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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Week Three and Still Alive

Hello everyone! I know you're all probably wondering where we've been the passed couple of weeks. I missed you, too.

Last week we were in Kidderminster. We had originally been booked for a mission in Wales, but they rescheduled, so the gracious church in Kidderminster was blessed with our presence instead.

First, let's take a short trip back, back in time, to our mission in Kidderminster with our team last year...

It was a busy week in Kidderminster last February, 2005. Everyday was filled with assemblies, drama workshops, classroom presentations, and extra curriccular clubs. The church we were working with was very small and hoping to get more invovled in the community. At the end of the week, we planned a drama night and invited students from all the schools we had visited. When the event came, the church was packed with over 100 kids and parents! What a fantastic ending to a fantastic week!

Now, let us return to the present day - January 17th to 21st, 2006...

We weren't in schools very much because our schedule was put together very last minute. But when the schools heard we were there for the week, by Wednesday we were booked up for Thursday and Friday! We only visited two schools, one on Thursday and one on Friday. It was extremely encouraging that when we walked in we were recognized right away! The kids remembered every drama and every story we told! They even made special requests for their favourite sketches! We thought, 'Ah, we'll throw together a pizza and drama night and invite kids. Hopefully we'll get 30 or so.'

Friday night came. It was 6:40 and we could hear a few kids russling around the church doors as we set up inside. It was relieving to know a few did show up, even though we hadn't really advertised or prepared. At 7pm we opened the doors and there were over 100 kids and parents that filed in through the doors! It was fantastic! We had an absolute amazing time, they were a fantastic audience, and we even had the freedom to share the gospel with all who came! It was an absolutely fantastic end to a fantasic week!

This email is getting long so I'll give you a nutshell of this week. We've been back in Walsall, although we've been doing more promoting to schools that performing in them. It's all part of the procedure. But we've had an excellent response and much of our daily school schedule has quickly and easily filled! Not only for this mission, but even for the next year! They are pretty hard up for entertainment with a meaning here! I'm sure there will be many amazing stories to come!

With that I will close this installment of our adventure diary. Hope all is well with you! Thanks for the constant emails of encouragement we receive! They really make my day!

God bless you all and take care!

Sincerely,
~Alycia DeLong

Saturday, January 21, 2006

God's 2 Cents

Hello there! This is just a quick note (yeah right). Everything's going well, we've had a great week, but I just wanted to send out this little interesting story!

A couple of days ago one of the girls on our team, Trisha, was talking with her host and looking at pictures. Her host told her about how she felt that God had really called her to be an intercessor and in particular, to pray for the healing of people. Then she pointed out a few pictures of families that she had prayed for to have children and they had. Anyway, all of a sudden she told Trisha, "I've been praying for Danny and Alycia, actually. I've felt God lead me to pray against anything telling them they can't have children."

Okay, I barely know this lady and she barely knows me. If she knows anything about what's been going on with my health lately, I have no idea how. We haven't talked to anyone here about it and even our team doesn't have all the details! But, this is what she said! The freaky fact of the matter is that I have had some doctors tell me that I may not be able to have children. It's been a hard and scary thing to hear and at this point we've really just been seeking God for his plan and purpose.

And then this? Yeah, goosebumps!

So how about that? God puts in his 2 cents, perhaps? If this is the case (which, I don't know about you, but it sure looks like that to me), God's two cents is worth more than the price of all the Starbucks grande cappacinnos in the world!

Just wanted to share that and say thanks again for all your prayers! They are being answered in amazing ways already!

God bless!

Love,
~Alycia

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Another Quick Note (but not as quick as the last one)

Hello there all! Thanks for your prayers yesterday. We had a long day at the hospital, from 9 - 2. Most of the time was spent in the waiting room in between tests. All the doctors and nurses though were very nice. We played the pin cushion game, which is never much fun for me as I always have to play the cushion. My arms look a little mangled and they'll be bruising and sore for a couple of days, but the sympathy attention I get from Danny and the team makes it all worth it!

I'll be going back in about 6 weeks to meet with them again and see how I did on the tests. I hope I passed! I don't actually know what most of them were for. I was in the Endocrine department, so all the tests had to do with checking hormone level. By the end of the day I'd had 5 needles, filled six tubes of blood, and had one very nasty injection into my arm muscle to see how my body reacted. They passed on taking my blood pressure after seeing how stressed I was after telling me I had a bunch of needles ahead of me for the day!

Ooh, here's the funniest thing about the day (and it is definitely the funniest as I wasn't exactly laughing at anything else): When I first when in one of the nurses took my weight and height. When she pulled the measurement bar down to see how tall I was, it kind of klonked me on the head a bit. It wasn't bad, but it made a big clang sound. She apologized profusely and said, "Ouch! Sorry! I don't want to knock you on the head and give you a brain tumor!" She had no idea what was in my file, she was just the nurse taking some details! I laughed and laughed. She laughed too, feeling pretty good about the success of her joke, I suppose. She actually stopped laughing before I did and was looking at me as if to say, "Geez this kid is hard up for a laugh." I never told her why it was so funny to me. I couldn't. I was laughing too hard!

Well, I'd better run. I have lots of whining to do today about my poor arms. Hopefully, I'll get a couple of chocolate bars and a foot rub if I play my cards right.

God bless you and thank you all again for your prayers. I can't tell you how much I needed them (and Danny too)!

All our love,
~Alycia (& Danny)

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Quick Note

Hello there! Hope the week is treating you right. I, so far, have no complaints. I'm on my second cup of tea and things are looking good!

I just wanted to send out this little update/prayer request to a few of you. I have an appointment with a specialist in Birmingham tomorrow to try and find out more on what's happening with me healthwise. Hopefully, they'll be able to shed some more light on why my pituitary gland is acting up and how to sort it out. Even if they don't know what to do, we have Dr. Jesus who is the best out there. You never really know what he's going to do. It could even be that he wants to use me to show off to a few doctors and show them what a real miracle man can do! I'm up for that!

Anyway, if you would keep Danny and I and the doctors we will meet in your prayers tomorrow, it would be much appreciated!

Thank you and God Bless!

Love,
~Alycia

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Week One on the Road

Hello and Happy New Year!

Hope this email finds you in good form and back into the swing of things after the holidays! We are full speed ahead into our tour time and have just completed our very first week on the road. So here is the run down of what's happened this week.

It was a fantastic first week in Walsall with the Walsall Christian Centre! All week we were in Manor High School doing assemblies, Religious Education Classes, and performing our play. On Wednesday we did our play 4 times in a row! By the end of the day we all deserved Oscars, or gold medals in long distance drama performance. Every other day, though, we'd arrive at the school at 8:30am for a 20 minute assembly in the morning; then we'd split into 2 groups and do classroom workshops about basic Christianity, Faith, Personal Relationships (in which students brought up everything from dating to divorce), and all sorts of the issues we face today.

It's always an exciting time going into classrooms because the students here really aren't afraid to ask you any questions about anything. And it's exciting for us because we really have to be on our toes when it comes to responding to their questions. The two months of training really helped! The team was great. It can be very scary to be put on the spot, especially when it comes to questions about God and faith, but they really shone! That is one of the most rewarding things for Danny and me to see as leaders. The truth is that in the training time, we don't really teach them what to say when answering questions. The training time is only supposed to be a launch pad to help them discover these things for themselves. When a student in a high school asks one of our team, "Why do you believe in God," or "Do you ever have doubts?" or "Why does the Bible say that you have to believe in Jesus?" we don't want our team to have a scripted answer we wrote for them and made them practice over and over. We want them to know it for themselves. One of the greatest things I learnt from going through this training and being in classrooms myself over the years is this: God is not afraid of questions. He's not afraid of simple questions, he's not afraid of hard questions, he's not afraid of a sceptic’s questions, and he's not afraid of my questions. I think that in most cases, we are the ones who are afraid of answers.

On Friday night we did our second full play for the church youth group. We'd invited students from Manor to come and about 10 or so came. At the end of the night, we were able to really tell them about Jesus. With that, we had 4 young people decide for themselves that they wanted him to be a part of their lives, too.

Saturday morning we did a kid's program at the church and had a blast! I don't know who has more fun running around in the games, us or the kids. I think I had the most fun sitting and watching. You know, some one has to do it. One of the guys on our team, Trevor, is really good at making sound effects over a microphone and he can sound just like an entire drum kit! The technical term for his talent is called 'beat boxing.' When he got up on the stage to do it, he asked the kids first, "Does anyone know what 'beat boxing' is?" One boy enthusiastically put up his hand and answered, "It's when you beat some one up and put them in a box!" Come to think of it, I didn't see his little brother at kid's club that morning. I wonder...

Well, that wraps it up for me! We're heading out to Kidderminster for this next week, so hopefully I'll have internet access and a great story or two to send off! As well, Danny and I move out of our flat (apartment in Canadianese) tomorrow, so I still have lots of packing and cleaning to do! It's true what they say: There is no rest for the...outrageously good-looking.

God bless you all and talk to you again soon!

~Alycia DeLong

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year!!!

Am I on the ball or what? I've sent out emails before, during, and after Christmas, and now here's my New Year's update already! Yes, I am the Queen of Keeping in Touch!

That is until Saturday when we pack up and hit the road. We'll be moving out of our flat and travelling with the team for the next 4 months. Ah, yes, happy days are here again! I will do my best (as always) to keep you all updated on the latest amazing, unbelievable, incredible, and embarassing tales of our adventures on LifeForce, though! We start our presentations in schools on Monday and are travelling around the United Kingdom until early April. We will then be doing the rest of our mission in Malta. This week is the try-to-remember-everything-we-forgot-over-Christmas-break week, which is always a bit shaky, but a lot of fun. It's only the third day of the new year and things are full-steam ahead!

So how is the new year treating you all? Hope everyone had a festive and blessed holiday. I spent New Year's day in the same way many British people did: On the floor of my bathroom. My reasons were completely legitamate, though, I assure you. I came down with a very violent case of the stomach flu on New Year's Eve. This is my first day out of our appartment this year (ha ha. clever.) What really sealed my doom was that on New Year's night I had some Stilton cheese with mango and ginger. We all make mistakes and have regrets, and well, I learned my lesson the hard way.

You know, this may be the cold medicine talking, but sometimes I even amaze myself at what small incidents (that should probably never be spoken of) I can turn into a paragraph-long story. Maybe I should make a New Year's resolution about that. I won't go into any more details, but let's just say that my resolution to lose 5 lbs - I've already accomplished.

Change of topic: New mailing address. Yes, since we will be on the road, exploring the wild English country and its ruggid terrain, we have established a mailing address to which all letters, cards, photos, care packages, money orders, traveller's checks, credit card numbers...oh, whoops! What am I saying? He he he, just a little missionary humour there (and the cold medicine). Anyway, if you ever want to mail us anything, our mailing address is

(drum roll...)

Danny and Alycia DeLong
1 Prince George Road
Wednesbury
West Midlands
WS10 9PZ
England

With that, I think I shall bid you all adieu and go back to bed. I think the cold medicine is wearing off.

God bless you all and may the new year hold many blessings for you as well!

Best Wishes,
~Alycia DeLong