BC Juniors Global

Join Barclay College students as they learn about Christian life, service, and leadership in the global classroom.


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Last VBS Program For The Kids, Heading Back To Bangkok From Phnom Penh, Cambodia (June 3)

Yesterday (June 2) we did our last VBS program for the kids here in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was alittle bit sad knowing that this was the last one of the trip before we head back to Bangkok today, but also a feeling of accomplishment and completion. Our team leader from the college, and  also our guide for the trip (Seth), decided to combine the last three children’s homes into one, in order to save time, so this visit was much larger; instead of having about 10 kids, we had close to 40!

When we arrived at the home, all of the kids and parents were lined up along the road and driveway, cheering and screaming that we had arrived. It made me feel like a hero who was being welcomed home by everyone after being gone for a long time. All of the kids enjoyed the program and thanked us many times for coming. Great experience for them as well as me. God is really working in their lives to help them come from bad situations and start better lives.

Earlier in the day, our group went to a mall just to look around and eat some food. I had Sushi for the first time. It was very good. I have enjoyed all the food we have eaten and all of the people feeding us have been very nice and hospitable towards us. I believe that I have made some lifelong-friends on this trip and will continue to stay in contact with them even after we have left.

Even though the trip is almost over, please continue to pray for myself as well as the team, as there is still alot of traveling/plane flights to do before we arrive home early Monday.

Thank you and God bless!

– Rune.

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June 1: Visit to S21 Prison and “The Killing Fields” in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Today (June 1) our group decided to take some time and visit two very famous sites in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: S21 torture Prison, and Choeung Ek, or “The Killing Fields.” S21 (now known as Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum) was a high school in Cambodia that the Khmer Rouge (communists) took over and used as a torture prison in the mid to late 1970’s. It is believed that over 20,000 innocent Cambodians were tortured and killed inside of it. It was very interesting, but also very sad to see what the people had to go through. The people at the museum have hardly changed it from when it was used, and in many rooms, there is still blood on the floors. There are hundreds of pictures of the prisoners and what they had to go through during when they lived at the prison. It was a real eye-opening experience. It felt and looked like a concentration camp. While walking through it, I asked myself “how could one person do this to another?”… Hopefully this type of thing will never happen again.

The other site which we visited today was one of many “killing fields” that the Khmer Rouge regime used to kill over 3 million of Cambodia’s 8 million people during the 70’s. It is now a very beautiful place, with flowering trees, a pond, gardens, etc. It was an amazing visit that I will always remember.

Even though we have only been gone for about 2 weeks, it seems much longer than that because of everything we have seen, all the programs we have done with the ministry and kids. Tomorrow is our last day of VBS programs, so please pray for us as we come down the home stretch. Also pray for travel back to Bangkok on Saturday, and than flying back to America Sunday night from Tokyo, Japan.

Thank you to everyone at Westside Bible Church and also my family for praying for me and helping me to be able to come on this trip. Will update again soon hopefully!

God bless!

– Rune.


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Arrival at Tachileik, Myanmar

We arrived at Tachileik, Myanmar, today (May 26) and checked into our hotel. Before leaving on the plane for Tachileik from Lashio, I decided to leave the hotel and walk around some of the local shops close by. While browsing through one of the stores, one of the workers came up to me and we chatted for awhile. He asked me where I was from, what brought me to Myanmar, etc. I told him that we were Christians and were on a mission trip. He told me that he was a Buddhist, but was interested in Christianity. I told him alitte bit about it, and than we had to leave to catch our flight. Hopefully a seed of faith was planted.

Today is mostly a rest day for the team. I think it is good to have it, as we all have gotten alittle bit tired sometimes from traveling. I think it is also good to have time to reflect back on our trip so far. I am very thankful for being able to have gone on this trip, and also for everyone who has supported me and are praying for me. I am truly blessed to have so many people who care about me. I am  thankful for everyone on my team. God brought us all together for a reason, and since being on the trip, we have all been able to share our stories and get to know each other better. I am also very grateful for Seth Van Tifflin (our trusted friend who has been traveling with us and been showing us many of the amazing places that we have visited.

I am also blessed for all the amazing people that I have met so far on this trip, and to be able to hear their stories of how God has worked in their lives. Many of them have been in what seemed like impossible situations, but God has always worked the bad into good and made things work out. I can even attest to that in my own life.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we will be doing our VBS program again with the kids here in Tachileik. Please continue to pray for our safe travel and continued ability to reach those with the Gospel who need to hear it. Also pray for Monday when we fly to Cambodia and visit the last of the kids homes we are scheduled to visit.

Thank you to everyone. Will update again soon!

Until He comes again,

Rune.


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The City of Taunggyi and Inle Lake Adventures

After arriving in the city of Taunggyi on May 24, we checked into our hotel and went straight to the children’s home which was nearby. We did our VBS program again, and all the kids loved it. It is such a great honor to be able to do this for them, and to also to get to know them a little bit, take some pictures, etc. They are all extremely nice and friendly. Pa Ling is the House-Father of the home in Taunggyi. When we went and did the VBS program, it was the 2 month anniversary of when he was married to his wife. Seth reminded him in the van not to forget to say something to his wife when they got there. He remembered, but we found out that his wife had actually forgotten their anniversary! We all had a good laugh. It was a great day and we all had a great time with the kids 🙂

The next day, May 25, We spent most of the whole day at a huge lake called “Inle Lake” (It was closer to the size of a small ocean than a lake.) We saw many traditional Myanmar fishermen on the lake, and also some interesting houses. People build their homes on stilts and live right next to, or in the lake itself. We visited a lot of very interesting shops; A hand-weaving shop that makes clothes and bags and scarves from silk, cotton, and the fiber from the Lotus Flower that lives in Inle Lake. We also visited a store that makes silver jewelry, and also a blacksmith shop where they make and sell knives, swords, axes, hammers and so on. Wow. One of the best days of my life so far. We were also blessed to be able to see a tribe of people called the “Kayan” who are famous for the metal rings which they wear on their necks that make their necks stretched and longer. Pa Kep told me that the original reason they did this was to protect themselves against tiger attacks, as the tiger teeth could not puncture through the metal if they were attacked. They were very nice and friendly people. I was truly honored to see them and shake their hands.

Today, we fly to Shan State, and will be visiting another kids home. There are five (5) homes left to visit. Before leaving though, we visited a local market right down the street from the hotel this morning in Taunggyi. It was very interesting, and they had many exotic and interesting foods we had never seen before.

Please continue to pray for all of us as we continue to travel and share the good news of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for everyone’s prayers, and also everyone on my team who I get to spend this time with. I am thankful for all of them. God is so good, and continues to provide abundantly for us and the people in Seth’s ministry, InBetterHands. I will update the blog again soon hopefully, if we are able to get a good internet connection in the next city.

God bless! Thank you to all!

Rune.


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First Day in Asia – Wow!

Wow, we made it! After 3 flights spanning what seemed like half the globe, we arrived at our hotel in Bangkok. We left the airport in Wichita and went to Houston (1-1/12 hour flight) than went from Houston to Toyko, Japan (14 hours non-stop flight!!!) and than went from Toyko to Bangkok (6 hour flight) and than drove about 1/12 in a taxi before reaching the hotel. Although I was very tired when we finally arrived at the hotel, it was an amazing experience, especially because I had never flew before. The sights, sounds, smells and people are very different, and was a bit of a culture shock at the different airports and in the city of Bangkok. Today, (May 17) we all met in the downstairs lobby of the hotel for a brief meeting with our guide (Seth), and than tried some “street food,” talked, and met our driver for the day, Sammy. Sammy is a Thai man, he is very funny and witty, and also an excellent driver in the crazy Bangkok traffic jams. Sammy took us and we went to what is called “The Floating Market.” This was where tourists and visitors are driven through canals in a very dense forest area in wooden speed boats, and stop every now and than to look at sourvenirs, or have a bite to eat. This was by far one of the most exciting and fascinating places I had ever been to in my entire life. Afterwards, we were able to ride Asian elephants through a cocoanut grove area. Unbelievable! And to top it all off, tomorrow is my birthday!

After this first day, there were a number of things which I was very thankful for that God has provided. Seth is a very skilled and knowledgeable man who has provided us with much needed guidance, and has helped to keep us safe. I am also thankful for  everyone who has been supporting me in prayer, as I can feel its protection throughout this trip so far. God is good, and I am very excited to see how he uses myself and our group to glorify Him as our trip continues. I am so thankful to be here!

I will update the blog again tomorrow.

In His name,

Rune.