YWAM (ALEXIS)

Alexis would welcome email from any or all of us here at Tabernacle!!  Her email is lix360@gmail.com

 AN UPDATE FROM ALEXIS - APRIL 2019

A Strong Foundation

Wow, these past nine months have been simultaneously the longest and fastest nine months of my life. When I first came to Thailand back in 2012, they had two schools running at my training center. One was the Discipleship training school which I was in, the other was the School of Biblical Studies (SBS), a nine-month intensive Bible School that teaches how to study God’s word through the inductive method and then through a series of assignments, lectures, and personal study went through each book of the Bible. I saw the students in that school struggle over finishing their homework assignments but the passion by which they spoke of God’s word inspired me and brought God’s word alive in a way I had not yet encountered before then. I knew that one day I would do this school, but I had no idea of how, where, when. I knew though I would have to wait on God’s timing or I would never survive it. Fast forward to about five years after that and I found myself in a situation. I knew God was moving towards Southern Thailand to start a ministry, and I had discipleship training, church-planting and frontier missions training, language and culture training. But I still felt unequipped to move out on my own. I had so many questions and the most basic foundation of the knowledge of God’s word to stand on. I had been relying on the Holy Spirit for guidance in everything I did. This is great of course. It is why we were given the Holy Spirit, but I found I could not answer the questions of why what I was doing was biblically accurate or how to answer questions from others from a biblical perspective.
 

We are the survivors of SBS, ready to teach others what we learned!

This is an example of what it looks like after color-coding a book.

For the tests, we had to memorize the structure of the book and other details. This is what the whiteboard looked like when I studied :D

Sometimes we had to run away to the mountains to just get away and connect with God while doing our homework. The process was so repetitive that we had to change our scenery often.

I knew that before I could step up into leadership that I needed to have a deeper understanding of the Word of God, a balance of God’s truth, spirit, and compassion working together.  Five years ago when I was asked if I had wanted to do an SBS, I jokingly told the leader that one day when the school was taught in both Thai and English I would apply to be in the first bilingual school. Last year, while I was sitting in my village in the middle of nowhere trying to share the gospel with my Thai family, the leader of the SBS sent me a message saying that this year they would have their first bilingual school and that he would send me an application. I knew then that I had to seriously pray about being a part of this school. After praying and talking to my leaders I knew that now was the time. I didn’t have the funds to cover the school, and my work permit/visa fees, but I knew that if this was God’s will he would provide for me. So I applied and was accepted. That is the summary of how and why I chose to study in the SBS.
 

One of the things I loved about studying Acts was being able to actually trace Paul's missionary journies. 

When we weren't doing homework we were eating. This is Som Tam. It is papaya, chile, fermented crab and fish sauce, tomato, green beans, noodles, and other yummy stuff made into a salad type dish. It is super spicy but so delicious.

Graduation day finally came but it didn't quite sink in yet that we made it! We had a beautiful ceremony and so many friends and family came to celebrate with us.

Our teachers would find creative ways to help the text we were studying come alive for us. For example, these were the battles leading up to the exile that we read about in Kings, Chronicles, and many of the Prophets, like Jeremiah.

Our first week we taught the method of the SBS, which is quite extensive. Essentially we read each book about 5 times (sometimes more). First, we do an out-loud reading of the book in one sitting. This allows you to slow down and see the book as a whole rather than in parts or verses. Then we go back and re-read it this time with color pencils highlighting people, places, connectives, contrasts, images, repetitive words or themes. Then we read it again picking out up to four words to summarize each paragraph to create paragraph titles. Looking at the paragraph titles we break up the book into divisions, sections, and segments, creating a horizontal or the structure of the book. This is to help us see the main idea and the reason why the author wrote the text and help us to pick out a key verse that summarizes the main idea of the text. Once our staff checks this to make sure it is accurate, we are then allowed to start in on our assignment.

On outreach, we taught Bible Overview to a Thai DTS in the Isaan Region. I taught on Judges, the United Kingdom, the Divided Kingdom, the Prophets, and the Exile. It was my first time teaching like this and it was so much fun! 

I know there are all types of learners so I tried to keep it interesting for the students by using pictures, having them act out things and discussion times.

Here I am sharing my testimony at a local university about who God is to me. Then I had them break into groups to share their stories. This was great as some were not yet Christians and so could hear testimonies from their friends about God and then be prayed for that they would be able to experience God too. 

We had worship, games, and a time a sharing testimony at the local university in Udon. It was great to join in with the campus ministry to be able to see how they do it and get ideas for when I attend university next year. 

At the same time that we are doing this, we also have morning lectures where staff and guest teachers present to us the historical background of the book we are studying. They hit topics like the author, the audience, the date it was written, the historical background of the original hearers and original readers, and any other important information that would be key to understanding the text we are studying. After this we are to take that information and summarize it into one document adding to it from other sources, dictionaries, etc. but we are not allowed to look at any commentaries as we don’t want our interpretations to be contaminated. Once this is done we go through the book making observations about each passage, asking questions like why did the author write this, use this word, what would the original reader understand or feel, what could they learn about God, what was the purpose or how did this passage speak into the main reason written, etc.?  From there we would pick out timeless truths and how we could apply that into our own personal lives or how they could be applied by society or the church as a whole. This already seems like a lot right? But we are not finished yet. Once our charts are done for each passage we then wrote a paper summarizing the book as a whole, the main idea, the structure, etc. Then we would spend time alone with God asking for a personal application from the text as a whole. Once that was finished we had to memorize the structure of the book and the key verse. We did this for all 66 books of the Bible with little variation for Psalms, and the wisdom books. So when I said we read each book over five times….I really meant it. :D

Over the Christmas break, my brother flew me to Japan to spend the week with him. It was so great to spend time with him and see him in Asia. He has grown up so much and I am incredibly proud of him.

One day we went to an island that had deer who would come right up to you to hangout XD

Sometimes we needed to be social but still do our homework so we would do it together. Made it a lot more enjoyable.

It was great to study everything in both Thai and English. Many times the context of the passage fit better with the Thai language than English. Also, I could really see how perfect the Bible fits with Asian culture since the culture of those in the Bible was Asian. It really challenged me to think at times what have we added to Christianity just through our culture...

Once we graduated we had a small outreach opportunity to teach different groups Bible Overview. I loved it. When you have to teach something you always earn more while you are preparing. I also loved the challenge of finding ways to make it fun and relevant for the students and bringing them to a point that they have to think about their own lives and applying what they learn. One of the big challenges for me though was trying to make sure I could fit all the information in the time allotted to me. Most of the people we shared with were new believers as well so it was the first time for them to study the bible in this way, even the ones who had been believers for a long time enjoyed seeing how the Bible is actually one story of God’s love for His people.

We would do weekly outreach to our target villages. Here I brought a team to do a children's program in one of our villages.

Weekly we would go to the village to spend time sharing, praying, and even teaching. While my partner shared with the adults I would usually play some games with the kids, share a Bible story and lesson, and then we would usually end up playing football in the street. 

 

Even though I was taking this year to study God's word I still was active in ministry. Even being on crutches, I was able to take opportunities to reach out. Here I am teaching Art and English for a special event they had at a local primary school.

Despite the fact that Matthew was our last book of the Semester and we have exams, Eric and I felt like it was more important to help at the cave where the boys were trapped. We ended up helping translate for the Thai Tourist Police, the foreign Media, and the government offices. We would take the night shifts mostly because that's when they needed volunteers the most as many would have gone home after working the long day. Working alongside a great team showed me the passion I had inside for translation and helping to be a bridge between society and the government. 

Now that I am finished, I know that I am never finished studying God’s word, but I have to tools to study it well, teach it to others, and my questions have been answered and I have discovered new questions. But I my passion for God’s word and helping others to understand it has been rekindled and I am better equipped to do so and can’t wait to step out and apply what I learned to my ministry when I move South.  I am so thankful to God and to everyone involved in my journey this past year whether it was through prayer, support, teaching, coaching, finances, encouragement, snack and coffee suppliers, etc. God provided everything I needed and pushed me to not give up by sending you all into my life at just the right times. This year was a life changing experience for me…even though I thought I was done with that. Now my prayer and hope is to be able to share this new knowledge and passion with others, with a humble and serving heart. It’s not about sharing knowledge for knowledge’s sake but about bringing transformation to the Kingdom of God, and this can only happen if we are humble and connected to the Spirit, actively listening and obeying God.
        I will send out another newsletter shortly about my time home and my plans to move South, so be looking out for it! Thank you again for all your support and prayer and love. When I think of what I am doing and see that I am on the same path as Paul, Timothy, Titus, and so many others, I am so honored to be able to use my life in this way.

I was so blessed to have Venus as a fellow student and friend throughout the SBS. Having someone to walk alongside you makes andy challenge easier to overcome. We were there for each other in many ways, homework, relationships, adventures, and life. I know she will impact Thailand and the surrounding nations and her ministry is lucky to have such a strong Thai woman who loves God will all her heart. 

Occasionally we came across verses that we just couldn't help but take out of context xD

 

YWAM – UPDATE ON ALEXIS’ TRIP HOME - March 31st Spotlight Article

 

The plane ticket has been purchased and Alexis Worthen will arrive in the United States on May 12th. Thank you for supporting our missionary in Thailand. If you want to support her further you still can. Just notate the funds are for YWAM on the check or envelope. If you have any questions, you may contact Colleen Miller at 540-785-0393 or colleenfmiller@hotmail.com.

YWAM Update – TUMC YOU DID IT! - February 26th

Thank you for your time.  I feel very humble that we were given the month of February to take you on a journey to learn more about Alexis Worthen, Youth with a Mission, Thailand and where she’s going from here.  But the big news is – WE DID IT, we raised $3,200 in the month of February for YWAM.  This is indeed enough money to cover her regular monthly expenses and purchase her ticket home!  Way to go Tabernacle.  We are a family that is very proud of our own home grown missionary.  Look for updates on the church website at www.tabumc.org under YWAM and if you have any questions – you can always contact Colleen Miller at   540-785-0393 or colleenfmiller@hotmail.com. If you are a regular supporter, please continue to do so as she still has monthly expenses. This is only the beginning – the real excitement will come when she is here and shares her life with us personally.  Thank you Tabernacle!

Youth with a Mission (YWAM) – Alexis Worthen - February 24th Weekly Spotlight

Today – Alexis’ final Mission Moment – Thailand and going forward.  Visit the TUMC website where you can view all the latest news from Alexis.   Alexis is planning to come home early May and stay for a few months in the US before returning to Thailand to continue her missions. Please help us to raise the funds needed to BRING ALEXIS HOME – envelopes are throughout the church– but you don’t need a special envelope you can designate your funds to YWAM and put it on your giving envelope, e-gving, or any envelope.  JUST MARK IT YWAM or she won’t receive the funding because it’s second mile giving.  Any questions – you can contact Colleen Miller at 540–785–0393 or colleenfmiller@hotmail.com  — BRING ALEXIS HOME !

 

Mission Moment - February 24th Announcement  

Here is your final mission moment from Alexis Worthen our Youth With a Missions missionary in Thailand.  I hope you are as excited to bring Alexis home as she is excited to come home.  May will be here before you know it.   

Thai culture is beautiful. Most are very friendly and helpful. Their beliefs are rooted in the idea that if they are a good person who does good things then they will be blessed and receive good in turn. The thing is, in their belief system there is this essential lack of hope and a loving supreme God. They are stuck in an endless cycle and need to know that Christ wants to be their hope and way out of the eternal cycle of sin, shame and suffering. 

The language is pretty difficult as it is a tonal language. But now that Alexis is fluent she thinks it is one of the most beautiful languages she has learned and is thankful she didn’t have to learn Chinese. To give you an idea of the difficulty, you can say “ma” in three different ways and each has a different meaning like, horse, dog, and come here. The Thai people are so patient while she butchers their language but are  very happy about her learning and trying to communicate with them when they know how difficult it is. Thai religion and language are such a huge part of Thai culture that to be a missionary there,  you must actively and constantly learn more in these areas to effectively reach the Thai people. Alexis is thankful for the opportunity and will continue to try, fail, try again, and do whatever God tells her to do to share the Kingdom of God with the Thai people. 

If you want to know more please feel free to email her or find her on Facebook. She would love to talk to anyone directly to be able to share her passion and her love for her job…well she doesn’t consider it as a job but as a lifestyle. Khop Khun Ka…Thank you 

If you have missed any of the prior weeks mission moments you can go online to Tabernacle’s website and find the information there.  Look under the More tab and then YWAM.  

Also just a friendly reminder – if you have ever thought of supporting Alexis financially, NOW is a good time.  We are doing a fund drive to raise the money to bring her home in May.  If you are willing and able, we have provided envelopes specially marked YWAM – Youth With a Mission/Alexis on tables throughout the church.  All you need to do is CLEARLY notate that the funds are for YWAM on your envelope, e-giving, or if it’s a cash donation please use a YWAM envelope or designate accordingly on your own giving envelope.  The information will also be in the Spotlight and on the website.  Let’s all join together and bring our own home-grown missionary home to Tabernacle!

YOUTH WITH A MISSION (YWAM) ALEXIS WORTHEN - FEBRUARY 17TH WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT

Today we will find out Alexis’ vision for Thailand and the Tai People. Alexis is planning to come home in May and stay for a few months in the US before returning to Thailand to continue her missions. We are going to raise the money to BRING ALEXIS HOME. Envelopes will be provided at all the services and are located throughout the church. You don’t need a special envelope. You can designate your funds to YWAM by notating YWAM on your check, e-giving or any envelope. YWAM must be notated or she won’t receive the funding because it’s a second mile giving. You can go to the church website at www.tabumc.org to view all the latest news from Alexis and each week’s talking points. If you have any questions, contact Colleen Miller at 540-785-0393 or colleenfmiller@hotmail.com. BRING ALEXIS HOME!

From Mission’s YWAM chair - FEBRUARY 13 2019

I know the Mission Moment does not usually include a call for funding – and I apologize for deviating a bit from this guideline but Alexis has a very unique situation right now that I would like to bring to our congregation’s attention.  She is indeed our own “TUMC home-grown Missionary” the first and only one I am aware of in my 18 years with Tabernacle.  She just completed an intensive course in Bible study this month and would like to come home for the first time since August 2016 but needs the funds to do so.  She has been in Thailand since January 2014 with only one week back in the US.  If you are willing and able, we have provided envelopes specially marked YWAM – {Youth With a Mission} – Alexis throughout the church.  All you need to do is CLEARLY notate that the funds are for YWAM on your envelope, e-giving, or if it’s a cash donation please use a YWAM envelope or designate accordingly on your own giving envelope.   I estimate we are looking for about $3,000 total – for her flight and travel home and living costs for the 3 months she is in the US. 

I know that Matthew 7:7 it says,  “Ask and it will be given to you … knock and the door will be opened”,   but I am still amazed at how abundantly God is willing to provide when we turn our hearts and minds fully to Him.  I prayed that I would have only His words and none of my own for this ask for funds. He provided two very relevant words of encouragement to me,  One in the Daily Bread because as I struggled with how I could get you to see the work Alexis is doing a half a world away – I read this part of the devotional and I was reminded of the conversation a friend had with Job, none of us know what God is truly doing or how it gets done – but that is not necessary to come alongside Him and help where we can. I quote from the Daily Bread,  " Even the parts of creation we can’t see reflect God’s glory and power. His glory surrounds us. No matter what we’re going through, God is working, even when we can’t see it and don’t understand.”  The other was from a devotional that I got for the Women of Faith Class here at TUMC, You are His,  and today’s reading was literally titled “Possible or Impossible” - it was about a missionary – William Casey (called the “Father of Modern Missions” ) who was quoted as saying, “You have not tested the resources of God until you have attempted the impossible”.  I know full well that this is big ask – but pray to a God that still deals daily in the impossible!  Let’s bring Alexis home!

 

 

February 10 2019  Mission Moment – Direct from Thailand 

Alexis is a Missionary working with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Northern Thailand.

When her family attended Tabernacle, Alexis was an active member of the Youth Group participating in community outreach projects and all of the mission-focused opportunities that were open to her. Her first international missions trip was to Russia in 2006 and later that year God had moved in her heart to pursue missions and serve him.

Working with a local organization God opened her eyes to the need for her in South East Asia and Thailand in particular. After a few years, she decided to step out in faith and moved to Thailand in 2012 for training and ministry.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be able to get to know her more and about her ministry. She is so thankful for the love support and prayers that Tabernacle has given her in her walk to obey God and make him known to others.

YWAM is a global missions organization that is non-denominational. They have ministries located in over 180 countries world-wide. Their mission statement is to know God and make Him known. They do this by focusing in three broad areas, training, evangelism, and mercy ministries. Whatever your calling is, your passion, YWAM locations around the world are prepared to help make it happen. They value diversity knowing that that is what the picture of God’s Kingdom will look like, but have essential core values to live by ensuring a biblical foundation for each ministry under the YWAM  banner. For more information about YWAM there are great videos on YouTube and also you can see their website at YWAM.org.

Alexis chose to work with YWAM knowing she could receive training while in the mission field. It allowed her to work in Thailand free to pursue the type of ministry God was developing in her heart. She has done training in discipleship, frontier missions/church-planting, and an in-depth Bible course equivalent to a three-year seminary degree.

YOUTH WITH A MISSION (YWAM) ALEXIS WORTHEN - WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT FEBRUARY 10 2019

Today we will find out who Alexis Worthen is and what YWAM is. Through a series of videos that we will watch in the the Contemporary service and announcements during the Traditional service, you will get these answers. Alexis is planning to come home in May and stay for a few months in the US before returning to Thailand to continue her missions. She’s just as excited to come home as we are to have her. We are going to raise the money to BRING ALEXIS HOME. Envelopes will be provided at all the services, but you don’t need a special envelope. You can designate your funds to YWAM by notating YWAM on your check, e-giving or any envelope. YWAM must be notated or she won’t receive the funding because it’s a second mile giving. Please contact Colleen Miller at 540-785-0393 or at colleenfmiller@hotmail.com if you have any questions or need more information. LET’S BRING ALEXIS HOME !

YOUTH WITH A MISSION (YWAM) ALEXIS WORTHEN - WEEKLY SPOTLIGHT FEBRUARY 3 2019 

During the month of February we will focus on Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and Alexis Worthen. Who is Alexis Worthen? What is YWAM? Why YWAM? What is Alexis doing for God in Thailand? What is Thailand like; the culture, the people? What’s next for Alexis? Alexis will provide answers to these questions through videos from Thailand. The videos will be shown in the MPR during the Contemporary service. During the Traditional service, we will get information through announcements. The exciting news is that Alexis is planning to come home early May and stay for a few months before returning to Thailand to continue her missions. You will be inspired and amazed to see the life of this beautiful young servant for God. We are going to raise the money to BRING ALEXIS HOME.  Contact Colleen Miller at 540-785-0393 or at colleenfmiller@hotmail.com with any questions. LET’S BRING ALEXIS HOME !

 

GREETINGS FROM THAILAND – YWAM UPDATE - OCTOBER 2018 

Alexis sent her greetings and I wanted to bring you an update. Alexis Worthen is Tabernacle’s missionary in Thailand through Youth with a Mission (YWAM). Alexis has served in Thailand since 2014 where she is setting up a youth group in a village church. She is also working with local university students to create a buddy reading system to reach the local people with the Word of God. As one of our former youth, the Church supports Alexis and her mission work. If you can help support our missionary, notate YWAM on your check or envelope. All support to Alexis and YWAM is second-mile giving. Alexis thanks us for our prayers and support.

GREETINGS FROM THAILAND - YWAM UPDATE - October 2018

I skyped with Alexis on Friday and wanted to bring you an update.

She is currently setting up a youth group at a village church and working with local university students to create a buddy reading system to reach the local people with the word of God. She thanks you for your prayers and support!

HOW TO SUPPORT ALEXIS AND YWAM

If you would like to learn more – contact Colleen Miller at 540-785-0393 or colleenfmiller@hotmail.com  All support to Alexis is second-mile giving so you MUST notate on your check or envelope if you want to support Alexis – YWAM.  

 

THE BASICS ABOUT ALEXIS AND YWAM

 

Who is Alexis Worthen?  - She is Tabernacle’s own home-grown missionary who is obeying God’s call in Thailand with a group called YWAM.

What is Youth with a Mission? - Also known as YWAM (pronounced “WHY-wham”), Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world who unite in a common purpose to know God and to make Him known.

Why Thailand? - Alexis was answering God’s call that He placed on her heart during her years with TUMC’s youth group working with an organization in northern VA. She has been living in Thailand since 2014.  

Why YWAM?  - Alexis said she chose YWAM because this organization allowed her "to go where God told her to go” and they put in place the support system for her to go and evangelize there.