Lori’s Lollipops – Jan 2014

Lori's Lollipops 2014

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JANUARY 2014

Winter greetings and a Merry belated Christmas to you all!  I hope your Christmas season was full of Jo!  I just returned a few days ago from a trip to Asia and New Zealand, which was absolutely wonderful!! Let me tell you a little bit about it…

In September I began to get more involved with Emmaus Encounter, our debriefing ministry.  This ministry is focused on helping long-term missionaries stay healthy on the field.  It is a week-long process where we guide the debriefees through telling their story – whatever that is.  Often times these people have gone through a lot of transition and/or grief, and have experienced injustice at varying levels.  Our goal is that by the end of the week the debriefees will have received some perspective on their circumstances, having heard very personally from God, finding healing and freedom, extending forgiveness, and are able to move forward feeling strengthened.  My heart for debriefing developed out of being the beneficiary of one such week myself, immediately following so much trauma in 2009 – starting with nearly losing my life to extensive blood-clotting, followed by some close friendship difficulties, and ending with 7 burglaries, I was pretty emotionally “messy” for a while.  Being debriefed and having a safe place to share my story helped me immensely and brought me a long way in the emotional healing process in just one week’s time.  The desire to get involved with this ministry stayed simmering in my heart for three years, and then surfaced to become a reality at the end of 2012.

In November, our Emmaus Encounter staff went to Battambang, Cambodia, for a couple weeks and debriefed 9 of their staff.  Our time there went really well and was very fruitful!  Due to confidentiality, I cannot tell you much about the people we were debriefing, nor their stories, but I’m happy to say that our two weeks in Cambodia were fantastic.  It is a privilege to walk alongside and encourage missionaries in need of refreshing!

Cambodia itself is an interesting country in that over 80% of the population is under the age of 30 because of the massive genocide in the late 70’s done by the Khmer Rouge. Our team was able to visit a “killing cave” on our day off, which was a very sobering experience. We heard there are still an estimated 4-6 million activated land mines that remain undetonated around the city of Battambang alone, meaning the threat of the Khmer Rouge still lives on in the reality of deaths or disfigurement caused by exploding land mines in the countryside. Despite this, Cambodians (from my brief observations) seem to be a relatively happy people who are open to talking about their history, choosing to move on from the horrors of the past rather than getting stuck in a victim mentality.

After our debriefing ministry in Cambodia was finished, I headed to Taiwan for a week to see my sister Amy & family, and also caught up with a few friends there. It was such a fun week, and it flew by way too quickly! I then traveled to New Zealand, visiting my other sister, Pam, and her family. I was able to spend Christmas with them, which was super exciting as the last Christmas I had with Pam was 16 years ago! It was also my very first Christmas with my niece, Lanae, and nephew, Micah, who are ages 13 and 8. Since my immediate family is only able to get together every 4 years, it was a dream come true to go down there for a visit and reconnect with precious loved ones!! I have re- turned from my whole trip feeling rested and ready for what is next.

In the spring I plan to help our DTS in the capacity of coaching our new school leader. Enjoying this role last year, I’m going in for round two. In between schools I continue to help with debriefing, mentoring younger staff, teaching a little bit here and there, and the fun stuff = administration!

As 2013 has come to a close, I see God’s thumbprint on my life. I hope the same is true for you. May you be blessed in 2014!! For His Glory, LORi

Lori Rietema | 501 Blacktail Rd. Lakeside, MT 59922 | lorisrietema@hotmail.com | 406-890-5208

For more information on financial donations and partnering with me in ministry, please contact me. Donation checks can be made out to “YWAM” with “#3027” on the memo line instead of my name, and sent to the address above.

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