BIG NEWS – Meet ISM’s New Director and Internship Co-ordinator

Meet ISM’s new Director! – Bev Laing

bev
Bev Laing is excited to be the new Director of the Impact School of Missions. She has degrees in French and Education, and has taught in French Immersion schools in Ontario. Bev and her husband Gary pastored for twenty-five years before moving to South East Asia as global workers. Bev has also had the privilege of teaching in Bible schools and conferences in Africa, the Philippines and Cuba. Having taught numerous times at ISM and having hosted an intern has given Bev and Gary a great appreciation for the value of students experiencing missions in a real world context. Gary also looks forward to continuing teaching at ISM.  Bev is currently finishing Level 2 of a certified coaching course which is focused on coaching for life purpose. She is passionate about mentoring young adults as they discover themselves and their life calling. In her spare time, she loves photography – especially capturing interesting faces. Bev is looking forward to working with Nicole to continue the great work of ISM.

Effective immediately.

Meet ISM’s new Internship Co-ordinator – Nicole Stockley

Nicole

Effective July 2016

Nicole is thrilled to be joining the team at ISM as the Internship Coordinator! After sensing a call to ministry as a teenager, Nicole enrolled at Tyndale University and completed a BA in Biblical Studies and Theology with a focus in Youth Ministry. During her University years, Nicole completed a three month internship in Bangkok, Thailand under the mentorship of Sandra McIntosh. She volunteered with Nightlight International and felt God speaking into her heart about future ministry in South East Asia. Upon graduating, Nicole served as a children’s pastor, and a youth and young adults pastor in Newfoundland, alongside her husband Andrew. She also has experience working with students as an admissions counsellor for Tyndale. Her heartbeat is for young adults and she is looking forward to seeing students lives rocked and transformed as they step out in faith and open their hearts to what the Holy Spirit will teach them through internships in SEA. She’s also looking forward to eating mangos and sticky rice.  Her husband Andrew will also be leading worship at ISM and teaching a few classes!

Bev and I will be working closely together with ISM until the end of September and I will continue mentoring the current class during their internships.  I plan to return to BKK in September  2016 to help transition the first class under new leadership. Jessica Pellowe is the interim internship coordinator until July 1st 2016.

Bev will be in touch with our partners, teachers and outreach partners in the near future. You can reach her at infoism@impactasia.ca

Applications are open for September 2016 and January 2017.  Spread the news!

The good, the bad, and everything in between

The good, the bad, and everything in between

February was really hard. Some of you know this, many of you don’t. I carried such a shame for not being happy despite being exactly where I’m supposed to be and where God called me to be. I’ve never felt as lonely as I did in February. Surrounded by 8 million people, but unable to communicate to them what was on my mind. Everything was hard, from taking the wrong song-taew, to having a completely opposite schedule of the few people I knew in this city. I was lonely and miserable, but how could I tell people that? Despite finally being in the place I have been planning to be for a year I felt so distant from God when I needed Him the most. On March 7th I finally let it out. I had to go on my first visa run to Cambodia the next morning which meant I was going to spend 10 hours in a van with a bunch of strangers, leaving at 5AM. It was 9:00 the night before I needed to get up at 4AM and I was packing my bag and I realized I was missing my visa pictures. I had gotten them the week before and had checked earlier that afternoon that they were still in my purse, because how awful would it be if I lost them before I needed to go? I tore my room apart, went through my few possessions, all my pockets, my garbage, yet found nothing. I commenced freaking out and frantically left the house to go to a mall before it closed at 10, while my roommates researched where I could go. I had just gotten to the BTS station and scanned my card to get onto the next train when I found out that they will take your picture at the border if you don’t have visa pictures with you. At this point I was beyond frustrated, turned around and went home, and came back to my room and started sobbing. It sounds ridiculous, but it was the last straw. Everything is so much harder here, and I felt as if I couldn’t do anything right. Why was it so hard? Why couldn’t I even keep track of my visa pictures, and why was I so lonely and unhappy here? Sarah, one of my roommates encouraged me to pray through this, and so she prayed for me that despite getting up at 4 the next morning and driving 10 hours that God would meet me where I was at and speak to me in the small van driving through Thailand. I would be lying if I told you I felt instantly better and I heard God reassuring me it was all going to be okay.

I went to work the next day, tired from lack of sleep and continued on with my week. I went on outreach and met Na, who I wrote about in a previous post. I left feeling hopeful, purposeful, and happy. It was strange. Then the next week all the sudden I realized that everything was different. It’s hard to describe, but I had a newfound love for Thailand and life. It didn’t seem to matter what I was doing, I was filled with love and joy and God’s presence. Things are still hard, but God changed my perspective the last few weeks. I went from not knowing why I came all the way to Thailand to be a “babysitter” and a “mom” to experiencing joy in the hardest and most mundane moments. I’m seeing a bigger picture where my actions speak much louder than my words ever could.

One of the women at the house gave me a book she thought I should read in my first week of volunteering but only did I make time to start reading it this past week, and then I couldn’t put it down. It’s called Kisses from Katie, and it’s about a girl who moved to Uganda at 19 to do missions for a year, but ended up staying there, and starting up Amazima ministries, adopting 13 children in one of the poorest villages in Uganda. It sounds crazy, but God totally used this book to show me that it was okay that I felt lonely, confused and sad sometimes, I wasn’t the only one. I felt so understood as I read her experiences there the first few months. I want to share her beautiful and raw words with you, because they sum up how I’ve been feeling perfectly.

 
“The contradiction comes when I realize that all these experiences and emotions were real. The happiness that gave me chill bumps was as deep as my loneliness. My sense of certainty about being exactly where God wanted me was solid, but just as firm was the fact that I wondered at times what on earth I was doing here. The frustration that threatened to overtake me on some occasions was just as deep and true as the unbounded joy I felt at other times. I loved my new life; I truly loved it. But compared to the life I had been living, it was hard.” 
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss the comforts and people of my old life desperately. My human flesh still sometimes wanted to go to the mall and spend a ridiculous amount of money on a cute pair of shoes…Most days, I wished I could wake up under my down comforter in a house with my loving family, not all by myself….I wanted to go to the gym; I wanted my hair to look nice; I wanted to be allowed to wear jeans. I wanted to a be a normal teenager living in America, sometimes. But I wanted other things more….I wanted to make some kind of difference, no matter how small, and I wanted to follow the call God had placed on my heart. I wanted to give my life away, to serve the Lord with each breath, each second…The longer I stayed, the more I realized that deep fulfillment had begun to swallow my every frustration. No matter how many contradictions I struggled with, how different certain situations were, no matter how lonely I got, no matter how many tears I cried, one truth remained firmly grounded in my heart: I was in the centre of God’s will; I was doing what I was created to do.” – Katie Davis 

He’s using my weaknesses and areas of deficit for his purpose and his glory. I would walk into the house thinking of all the things I couldn’t do. I could barely cook, my baby skills were minimal, I didn’t speak their primary languages, and as a newly 23 year-old who has lived an incredibly blessed life in Canada what did I even have in common with these women? But how empowering is it to teach someone a skill you possess! Let me tell you, it’s incredibly empowering. Maybe the fact that I didn’t “know it all” is part of why I’m here. I’ve now mastered cooking cassava, the best peas I’ve ever had, and the meat I serve is always cooked thoroughly haha. I see how proud the women are when they are able to teach me a skill and prove what they know, after being trapped a world where there was so much they couldn’t do.

It’s the lightbulb moments when I see a woman totally get it that make it all worth it. All the sudden she learns something new, a skill, a concept, a frame of mind, and it changes her. She suddenly realizes that all she needs to do to increase her faith is to ask for it. She tells me that her new hobby is reading her bible. She’s hungry for God and has infinite questions about how she can follow Him. It’s seeing that the house can be a place of healing, growth and JOY. Coming to the point of thanking God that I am here and I get to wash countless dishes, get covered in baby puke, walk on eggshells around a woman who is in a really bad mood, frantically try to throw ingredients together to make somewhat of a meal, put a two year old on countless time outs as she throws another temper tantrum. These are things that aren’t written in the job description. But neither are the moments when a woman proudly presents me with a scarf she made for me, having just learned how to crochet; Holding a woman’s hand as she cries, not sure if she’ll ever make it home; having a baby fall asleep in my arms every day; seeing the joy and amazement that baking cupcakes brings to the house, and being asked 20 minutes later to make another batch because almost all 24 of them are gone; praying with, and for, these strong women for healing, for repatriation, for them to know the love of their Father.

Just like Katie, I’m starting to love this life that I am living, the opportunities I have been blessed with, and all that God is doing in front of me and in me. It’s hard, harder than I like to admit, but if God can use me having a meltdown over lost visa pictures to change my entire perspective I have no doubt He will continue to use the hardest times for His greatest glory.

1 comment:

  1. OH Amy,

    God is so good to you to show you how He is using you! What an awesome privilege!

Stretching hurts. 

Read Kristy Devries insight on what she’s learning through her internship in Cambodia.

Kristy

Stretching hurts. I can’t even touch my toes. As a runner, I know better. I know I need to stretch. But sometimes I just hate it. I openly admit that I avoid learning to do it because I can’t be bothered to deal with the “burn” that comes along with it, and the time commitment that it will take to get me there. I cringe just thinking about trying to reach that far down. Oye.

As a runner, I know better. I know I need to stretch.

Last week I wrote about apathy and, ironically, that’s what I think I am dealing with this week. Again, oye. This missions trip is a huge stretch for me. Sometimes it’s easier to look at everything I can’t do rather than what I can. Like not knowing if I am making any sense at all when I’m teaching English, or something as simple…

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