Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tacy #3

After class this afternoon, we headed over to Manhattan to see if wecould find Tacy. And sure enough there she was sitting in the park. Her face and eyes lit up when she saw us. Tacy has lived in the same apartment for 47 years! Her air conditioner is not working well and the landlord wants her to replace it but it came with the apartment. She said they had been trying to get rid of her for quite some time. Please pray that they would put in a new air conditioner for her. We found out that Tacy only has 2 relatives living; cousins both inTennessee which she does not see. So, indeed she is all alone in NewYork City but she has 2 cats, Pumpkin and Precious, her 2 P's. She is such a lively elderly lady, and I found myself hoping that I could be that full of joy when I reach her age. She was sitting in the park because it was cooler than her apartment. She is a night owl and so she sits there until about 12:30 at night and is not afraid. I did ask her if she knew where she would go when she died and she quickly smiled and said of course I do. Tacy taught 4th grade Sunday School for many years at Central Presbyterian Church in NYC. She still reads her Bible but needs a cataract operation on both eyes. She said it is getting a bit fuzzy. I asked her if she needed anything and she told me that she had everything she needed and thanked us for loving her. She also knew and stated that we only had 10 days left. So, I asked her if she could eat sweets and she said yes, and told me she loves Whitman chocolates. So Steven and I will try to find Tacy some chocolate. And she loves the tram that comes over to Roosevelt Island where we live. I asked her if it had an elevator and she said it did. I then asked her if she would like to ride it and she said "YES, but it has to be dark cause I want to see the lights". So, we promised to take her for a ride on the Tram. Tacy warms my heart at each visit. She is so full of life and yet her body keeps her from living life as she once did. She laughs and jokes and is just a delight to visit with. When we climbed the steps to the Tram, I went to the edge to wave and blow her a kiss and she was right there watching for me with a huge smile. I left thinking of how much I will miss my Tacy visits but was reminded that I will see her in Heaven and we will be able to visit for longer periods of time! We have been the ones to be blessed by our Tacy encounters!


One of our assignments is to interview 1 person each week from a different culture. I thought this interview might give you some insight into the Filipino culture.
Marilyn has been in the USA for 4 years. She is from Mindanao and while she was meeting her niece for dinner she was very welcoming and open to share with me about the culture in the Philippines. She told me that the biggest difference she notices is that the Filipino culture is much more religious and conservative. Marilyn also stated that the USA is much more materialistic than the Philippines. The Filipinos are more focused on planting and eating than things. Marilyn is a Catholic. Her sisters and brothers are still in the Philippines and she is here in the USA in order to help send her nieces and nephews to college. She goes home once a year. I asked Marilyn about her favorite tradition which she misses most and she told me Christmas with tears in her eyes. She indicated that Christmas in the Philippines is family oriented. It's all about getting together and that the gifts aren't important. The most important thing is to just be there and to be together. If you can bring a small gift it's fine but if not just come. The traditional food is roasted pig and everyone brings whatever food they can, they share their blessings, and if you don't have anything to bring, still come and eat. I was able to clarify some traditions, which I didn't understand in the Philippines. All Saints day is to celebrate and remember the good that those members in their church have done. The candle outside the window was placed there to give light to souls, and shine a path for them to Heaven. I had always heard that it was a light to show them back home. All Souls Day is the day where all the family meets at the cemetery and brings food and celebrates memories of their loved ones. It's like a picnic at the cemetery and some even build houses there in which to celebrate. Of course this is only those that have money. Filipino's believe that Good Friday is the day that Jesus Christ passed and so they stay home that day and pray. They don't go out except to go to church and to participate in the Stations of the Cross. Saturday they also stay in and go to the church to participate in the Stations of the Cross. Easter Sunday is a time of celebration of family. They prepare a feast and go to the beach to wash themselves. (I wish I would have asked more questions about this.) She indicated that Christmas, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and New Years are all days in which the Filipinos celebrate family. Marilyn has an 8-year-old girl. She helped to raise her sister's children and so her sisters are giving back to her and raising her daughter. Marilyn doesn't want her daughter to come to America because she wants her to learn Filipino values. She indicated that their values are more than money but also to respect elders and love family. It's all about family ties. Marilyn confirmed that Filipinos do spank their children but they also feed them to hush them as well. And the placing an Elder's hand on my forehead is a show of respect for the Elderly person. And as is always the Filipino culture, she asked me to join them for dinner; and insisted that I taste a dish, which I had never had before. My interview with Marilyn was delightful and I look forward to many more in the Philippines!

NYC Day 2 Day

What are we doing in New York City?
It has dawned on us that some of you might be wondering what our days look like in New York City. We have been assigned to Living in Faith Christian Church (LFCC) to worship and serve. The churches make up is of young Korean and Chinese Christians. LFCC is in Flushing, NY, so we take the 'F' subway from our island to Jackson Heights where we get on the 7 subway. The 7 subway is a beautiful ride above the ground and it goes right by Shea Stadium, the old stadium and the new one. Then we catch a bus ride to Beth Sholom Temple where LFCC meets on Sundays. This is a Redeemer church plant and they don't yet have their own building. Pastor Stephen Ro indicated it would take $300,000 to purchase a building in their area. The trip takes us about 1.5 hours and we love the worship at this church. During the week we are helping in the morning to teach English as a Second Language to 3 elderly Chinese women. As Steven and I have never taught ESL, this has been a great experience, another addition to our tool box and one that I think I would like to use with the Street Children in the Philippines. But it has been amazing to see how God prepared us to teach this class. He just amazes us the way He goes before us. Our last 3 days of language learning with Mr. Gradin was great training because we can just reverse what he taught us. In the afternoon we have class from 2:00 until 5:30 and then it's home to work on"homework". We deeply appreciate your willingness to journey with us; thank you for your prayers as we have felt God's presence all along the way. Our heart's continue to be full of praise at how He continues to be our Rock and our Guide.

Family Clutch & Release

I am realizing one of the main reasons that God brought me to New York was to pry my hands from around my family. He showed me that I had previously dug my heels in, hoping that something would keep us closer to those precious babies. I have always seen myself as a big part of my grandkids' lives; as my own Grandparents lived in Iowa andTexas, which only seemed far away as I grew up in Tennessee. Funny, that was Steven's position before we went our first term to the Philippines. The Lord has heard just about all the excuses we could come up "well, we've got to do this and that before we can go".... God has ever so gently (I just adore how gentle He is with me) reminded me of how Jesus Christ left the comforts of Heaven and the fellowship of the Trinity to come to earth to save me from myself and my sins. God continues to show me that He really does have it all under control as Lindsey with Chad's help made decisions without us there. It's as if He is saying to me...."Deborah, look, see, I can handle Lindsey and her affairs even better than you; just rest in me, trust me and believe." Once again, I have found myself wondering why can't I easily trust and believe God? Why is it so hard for me to throw myself at His feet in total dependence and to leave my family there too? I praise Him for moving my feet closer to the GO line and for teaching me that His strength, grace and sovereign hand are more than sufficient in every area of my life.

John Leonard Teaching Info.

For more information on John Leonard's teachings on evangelism go to www.cvcpca.org and jleonard@wts.edu, for special sermons, and pastoring people.

Tacy #2

On the way back from meeting our mentor, Debbie Kanavel, we saw Tacy sitting in a park by the tram. She loves sitting there looking at the Queensbourough Bridge (with all the lights) and the Tram. It was 8:15 at night and there she was sitting all by herself. She was so glad to see us and while she seems very content, I found myself wondering if she is lonely and where her family lives. She is originally fromTennessee like us but has been in New York City for over 30 years. Tacy talked about the Lord and her not always obeying Him. I asked her if she knew that God loved her even when she didn't always obey Him and her eyes lit up like the bridge as she nodded her head. I decided to develop the friendship more as John Leonard suggested instead of just jumping further in about religious things. John mentioned that he tells people in his introduction, "Hi, my name is John and I am your Pastor." so that they know our goal. If we don't tell them and enter a friendship without them knowing our goal, they will wonder our true motives. Tacy was so glad to see us and when we told her we had been looking for her , her face lit up. She told us she would be watching for us again and so I can't wait to see her and ask more. As I thought about our leaving this big city, I realized that our Tacy encounter will always be a sweet, sweet encounter in this huge city.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Love from the Scotts

We miss you all and thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support! It is priceless to us! We could not have made it here without your prayers on our behalf!

New York Trivia

What famous bridge is this and how long did it take us to walk across it! Whew! Talk about some good exercise...

In what movie is this scene a prominant memory in the brilliant mind of a well known actor, Mel Gibson?

More NYC Pics

What happens when you leave your ride on the street too long in New York?

A sign that you will never see in Mississippi or anywhere below the Sweet Tea Line.
Ground Zero... monument of the Twin Towers

NYC Pics

A site for all of you New York lovers (especially Laini) with expensive taste.

A view of NYC that would be an extremely challenging puzzle!
Deborah after she had been swallowed up by the subway and swept away from Steven.

Love Evangelism

Once again I find myself reminded of how gracious God is to me far and above what I deserve. I deserve to be "squashed like a bug" (one of Lindsey's favorite sayings) because of my sin, and yet God continues to pour out His blessings upon me and discipline me ever so gently. Our session yesterday on evangelism by John Leonard (a former MTW missionary) was incredible. His whole premise was to be a Pastor to your community and to be up front about it. Now that being up front is not shoving the gospel down others throats but introducing yourself as Hey, I'm Deborah and I am a missionary or he says Hello, I'm John and I am your Pastor. He says our community should be our focused church and to sow the gospel wide. He was a real outside of the box thinker and Steven and I both got more tools for our toolbox! The premise that most touched me was just get into other people's lives and love them. You go as deep as they go and no deeper, always being prepared with the gospel if they ask about it. God has given me the gift of encouragement and so that is one thing I love to do most; love people especially the hurting or oppressed. And he told me yesterday to do just that, leaving the salvation of others up to God! I found myself thinking WOW I can do that! Also his approach takes a lot of pressure off of me to have the right thing to say. The goal is listen, listen and listen some more and ask questions. He even said we should be hearing lots about others lives and when we get home realizing that no one is asking about us and our lives. And he said to pray that God will bring those to us that He has deemed to be his. He mentioned that in his past, he has been focused here or there andGod just dumps a soul into his lap where he wasn't even looking. In other words as we all know, it's not up to us but it's all about God.What an encouragement this was to me and I left that meeting believing I could do this with God's help and much prayer. I wish you could have been there, it was incredible!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thank You

Thank you so much for praying for us this week. We have had so many who have emailed us to tell us that they are praying for us and we have needed it!
This week has been really busy with no time to breathe. We have had 3 full days of language and while our minds are reeling, our hearts are full of praise! We learned so much about how to do language and make it learner driven and not taught. We had tons of activities to do in order to play with it and experience it before getting into the grammar. Steven and I are both so excited and feel encouraged and like we have many tools in our tool kit. If we get nothing else out of our time in New York this language part was well worth the whole trip!!!!
Please do PRAISE the Lord with us and thanks again for loving and caring for us enough to pray.

NYC Subways

The subway in New York City was on my mind even before we arrived. I was really dreading it and a good bit afraid of it. But it has become one of my favorite activities because there is so much to observe and learn on the subway. The Roosevelt Island Subway is deeper underground than any other subway. It has 1 short escalator climbing out and then 2 really long and steepescalators. One day the steep ones were not working. Roosevelt Island has many handicapped people on the island, some who live in government subsidized housing. Often when we walk up these escalators I wonder what these handicap individuals do when the escalator is not working. Some of the subways are hot and some are cold. The waiting area is always stuffy and humid. The schedules change on holidays and weekends. In rush hours there are one right after another coming from Manhattan because of people coming home from work and it is the same with people going into the city.The people on the subway are really interesting. Some are asleep, some reading a book and many with their MP3 players in their ears. Most make no eye contact and there is hardly ever anyone chatting.
One day the subway was pretty full and there were 2 ladies standing upholding on to a rail and reading a book. It is such a fast pace in this city and New Yorkers are hurried and rushing. I wonder if most of them are task oriented and they spend so much time traveling that they don't seem to waste even their time riding on the subway. Many are asleep and they will have their eyes closed and then the subway stops and up they come. They must be counting the number of times the subway stops. I even saw one guy so asleep that his mouth was open. Is he still riding around New York City??? I hardly ever see anybody eating on the subway but of course they are rather jerky. Some people get on the escalator and ride and then some walk on down the escalator. And it is an unspoken code of ethics that if you just want to ride then you stand on the right side to let others pass. We did a mixture of ride, walk until one day we missed the F subway by just seconds and had to wait about 15 minutes until the next one came. Now we walk rather briskly down the escalator. The subway going to Flushing is on top of the ground like a train and actually goes right by the Shea Stadium, new and old. There was construction on this line which slowed it down. And when you get off the subway in Flushing there are vendors on the sides of the street something I haven't noticed yet anywhere else. On some subways the conductor announces the next stop one time, some are two times and on some subways there don't even announce it. Those in a deep sleep must just ride around New York City!!! When the buzzer goes off watch out cause that door is closing whether you are in or not. There is always a security guard in the waiting area which has helped me to like them even more and remove my fears.
I must say that I think when I leave New York City I will miss the subways, something that I once feared. Once again, God continues to teach me to just trust HIM, and that I am wasting my time fearing when He has it all in the hollow of His hands.


My heart is over flowing with praises to You today. I deeply thank you for bringing me to New York City in spite of myself; my resistance, my grumbling and my complaining. Why is it so difficult at times for me to believe in Your sovereign plan? Lord I praise You for the new ideas that will help me with language; but also ideas that I can use with the interns. Lord, thank You for the fresh outlook on returning to the Philippines; and the desire to get deeper into the culture and language. Thank You God for not leaving us the way we were but for motivating us to go further up and further into the culture. Thank You God for strengthening my faith and increasing my belief in You, for Your sovereign plans and Your path for me which is ALWAYS perfect. Lord, I praise You for Your gentleness! Thank You for ever so gently moving me past my concerns about leaving my kids and the Grandkids. Lord, I praise you for how you are unfolding Your plans and provisions for Lindsey right before our very eyes (which have been far above and beyond anything I could ever ask or imagine). For allowing me to see before I leave how well You are taking care of her. Lord forgive my unbelief and doubt. Lord, Your mercy and grace astounds me! You have known that one of the things that holds me back in ministry are my feelings of inadequacy. Lord, all of these ideas and tools that You have provided for my tool kit have empowered me, excited me and indirectly will help as well with my feelings of inadequacy. Lord, thank You for seeing my heart felt needs and for working in every part of me and not leaving any area uncovered. Oh God, thank you for strengthening my faith and for teaching me more and more to rest deeply in You and to keep walking along the path You provide. And Lord, not to me O Lord, not to me, but to YOU be the glory because of Your love, faithfulness, mercy and grace!

Observations & Curried Rice

We have to complete 1 observation and 1 ethnography a week. As many of you know I am a bit shy and I felt the ethnography might be a bit challenging for me so I began to pray that God would send me someone. Today when I went to the park to do an observation I sat down on a bench and immediately noticed that a mother and son were sitting beside me. They were both from Bangladesh and had lived in New York City for about one year. It wasn't long until the father came and joined in the conversation and they were quite talkative. I found many similarities between the Bangladesh culture and the Filipino culture which intrigued me. I had a few questions written down but because they were freely answering my questions I decided to ask what type of food they eat in Bangladesh. I don't think I will ask this question again because before I could take a deep breath Mohammed took out a paper plate and gave me curried rice and chai tea. It so reminded me of the Philippines. They will give the shirt off of their back to Americans. And yes, of course I do could nothing but eat it even though I protested I was full. He was so proud since he had fixed it himself. I must say it was very good. Well, sure enough the next afternoon I got the worst stomach ache and I rarely have stomach aches. Praise the Lord it didn't last long and I found myself thinking that it was worth it because my compliments on Mohammed's cooking made him smile. He was so pleased to be able to share his country with an interested American. They even asked me if I was Christian. I replied that I was and asked their thoughts and they both remarked that we are the same. It made me sad because I know they are not the same and unless God intervenes we will not be spending an eternity in Heaven. I think that is one of the hardest things about New York City for me. They are in such a hurry always, with blank faces and I often wonder at the number of lost souls. We are so thankful for you continued prayers that keep us encouraged. But would you pray for Redeemer and the PCA church plants in New York City and for the many, many lost souls here? It reminds me of Manila, with the sheer numbers of people (and there are many more in Manila) there are so many that have not heard the gospel.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Without A Trace

We were on the way to Central Park to meet the group for lunch on the 4th. We were navigating the subways well until we heard an announcement that our desired train was not running to Central Park, as the train schedule is different on holidays. So we regrouped to figure out another way to get there, trying to make it somewhat on time. We thought we had it figured out and jumped on the train. After looking at the stops, I realized that it didn’t stop at our point and I told Deborah that we needed to get off. I got off quickly and as soon as I got off the doors snapped closed behind me. The subway train had swallowed my wife and she was gone "without a trace". I had her cell phone, our money and even her Metro card. My heart was jumping and throbbing as I stood wondering what to do next. I needed to get my bride back and watch after her, that's what I needed to do! After much thought, I wondered if she would try to return, get off at the next stop, or even try to go on to Central Park. I hurriedly made the decision to catch the next train going to the next stop all the while hoping and praying that she was there waiting for me. God answered my prayers and it was an exciting site to see Deborah waiting for me. Another family had witnessed what happened and they saw Deborah before I did. I rejoiced in seeing her and gave her a big hug when we were reunited. Needless to say, we could not decide which train to take to continue our journey so we walked the balance of the way to meet our group. Running late due to confusion and mistakes I was feeling rotten that I had not done a better job. Upon arriving, there were several others that were running late which made me feel a little better. God continues to show me gently, in small ways that I am a sinner and far from perfection. He also reminds me that I need to quit beating myself up for being less than perfect because His Son has already lived the perfect life for me. God continues to chip away, break, mold, and make me more into His image as He and I travel this road of life together.


Last night (Thursday) when we got home I realized that I am beginning to love the city! I love being able to explore. Thank you Lord for my love of adventure which You gave me. And the subways and buses are so efficient! It's so easy to get around! And I love walking everywhere; walking to get somewhere instead of walking for exercise.
New Yorkers are really closed for the most part. Most seem to have this don't talk to me face. But it was incredible meeting Tacy on the side entrance of Bloomingdales. She must have been 80 years plus. Even though her body was crippled (she was in a type of wheelchair) her mind was still good. She saw us looking at our map and reached out to us and offered to help us. She told us how to take Park Avenue to Grand Central Station - both amazing! But our spirits where drawn to her. She was from Tennessee (like us) and had that southern warmth. Her prayer request was to be able to stand herself; to be content in her frail body. She told us where she hangs out and so I look forward to finding and seeing her again. Steven prayed for her and she said "yes, the Lord takes care of me" but after we left I desired to make sure she knew The Savior. So, I am praying for another Tacy encounter. It was such a blessing; a "sugar plum" from the Lord!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Apartment Pics

The view from the apartment is amazing. With each new day we will look out the window and praise God for His amazing and awesome grace that has provided beyond what we could possibly have imagined!

Settling in was not hard with all the numerous blessings the Lord lavished on us! Who are we that we should deserve such gifts!?! Praise His Name, the Giver of good gifts!
The apartment is a small flat on Roosevelt Island. It is more than what we need! And we are so blessed! Praise His Wonderful Name!

1st Day in NYC

We made it on our first subway ride!!! Last night we read in a localpaper that the Roosevelt Island subway is the deepest in New YorkCity. That made me jump out of bed this morning with baited breatheready to run and ride the subway!! Seriously, it is a pleasant walk to the station and we got on the correct subway and then had about 1/2 mile walk to the church where the training is held.
Tomorrow we will go to the church where we are to minister which will be a much longer ride, about 1 hour. God is so good to us!!!
Many of you may know that I have been guilty of grumbling and complaining about this training in New York City. I simply didn't want to leave my family and friends. Just last week before we left for New York, the Lord convicted me ever so graciously. He reminded me that He is giving me a month in New York City with a place to live and there is no way that we could ever experience this on our own! And today, we sat in our first classroom meeting in awe of God's blessings. Many participants had to scrounge around for furniture for their studio apartments, dishes, etc. Our apartment is completely furnished with more than we could possibly need. Some didn't even have an air conditioner and we have two! And some couldn't get on internet and Steven connected us as soon as we arrived. Some have 6 month old babies and one family has 6 kids under the age of 6 years old! We felt so guilty and embarrassed to be blessed beyond what we could ever ask or imagine especially after all the grumbling and complaining we have done. Isn't that so like God. I am so glad that He doesn't repay me for my sins; but instead is often as gentle as a lamb. Oh how I need to be more like Christ, gentle with others when they sin against me and trusting God first instead of doubting and disbelieving.
We were reminded in our devotion this morning that God has put us here for the month of July. And we were challenged to embrace it. We were also challenged to put away our coping mechanisms and default modes and allow Christ to be our ultimate answer for all. Please pray that we will embrace this time of training, put away our coping mechanisms and that He will teach us about ourselves. Also pray that we would learn more that we are free because of Christ and especially free to celebrate our failures (such as grumbling and complaining). Thank you so much for loving us and praying for us.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


For all of you who are faithfully praying for Steven and Deborah on this journey, on their way back to the Philippines...
I just wanted to let you know that they arrived safely in (the big apple) New York yesterday, July 1, and will be staying the whole month to undergo training, equippin, and growing as they work alongside Redeemer Church there.
Deborah called to say that they flew in over downtown New York. She has always wanted to visit New York, therefore she feels very spoiled as the Lord has given them a whole month to train, depend on Him, and enjoy their time there.
Thank you for their prayers.
Check back to get updates and stories on their time in NYC.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support!