Malaysian Update #2

Dearest Samford Friends and Family,

Kaleb Loomis here. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! I hope that this blog post finds you well. I hope that everyone’s summer is going well. We here in Malaysia are doing extraordinary. I’m sure everyone has big plans for the fourth, but I hope you use this day to remember the sacrifice that the men and women of our armed forces have made over the years in order to secure our freedom. Also, thank God for the blessing of being able to live in America. There are many people that we have met here that would do just about anything to be in our situation. We have a freedom that many have never experienced. Do not forget this.

Moving along, I want to first of all apologize on behalf of the team for our lack of blog updates. I will do my best to try to fill you in on all of our happenings over the past several weeks. I would like to take this moment to thank you all for your continued prayers and support for the Malaysia team. Please do not forget to remember the countless other Samford students that are around the world and the rest of the United States this summer.

I cannot believe that we have been in Malaysia for almost 5 weeks. It feels like yesterday we were boarding our first flight. It is apparent that God is moving within the team and in the people in Malaysia. We have been continuing are weekly English Chat Clubs, intramurals, and Friday Fun Nights. Last Friday night we held a photo scavenger hunt at a local mall. Our soccer (or should I say “football”) skills were tested last week as we played with some guys from Sudan at a local university. We have also been leading a Christian Fellowship for high school students the past two weeks.

We have been on several adventures in Malaysia as well over the past few weeks. Matt and CJ traveled with some of our frisbee friends to Melaka, a different state in Malaysia, for a weekend. They got to experience the birth place of Malaysia and ate some stingray while they were there. Zach, Codi, and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit several tourist attractions one Sunday afternoon. These stops included the Hindu Temple at Batu Caves. We had the pleasure of climbing over 270 steps while monkeys ran all around us. We continued our adventure by traveling to the Colmar Tropicale Berjaya Hills Resort. We were quite surprised to find this French-themed village in the middle of the Malaysian jungle! It also included Japanese garden and tea house. It was quite the experience. Last week, the whole team, along with some friends, went to Genting Highlands. This is a theme park placed on top of a mountain. The cool air was a refreshing change from the hot and humid weather of KL. It became even more fascinating as the clouds rolled in and we could not see 15 feet in front of us due to the fog. 

Our experience here is not limited to breathe-taking tourists stops. We have met some incredible people along the way. I cannot begin to express my appreciation for the people here. I have never met so many people from so many different places before. We have met people from China, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Cameroon, South Korea, Iran, and many more. What’s even more shocking is how receptive these people have been to us. One important thing I have experienced during my team is the humanity of us all. We all experience pain, suffering, hope, and joy. We are all unified by the human conditioned. We are all searching for something bigger than ourselves. This last statement holds true whether your trying to learn English so you can advance in your career, trying to change the economic situation in your country, or trying to find true meaning in life. All people are bound together no matter what their background is. Experiencing this has been life changing.

We have formed many relationships and I know that God is using us to plant seeds in the people we meet. God will continue to work in those people even after we leave. I ask that you continue to pray for us as we continue to meet more people and build on the relationships we already have. Though, we have a little over a week left, I know that God is not done with us yet. I pray that His light continues to shine through us. Again, thank you all so much. Until next time, have a wonderful Fourth of July.

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Kaleb Loomis

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Malaysia Team Update #1

Selemat datang!

Welcome to the first update of the Samford UM Malaysia team!  We are so thankful for your support and prayers as we have journeyed to the ends of the earth and have begun the work that God has called us to do in His name.

In the first few weeks, we have made many connections with international students and have begun building friendships that we hope will lead to deeper conversations.  We use events such as English Chat Club and Friday Fun Night to invite people to Mosaic Community Studio and begin forming lasting friendships.  

We also are involved in intramural sports outside of the studio such as frisbee, volleyball, and basketball.  This is a great way to meet larger groups of people and invite them to our big events.  Don’t be fooled though: their small stature does not mean that they cannot destroy you in any sport.

Since we are in week 3 already, many of us have certain individuals that God has placed on our hearts to spend one-on-one time with.  We all enjoying listening to these students’ stories and their love for life.  These stories inspire us to love these students even more and really invest in them.  The friendships that we are making here are so wonderful and life-changing.

In addition to our ministry, we also enjoy seeing what Kuala Lumpur has to offer the tourists.  On our first Sabbath day (Monday), we traveled to KLCC, where we visited the Petronas Towers and the giant mall that lies beneath them.  After sunset, the towers light up and are truly amazing.

This past Monday, we traveled to Central Market, where there are souvenirs galore.  When you first enter the market, you notice a fish tank and a lot of people standing around it.  Upon further investigation, we found out that it was a fish spa for your feet.  Most of the team took this opportunity without much hesitation and discovered how ticklish their feet truly are.  The rest of the day at the market was filled with many purchases.  Hand-made crafts, banners, posters, fake Ray Ban sunglasses, and of course soccer jerseys as far as the eye could see.  It’s safe to say the team enjoyed this day of shopping and group bonding.

As we approach the next Friday Fun Night, we are earnestly praying for more great conversations and opportunities for us to be able to share our own stories with these students.  The theme “Songs and Stories” should provide some great avenues to open up and share what we are truly about this week.  Please be in prayer for the students that will be attending, that they will see the light and truth within us.

Thank you so much for supporting us and keeping us in your prayers.

Love God, Love People, Change the World!

Terima Kasih,

Malaysia Team 2012