Friday, July 30, 2010

Oso oso i cakacaka ni Turaga....busy busy is the work of the Lord

As we say in Fiji – God is good all the time….and all the time God is good!

It has now been a week since the interns departed for their home countries. During our last morning together, we sat in a circle sharing and reflecting. It was a blessing to hear what they have learned and how God has impacted them during the trip. I give God glory for equipping me to co-lead this mission trip for young men and women who are about the same age as me. Then with many hugs and tears we all said our goodbyes. I am going to definitely miss the fellowship. They have become very close to my heart.

From July 10-20 our team was in Vanuatu to help an Australian team run EE clinics. Vanuatu consists of 80 small islands. Christianity is one of the major religions. The popular denominations include Presbyterian, Catholic, and Anglican. We spent time on two different islands, Efate and Santo. The culture in Vanuatu is very different from Fiji – less welcoming and safe. And most of their food lacked flavor and spices. The people were more conservative and villages were more primitive than here in Fiji. It was very interesting to stay there. The locals are called “Ni-vans”. Our first few days there I got to have quality time with one of my best Fijian girlfriends who moved there to work. It was so good to catch up wit her! She helped our team settle into Vanuatu culture.

EE has been present in Vanuatu for over twenty years! There are currently four local EE field workers with two being added in a few months. Our team and the Australian team worked together to conduct an EE clinic for adults and youth in a local church while I taught a Hope for Kids workshop with children’s leaders outside under a massive tent. All the trainees were lovely people with a heart for witnessing. 25 people were trained in the adult/youth clinic, and 10 people were trained in the kids workshop. The Hope for Kids workshop that I conducted lasted 3 days. Each day was long and intense. By the last day, my voice was feeling extremely strained. Kids workshops entail so much such as playing different games and activities, singing songs, doing crafts. I praise God for giving me enough energy to push through.

For the workshop OJT, we gathered 35 kids from the surrounding area who had just finished their school day where 29 of them prayed to receive Jesus. We taught them action songs and hand motions of the Gospel presentation. Later that evening we had a church rally where I was able to help lead the praise & worship and perform cultural dances. It was great fun! Then our team was divided into small groups to share the Gospel with those who had been invited from the community. I was able to share with 8 children. Their eyes were glistening and wide-open as they hung on my every word. I knew God was moving right then and there. Each child prayed to receive Jesus. I came to tears as I prayed with the children individually. It was beautiful.

Please be praying for:

Name - Age

Anisa – 12

Roslyne – 11

Rosela - 11

Rosina – 12

Lovuk – 10

Masten – 6

Anna – 8

Jenny – 9

Linda – 10

Alicia – 9

Let me share with you the story of the 6 year old boy Masten. The other school kids told me that he and his sister Rosina come from a broken home. Their parents divorced and abandoned them. Some relatives are now looking after them. I learned that children in class 1 through 8 are able to attend school for free through government aid. However children in kindergarten must pay school fees. Masten was supposed to be in kindergarten this year, but the relatives did not have any money to pay for Masten to go to school. I felt sad for this child who couldn’t help the circumstances he had been placed in. I asked Masten if he liked school and wanted to go to school. He said yes very much. The next day I talked to his Sunday School teacher who was one of my trainees. I asked him how much the school fees were for kindergarten. He said that it cost 7,000 Vatu (Vanuatu currency) for the school year plus 2,000 Vatu for a school uniform and backpack. 9,000 Vatu is $90 USD. I was moved right then and there to bless Masten by providing the funds needed for him to get through kindergarten. For me personally as a teacher, education is so important! It makes such a difference in their future. Later that morning the Sunday school teacher shared with those attending the clinics and our teams of Masten’s situation. He came to tears as he shared with everyone how he is now being sponsored to go to school. I was able to hand Masten an envelope with the funds needed. He was smiling from ear to ear. So precious!

Please be praying for those who were trained and witnessed to in Vanuatu as the local EE staff carry on the ministry there.

Right now I am spending quality time with my sister Sheilah, who arrived in Fiji on July 23rd. She will be here til August 8th. It’s been such a joy for me to show her my life here personally and in ministry. She has been able to have mission and cultural experiences as well as see the beauty of the Fiji Islands!

Continue to be richly blessed,

Sarah Abadines

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Me cecere ka rokovi na Turaga (To God be the glory!)

Me cecere ka rokovi na Turaga (To God be the glory!)

It has almost been a month now since returning to Fiji. Despite being absent during April and May, it feels like I never left. I have such peace and joy in continuing to do the Lord’s work here. I have really enjoyed catching up with my close friends here and people I consider family, and I have settled back into my home here at the EE Training Centre. During this past month I have been co-leading the Fiji Interns Course with Langdon Stewart (EE Vice President for Oceania). We are just now finishing the fourth week of the six-week course.

Overseas Interns:

Megan DeGraaf – Florida

Karen Williams – Florida

Rebecca Carritt – Australia

Lenny Bryant – Australia

Sharon LeeKorea

Viviene Voon – Malaysia

Local Fijian Interns:

Lavenia Aditora (full-time EE worker & co-leader in last December’s youth course)

Rajani Naickar (full-time EE worker & participant in last December’s youth course)

Wilson Kumar (full-time EE worker & participant in last December’s youth course)

Elenoa Toloi


Pita Botaloga

The mission team has meshed very well and has grown to be a little family. We have definitely kept the participants busy. These young people are individuals who are trying to identify God’s calling in their lives. They are all interested in one way or another in the field of missions or full-time ministry. Our prayer is that this trip will allow them to really take the time to sit at the feet of Jesus and be in His presence seeking His Will for them. Intentional time with the Lord has been a great focus.

The past four weeks the team has had ample opportunities to reach out to the community and experience Fijian culture. We have hosted a school assembly at a Christian primary school, spent quality time with children in an orphanage & donated supplies, attended a local youth rally, conducted a youth EE clinic, performed a service project in a village, and stayed a few days in a village up in the highlands.

During the Youth EE Clinic we trained 15 youth and went out on several OJTs. One trainee, Kolaia, was so moved by clinic. On his last OJT he was able to share the entire Gospel presentation with a family. He was so encouraged to see how God could use him to draw other people to salvation. When he testified about the OJT to the group, I was brought to tears. As a result of the OJTs 63 contacts and 39 people prayed to receive Jesus.

The village we visited in the highlands was a village I stayed in for over a week last September. It was so wonderful to see the people there again and fellowship with them, especially the youth. They served us in so many ways and the team was greatly blessed. The church service on Sunday was over three hours of hearing God’s Word, special performances, testimonies, and amazing Fijian style praise and worship. In this village were two youth who attended the Youth Course I conducted last December – Aseri and Tevita. I was able to spend some one-on-one time with them. I was so encouraged to hear how God is raising them up as leaders among their youth and congregation. I was able to pray with them along with the interns who were also part of the December youth course. During our prayer session we all began to cry praising God for being able to be together again and continuing to serve in ministry. Tears poured from me as I felt so blessed to be part of their lives and for them to be my family away from home.

I have truly seen these young people on the team grow and transform. They have a passion for the Lord and a heart for the lost. I praise God for being able to serve as a mentor to them in different ways. Plus I have learned so much in leadership and have gained lots of love and insight from each person in the group. I have enjoyed sharing my story with them and being there to answer any questions about ministry and mission work. I’m so excited to see how God uses each one of them in future!

This Saturday our team will be flying to Vanuatu (another island nation in the South Pacific) to join an Australian mission team to conduct another Youth EE Clinic. While the team is running the youth clinic, I will be teaching a separate workshop - Hope for Kids. I am excited to experience another culture in this area of the world and equip more people in witnessing!

Prayer Needs:

Clinic in Vanuatu – team responsibilities

Individual interns – discovering God’s calling on their lives

My leadership role and duties

Upcoming youth ministry events I will be running

Serving wholeheartedly,

Sarah Abadines