Allie Spain – Malaysia and the Philippines

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She’s a Marysville High School graduate and has been on The World Race serving in a new country each month spreading Christianity, and we have been following her adventures since last fall. While working as a missionary, Allie Spain has had varied experiences in many Far East countries. Since we have heard from her last, she has gone on to Malaysia and the Philippines.
Allie begins: “Malaysia was a busy month. My team spent three weeks in Kuala Lumpur and then moved to Kota Bharu for one week. In Kuala Lumpur we worked a lot with homeless ministries, feeding and praying for them, as well as helping paint and set up a church that was starting up. In Kota Bharu we met another amazing family that treated us like their children, making sure we were taken care of. They showed us their church community and we had many more meetings with other Christians in the area.
“Malaysia is an Islamic country, the first one I have been to. It was different hearing their calls to prayer and just noticing more of the caste system there. I met one man who allowed me to ask him questions about Islam and in exchange, he’d ask me questions about Christianity. It was a crazy conversation, but one I won’t forget.
“He asked a lot of questions about the Trinity. He didn’t understand how the father, son, and holy spirit could all be God. He also thought a lot of the Bible was contradictory. I asked him to explain more in depth things I already knew about Islam. His overall view of Christians seems to be that they contradict themselves. We exchanged emails and he has been asking me many more questions and sending me many articles on Islam.
“Malaysia was pretty crowded and dirty. A lot of the buildings and houses are old and rundown. We stayed in four hostels during our time there. In three of them we had AC, which was such a blessing since it was 90 degrees every day. Our first hostel was actually one of the nicest places I’ve stayed in the past eight months. Most of the food was Indian influenced, so our favorites were naan (Indian bread) and fried rice with iced milk tea. We didn’t have any problems being Christians there. Most people were open to receiving prayer or even asking us to pray for them. They spoke Malay.”
Then her group of seven moved on to the Puerto Galera, Philippines, where she said they eat a lot of fish and rice. Their host family also tried to give them more familiar dishes like tacos and hamburgers.
There the team is working with Threads of Hope, an organization that gives women a way to make money for their families with skills they already have, instead of resorting to prostitution. They make bracelets, lanyards, and bookmarks to sell. Bracelets from this organization can be ordered online and are sold at festivals in America.
Allie said: “We’ve been able to meet many of the women who make bracelets and their families. Through this program, Threads of Hope shares the gospel and teaches them about the Lord. So many have come to know God that they started a church that meets twice a week and has over 800 members.
“We do not have air conditioning this month, and we’ve just been using two fans in our room. However this past week the temps hit over 100, so it’s been extra hot. We have been allowed to sleep on the floor of the Threads of Hope store because it has air conditioning, so that has helped. This month we have faced giant spiders in the Philippines. Some we have seen are about the size of my hand or bigger. According to our hosts, they don’t bite and are scared of people. So far, we haven’t had any incidents with them other than finding them in our bathroom and asking the pastor to get them out.
“In the Philippines they speak Tegalo, but most everyone knows basic English. We are in a tourist part of the island, so they are used to seeing “white people” and since our ministry has hosted World Race teams before, they know why we are there and what we’re about. The people are very friendly and loving and like to talk to us and have us hold their children. The children here are some of the most beautiful kids I’ve seen.
“They usually ask us where we are from in America and then ask about the weather and are very curious about snow.”
We’ll have more from Allie next month.
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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