Brick by Brick

One of our projects in Thailand was to build a wall that would demarcate the new dorms for local students.  Promise Lutheran Church in Chiang Mai is working with local people to accommodate students who cannot afford housing.The Christians in Chiang Mai have a vision for housing low-income students and allowing them to attend school, even when financial hurdles are crippling. To that end, the ATW II team was able to donate enough resources to start this project, and we were also able to participate in the building of the first wall.

As we were the first foreign team to visit this site, we experienced the fact that 37 volunteers are not always the most efficient means for accomplishing a building project.

However, the local church leaders and students were so thankful for our time that we were spending with them.

They considered our friendship a blessing, and the work that we accomplished alongside each other was a symbol of this new relationship. As we left that place for the second and final time, we thought about our time with people and how it is often more important than any wall we can build.

First SHOUT

Written by Robyn Cornish. Photo by Mariah Neilson.

Shout has always been a student lead worship service. It changed my life during my freshman year at CUI, giving me an outlet for out-loud praise to my God. It only made sense to carry the traditional service with us around the world. I did not get as far as asking someone to prepare a message, so the first Shout of the Concordia 2012-2013 academic year was an all worship night. We all sat on the courtyard ground of the dorms at Mongolia International University on our yoga mats, wrapped in sleeping bags, worshiping together.

I took some time preparing the set list outlining five stages of relationship with God: Being Called to Worship, Falling in Love with God, Answering His Call, Being on Fire for God and finally Living a Life of His Service. Lyrics of the songs corresponded with these stages.

Had someone told me I would be worshiping God in Mongolia a year ago, I would have said they were crazy. To my surprise, I sat on the cold cement strumming Prof. Lee’s travel guitar and sang at the top of my lungs, “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us, oh grant us your peace!”