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,