Saturday, June 29, 2013


We just finished our third week of World Missions Institute.  We are shocked at how fast it has been going. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what we are doing.  

Our first Sunday we went to a church service being led by the Karen people of Burma. The service was done in their language and translated into English.  

We went on Father's Day which is a very important day in their culture.  All the fathers age 45 or older were escorted to the front by the young girls and given a gift and a handmade necklace. The fathers under 45 sat in the front pews and were presented with handmade necklaces.  

The second week, we visited a mosque.  My previous blog has more details about the mosque visit. 

While we were at the mosque, the kids got to play in the sprinkler.  

This week, we had language training.  The language we got to practice with was Uzbek. Let me tell you, I am so thankful Creole is an easy language to learn! Languages are in groups based on how difficult the language is.  Creole is a group one! 

One night this week, we had a cultural experience.  They 'took' us to Swaziland to experience a church service.  Typically church services would last all night, but ours only lasted 2 hours.  

This picture is difficult to see, but he is holding a stick that has a cross at the top.  He would pray and start singing and we kinda had to guess what was going on.  It really gave us a good idea of what it will be like for us when we are in Guinea Bissau and don't understand Creole yet.  The experience was pretty amazing though, and the Holy Spirit took over.  

By the time we are done with our classes, we are all so tired we have to find something to relax with.  Puzzles have been a hit! Here is Michael with some of his friend, Kosti, LaVonne, and Ted.  

We had two great surprises this week too.  We had a friend stop by to visit Wednesday night and our kids got a package from their friends at church.  Both of those things were such blessings to us! 

I hope this gives you a good glimpse into our life here at WMI.  We have thoroughly enjoyed it and cannot believe we only have a week left.  Thank you everyone for all the prayers you have covered us with and for everyone that is financially supporting us.  We could not be doing anything of this without your help! 

If you still want to donate to help us to get to Guinea Bissau, there is a link on the right side of this page.  Thank you for everyone for all your support! 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

World Missions Institute

Well, here I am sitting in a dark room with a little nightlight and the glow from my computer. I see a sick child laying on a cot like bed on our floor, right next to the bathroom of course and a exhausted husband drifting in and out next to me in bed. He just got done cleaning up from our sick child and now we are just praying that this bug doesn't continue through our family. We are at World Missions Institute where we are learning about being missionaries in a different culture. That really isn't even a good description of what we are learning about. We have had Old Testament Foundations and World Religions by a phenomenal speaker and person, David Shenk, New Testament Foundations by yet again another wonderful speaker and person, James Krabill, we've learned about Healing Ministry, Discipling, Evangelizing, and learning about the Islam faith. We visited a mosque on Friday. That was quite interesting. The muslim people are so friendly and hospitable. The thing we have learned is the Islam faith is closely related to Christianity. One difference is they don't ever know if they will actually enter paradise. Christianity offers a relationship with Christ and promises us a place in heaven. Christianity has hope, whereas the Islam faith is lacking hope. I noticed that all the women were covered except their hands and their face. Their dress even came down to the floor and only when they walked did you see their feet. I just got this sense that it was almost as if women were sinful because of the beauty they have. As though if a man would lust after them, it would not be the mans fault but the woman's fault for not being modest enough or covering herself enough. I feel like the Islam faith is favorable towards men. With that being said, that is only my opinion from observation. I have not read the Qur'an, so I do not know what it says regarding women. It is now morning, I had too many distractions last night to finish this blog. World Missions Institute (WMI) has been such a great experience. We have learned a lot, like I mentioned above, and we have also made great friends. There are 18 kids here and 22 adults. It is so nice to be with such a great group of people. We are all like-minded, we are all leaving everything we know, we are all leaving our loved ones and our church, and what I love is that all our kids are with other kids that are doing the same thing. They have found friendship in commonality. All of their friends are doing the same thing in going someplace they haven't been, and having to learn everything new...language, culture, friends. They are even sharing sickness. :) The sweet thing is that the kids are concerned for one another and pray for each other. This is such a wonderful group of kids at WMI. The kids have a class that they go to while we are in our sessions. Their classes include worship, devotions, games, crafts, field trips, outside activities and so much more. Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM) has a third culture kid (TCK) coach that talks with the older kids and gives them a chance to talk about their thoughts, fears, expectations etc. The kids look forward to going to their class and Jada and Lydia get bummed when Saturday comes and they have no class. Some difficulties that have come up during WMI has been sickness. It seems to be going through people quick, which is good. The other hard thing is our washer and dryer have died in our house. The washer never worked from when we got here. It would wash the clothes but not spin them, so we said that God was preparing us for Guinea Bissau. Then the dryer died. We are thankful for these difficulties. When we are in Guinea Bissau, life will not be perfect. Hardships will arise and we will need to adapt, and rely on God. We are thankful for these small preparations. God is good...ALL the time. Here is a picture of our home here at WMI
If you would like to help us to get to Guinea Bissau please click this link to EMM Please be sure to designate your gift to Michael and Karen Baker. Thank you so much for supporting our family and our ministry in Guinea Bissau!! Since we have been here at WMI we are so excited to get there! We only need 17%!!!! Every little bit helps!