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

Meet ISM’s new Director! – Bev Laing

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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!

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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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Meet Shirley Chee – coming to ISM 09.16

Hi! My name is Shirley Chee, and I’m from Perth, Western Australia.

 

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Here’s a little background about me. I’m born in Singapore, and moved to Perth 5 years ago. God called me to nursing school in 2007 and I am now practicing as a registered nurse at Joondalup Emergency Department. Nursing is my passion, and I love to read or sing during my free time.

I’m beyond excited to be embarking on an exciting journey with God this year. Sometime in September last year, I had the privilege to be part of a mission trip to Thailand with my church and that was my first encounter with Nightlight. Nightlight is a ministry based in Bangkok which outreaches to women and children who are exploited in the human trafficking and sex industry, empowering them emotionally and offering alternative employment. My mission team was given a tour at Citylight Coffee (one of the alternative employments), and given a huge insight to what Nightlight was doing. It broke my heart to know so many people are suffering with poverty and slavery, and I knew God is breaking my heart for a reason. I have to come back.

I’m thankful of this opportunity by ISM to serve with Nightlight for two months after a period of training in September this year. Being in an unfamiliar mission field is daunting, but I know I won’t be alone. He makes me brave, and I am ready to be used by Him!

Meet Tessa Markham coming to ISM 01.16 – internship Noah’s Ark

Hello! My name is Tessa Markham, I am 19 years old and from St. Catharines, Ontario. I’m beyond thrilled to be joining ISM this coming January serving at Noah’s Ark in the Philippines.

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I grew up as a pastor’s kid and have always felt a strong pull towards missions but never really found a time that seemed “right” for me. I spent a year working after I graduated from high school and during that time decided to go to Redeemer University College the following year to study French and to be in an environment where my relationship with God would be able to grow even more.

I have spent this past semester having a blast playing varsity volleyball, being involved with the worship teams, and learning a lot about myself through these experiences. It’s been great, but still God put this unshakeable desire in my heart to go out into the world. He certainly works in mysterious ways and I couldn’t ignore the same pull towards missions that I have always felt, and I know that he is calling me to new things.

I came across ISM not too long ago and couldn’t believe how incredible the opportunity was. Without a second thought I applied that very night and now here I am… nervous and excited for what this next chapter will bring. I cannot rely on my own strength to take part in a trip like this, but I know God has called me here for a reason. I am ready to be stretched out of my comfort zone, it’s time to GO!

Meet Cindy Alexander coming to ISM 01.16 – internship – Place of Grace

My name is Cindy Alexander and I live in Edmonton Alberta. I am excited to come to Bangkok in January and serve at Place of Grace.

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I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home and learning about God all my life, surrounded by wonderful Christian friends and influences. It has been a journey of learning to rely on God and follow His plan for my life.

Every time a mission’s team from my church came back and gave their report, there was a little tug on my heart to go and serve, but the timing was never right. I had also always told myself that after University I would go travel and experience another culture. ISM combined both of these things and after being at the back of my mind for a year, (combined with a lot of thought, prayer, and encouragement) I finally applied.

After a month of learning I will be interning at Place of Grace for 3 months doing admin work and helping with their programs for children and youth who live in the slums. I have been a youth leader for the past four years and I love seeing the impact that spending time and building relationships can have on their life. I also had the opportunity last summer to go and help run a summer camp for youth in London. The directors of Place of Grace are originally from London, and I can’t wait to see how God integrates my past experiences into a new culture.

I am so excited to come and serve the people of Thailand! This is going to be an adventure and I can’t wait to see what God is going to teach me through this experience!

Meet Kristy Devries coming to ISM 01.16 – internship Global Cafe – Cambodia

Hi! My name is Kristy Devries and I am from Woodstock, Ontario. I am thrilled to be joining ISM for the January 2016 semester!

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I will be partnering with Global Café as well as other missionaries in Cambodia for four months following one month of training in Thailand. I am unbelievably excited and thankful to have this opportunity.

I am 24 years old and graduated last year from University of Guelph with a degree in International Development. God wrote missions on my heart at a young age and I am stepping out in obedience to that call through this internship. I have been thinking about joining ISM for the last two years and have finally made the decision to GO. I am looking forward to seeing God demonstrate His amazing power because I know I cannot do this on my own. I am excited to see the way God will move in my life and those around me, and how I can learn to serve Him better while in Thailand and Cambodia.

In Cambodia I get to serve alongside a few missionaries and at Global Café in Phnom Penh. For February and March I will be helping with English teaching, computer skills, a slum church plant, and community health evangelism! I will also be taking a crash course in Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. For April and May I will be serving at Global Café teaching English, doing community development projects, administration for Child Care Plus, and youth ministry! I cannot wait to see what God has in store for this season and these amazing ministries!

ISM has a new partner – MST Project (Men and the Sex Trade)

MST Project, (men and the sex trade) is located in Bangkok Thailand.   They seek to mentor men into a pursuit of sexual purity and greater wholeness.”  There are specific positions available.  Please go to http://www.mstproject.com/jobdescriptions/  You will need to apply through Impact School of Missions.  (www.ismsea.com)

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The MST Project is committed to achieving the above vision through focusing on these 3 avenues:

1. We are committed to engaging in ministry to men who visit red-light districts in Thailand and in pursuing follow-up meetings with these men when possible.

2. We are committed to seeing men walk in freedom through our HOPE Campaign purity course in 1-on-1 mentoring and group sessions. 

3. We are committed to partnering with the local expatriate church in running Real Men Pursuing Purity events and conferences.

If interested in doing an internship with MST Project you need to fill out the ISM application form and the MST Project application.  We will send you the link once we receive your ISM application. You will also be required to fill out a personal information document.

Their HISTORY

In 2007 I felt that God gave me a heart and vision to extend His grace and His love to men who visit red-light districts. On the night of November 1st I, along with a friend, went out to several of Bangkok’s red-light districts to see if this would work out on the streets that are world famous. The first red-light district we went to was bustling with normal activity and the several men we talked with was normal, but not necessarily a confirmation that this was the beginning of something divinely inspired. The second red-light district we went to was much like the first with a polite conversation or two. However, I begin to think that this may not have been anything more than a random nighttime thought. Before we called it a night we head over to our third red-light district of the evening. As we enter the area my friend notices a man that is sitting on a step outside a bar with two bottles of beer by his side. We walk over to him, introduce ourselves and begin a conversation.

This particular man begins to open up and share very personal moments from his life, moments of loss and hurt and a longing for something dear to him. We ask him if we can pray for him and in the midst of the noise and activity, we bow our heads. At one point during the prayer I look up wondering if the man has silently left leaving only my friend and I praying to ourselves. As I look up I see this man wiping away a tear or two and at that moment is when I sensed God speak to my heart. I sensed Him say that He sees the immorality of places like this, but He also sees the brokenness of some men who wonder its streets. I believe I saw what God saw that a night, a man who in the midst of that area was unable to stow away the loss and hurt in his life and heart. That night was confirmation to me that we are to be an extension of His grace and love to those who were willing to hear about it, and to be an example of redemption and restoration to men wherever they may be found.

Christian Lenty
Founder and Director

Meet Brittany Tetford coming to ISM 01.16 – internship – Abundant Love

Hi! My name is Brittany Tetford and I’m from Brampton, Ontario.

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I’m so excited to be joining Impact School of Missions in January 2016! After four weeks of training at ISM, I’ll be leaving for Abundant Love in Chiang Mai, Thailand for three months. Abundant Love is a children’s home that provides underprivileged children with a safe and healthy place to live, an education, and the opportunity to hear and understand the Word of God.

Here’s a little bit about me! Since January, I’ve been working as an education assistant and supply teacher. I graduated from Liberty University in December 2014 with a degree in Elementary Education. Before attending Liberty University, I received a diploma in Early Childhood Education from Sheridan College. Also, I’ve worked many summers as a camp counselor. As you can see from my education and work experience, I love working with children! I admire their joy and simple faith.

Although I’ve enjoyed what I’ve been doing over the past few months, I was feeling really unsettled. I’ve always wanted to do missions work overseas but I didn’t know when or even where. I began to pray for direction and look for opportunities and that’s when I heard about ISM through my cousin Krista (who is also attending ISM in January 2016!). I knew I had to apply! I’m so thankful that I’ve been accepted to ISM and finding a ministry that seems like a perfect fit for me.

Moving to Thailand for four months is a huge step of faith! I’m nervous about leaving everything familiar to me but I’m ready to be the hands and feet of Christ and live out my faith in a different way than ever before!