Monday, September 24, 2012

Oh Lord, I ask for the Nations!

September 2012
Supporter Update

Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Zechariah 4:6 “So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by MIGHT nor by POWER, but by my SPIRIT, says the Lord Almighty’.”

This month my personal devotions have been taking me through the minor prophets. The two Scriptures above convicted me in different ways and encouraged me during the month’s daily tasks. Through Micah 6:8 God reminded me of the simple and immediate obedience He asks of us and also the humility we must demonstrate each day in understanding His grace and acceptance of us. We have worth and purpose because of His mercy! How amazing is that??? Then in Zechariah 4:6 it is an encouragement that we are one with the Holy Spirit and as we stay connected to Him and keep in step with Spirit(Gal. 5:25), then we are truly able to live according to His will for us. It’s never in our own strength or power that we do anything! During all of September I have kept these two verses in my mind and heart, repeating them daily to myself and through that God has given me such strength and peace to go about my days. I hope you will be encouraged by this month’s update!

Highlights of this Month

1.     Celebrated 3 months of marriage! – I praise God for all He has been doing within Maba and myself. We continue to grow in love and ministry walking hand in hand and side by side. It’s also been a challenge as we at times fight for quality time alone together and rest. But we praise God for His provision in sustaining us and giving us down time when we need it.

2.     Counting down the days til we’re in the USA!!! – Yes, that’s right! Maba received his tourist visa stamp in his passport and we’ve booked our plane tickets to arrive in FL on Nov. 2! What a HUGE answered prayer! I’m so excited to go home not by myself, but WITH MY HUSBAND! It will be a new and different experience this time around. I’m really looking forward to show Maba where I grew up and for him to understand more about who I am from a different perspective. It will also be a lot to for Maba to take in, and I’m sure God will help us to balance family/friends time, being tourists, and fundraising! Yay!!!

3.     Nation Building Specialists Conference – From September 10 to 21 over 60 EE national leaders came together at the EE Kennedy Training Centre for meetings and sessions of all sorts (Coaching, Continental Discussions, Strategy and Planning, Organizational Structure, Outreach tools, etc.). And 3 translations took place within the daily sessions (Spanish, Russian, and Korean). The 43 Countries represented include:

·      North America: USA, Canada, Mexico,
·      Caribbean: Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago
·      Central America: Costa Rica, Guatemala
·      South America: Ecuador, Argentina
·      Europe: England, Austria, Finland, Romania
·      Eurasia: Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus,
Georgia, Armenia
·      Middle East: Jordan
·      Asia: India, Cambodia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, Philippines
·      Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Malawi, South Africa
·      Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji

Maba and I were in charge of leading worship every morning. We had a great team of other local EE Fiji staff and volunteers! It was a challenge to make sure we catered to the different worship styles that each person preferred, but we thank God for granting us wisdom to choose the right songs that tied into the morning devotions and daily sessions. We received great feedback from the leaders about how much they enjoyed the worship! I haven’t sung and led worship since my high school and college days, so this was such a blessing! Maba was also on duty for driving which consisted of airport pick-ups and drop-offs, daily accommodation pick-ups and drop-offs, daily runs into town for shopping and errands, etc. These were not easy and quick trips due to bad roads and long distances. I praise God for looking after Maba driving on the road plus keeping him and the others safe at all times! I was also present to help with any legistics or needs of the national leaders, which I was most happy to do!

This Conference was powerful and most effective! God moved in different ways, and it’s such a blessing to be part of this international ministry! I truly enjoyed hearing testimonies and stories from the many National Leaders about obstacles they have overcome, open doors for reaching out, and all the things to look forward to. It was also fun to meet up with family friends such as Pastor Bernard Henson (National Director of EE Philippines) and Pastor Rene Atienza (EE VP for Asia). It was so wonderful to spend time with them and be blessed by them as they have known my family for many years and been to my home in Florida.

Also during the conference, it was a special treat to have my “Unni” (big sister in Korean) – Sharon Lee – there for a week as she was translating in for her dad. It was a sisterly reunion! And she brought us lots of Korean goodies! Sharon was an intern in 2010 where she recommitted her life to the Lord and since then she has grown so much in her faith! It was amazing to hear how far she has come since her first trip to Fiji 2 years ago. We’ve always kept in contact as we are dear friends. I praise God for her friendship and encouragement. We had a great time catching up and hanging out and lifting up one another in prayer!

During the 2nd week of the Conference we hosted an outreach event for “Glasses for Missions” with the US rep, Scot Love. We visited a local village in Nadi and were able to make 45 pairs of reading glasses for elderly people. By doing so, we had the opportunity to share the Gospel with them! It was great! And to see their faces once receiving their reading glasses – priceless!

4.     EE Fiji – This week Maba is at the EE Centre for a staff seminar with other local field workers. He was asked to refresh the staff on communication for the first day! I’m so proud of him diving into every opportunity to lead and teach! His supervisors are continually impressed with his abilities.

Upcoming Events:

Þ   Maba promoting and organizing for an Adult EE Clinic (Oct. 1-4)
Þ   Myself planning and preparing to train about 20 Kids EE leaders in Oceania for a Hope for Kids workshop (Oct. 15-19)

Prayer Needs:

·      Maba’s upcoming EE clinic
·      Oceania Hope for Kids training I’m conducting for 7 nations
·      Preparing to come to the USA! (organizing to leave our place behind, make sure things are squared away, and plan our support raising)
·      Financial support to continue in ministry

VINAKA VAKA LEVU (Thank you so much) for your prayers and support that allow us all together to be a blessing to others! This month was very special as so many nations came together to be empowered and challenged to move forward in obedience to the Great Commission. It is such a blessing to fellowship with other believers and leaders from around the globe! May God bless you and your families for continuing to partner with us in so many ways for His glory alone!

In His Grace,
Sarah Maba

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ministry and beyond

Maba and the Communication Team

Hubby's artwork for my Workshop posters
Kids Workers finished with their staff training in Hope for Kids
Training activities

Local workshop with EE staff and trainees

Local Workshop in Nadi


Teaching and training in action

Visiting baby Akeneta in Suva
Indian veggie meal! yum

We were craving fish :)
Quality time in town

 Jeremiah 17:7,12
“But BLESSED is the man who TRUSTS in the Lord, and whose CONFIDENCE is in him….A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning, is the place of our SANCTUARY.”

Ministry Highlights

Communications Training –
Maba thoroughly enjoyed his 2 weeks training to become a Communications teacher for EE International staff training courses. He was part of a great team with a wonderful, gifted leader training them. It really pushed him in his leadership and communication skills within ministry. He had a lot of late nights studying and practicing! Maba was able to apply everything he learned by observing and evaluating the EE field workers undergoing staff training, and he did a such great job! It was wonderful to see him in action and go to another level of leadership and training!

Training EE International Staff –
August 6-10 I was at the EE Centre to train 13 people from the U.S., India, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands in the Hope for Kids ministry. I was able to explain and demonstrate what the ministry is all about to the group and prepare them to run the ministry in their own nations. Each person was given the opportunity to do practice teaching where I evaluated and critiqued them on their presentations. It was amazing to see them grow as leaders and teachers as they became confident and fully understand all I had taught them. They were ready to fly out from the nest!

Local Hope for Kids Workshop –
August 20-22 I supervised the group to run their own Hope for Kids Workshop at a local church in Fiji so that they would understand how everything should work when they do it in their home countries. They each had their part to teach and train 22 Sunday school teachers from 12 different churches. I was so proud of them! They worked hard to present the material in a clear manner with enthusiasm. The workshop participants were so encouraged and inspired during those 3 days! They went away excited and ready to teach their children how to share the Gospel and grow in their faith! And I was so grateful for Maba’s help during the workshop to organize the morning tea and lunch for 45 people and run necessary errands and drive everyone around for those 3 days! I couldn’t have done it all without him!

Losing a dear friend and brother…..
On August 5th a dear family friend passed away in a tragic motorcycle accident. He was in the Coastguard and just 27 years old. The passing of PJ hit me so hard. I had to ask someone to fill in for some of my teaching sessions and I couldn’t sleep for a few nights. He was one of my best friends growing up, we were basically family. Maba was really there to comfort and support me, which was a blessing. Everyone wanted me to fly home for the funeral but due to ministry commitments and expenses it was not possible. I was, however, able to write a letter that was read during the wake and I watched the memorial service through a livestream viewing which I was truly grateful for. The ceremony was very moving as PJ was given Coastguard and Military honors/recognition and many family and friends were there to share about the impact he had made to so many. But praise the Lord, PJ is in a better place rejoicing with our Savior! Please keep his family(the Facuns) in your prayers as they continue to grieve and mourn over their unexpected loss.

Catching up with EE family and friends –
This month I was really happy to visit and catch up with different people. Maba and I took a 5-hour trip to visit my old roommate La who had a baby girl recently. We brought some gifts for the family and had a great time just sharing stories of life, marriage, and ministry. A big encouragement to me was especially meeting up with Ninny, one of my dear girlfriends here whom I used to hang out with all the time on the mission field and was part of the team I took to the Solomon Islands last year. She shared with us that God had opened up an opportunity for her to do overseas missions in the Marshall Islands! Maba and I were able to pray over her and encourage her. It is so amazing to see someone I have ministered to take this step of faith! She thanked me for all I had done to lift her up spiritually and push her to go outside her comfort zone. She flew out last Sunday night with a 2 year work-visa!

U.S. Embassy –
We were able to submit Maba’s U.S. tourist visa application a few weeks ago! And he had his interview at the U.S. Embassy yesterday! We have been really trusting the Lord with all of this. Now we are praying and waiting for the confirmation letter in the mail! Then we will finish raising our funds to book our plane tickets! We are hoping to visit Florida for a few months at the end of this year!

Upcoming Events –
·      Nation Building Conference (September 10-21) at the EE Training Centre where over 20 nations will be represented – Maba and I are helping with legistics and running the worship team
·      EE Oceania Kids Workers Training (2nd week of October) – I will be conducting a training for all the Kids Workers regarding the expansion of the Hope for Kids Ministry

Prayer Needs:

·      Hope to receive Maba’s confirmation and approval of a U.S. tourist visa then finish raising the funds for our airfare
·      Good health and time to rest amidst the busyness
·      Preparations for the Sept. EE Conference – Worship team practice

Thank you for supporting us in this ministry! And thank you for being part of all that is happening here in Fiji! God is empowering His people in different ways to build His Kingdom. I hope you are blessed and encouraged by what has happened during this month. Please continue to pray for us and this ministry. If you feel led to give additionally or renew support please refer to the info below! And if you know anyone would enjoy this update or have the desire to give to this ministry please pass this along!

Ways to Support:
Online -
*Click on "Ways to Support" then "Online Giving"
*Type "Sarah Abadines 6124" in the box provided
*Type in amount and complete the given instructions
*If support is to be monthly – please indicate
Make checks out to Evangelism Explosion International and on memo line write
"Sarah Abadines 6124" (all checks tax deductible)
Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International
P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820

With Love and Thanksgiving,
Sarah Abadines Maba

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Jesus seen in the Islands of Fiji

Vunato settlement outreach - helping families rebuild and extend their homes that were damaged in the March floods, sharing the Gospel to the families, praying for healing, cleaning up the area, and surrendering this area to the Lord (this area is filled with spiritual warfare and witchcraft)

Nabila village visit for church. The girls are performing a Fiji dance "meke" for the congregation. 

Maba leading a session during the EE clinic with the interns.

Group shot of interns and clinic trainees.

Boys performing their "meke" at the youth leadership training

Matching, matching, matching! hehe

Living the island life!

Galatians 6:9
“Let us not become WEARY in doing GOOD, for at the proper time we will REAP a harvest if we DO NOT GIVE UP.”

This month is summed up by the word PERSEVERANCE.

Ministry Highlights:

Continuing EE Interns Course – Maba and I finished up the 6 weeks interns course with the group last week (July 26). Once we all returned from Vanuatu, the schedule was extremely hectic. From early morning to late night our energy and strength was expended to serve the group in various ways. I praise God for sustaining us to lead. As leaders we continued to learn the quality of selflessness and sacrifice. We did not have many moments for just us to have down time together, but God provided it for us just when we needed it. We were so blessed to be part of the interns group. There was such spiritual maturity and openness. I was inspired in different ways by each person in the group. By the end of the course, it was emotional to separate and say our goodbyes because we had all become one big family.

Vunato Outreach Project – The interns group spent a day in a settlement located near a town, river, and garbage dump. Within this settlement is much spiritual warfare and witchcraft which we could all feel in the atmosphere. The people there were badly affected by the recent floods. We were able to bless 2 families with materials to rebuild and extend their homes as well as do an area clean-up. The interns also had opportunities to do OJT and share the Gospel which resulted in people coming to know Jesus and being healed physically. We praise God for using us to shake up that place in the name of Jesus!

Being an example –  During this past month God used me specifically speak into the lives of the young ladies who participated in the internship and were thinking about full-time ministry and/or mission work. Several of them were wondering what it was like to be a single woman on the mission field, and they were interested to hear about my obstacles and accomplishments the past few years. By sharing my life story and journey as a missionary, God used me to encourage and challenge them to continue to seek their calling, be specific with God, and ask for confirmation and peace. They were so grateful to me for making my life an open book (without hesitation or fear) for them to know and dissect. I love when God uses me to affirm and empower His daughters to rise above the norm and make a difference in whatever ways He chooses to use them!

Wifehood and Marriage – It’s only been 2 months, but God has been showing me so much about what it means to be married and to be a wife. I’ve had a strong and determined personality my whole life, and now God is breaking me down in areas to listen and submit. I’ve been so humbled by Maba’s leadership in our marriage as he steps up in different ways. Since we’ve been so busy with ministry, I’ve truly cherished the moments of quality time we have had in the midst of the crazyness. God has been showing us that from a strong foundation of love and servanthood we have for one another will overflow into showing love and grace to others! And we were able to see that during the internship. Many of the interns came up to us saying, “Thank you for the example you both set through your leadership and marriage. We could immediately feel the warmth and generosity in the way you both serve.” It has been such a huge blessing to serve side by side with Maba.

Testimonies from Interns – Many of the interns came up to us as the internship was concluding with encouragement and words of affirmation.

Amberly (26 yr. old from Florida)
“Sarah, you radiate with such spiritual beauty. You have such patience to meet the needs of others and truly trust God with your whole heart. You are so real in the way live out your faith. I’ve never met anyone like you and I don’t think I ever will.”

John (26 yr. old from South Carolina)
“Maba, you have such spiritual strength in you.  You are a warrior for God. You demand respect and authority by the way you carry yourself that is a great spiritual example for us young guys.”

Shiwei & Sherron (mid-twenties engaged couple from Singapore)
“Sarah & Maba, thank you for being living testimonies of what it means to live out your faith with complete surrender. You have shown us what it looks like to serve God as a couple, and we admire how you walk together to balance ministry and personal life.”

Short Break – Once the Internship ended, Maba and I had only 3 days to relax before coming back to the EE centre for the next commitment. We basically slept a lot, had one date night, and did a big cleaning up at our place.

EE Staff Training (Implementation Field Worker Course) – The next 2-3 weeks Maba and I are back at the EE Centre for separate roles. Maba is here for a communications training where he will become qualified to lead the communications aspect of EE staff training courses. I am here preparing to train the Hope for Kids workers to lead the ministry in their own countries.

Prayer Needs:
·      Maba participating in the communication training with the ability to absorb and learn and put everything into practice
·      Myself training the Hope for Kids workers to lead and teach effectively
·      Enough energy, strength, and rest with our hectic schedules
·      Quality time and down time for Maba and I in the midst of all the busyness
·      Follow-up with ministry contacts, young people we mentor, and other young IFWs

Thank you for spiritually and financially investing in the Pacific and beyond! This past month the impact of ministry exploded and expanded in so many ways! I am constantly in awe of who God is and have fallen more in love with Him. I hope your hearts are moved by all I have shared. Please continue to pray for us and this ministry. If you feel led to give additionally or renew support please refer to the info below!

Ways to Support:
Online -
*Click on "Ways to Support" then "Online Giving"
*Type "Sarah Abadines 6124" in the box provided
*Type in amount and complete the given instructions
*If support is to be monthly – please indicate
Make checks out to Evangelism Explosion International and on memo line write
"Sarah Abadines 6124" (all checks tax deductible)
Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International
P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820

So blessed,
Sarah Abadines Maba

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cherished Moments

June 2012
Supporter Update

2 Timothy 1: 6-10
“For this reason I remind you to FAN INTO FLAME the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of POWER, of LOVE, and of SELF-DISCIPLINE. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has SAVED us and CALLED us to a holy life – not because of anything WE have done but because of HIS own PURPOSE and GRACE.”

God really used this passage to speak to my heart, mind, and spirit this month. It’s such a wonderful challenge to keep on strengthening and using the gifts and talents God has given me. It’s also a beautiful reminder that God not only saved us by His grace, but He calls each and every one of us to a specific and unique plan that He is in full control of. And it’s a blessed encouragement to know that He pours His power, love, and wisdom upon us daily in order to fulfill His Will for us.

I’d love to share with you all some of the highlight events from this month:

Honeymoon – Maba and I enjoyed lots of quality time during our honeymoon. We spent some time at a little island resort doing some different activities such as snorkeling and visiting underwater caves. Then we stayed at a classy resort, which provided such a relaxing atmosphere with amazing ocean views and entertainment.

Birthday – On June 23rd I celebrated my 26th birthday! It was a wonderful conclusion to our honeymoon. Maba treated me like a total princess! I praise God for another year in my life!

EE Interns Course – Maba and I joined the Interns group at the EE Training Centre on June 25th as leaders. There is a group of 24 young people from the USA, Canada, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Malaysia, and Romania here for 6 weeks to equip themselves as witnesses for Christ, seek out God’s calling for their lives, and build on their spiritual gifts and strengths. It has been such a wonderful privilege for us to fellowship with them through teaching, sharing, prayer, and outreach. We have also been helping with the planning, organizing, and catering for the whole team, which keeps us very busy! hehe And God has been using Maba and I to encourage and challenge each individual with our testimonies and ministries in order to help them grow in their faith. God has also used us to speak into their lives in specific ways. It’s a great blessing to do ministry side by side with my husband and invest in young people in different ways.

Vanuatu – We traveled with the Interns group to Vanuatu (less than 2 hour flight) for one week where we conducted an Adult/Youth EE Clinic and Hope for Kids Workshop in one of the largest villages in this nation. This was Maba’s 1st overseas mission trip, so it was a huge learning and growing experience for him. He was emotional at the airport and as the plane left the ground just praising God for His goodness and promises. It was precious for me to see my husband be stretched in his faith and see God work in another culture. He connected with the locals and had a great time! We also spent time with people we consider family: Serai, Sally (one of my best friends who was a bridesmaid), and Sally’s little girl Jen which was so good for us.
 While leading the Hope for Kids workshop we had an OJT outreach. We were only expecting 30 – 40 children, but we ended up with 285 students from a primary school!!! And everyone of those students heard the Gospel. Over 100 of them prayed to receive Christ that afternoon!

This month I reflected on God’s faithfulness in a deep way for several reasons:

*June 29, 2012 marked 3 years in Fiji as a full-time missionary!*

*This week marks 3 years since Maba and I met!*

Something really cool:
3 years ago Maba and I met in a large village during an EE clinic in Fiji. The same week 3 years later we were together as a married couple in a large village doing an EE clinic during a mission trip outside of Fiji! It’s amazing things that God begins, He indeed carries out into completion!

Upcoming Events:
·      Community Project in Vunato settlement (July 11)
·      EE Clinic in Lautoka with the Interns (July 16-19)
·      Youth Leadership Training Workshop (July 20-21)
·      Energy, strength, and good health for Maba and I as we continue to lead and help during the Interns Course
·      Down time and quality time together for me and Maba as newlyweds
·      Continuing to serve and build up young people in their faith
Thank you for partnering with me in helping declare the name of Jesus in the Islands! The Pacific is hungry for the Gospel and through your prayer and financial support we are able to show and share the good news of Christ! I am hope you are blessed and encouraged by all God is doing. Please continue to pray for me, Maba, and this ministry. If you feel led to give additionally or renew support please refer to the info below!

Ways to Support:
Online -
*Click on "Ways to Support" then "Online Giving"
*Type "Sarah Abadines 6124" in the box provided
*Type in amount and complete the given instructions
*If support is to be monthly – please indicate
Make checks out to Evangelism Explosion International and on memo line write
"Sarah Abadines 6124" (all checks tax deductible)
Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International
P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820

In His Grace,
Sarah Abadines

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moments to Remember

Ephesians 2:4-10
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” This Scripture passage is very special to me. It emphasizes God’s grace and sovereignty, and it is a wonderful reminder that God is always going before us. Maba and I chose this passage as the Scripture reading during our wedding ceremony because we know and believe that it was God’s grace that brought us together, carried us through, and is pushing us forward. This month was hectic in so many ways. I praise God for sustaining me through the last phase of wedding planning and ministry opportunities. I saw God’s hand move in every situation, and I would say that this past month I drew closer to God in a special way as I prepared to enter a new season in my life and reflected on His faithfulness to me.

Here’s a sneak peak of all that’s happened:

May 3-5 I invited my Fiji family to stay with me at my new flat for the weekend. It was a wonderful time of fellowship that I needed as Maba went out of town for a relative’s funeral.

May 8 I led a morning workshop for Sunday School Teachers at Maba’s church where I shared the importance of bringing up children in a godly manner to know the truth of the Gospel and God’s Word. I encouraged the teachers to take their role seriously and not view it as a babysitting job. I challenged them to raise their Sunday School classes to another level.

May 9 A local Pastor, Maba, and I have continued to meet with 2 families for small group. We are making breakthroughs in different ways and building friendships. I’ve really enjoyed ministering to these young adults.

May 11/25 Maba’s family held 2 family meetings to discuss and organize for the catering for our wedding. It was amazing to see all his relatives gather together to help us. Many of his family members contributed monetarily to help us with all the food for our wedding/reception (in Fijian culture it is the boy’s side who takes care of all the wedding arrangements and catering). Families hold such a strong bond in Fijian culture, which is comparable to Filipino culture. And for that I’m so blessed.

May 12 Maba, myself, and other local EE staff and ministry friends got together to reach out to one of the settlements that were affected by the recent floods. My friend Wilson was able to acquire funds that we used to buy cartons of food and distribute it to over 10 families in Vunato Settlement, which is located by a river and garbage dump. The families were so touched by our help and many were in tears as we passed out their boxes filled with cooking oil, rice, flour, eggs, milk, tea, noodles, canned food, etc. We will continue to help this settlement in the coming months through EE internships.

May 18 On this day I went with Maba and his mom to Sanasana village to carry out a Fijian tradition called “sevusevu”. We had to present a kind offering to the Chief and headmen of the village to ask their permission and inform them of using an area in the village for Maba’s family to prepare food for the wedding. Maba’s mom presented a root crop and whale’s tooth to the men and they received it gladly.

May 19 I was able to meet up once again with Rusila (one of my mentorees), and we had a great time catching up. She shared with me how things at home and in church were improving and how God has been using her to reach out to Indian families in her community. Rusila has such strength and I’m so blessed by her friendship. We were able to pray and encourage one another.

May 22 I got together with Nikita on her day off from work (one of the girls in our new small group). We had lunch in town then came back to my flat to hang out. We were able to get to know each other better. She opened up about her family upbringing and the hardships she currently faces. As I listened and encouraged her, a door opened up and I was able to share the Gospel with her! She was so excited to hear about how the gift of eternal life is FREE and not earned through good works! We prayed together and I look forward to hanging out more with her.

May 23 I had a wonderful time speaking to the students of the University of Fiji. They invited me to share about my college experience in the USA and the importance of tertiary education. They also asked me to speak on stress and time management and how to properly prepare for exams. I was decked out in Black and Gold and my UCF Alumni t-shirt ☺ And it was great being around young university students which made me reflect on my college days which are some of my most favorite days!

May 25 Maba and I visited his dad’s grave with flowers. Maba was emotional before and during the wedding as he and his family greatly wished his dad had still been around for all of this.

May 26-June 7 My family was here! My parents, Sheilah (sister), Stephen (cousin), 2 family friends – KD and Amy, and my aunt and uncle from New York. We all had such a great time together! I was able to show them both sides of Fiji – local and tourist. And of course they got to spend lots of quality time with Maba and they all loved him!

June 1 I GOT MARRIED!!!!! Maba and I were wed at Natadola Beach by the EE International Exec. VP, Rod Story. It was the perfect day with a breathtaking view on the beach as the sun was setting! I had 4 bridesmaids (Sheilah, KD, and 2 of my Fiji best friends – La and Sally) and Maba’s guys were his brother, 2 nephews, and my cousin Stephen. We had a bamboo arch and the aisle was lined by bamboo torches, coconut shoots, and flowers. The decorations were wonderful. We had Fijian mats under the arch, and we performed the unity sand tradition as well as a Filipino tradition called the “veil and cord”. 3 of our Fijian friends sang during the ceremony and corporately we sang 1 worship song in both English and Fijian. During dinner there was special Fiji island entertainment of dancing and fire/knife dancing. Mainly family members attended the ceremony.

June 2 We held a big reception and feast at the EE centre for our other friends and relatives to attend. It was beautiful! Family and friends gave speeches which were very heartwarming. And we also had different youth groups to come and perform some song and dance items. It was great fun and fellowship! Maba and I want to extend a very big thank you all for your prayers and support! We are so blessed by all the gifts we received. We have felt so much love from literally around the world! We have moved Maba’s stuff into our flat and rearranged and decorated so it feels like home, but there’s more we hope to add soon. We are now catching up on much needed rest and sleep before things get busy again with ministry.

Upcoming Events: Honeymoon My 26th Birthday EE Internship – Maba and I will be leaders and helpers throughout this course held at the EE Centre Trip to Vanuatu – Maba and I will join the EE Interns and an Australian mission team to conduct Adult, Youth, and Kids EE Clinics. We are currently raising money for our airfare and accommodations. Please be praying for us as we begin our marriage and continue working in Fiji as full-time missionaries! God gave us lots of opportunities to minister this past month, and we are so excited for all God has in store for us! If you would like to renew or add financial support to our account please see the info below.

Ways to Support:
Online - *Click on "Ways to Support" then "Online Giving" *Type "Sarah Abadines 6124" in the box provided *Type in amount and complete the given instructions *If support is to be monthly – please indicate
Make checks out to Evangelism Explosion International and on memo line write "Sarah Abadines 6124" (all checks tax deductible) Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820

In His Grace, 
Sarah Abadines

Monday, April 30, 2012

April Busyness

April 2012 Supporter Update I Peter 1:6-8 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy….” (Sorry this update is a bit long – so much to share! I hope you are blessed and encouraged!) This past month in Fiji was not easy for those who live in the Western Division (the area where I live and the areas surrounding), as about 10,000 people were affected by the floods with most of them being forced to stay in evacuation centers. Some areas had flood-waters reach between 9 to 11 feet! Houses and villages were completely submerged in water. People had to be rescued from the roofs of their homes. With heavy, constant rainfall, a river with high tide coming in, and a dam that’s water level had to be released so it would not burst – this flood was recorded as the worst one that has ever hit Fiji in all history. Many people lost everything in their homes, vehicles and bridges were swept away, and crops were destroyed. After the floods several towns were filled with debris and smelled so awful like one big garbage dump. The current of the flood was so strong it eroded the paved roads, tore down fences and gates, shattered all the glass in the shops in town, and shifted large storage containers. Businesses lost thousands of dollars and farmers lost all they had planted for means of income. Towns were without water and electricity for several weeks. I was shocked to see the results of the flood and truly saddened to hear many testimonies of people affected by the cyclone! I praise God that I moved to a new place in a safe, flood-free zone right before the cyclone hit this side of the island. I was personally affected by the floods as I had no water at my flat for about 2 weeks. The recovery of the Western Division was slow-moving with major clean-up being done, relief aid coming in, and volunteers being mobilized to help. But people picked themselves up again and came together to get things back in order. The Christian community knew to persevere and reach out to those in need. These kinds of difficulties push us to run to the Lord for protection and provision and trust Him as He refines our faith. It’s been a month now since the flood and many are still without homes and belongings, shops are still closed, and many areas still need fixing up. As for Ministry – Whew! It’s been hectic that’s for sure. And it’s been amazing to see God continue to provide opportunities to serve. 1. Easter weekend and beyond – Maba and I were invited to speak at an Indian church nearby. I was so blessed by their hunger for fellowship and spiritual growth. I spoke to them about the power God gives us through what Christ accomplished in His death and resurrection. And I encouraged them that we as His children are able to claim victory in all things, as we are more than conquerors. Maba shared a testimony about how far God has brought Him and what He can do when we surrender our lives to Him. The senior pastor was so encouraged that at the end, he said to the congregation, “From what these two have shared I know they are passionate and are great teachers, so I want them to come back next week and speak in our youth group.” And we were so glad to do so! The following Saturday we had a great time with their youth. Maba led the youth service and I led some icebreakers and games which they had a blast with. Then I spoke to the youth about knowing their calling. I asked them some challenging questions. Each young person had such a wonderful spirit about them, and they were so blessed by us coming to share with them. 2. Birthday – On April 15th Maba celebrated his birthday! We did different things during the week to celebrate then spent his actual birthday with his family for a nice, big Sunday lunch. 2 of his sisters each made him a cake which his nephews and nieces were all over! Maba was spoiled during his birthday week. Birthdays are super special to me as my family always made it a big deal while I grew up so I wanted to go all out for Maba. Out of the 3 years we have been dating, this was the first time I was with him on his actual birthday. The previous years we were long distance and apart on his birthday. Maba told me this was really the first time he had celebrated his birthday since his family never celebrated birthdays ☺ 3. EE Clinic – Maba conducted an EE clinic where 15 people representing 6 different churches were trained. Myself and another EE Fiji worker were there to help Maba teach and lead OJT teams. It was a successful clinic and Maba was so happy to have a mixture of Fijians and Indo-Fijians in attendance. I was very proud of Maba in so many ways! I was so encouraged and blessed by being able to do ministry side-by-side with him! I can’t wait for more opportunities to come! 4. Road trip – Maba and I took a 4-hour drive to Suva to do some wedding errands, pass out invitation cards to Maba’s relatives and our friends, and catch up with other EE Fiji staff. It was a jam-packed weekend. We accomplished a lot, and I was especially encouraged to meet up with young people I have trained and mentored during past EE clinics and youth camps and hear about how they are serving in ministry. I was also able to see my old roommate La and just have some good, girl time and pray together. And I was able to spend Sunday at my old church here, which was just really nice and refreshing! On our drive back home we spent a few hours with our Indian brother, Wilson, and his parents to lift him up and pray for him as he has been going through some tough times. He was really grateful to us for coming to visit him. Maba and I are both close to him and his family. 5. Offering accommodation – Last week several young men in full-time ministry needed a place to stay for a few days. 2 of them I’m close to as they are also involved with EE in Fiji and are previous local youth interns, and the 3rd is a guy from California involved with Global Passion ministry who spent 4 months in Fiji doing work with youth on another island and was about to head home. I opened up my flat for them and we had a great time of fellowship sharing about what God is doing around the nation of Fiji. We were able to encourage each other in the obstacles each one of us is facing. I’m so happy my flat can be a place open for people to come. 6. Mentoring – This past Saturday I was able to meet up with Rusila, a young 20 year old woman whom I mentor and pray with regularly. I have mentioned her in a past update. She has been enduring many trials lately at work, home, and in church, which has caused her to become burnt out. Her boss had been asking her to do things that would compromise her faith, and she had the boldness to stand against it which concluded in her quitting her job. At home, she is feeling much pressure to help her father provide for the family. And in church she has been dealing with people in her ministry teams not fulfilling their role. I was able to hang out with her and treat her to lunch to give her a bit of escape to just relax and vent. I offered her much encouragement and challenged her to push through and know that God was in control. She is a strong young lady and I’m blessed by her friendship. We talk often throughout each week and find time to meet and pray together as often as our schedules allow. All the wedding plans are coming along. I can’t believe there’s only one month left! Maba and I have been incredibly busy in the midst of ministry commitments and responsibilities running around here and there to get things arranged. At times I’m overwhelmed and feeling stretched thin, but God continues to sustain me! I look forward to when my family and friends come and for all the festivities to take place! Prayer Needs *Families affected by the flood trying to rebuild their lives *Rusila persevering through trials and growing in her faith *Continuing to set up my flat *Household and wedding expenses *Mission Support account running extremely low, in need of more funds If you feel led to additionally give, renew your giving, or know someone who would like to help this ministry please forward them my report and see the info below. Ways to Support: Online - *Click on "Ways to Support" then "Online Giving" *Type "Sarah Abadines 6124" in the box provided *Type in amount and complete the given instructions *If support is to be monthly – please indicate -OR- Make checks out to Evangelism Explosion International and on memo line write "Sarah Abadines 6124" (all checks tax deductible) Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820 Cherishing His Grace, Sarah Abadines