Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lao Phuan of Laos

On the right hand side of my blog, I have a neat little feature that helps me build vision for the world. In a place like America, it is hard to believe that there are people in the world that have never heard the name Jesus. With this feature, every day a new people group will pop up and tell a few facts about them. Today's people group hits close to home, my home on the exact opposite side of the world.

My senior year of college, I had the opportunity to travel to Thailand on a CCP with Campus Outreach. I lived in Khon Kaen, which is in the north-eastern part of Thailand and very close to the country of Laos. It is so close that when we were traveling north for a retreat, a group missed the exit for our retreat destination. Soon after, they were almost in Laos! Could you imagine, accidently crossing into another country without your passport...oh boy.

I did not have the opportunity to visit Laos, but I was very close geographically. My friends that were students at Khon Kaen University (KKU) and also the CO Thailand staff members would travel to Laos for weekend trips.

The Lao Phuan live mostly in Laos, but a large group live in Thailand. Lao Phuan are primarily Buddhist, many mixing in traditional ethnic religions. There are two mission groups working with the Thai Lao Phuan but none working with the Laos people group. There are no resources created in the language for the Lao Phuan. They do not have a bible to read in their language.

Romans 10:14 says "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" These people literally will not know if someone does not tell them and currently, not even a bible can tell them.

Southeast Asia is beautiful. The people are very welcoming and hospitable. The fruit is incredibly flavorful, juicy, and bright with vivid colors. You can buy a giant iced caramel latte for less than $1. Shop and bargain for an incredible deal on jewelry and clothing items. Find any Hello Kitty item you could possibly imagine. Of course, I am mostly speaking about the urban areas I frequented. The rural areas are very poor but as a whole, these people are extremely hard working, honest, and have a great respect for their elders.

I will pray for the Lao Phuan. Maybe even as students at KKU become Christians they may travel to their neighboring lands to tell of Christ!
(For your listening pleasure and to give you the full effect, I added Jump Little Children's "Rains in Asia" as the current song playing 1st on the list. Now that you are finished reading my post, you had no idea I was sending subliminal messages...)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Go therefore

My baby brother Brandon is headed ALLLLLLL the way across the Pacific to Sydney, Australia this summer. He has been asked to take part in a Cross Cultural Project (CCP) through Campus Outreach Ministries (CO).

NOTE: CO holds a special place in my heart. The Lord has used this ministry to bring me, my husband, and my brother to Himself. Staff members have sacrificially dedicated long hours of hard conversations, encouraged us to look at God's word for understanding, challenged us to seek Him first above all things, exemplified applying the Gospel to relationships/friendships, and pushed us to make Him known. Generations of Ortizs and Lands will look different because those believers invested in us. Thank you!

CO's motto is building laborers on the [college] campus for the lost world. There are teams made up of staff members on college campuses, starting in the South and spreading around the world. CO, spurred on by the Great Commission, chooses to invest in college students. College is a place where most are beginning to figure out who they are and what their purpose is in life. Many students will soon be husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, teachers, doctors, nurses, chemists, lawyers, broadcasters, engineers, et cetera. Most importantly, they ALL should be missionaries. No, I don't necessarily mean sell everything and move to a tribe in a third world country but thinking of everyday as a mission. To do the things you think missionaries do overseas at your job, in your neighborhood, with your circle of friends. Start a bible study, pray with a friend, tell someone about Jesus. If you had cancer and your friend had the cure, would you want them to share the cure to save your life or leave you alone. I personally would want to know the cure. As a Christian, we have the cure. The cure for satisfaction, the cure to longing for truth, the cure to a meaning and purpose, the cure to intimately knowing our Creator, the Master of the universe, the Sovereign One!

Elisabeth Elliot quotes husband Jim's journal entry in her book "Through the Gates of Splendor." Jim writes "I only hope that He will let me preach to those who have never heard that name Jesus. What else is worth while in this life? I have heard of nothing better. 'Lord, send me!'" Oh, I love his passion!!

Brandon has the opportunity to see life outside of our "Bible Belt" and spread the Gospel. Feel free to follow his blog to learn more about his team. You may join the team and support through finances and/or prayer. He will be raising his ministry, airfare, and living expenses for his trip abroad. Check out his blog and contact him if you would like additional information.

If you are a professing believer, do you consider yourself a missionary? Let's share the Gospel more through our everyday lives!

Friday, March 19, 2010

For the record.

Just so I have this in writing, my husband, the sports enthusiast, invited me to join in on all the Madness.

I made a March Madness bracket under his profile. They are all under the name Pick & Roll. He has #1 and 2, I have #3.

However, that is not the way they are ordered in the rankings!! My bracket is currently ranked higher, WAY higher might I add.

If I know my husband (and believe me I do), he is going to take credit for Pick & Roll #3. He won't lie about it but he isn't going to come right out and say that I made that bracket. My daddy says that "lying by omission counts as lying." I doubt that Amado's friends will read this but atleast I have evidence.

Amado loves this time of year and enjoys me partaking in the festivities. I am sure he will dominate in the end, but this little victory is huge for me.

Don't forget to vote on the right hand side of my blog! You may vote for the person you think will win the Bracket.

In the beginning...

Hello blogging world!!

I was not an English major, please excuse any imperfections. I did write for my major Communication but it was news copy which does not follow MLA format so ha! Now speaking of imperfections, let me explain my blog's title.

"And He who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' Also He said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'" Revelation 21:5

This verse is an important verse. To me, to my husband, to all sinners. Though it is a short quote, so much is said here about our Father. His words ARE trustworthy and true! They are! He said it, I believe it! He IS making all things new!

When I think about these words, I think about my past (years ago, months ago, even days ago...yes, minutes ago). I am a sinner, a big one. I am selfish, prideful, jealous, judgemental, covetous, et cetera. Yet, the Lord has and continues to sanctify me making me new. The old is gone, the new has come. I still battle my flesh and my nature, but my identity is not in my sin. My identity is in Christ.

Bear with me as I am new (by position) and being made new (through the process of sanctification).

I have several goals for my blog (overachiever you may say, but usually not the case for me).

1. I would glorify the Lord by sharing what He is teaching me.
2. Someone would hear (or read) about the redeeming love of the Gospel!
3. Educate others on things I find intriguing.
4. Advocate for issues that are important to me.
5. And as life unfolds for the Ortiz's, I will share!

I have been encouraged by many blogs. My blog may pale in comparison to its inspiring predecessors but come along for the journey!

To my little blogger fish in a big blogging pond, heeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee goooooooooooooo!!!