Monday, April 25, 2011

Sa Tucake tale na Karisito! (Christ has risen!)

I hope you all had a blessed Easter. This time last year I was back in Florida for a break and support raising, and this year I was able to experience a Fijian Easter celebration. Here in Fiji, an Easter tradition is that all the bakeries sell fresh buns that have crosses on them. And they refer to Good Friday as Easter and Easter as Resurrection Sunday. My roommates and I cooked a wonderful Easter lunch of chicken curry with rice and tamarind chutney and a Fijian dessert (vudi which is like a plantain that we boiled and sweetened and ate with ice cream). This Easter the Lord reminded me that Christ persevered and struggled for me so that in times of pleasure and pain, I am able to trust God even when He seems silent and cannot be traced. Christ received no mercy or grace so that we are able to receive unconditional and limitless mercy and grace from God!

Events that have come and gone:

1. The last Sunday in March I traveled to a village about 2 hours away with my roommates and friends to attend a special service for one pastor who became the regional director for 17 churches. My roommate and I were able to share about EE during the service and testify about our ministry. It was a big open door for people to hear about EE and the importance of knowing how to share your faith. Since then the regional director has asked us to lead an EE Clinic for all the pastors under him next month! We are excited for the Gospel to go forth in more areas of the interior of Fiji!

2. During the first weekend of this month me, my roommate La, and 2 other Fijian EE staff (Wilson and Tevita) came together for a retreat. It was such a great time of being refreshed and encouraged. Each of us had a chance to share about how God has been using us, our struggles personally and in ministry, and prayer needs. We took lots of time to pray together and bond. We even had a fun outing at the beach! I was so moved when the three of them said, “Sarah – we are so grateful for the time you invested in us to mentor and disciple and train us for this ministry.” I praise God for these 3 young people who are out there doing the work boldly and always available to serve. They are my family here, my close friends, my partners in ministry.

3. I have continued to teach a Kids Cell every Wednesday. Most of the kids who attend come from the village and always bring friends. A few weeks ago me and my co-leader had the opportunity to share the Gospel with them and 10 of the children prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior! And we have started teaching them Kid’s EE. They are so ready to learn, and I am so eager to teach them! I have so much fun with them.

4. On Friday April 15th, my mission team planning to go to the Solomon Islands hosted a fundraising dinner. About 60 people attended. We had a wonderful program of performances (Fijian dances and singing in Pidgin English), testimonies, and a presentation about our vision for this mission trip. I thank the Lord that it all went well and people were challenged by our team.

5. As I mentioned in my last month’s update, there is a big youth mission conference in the first week of May. Youth from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Noumea, Kiribati will be coming for the conference. The speakers are from the US, Australia, Malaysia, and Burkino Faso. I’m part of the drama and dance teams, and we have been practicing nonstop. It’s been hard core, but I’ve enjoyed it. It has given me opportunities to get to know more of the youth in a deeper way. The Conference committee has also asked me to speak in one of the mini-sessions. I felt so honored! As I speak there will be a slideshow playing of pictures of me on the mission field. There will be about 5,000 young people there so please pray for me as I have an opportunity to share about missions!

I’m in awe of how time flies and have been able to reflect on all God has done since I moved to Fiji in June 2009. This coming June will mark 2 years of doing ministry here in Fiji. The past few months I have been listening to the podcast sermons of Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, pastor of my home church in Florida. I was listening to a past sermon recently, and he said – “God doesn’t need us. Most of the time we, sinners, get in the way of God’s plans, but He chooses to use us and draw us to Himself. And God is not obligated to reveal Himself and His ways to us, but He DOES! Time and time again.” How blessed are we! Even though God does not need me to do His work, I am so humbled that He has chosen me to take part in what He’s doing here in Fiji. Pastor Tullian also mentioned that many believers, after being saved grace, revert back to the mentality that our performance on earth allows us to keep our salvation. I realized that at times I have had that mentality. I have been reminded that I need to focus on the complete and finished work of Christ on the cross, and hold on to that. I thank God that He did it all through Jesus Christ. God continues to develop the Gospel within me for the growth of my faith and to better counsel those in need of the Gospel.

Once again, I am so grateful for your prayers and financial support. Thank you for extending your hands and hearts to Fiji through this ministry. I hope you are blessed by this update, as through you, all these things have been able to come about with the Lord’s leading. Please continue to pray for me and my ministry. If you have not yet renewed your monthly gift or one-time donation and have the desire to do so, please see the info below.

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Here by His grace and mercy,
Sarah Abadines