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Faith Followers 2011


Mark, Malia, Mika, and Coby Heil A Year of Relative Stability For such a transient family as ours, 2011 brought little change to our circumstances. For the first time in 8 years, we did not move to a different house, country, or job! This was especially valuable as we began to set routines for our growing toddlers. Still, the year held challenges and blessings together, with a steady increase in our involvement in our school and community in Seoul. We hope you are encouraged to put more faith in our all-knowing God as you read our humble highlights of 2011. Celebrating Coby On January 2, we gathered with friends and family at Ali`i Beach to wish Coby a happy first birthday and to dedicate him publicly to the Lord. Siblings in Seoul We were thrilled to have Mark's brother and sisters visit us in February. Scott and Charlene flew from Oregon, and Angela came from Texas. They spent a week with us in our apartment, visited Mark's workplace, and ventured out into the snowy city with us for some touristy activities. We were so grateful for their help and encouragement during their stay! Mark Speaks in Australia Immediately after our Thailand trip, Mark took a flight "down under" to speak at a technology conference in Melbourne. His topic was "The Benefits of a Positive Digital Footprint," which is part of his research for his doctoral dissertation that he finishes this summer. On his final day in Australia, after the conference was over, Mark was able to travel to the beach and take some amazing photographs.

-Coby's 1st birthday party at Ali`i Beach -Scott, Charlene, and Angela Heil visit Seoul -Spring Break in Thailand -Mark goes to Australia for tech conference -Ken and Dee Heil visit -Mark's surgeries -George Rhoades visits -Thailand -Hawaii -Lila's 90th bday party -Back to Seoul, Korea -Mika turns 3! -Coaching varsity volleyball -Chris and Mel's wedding in Hawaii -Far East volleyball tournament in Daegu -Thanksgiving with friends -Christmas in Hawaii

Bangkok for Spring Break We returned to our former home during our week-long vacation in March. Visiting our church there, Newsong, and our friends from the international school was encouraging and exciting. We were even able to visit two families in the hospital as their babies had just been born during our stay. What great timing!

The Grandparents Visit for Easter Mark's parents, Ken and Dee, stayed with us for a week in April, just in time to spend Easter with our family. They even brought a bag of plastic eggs and hard-to-find Easter candies with them for our children. As cherry blossoms brought our trees back to life after a long winter, we enjoyed time outside taking pictures and appreciating the warmer air.
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Mark's Surgeries In May, Mark underwent two surgeries back-to-back. First, he had his eyesight adjusted with LASEK eye surgery, which is very cheap and popular here in Korea. Shortly after, he went into the hospital to fix a torn tendon in the rotator cup of his shoulder. We were so blessed to have a number of women from his school volunteer to babysit our kids (tag team fashion over a 24-hour period) so Malia could be with him during the crucial first night of recovery. Since then, he's made incredible progress. His eyes are now better than 20/20, and his shoulder is almost ready to participate in contact sports again. We thank God for our good health insurance and the competent medical care in Korea. Banquets and Concerts--During the spring, the two of us attended two school banquets: Valentine's and Junior/Senior. It was so fun to dress up and have a fancy date even if we were surrounded by high schoolers! Also, when Malia's dad visited in late May, we all went to a Korean concert, which turned out to be spectacular! Then, right before we flew to Bangkok, we went with a few friends to worship live with Hillsong United. What an eventful and fun time! June in Thailand For the month of June, we decided to stay in Thailand for a longer period. This visit was different because it was during the summer and many of our former students were home from their schooling abroad. We thank God we were able to reconnect with so many of them! Mark's Teaching Ministry Both Mark and his students were excited about changes to his teaching schedule this year. His digital media classes were separated into photography, video, and graphic design, allowing students to choose what specification of technology they would like to learn. He also continues to lead a discipleship group on leadership and a club that builds the school's sports website.
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July in Hawaii Back in the islands for the last month of our summer, we took many trips to the beach and spent valuable time with family there. We were even blessed to spend a weekend alone in Waikiki while Malia's parents babysat the two kids. At the end of the month, we attended a large party celebrating Malia's grandma's 90th birthday! Together, we made a slideshow honoring her, and you can view it at this link: http://bit.ly/happy90.

Mr. and Mrs. Coach: Season 2 This was our second year coaching varsity volleyball together. Our nine players worked hard as we experimented with various strategies and even invented our own rotation to utilize their talents in the best way. However, their physical endurance and sports smarts were only part of the mission we assigned ourselves for the season. It was our primary aim to demonstrate and encourage teamwork, discipline, and excellence on and off the court. The team memorized verses and studied the Bible together as well. In addition, we hope the presence of our family (including Mika and Coby) was a godly example for them, especially those who come from non-believing families and cultures. In early November, we traveled to the southern part of Korea to participate in the Far East tournament, a competition that includes teams from countries across East Asia. The week was an amazing time of bonding and fun. Our team came in fourth place!

Playgroup Participation This fall, Malia joined a team of volunteers that runs a playgroup in Seoul on Wednesday mornings. The mission is to reach out to other expat parents and caretakers through faithful and valuable interaction. Because Malia knows the struggles that come with relocating and adjusting to different cultures, it's a well-suited place for her to be and help others in similar situations. One of the things she does is manage a simple website for the playgroup, and you can see it at this address: https://sites.google.com/site/seoulplaygroup. Expecting A Third! We are excited to announce that we'll be welcoming our third child in June 2012! While Malia will spend most of her pregnancy in Korea, we plan to be in Hawaii for the birth this summer. Please pray for safe travels and a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and newborn! We will find out the gender of our baby in January! Continually Believing by Malia Faith cannot be a one-time thing-a forgotten action in the past tense. Instead, it's continual like a ring-unending and sealed in endless sense. Our God is not distant or distracted; He is present and involved with us. Then why do we live with belief subtracted and with worry lining what we discuss? With salvation in our then and now, we must make choices that reveal our belief. Even when God hides the "why" or "how," trusting in Him brings incredible relief. Let us cling to His Word and begin receiving the victory that comes from continually believing. Brother's Wedding In September, we were so blessed to return to Hawaii to attend Malia's brother's wedding. Chris and Mel were married on the 10th in a lovely, God-centered ceremony. We are excited to welcome our new sister-in-law into the family, having known and appreciated her as a good friend for many years!

Contact Information Overseas Snail Mail: Mark Heil c/o YISS San 10-213 Hannam 2 dong Yongsan ku, Seoul, 140-210 Korea E-mail: gomarkgo@gmail.com smheil@gmail.com Websites: faithfollowers.blogspot.com modernmango.com maliawrites.com Follow us on Twitter: faithfollowers markheil maliawrites gomika cobyheil

Our Almost-Twins About halfway through 2011, people started asking us if our kids are twins. While Mika is taller than her brother, the two of them are the same weight and have the same shoe size! They are about 18 months apart and have become best friends over the past year. We've learned so much while parenting them and thank God for their kind hearts and dynamic personalities. Mika celebrated her 3rd birthday in August, and we had a party with five of her friends. She loves caring for her baby doll and also looking after Coby, especially when we're out in Seoul. She's learning her ABCs and also how to pray for others. Coby has proven himself quite the clown. He jumps off the couch armrest onto a waiting pillow on the floor, and any tune will invite him to start his stomping and hopping dance that always makes us laugh. He is learning a lot alongside his sister, including his favorite song: "Jesus Loves Me."
We thank God for His grace and faithfulness in 2011 and look forward to the next year, knowing His character

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is unchanging and completely trustworthy. We hope you cling to the same assurance. Happy New Year!

Coby's Birthday on Oahu

Scott, Charlene, and Angie Valentine's Banquet

Thailand Easter with the Heils

Melbourne, Australia

Our house church family

Jr/Sr Banquet

Grandpa

'08 students Wedding

Faith Followers 2011--page 4

Ektrakuls

Hua Hin, Thailand

Hawaii

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