2012 LightBridge Int’l

One of the greatest skills I’m learning in my work is how to invite others to be apart of what God is doing in Thailand and Cambodia.  It’s been a hard skill to learn but one that is most definitely necessary and directly impacts the poor and orphans.  We at LightBridge have A LOT to celebrate from this past year!  One of the ways we invite people to be part of such a HUGE work, is by sharing what God is doing and has already done.  There’s not a better person who’s got this skill down…infact, I would say she’s incredibly gifted at it.  I wish I could write like my boss Karla Tillapaugh!  So compelling!  So moving!  So beautiful.  Take some time to read our latest LightBridge newsletter!

THE BRIDGE 

A Newsletter of LightBridge International

Winter 2012

I have a piece of art hanging in my home. You probably do as well. The piece I have is woven and embroidered and hangs in my living room. It is a wonderful display of beauty and design; it showcases intricacy that highlights certain aspects of the piece. The weaver of this art had a focus, an intention and a scheme. It is beautiful to me.

If I turn the weave to the underside, the design is lost in the messiness and chaos of loose threads, knots and raw material. I don’t like to look at the underside.

loomwallhanging

Lately, as I’ve looked at this piece of art, I’ve been thinking about another Weaver and the designs He is creating. Our Master Weaver, the Lord Jesus, has been weaving some beautiful designs during this past year at LightBridge. Sometimes, to my untrained eyes, I can get caught up only looking at the underside, where His design seems chaotic, messy and, dare I say — even ugly. My heart easily forgets that He is not yet finished with the designs He, alone, is crafting. I can get distracted and discouraged by what my eyes can’t see. I bet you can relate.

How thankful I am that the Lord allows me to step back and see the topside of His weaving, every so often. His designs are beautiful, filled with purpose and intention. Even when His designs aren’t yet complete, the twists and turns of His weaving are mysterious and comforting. As we wrap up 2012 at LightBridge International, I’d like to share with you some of His weavings – the topside, the underside, or the unfinished.

ORPHANAGES

For the past six years, LightBridge has been running three orphanages: Blossom Home, Huen Nam Jai and Jury’s Orphanage. At all three, the beauty of His weaving is undeniable: Children learning and growing and becoming like Jesus at each respective orphanage. The unfinished weaving can get overwhelming though.

orphans

Please pray for the teen kids at each orphanage who are wrestling through typical teenage rebellion. Pray for wisdom for orphanage parents and for softening of children’s hearts toward the Lord.

WATER

Our first clean water project in the MineField Village is up and running. We are delighted at how the Weaver brought the building of this clean water project to completion this year. His weaving here is not complete though as the villagers don’t understand their dire need for clean water. Even with training for the past few years, their limited understanding is prohibiting the positive effects of clean water.

water

They are failing to realize that even just one drink from contaminated water has enormous impacts on a body. Please pray for us as we work to educate clearly the enormity of the problem. Please pray for the villagers to begin to grasp the seriousness of dirty versus clean water. Pray also for the resources to establish clean water projects in various locations in the village so all may have easier access to water.

PARTNERING

Creekside Bible Church in Castle Rock, Colorado began partnering with our refugee camp orphanage, Jury’s Orphanage this year. Sending ten stellar team members on a mission trip, this team caught a vision for coming alongside Ga-Bleu (Jury’s director). The beauty of His weaving in this relationship is delightful to see. The difficulty of the underside has been Ga-Bleu’s health. What was first understood as ‘cancer in the blood’ is actually a rare blood disease (not cancer), but still a serious health issue. Ga-Bleu is undergoing treatment, and is gaining strength.

Thankfully, God provided for her parents, Jury and Saw Htoo to return to the camp and be with her during treatment as well as help run the orphanage. Please pray for complete healing for Ga-Bleu.

JOB CREATION & SUSTAINABILITY

God has expanded the ministry in the MineField Village by weaving together job creation and sustainability programs in 2012.

sustainability

LandMine Design is our first job creation program where women in the village are learning how to create jewelry using recycled magazines, toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. This program is taking off with our first seven women creating beautiful jewelry. The Master Weaver is weaving together some beautiful designs and we are thrilled to launch this new initiative in early 2013. The underside of this program is the vast amount of need and desperation for the women in the village. Our focus has been very small, starting with only seven women in the program; many women want to be in the program and be given the opportunity to earn money. Please pray for wisdom in getting this program off the ground and for God’s blessing and provision in expanding the opportunities for many more women to begin earning money to provide for their families. Be watching for our official LandMine Design launch date coming soon!

Micro-business loans for villagers to borrow money at low cost (or no-cost) interest rates. With these loans, villagers may purchase essential farming equipment to grow crops to feed their families as well as develop small businesses to sell crops to the surrounding areas. Our Weaver has placed this vision on the hearts of our LightBridge board members. The underside is the complex development of such a program among villagers who don’t even know (yet) how to read. Please join us in praying for the Weaver to pave the way, provide for, and give great wisdom in knowing how best to establish and operate this program.

MINEFIELD SCHOOL

Our Master Weaver has woven our first full year of school to completion. The 177 students are learning how to read and write, how to add & subtract, and are also learning of the Weaver who is weaving marvelous plans for their lives. The underside is the lack of nutrition that these children live with daily. God provided the funds for a feeding/cooking area which was completed this past month. We are trusting Him to provide the food to feed the children each and every school day. Would you pray for His provision for this very practical and real need?

school

SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP

During 2012, we were delighted to see God draw many villagers to Himself in the MineField Village. What joy to see over 50 villagers give their hearts to Jesus, and then follow Him in baptism. God is weaving such beauty in each of their hearts. The unfinished part of His weaving is deeply burdening because of the lack of spiritual leadership in our village.

baptismWe’re so thankful for our in-country leaders who are following up with discipleship at the village each week. The need is so very great for God to bring a pastor leader to our village to live among the villagers and continue with evangelism and discipleship among these dear people. Would you join us in praying for the Lord of the harvest to provide for this very immense need?

I wish I could share more of the stories of God’s weaving in our LightBridge locations just during this past year. I think you get the idea that He is weaving together many incredible things. In honesty, His work of weaving is sometimes painful and we are reminded of our deep need for His faithful comfort as we trust His Master Weaving.

As I consider the weavings that God is doing, I’m reminded that a huge part of His weaving has to do with YOU! In looking at the piece of art in my living room, I see a cord woven throughout the entire design – it really is a crucial part that holds the various segments of the design together. That cord reminds me of you, our faithful champions and partners. You are a huge part of the designs God is weaving in the LightBridge ministries through your faithful prayer support and financial gifts. Without this cord, the ministries simply would not exist.

As we come the close of another year, I want you to know how thankful I am for your part in being the ‘cord’ at LightBridge. Your partnership in this ministry is invaluable and unmistakable. In closing the year, we trust the Lord to weave together the funds and prayer support necessary to provide for the coming year of ministry at LightBridge. May I ask you to consider what part of this cord you might play in your year-end giving? Our needs are great as we face the vast ministries God is weaving together for 2013. Would you prayerful consider making an increased, additional, or first-time gift to LightBridge this year? Perhaps God is burdening you with a calling to join with us on a monthly basis. How honored we would be to partner with you in continuing these ministries during 2013! Please use the enclosed card to indicate how you’d like to be involved in expanding the cord of God’s weaving as we enter into 2013.

Finally, I hope you are encouraged to consider how God is at work weaving His designs in your life as well. We serve a Master Weaver who is creating masterpieces in our lives. He is not yet finished! Join me in thanking Him for His work of Weaving this Christmas season.

Delighting in His Weavings…

Karla Tillapaugh

President of LightBridge International

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We’re going back!

My team and I, in addition to several others are headed back to Thailand and Cambodia in several weeks!!!  It’s so exciting to go back and see all the wonderful people God has allowed us to know and be apart of their lives.  I wanted to share a bit about what we will be doing there as sometimes I’m amazed myself at what I do for a living!  Check it out.

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– MineField Village!  We will go back to the MineField Village where as my boss would say, “We have a boat load of work to do!”  This boat wouldn’t be a small tug boat or even a boat you would imagine when singing, row row row your boat.  This would be probably similar to the cruise ship I went on for my honeymoon!  Yes, THAT much work!  We will get a chance each morning at the MF school to give a bible lesson each morning!  We will connect with our dear friend and missionary Deedra who is working with our MF ladies on crafting jewelry for a new sustainability initiative we’ve just begun!  We have an incredible woman coming with us who began this very thing in Uganda several years ago and I would call the “guru” of all jewelry sustainability projects.  We are so honored to have her come with us!  We also have some fellows on our team that will be working on continued clean water efforts at the village and even begin a co-op sustainability project for the men.  I told you there was a lot!  Each day will be filled with these things in addition to playing with children, bandaging wounds and feeding the hungry.  We are also excited to begin mapping out the village so we can know exactly all the huts and families that live there.  Updates on each of the children at school and that are being sponsored will also take place and is such a rewarding time for us to get into the lives of our precious villagers lives.

– Orphanages!  We will also travel up to the Thailand/Burma border where we will visit our dear friend Ga-Bleu at Jury’s orphanage.  I’ve written about this amazing woman of God before.  There, we will love on Ga-Bleu and her family in addition to assessing all of the needs at the orphanage.  Some of the things we will be working on is to check the water source they use at the orphanage, discover work projects that need to be done, and of course….love on the children!

We will then travel to Chiang Mai where we will visit our two orphanages there, Blossom Home and Heun Nam Jai!  We have been praying and asking God how best to provide leadership to these orphanages from across the world.  At BH we will be implementing some new systems and structures we believe will bring great support to our orphanage parents.  We will continue to assess the well being of our orphans and hear from them about their lives through updates.  At Heun Nam Jai, we’ve learned that some of our teenagers are needing extra emotional support through counseling as many of them deal with deep issues of abandonment and rejection.  We believe that the structure set in place for these orphans at HNJ is healthy and we go praying that these kids would fall in love with Jesus and begin sharing him to those around them.

Internship! – We have one young gal coming with us who is apart of the new LightBridge International Internship.  We will have several more this summer who will be interning with us.  We will be scoping out needs and logistics for our interns while in Cambodia as well!

Team! – In addition to all of the things we hope to accomplish at our various ministry sites, we are leading a team of Americans.  This is also a very heavy job as keeping a team unified, helping them through new experiences and basic logistics and traveling can be intense.

But in the end, my team and I love what we do!  My prayer for our trip is that God would bless what we put our hands to and MUCH lasting fruit would come for the villagers and our orphans.

Here we go!

I will be updating my blog while we are gone.  Stay tuned into what’s happening in January!  I’ll keep you posted!