Monday, October 29, 2007

Only one more day...

Hey everyone,

Well, it's our last full day in Singapore and we're all feeling a little sad as we think about saying goodbye to all of the new friends we've made over the past month. We still have two concerts to do this afternoon, then we are packing up the equipment and preparing to leave. (But not without a trip to the Singapore Night Safari!)

I remember from my trip to Honduras with CTI in 2003 that leaving was a lot harder than I expected, and I'm finding that the same is true here in Singapore. It's been a challenging month, adjusting to a new culture, stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things I've never done before, meeting tons of people everyday, and so on. But God has done awesome things both in us and through us this month, and it's sad to see that time come to an end. The time we've spent with the SYFC staff and volunteers has been such a blessing, and it's hard to say goodbye.

But we know that God has things in store for all of us - those returning to the States and those who are staying to minister in Singapore, and it will be exciting to see what He has planned. So we look forward to that.

Thank you so much for your prayers this month! Please continue to pray for us as we wrap things up here and prepare to travel home.

For 1421,


Ps. The rest of the team says hello. Jessie says that she's staying in Tokyo for awhile, then flying back to Singapore. :) (Don't worry Chris and the Milsteads, Brad will make sure she makes the flight back home.) Oh, and for those who know me... I still have my purse, but not my glasses.

Pps. Hey 1422! We miss you and can't wait to see you! Race you home...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Just thought I would update you, while I'm taking a bit of a breather. We just got back from leading chapel at a secondary school from 6am to 1 pm.

The past couple days have been pretty indescribable. This past Friday and Saturday we had two GARAGE events. The car park of the YFC building was decked out in an American theme, tables were set up, stage, lights, and real life crowd was added to the night for an experience for all the youth that came out. It was going to be a chance for us to be able to share the gospel & describe our purpose for coming to Singapore; to share our passion for Christ.

The first night, Friday, went over so well! We had been traveling and touring with students during the past week going to various POLY, ITE,and secondary schools. The result of all our time spent with the students was overwhelming. We played a sold-out show, squishing students into the carpark for some good food, music, and great company.

Personally I came out of that night with a heavy heart and feeling a bit uneasy. By now I've come to LOVE the youth here...they are awesome! That night I just wanted to tell them about my passion. I wanted them to respond to Christ...and it broke my heart to think that they didn't understand the kind of life that they could be living right now.

This was a thought that I carried with me to the next morning. I was in tears, just thinking about all those Singapore youth desiring them to understand what a life with Christ could be like. Ever since coming to Singapore, my prayer has been to "break my heart for what breaks Yours and to show me how to love like You have loved me." (a line from one of my fav. songs) That morning after our staff meeting and prayer for the night to come, I couldn't stop the tears and the pain that I felt for them...I felt the pain Christ felt for the lost and it tore me up inside...

That night, the second GARAGE concert, was just as amazing. I sat at a table with a group of 4 girls and one guy. Later that night, after sharing my personal story, one of the girls, Amanda, asked me if I would show her how to get the kind of life we were talking about. Her mother was a Christian and her father was a Buddhist, but she had decided that she'd follow her father before that night. I got to lead her to Christ and teach her how to :)

...a couple of ways that God schooled me that night...

1.Working in weakness: I'm the type of person that doesn't think before I speak, so I end up talking so much just to try to clarify my point. Half the time I never say what I want. But this time, ahhh...the words just came out. I talked bout my life story, about Christ, His love, forgiveness and mercy...and with time to spare! how cool...

2.Showing me He cared: Even though that morning I was overwhelmed with a desire for Christ to be known to the youth, I really didn't need a someone to make a commitment to make me feel better. That night was an answer to a prayer I never said. But it was what made my heart full & and thankful , because I have a love that gives more than I need.

3.Slamming my Skepticism: We did street evangelism the week before, handing out tracs, inviting people to fill out surveys, talk about their religion, and invited them to GARAGE. Back in North American...I would have laughed at the possibility of this bringing results. But the girl that I lead to Christ that night was one of the girls I had a 5 minute encounter with on that Singapore street. crazy!

4. The little things : I was supposed to be placed on another table, but was moved because Jessie swiped my table and started chatting to them first. So I was placed on her previous table, allowing me to be able to share my story.

Amanda said to me that night, that the thing that got her was the moment I talked about love. About how unconditional it was...she said it was too beautiful to pass up...

anyways...God's been too cool to describe...this is glimpse of what we, or I, am learning. Keep the prayers shooting up!

~ Michelle

Shout Outs:

Eliot: 31000 ba, ma and "yun", just wanted to let you know that i'm getting FAT and am still ALIVE. please pray for me as i'm getting fed WAY too much and WAY too well (some call that suffering for Jesus). on a serious note. shout outs to the Bomstads, the Drauses, Lauren, and of course to the awesome office staff esp. my therapist in Willmar! shouts to the spedies, rozzie, clau and grace. i miss you all. and of course to my lovely Bethel kids and Salties (if you guys are still there!). don't worry, i'll be back soon church!!! shouts to team 14:22 and keep up the good work in the BEST country in the whole wide world. ngo oi ALL OF YOU and miss YOU lots!!!! i think i miss my laptop and... skype... 31001!

Michelle: Mom, Dad, Julie, Tim, Dan, Hannah, Reuben, I'm alive & loving being in Singapore again! So much to experience...I tried turtle the other day, hmmmm good! Dave and Judy: prep some good Blonde jokes for me...I'm running out of the old ones, have fun in Hawaii! Ruthie:can't wait to talk your ear off :), Jimmy , thxs for the surprise visit b/f leaving, Ernest: Meredith is too cute!! & i miss Moe, is good :)14:22 : can't wait to catch up & missing you TONS! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More from Singapore

Hello friends and family!

Well, it's been over a week since our last post so we thought we'd give you an update of what we've been doing and what's coming up for 1421 in Singapore.

Last week we had several events with students from the 5 Singapore Poly's. During the week we went out in groups of 2 and met with the Christian students at their weekly prayer meetings to encourage them to share their faith with their friends. It is so neat to see the excitement of the students and to hear how they came to Christ. I have learned a lot about sharing the gospel by working alongside them at our evangelistic events.

Our first big event with the Poly students was an evening barbecue at the beach. Many Christian students came and invited their friends, and we ended up having a great turn out. We played some games, sang some songs, ate some food, and several of us had the opportunity to share the gospel with our groups. A few students said that they were interested in finding out more about Jesus, so please be praying for us and the SYFC as we follow up with these students at future events. And of course be praying for the students themselves, that God would continue to work in their hearts and bring them closer to Himself.

The next big event was our food tour! (Notice how our events tend to revolve around food... the YFC staff claims that eating is their favorite pastime!) This was a really fun evening. The seven of us "hid" in a clothing store in Chinatown, and students were given blurry pictures of us and they had to come find us in the store. We were each assigned to a group, and our group took us around several places in Chinatown and we got to sample various types of yummy food. I don't remember what any of them were called... except for carrot cake, which we renamed "radish omelet" because it's nothing like what we think of as carrot cake. During dinner (yes - we had a big dinner after we finished sampling all that food) we had another opportunity to share the gospel with the students that were with us. I got to "tag-team" with one of my new Singapore friends, and I was so impressed by her boldness in sharing her faith with a girl from her school.

On Saturday we had a breakfast with Chinese students that are studying in Singapore. (Again... food related! We are definitely not going hungry on this trip!) We had so much fun playing games with the students and getting to know them. We were able to perform a couple of songs for them, and many signed up to come to our upcoming events.

Another fun thing we did was film a short "MTV" (or music video) for one of our rep songs. We all got a chance to show off our melodramatic acting skills, and the finished product is quite nice! One of the student volunteers put it together - it was his first MTV and he did such a great job. Can't wait to show it to you when you get back. They will play the video behind us as we perform the song to help lead into our gospel presentation and our theme of "Alive."

Yesterday was our first official concert in Singapore. We played at one of the Poly's, which was a huge answer to prayer! The SYFC has been trying to get a group into the Poly's to perform for 5 years now, and this was the first time they've been given permission. We won't know whether or not it went over well with the students and teachers until next week, so please be praying for that. It did seem like we had a good response, though! We were there to publicize our "Garage" concerts coming up this weekend, and many people signed up to come from this school. We were not allowed to share the gospel or talk about our faith at this school, so we are praying that many will come to Garage so that we can share with them there.

Which brings me to today... today we played at a local Christian secondary school, which was a really cool experience. We played 3 times throughout the day for students on breaks between classes, and we got a chance to talk with them and hang out between sets.

Upcoming events:
*Evangelistic concert tomorrow (Friday morning) at a secondary school.
*Garage! Friday and Saturday night
*Church evangelistic event on Sunday
*Primary school chapel services on Monday
*Barbecue and Shopping Tour later in the month

I think that's it for now. It's taken me two days to write this update - hopefully it won't take you two days to read it.

Prayer requests:
*Besides a few very temporary and minor setbacks, we have all been healthy so far! No one has had to miss an event due to illness. Thanks for your prayers, please keep praying!
*We will be very busy for the next 2 weeks, so please pray for energy and endurance as we serve.
*Thank God for the awesome SYFC staff who are taking such good care of us, supporting us in every way they can, and teaching us so much in the process. We have been so blessed by them.
*Continue to pray for our boldness in sharing the gospel in small group or one-on-one situations. For most of us, it's so much easier to do from stage!
*And above all, that God would be glorified in every big or little thing that we do, and that lives would be changed.

Goodbye for now!


Ps. We miss you, 1422! We're praying for you!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Singapore blogspot

Just a note to let you all know that you can see pictures and videos of the team in Singapore on a blog that SYFC keeps updated:

We've made this link available in the link bar to the right.

Monday, October 08, 2007

How's it goin', la?

Hello from Singapore!

On behalf of the rest of the team, Jessie and I (Michelle) just thought we would blog to let you all know we are alive and thriving.

Life really has been amazing. We met up with the YFC staff and have been working in and around the ministry building for the past couple days. They have been so generous and excited to share their culture, to the extent that two of the outreach events they have planned for us are to have students take us on a shopping tour and a food tour around Singapore. This coming week we will be working with Polytechnical school students (level after highschool). We will be meeting with them, encouraging the Christians in their faith and helping them to witness to their friends.

A lot of the ministry that we will be doing is one-on-one and more personal/relationship based. Coming in, that wasn't what we expected, but it's becoming so clear how important that really is. We are working at just developing friendships with the youth here, which we love! Last week, we met and chilled with some of the ITE students (a hands-on school, college age). The whole afternoon we played board games, ate CANADIAN pizza (*yay!*), and were able to encourage & be encouraged by them.

The weather here is very warm. You never have to check the weather channel to decide what to wear. The past two days, there has been a lot of rain, which has cooled the temperature for a bit. The staff has been taking us around and letting us try all kinds of food.

We have also gained an entire new rep of songs! Including Good Charlotte, The Fray, The Corrs, Craig David, Howie Day, and....Highschool Musical! We are also learning new dance moves and a drama for our school programs. The past couple days we have been trying to nail down our new rep. The other day, we spent the morning attempting one of the new songs. Later that day, after spending "so much time" on it, the YFC staff asked if we would play it for some of the ITE students. We were honored that the SYFC thought we were ready to play it! We also performed our Chinese song, "Yeong Chee," as an encore, which they started cheering for after the first 3 notes and which Renee has learned to sing in perfect dialect. Praise God!

Though our feet are just getting wet, we are encouraged, challenged and eager for what is to come. Please continue to keep our ministry and time with the YFC in your prayers.

Specifically, please pray:
- servant hearts
- healthy bodies
- words to speak when we evangelize and tell our testimonies, that we wouldn't be afraid and that we would allow Christ to speak through us
- willing and receptive hearts to hear
- SYFC leadership that are currently on a be refreshed and encouraged
- keep us humble and patient
- unity on and within our team

p.s. for those who know Roy...he's getting married to Eleane on Saturday!

To home friends and family: We are excited to share all the stories and pictures, Moms we are all alive,

To CTI family: hello office! we miss checking mail and your encouragement. Singapore food costs definately help lighten the budget, you're welcome Donna :)

check out our YFC blog for

until next time,
Blessings and Love from the other side of the world!

Team 14:21 (Brad, Renee, Tim, Shawn, Eliot, Jessie, and Michelle)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Safe arrival in Singapore

Brad called this AM (Minnesota time- it was 10 pm Singapore time.) The team landed in Singapore late Wednesday night and connected with our YFC partners there.

They spent the day on Thursday setting up and working through their program for the YCF staff. Their upcoming ministry will involve lots of promotion for YFC outreaches, appearances at local churches to help connect them with YFC, and lots of interaction and "relational evangelism" with kids who are a regular part of YFC programming but don't necessarily know the Lord.

The team should rest well tonight in their Singaporean host homes! Singapore is 13 hours ahead of the US Central time zone, so they've got a bit of an adjustment to make convincing their bodies to go to bed before lunch!

-Chris, for 14:21

Monday, October 01, 2007

Off We Go!

Well, in 6 1/2 hours we begin the long trek to Singapore. We are not exactly sure if or when we will be able to throw a post out while we are over there, but if we can we will post an update on God's continued work in Singapore. Pray for us; that we go as servants of Jesus Christ to serve His people, whether that means washing clothes, cleaning toilets, or playing music...may we be humbled to become more like Jesus. Thank you all for your support and love. May God bless you all!