Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Still on the Go....and needing Rest

Picking up the Fiji team at the airport - their first time on a plane and overseas!

Me teaching in one of the sessions and the youth so ready to learn

Morning Devotion - awesome time of worship and surrender to the Lord

visiting a village in the interior & learning and being humbled so much!

hanging out with some very cool Solomon Islanders!

Going out on OJT - house to house sharing the Gospel :)

Kids Outreach in an interior village

Lovely ladies at the beach enjoying a beautiful Saturday!

Me, La, and Ninny doing some souvenir shopping and sightseeing in Honiara

Me & this precious little girl at church! Adorable!

Fiji Team! Woo hoo! All decked out in bula wear :)

Solomon Island youth doing a traditional dance - loved it!

Performing a Fiji Meke at Island Night fundraising dinner (Calvary Temple AOG in Honiara)

The whole group! One big happy family!

Newspaper article on the youth program! Group picture of the interns in the Solomon Island Star! How cool?!

Closing Night Banquet, a super special evening for the interns & night of celebration for EE Solomon Islands

Graduation Night/Closing Ceremony - Martin receiving his certificate, yay!

hanging out at the airport with these great young men of God before heading back to Fiji :)

Ready to fly home! Loved being able to send these ladies on an overseas adventure!

Hello everyone! Here’s a look at what’s been going on since I last updated you all. Enjoy reading about how God is continuing to work through this ministry He has called me into!

On July 26th I was so excited to greet the Fiji team at the airport – my roommate La (EE Staff), a close girlfriend Ninny, and Wilson (EE Staff) who is like a brother to me. The EE National Coordinator and I briefed the team about the culture, spiritual background of the Solomon Islanders, and the approach needed to work with these young people. In order to run this course, EE Solomon Islands distributed fundraising letters to seek financial sponsors, as there was no money to begin with. Many people such as EE board members, ministry partners, and the Fijian community stepped up to plant a seed financially into this course. By the end of the 2 weeks they had raised over $20,000 SBD, which was a big deal for them(equals about $2,5000 USD). We praise God for His faithfulness and provision for all our needs for those two weeks.
In attendance were forty interns representing fifteen churches and nine denominations. The interns consisted of ten girls and thirty boys. The interns came from different areas and islands of the Solomon Islands: Guadalcanal, Honiara, Malaita, & the Western Province. It was such a blessing to disciple and build up these youth from this nation. The focus of this course was to open doors for EE in local churches, clearly define the purpose and vision of EE as a tool to build the Kingdom, and help the interns identify God’s calling on their lives. We also had the desire for these young people to rise above their culture and break down stereotypes and barriers in order for grow effectively in their fatih. We created close bonds with them and cherished each experience while we were there. The Solomon Islands is very rich in its culture with different traditions and way of life. Women are expected to do everything and they are looked down on, so it was very important to me to use those 2 weeks to encourage these young girls to rise above their cultural boundaries and be confident in their true identity in Christ. The 2 weeks course was a new and uplifting atmosphere for them as we were able to pour so much into them spiritually and touching different topics of their personal lives that otherwise are viewed as taboo or too personal. They had never experienced something like this youth camp before. The teaching sessions were a wonderful time of building their spiritual foundations. They were life changing for these young people. We hosted an evening rally where many people from local churches and the community of Honiara attended. It was a great way to open the door for the ministry of EE. We also held the first ever Youth EE Clinic in the Solomon Islands where 242 people came to know the Lord as a result of our house-to-house and town OJTs! Amen!
And what I love about Solomon Islanders is that they are true worshippers. They are truly gifted musically. Every song had an island touch to it, which just brought a smile to my face! I learned so much from them about worship. Solomon Islanders also have beautiful, big hearts. I was so moved by their readiness to learn and serve. Also, Our team had the amazing support and help of the EE team and board members, Fijian community, and local churches. I so admired the unity and presence of EE Solomon Islands. And the national newspaper, The Solomon Star, did many articles about the program we conducted. They were so moved by what we were doing among young people. Even after our team returned to Fiji, we heard they were still writing articles about the course and the results! It was an incredible opportunity to promote EE and inform the nation of what God is doing through this ministry among young people. God is so good! It was bittersweet to leave and say goodbye. But I am so excited for these young people who are so eager to move forward in faith and ministry!

Thank You Notes from some of the Youth:
Lindy Akao (girl in her early 20’s) said, “I thank God for a gifted teacher like you, Sarah. You have been like a spiritual mother to us these past 2 weeks and now I have the boldness to stand and share my testimony to others!”

Alick Jeremiah (guy in his late 20’s) said, “We truly felt God’s presence during the 2 weeks and I have been lifted up in different ways in my faith. I have been so encouraged through your testimonies.”

Elizabeth Opet (girl in her early 20’s) said, “Sarah you have challenged me so much as a young woman. You have something that every young woman in this nation lacks, and I believe that when you go back we will take with us everything you imparted to us. I want to encourage other young girls. Please share with others what you have taught us!”

Daniel Toito’ona (youth pastor, EE Staff, co-leader for Interns Course) said, “Our nation will never be the same after you and the team being here the past 2 weeks. I am so blessed by your life of giving and passion for God in doing His Work.”

THANK YOU for doing your part to give to missions. THANK YOU for your desire to partner with this ministry. THANK YOU for your heart to see people around the world challenged in their faith such as this recent trip to the Solomon Islands. Through YOUR support and prayers we are touching the Pacific with God’s love and grace! Please keep these young people and this nation in your prayers!

Me da lako vakatikitiki ka tiko ka tiko wawa e mata ni Kalou
(Within serving the Lord, He calls us to have times of rest)
Since returning to Fiji, God has really tugged at my heart to pause and rest. Being away from July 9 – August 9, I was constantly on the go. My body and spirit was lacking rest in different ways. I came back to Fiji burnt out in every way and needing to be refilled and renewed. God reminded me of the harm of busyness without finding time to stop. And He showed me that when I’m just trying to fill up my days and weeks too much, I will not be able to fully enjoy all that I’m doing in ministry and appreciate the gifts and blessings of serving in ministry. So the past few weeks I have been intentional about resting and just spending quiet, intimate time with the Lord which has been rejuvenating for my body, mind, and soul.

Please be praying for me as I pick myself up again, prepare for upcoming ministry events (Local Church Conference this week and Fiji Youth EE Interns Course next month). And I am sooooooo looking forward to coming home in October for a few months to rest and be with family and friends and of course prepare for what’s next in ministry as I continue support raising.

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Be Blessed,

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