm not completely sure where all of you will be staying or what the situations will be like. Sometimes just being assured of something from home to sleep on brings a little bit of peace. Laundry Detergent is up to you. DO NOT PACK an entire bottle however. The hosts of the teams know that at some point you will need to wash your clothes and they will make that available to you. Please remember that the people where you are going are used to wearing the same outfit a couple of days in a row - you'll be fine if you have to do the same. I would pack one or two packs of woolite (the traveler size or the size you can buy in a laundromat) in case you run out of clean undies.

2. What day do we get home? All of your flights return to the States on July 24 however you will not go home until the 27 to allow time for debriefing.

3. What do we do about TYI? TYI starts on July 31. You will travel home from debriefing and then go to TYI with your divisional delegation. Click here for your application.

4. What type of vaccinations do I need to get? Get all of the ones the doctor at the travel clinic recommends. It is always better to be safe than sorry. For those of you travelling to Malaysia, you will be spending time in Ipoh and Kota Kinabalu with a short stint (two to four hours) in Kuala Lumpur. Those of you traveling to Peru and Belize, I do not believe you will be traveling into the jungle at any point nor will you be traveling outside of those two countries. In Peru you will be going to Chiclayo, Trujillio and Lima. In Belize, I don't know the specific names of the cities but you will be traveling around the entire country.

I hope all of this is helpful. If there are any more questions, please post them here and I will respond.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Addressing an International Audience

My friend works in the PR business. She sent me this last week. I think it greatly applies to your situations this summer. Please read it and apply it to the items you are preparing for this summer.


Pointers for addressing international audiences
Apr.13, 2006
Copyright © 2006 PRSA. All rights reserved.
By C. Peter Giuliano

If the world were a demographically balanced village of 1,000 people, it would include some 584 Asians, 124 Africans, 95 Europeans, 84 Latin Americans, 52 North Americans, six Australians and New Zealanders, and 55 people from the former Soviet republics. They would speak more than 200 languages and reflect a dizzying mix of cultures. Now imagine giving a presentation to that group of 1,000 people.*
No, it’s not likely you’ll be facing so diverse a group any time soon. Still, there are pointers to keep in mind when you’re addressing any international audience. The first, clearly, is to recognize that differences among the world’s many cultures directly affect how people receive and process information. Call it the what-works-here-doesn’t-always work-there rule.
It’s all up to you
The onus is always on the presenter. Presenters whose first language is English must communicate effectively in English and not rely on translators to do the job for them, even if English remains the most spoken business language around the world. The author Patricia Kurtz wrote that when she observed European executives struggling to understand presentations made by their American counterparts, she found it was due to the Americans’ failure to use clear language, and not to the Europeans’ grasp of English.
Even within a given audience, proficiency in English can vary widely. So the best approach is to clarify your content as much as possible. Use simple, neutral language, avoiding complexities as well as jargon or buzzwords that are familiar only to the audiences you normally deal with. That applies to regional American idioms as well. Also be careful when using analogies or metaphors. American presenters, for example, like to use sports analogies. While these may work with American audiences, they don’t work in other cultures. Avoid sarcasm completely. Reduce long, complex words to short, simple ones as much as possible. Winston Churchill said it well: "Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all." That applies especially when you’re speaking across cultures. Difficult as some may find it to do, there are no business concepts that cannot be explained in simple words. Underscore your points with uncomplicated, vivid illustrations. If you’re using an example to illuminate a point, you’re better off citing one from nature; such examples are universally understood.
For an international audience, a script is recommended. This will allow you to stick to precise, carefully crafted language, and can be especially useful if you’re addressing a technical audience. Your script can also be used as a handout to your listeners afterwards.
If your presentation calls for certain actions to be taken by your listeners, be sure what you’re asking for is practical. A given timetable may be realistic in a culture that tends to be exact, precise, and oriented towards immediate action. It may not be realistic in another culture that’s more consensus-oriented and relaxed, especially about time.
In most Europeans countries, audiences generally prefer to receive information in greater detail than those in other regions, with lots of supporting documentation (though there are signs that may be changing). Japanese audiences follow a similar pattern. That’s especially true among business audiences in those countries where senior managers are more likely to hold technical degrees. Those audiences also prefer that speakers build to a point in their presentation. American and Canadian audiences, on the other hand, prefer a faster pace. They usually want speakers to speak from a point, rather than build step-by-step towards one.
Presenting technical material is a special challenge. Avoid the temptation to repeat something in the hope of reinforcing a point or adding clarity. Instead, it’s better to clearly define your terms the first time, and to be consistent in how you use that terminology throughout your presentation.
Know what to expect with questions. It’s practically inconceivable for Americans and Canadians not to ask questions. In some Asian cultures, on the other hand, audiences are more likely to greet a presentation with silence or just a few questions. When asked a question, be sure you fully understand it. Especially where language barriers may exist, always repeat the question. It’s okay to rephrase the question to help you get its real meaning. Establishing trust is critical. In a business presentation, you’re expected to know all your material, all the numbers, and be able to answer every reasonable question. In some European cultures, your inability to answer a key question can be more damaging than it might be even before a demanding American audience. So a thorough knowledge of your subject becomes even more essential. The idea is to present selectively, but be prepared to present more if necessary.
Slow down — and don’t crack wise
People for whom English is not their first language will retain more of your presentation if you speak slowly and deliberately, giving your listeners time to absorb your remarks. So slow down your normal pace a little and use pauses more than you normally would — but not so much that you appear to be patronizing. Add a few words or sentences to explain your important points, more than you would to a familiar audience. Speak realistically; exaggerations can confuse.
Use humor judiciously. In many cultures there’s a risk your humor will not be understood. Worse, it can be offensive. Humor just doesn’t work the same way from one culture to another, so proceed with caution.
As to body language: various audiences react differently to gestures. In some Asian cultures, for example, audiences find sweeping, rapid gestures distracting and downright annoying.
Be careful when selecting visuals. Colors carry different suggestions and meanings in diverse cultures. In some Latin American countries, for example, yellow has strong negative connotations. Keep your visuals simple. Limit the amount of detailed information. At-a-glance visuals are always best, the more so when you’re presenting to a cross-cultural audience.
Audiences around the world respond outwardly to presentations in different ways. In Japan, for example, it’s common to show concentration and attentiveness by nodding the head slightly. In some countries, audiences will sit expressionless through an entire presentation. The speaker who is unprepared for these unfamiliar reactions can easily be thrown off. I know from experience: Many years ago, after one of my first appearances before an international audience in Munich, my listeners began pounding on their desks. I was taken aback, to say the least, until my host let me know that was a sign of approval.
The most important thing in presenting to an international audience is to learn about the cultures of whom you are addressing. You have options. You can travel and establish relationships. You can also read widely. Learn all you can about your audience’s cultural composition. Question the meeting organizers; they should certainly be able to help you. Also ask anyone you know who may have addressed similar audiences. Focus on possible areas of sensitivity — anything you suspect can be misinterpreted or be found insulting or offensive. There are plenty of reference materials and Web sites that serve foreign travelers. The U.S. State Department Web site ( is an excellent source. You may need to use all or some combination of these to gain insight into the culture or cultures of the audiences you’ll be addressing. Of course, it’s always helpful to get feedback afterwards. Get a candid assessment of your presentation and delivery.
In sum, if you’re playing in a global arena, be prepared to play well.

* From a profile compiled by the author and educator Donella Meadows.

C. Peter Giuliano is chairman, Executive Communications Group, a global communication consulting company based in Englewood, N.J. He can be reached at
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Monday, April 17, 2006

Answers to your questions

Hey Everyone,

I am sorry that I haven't responded to any of your questions recently. I was pulling up an old URL for the site. Duh! So, now that I know it's working I can help.

I remember three questions from the comments, so here are the answers.

1. What happens if we raise too much money?
You can do one of two things - you can still send all of it in. It will go towards your trip. Or you can keep the extra to use once you get to your destination. I don't mean on souvenirs or anything like that but usually a team discovers a need that a specific location needs and wants to provide it. Your extra money can be used for that.

2. How is the Charlotte team travelling to their destination?
I am hoping that we can arrange for you to drive there. This does not mean that you can pack however many bags you want. Every team member is only allowed to pack one regular size suitcase and one carry on!! The other bag is for team ministry items and materials. There will not be any acceptions to this rule no matter where you are headed for the summer.

3. When are you supposed to start? Leaders will begin their orientation on May 26. Team members will begin their orientation on June 4.

I hope all that is helpful!
Keep the questions coming!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

This is just a test

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Here We Go!

An adventure begins! Are you nervous, excited, scared, ready to just get on a plane? Are there questions you may have that perhaps others might have as well? Do you have any ideas for the summer that might help your teammates and the other teams as well? Please share them here.

I will check the site everyday to answer your questions. Please list them here in case anyone else has the same question. The more information I can give you the better off we all are.

Hope to hear from you soon!