Wednesday, January 29, 2014

December '13 Update - Anointed by the King

Celebrating Niu's wedding as an EE famil

Church small group end of the year celebration and Christmas party

Young people in church Christmas fellowship and gift exchange

EE family reunion at Wilson's wedding in Navua

Nuku's 10th birthday (nieces and nephews)

Christmas package from my family back in the US

House blessing for Ranjini and Vashneel and learning how to cook South Indian dish Palau

Gingerbread house party on Christmas Eve with young people

childhood friends, mission supporters, reunion for buddies :)

Christmas lunch with Maba's family at their family home

Sailing adventure with family - beautiful and so fun!

Amazing experience with the hubby

Surprise birthday party for one of the senior citizens in church

New Year's Day beach picnic (where we got married) with our church family

Dance team in church performing together

Psalm 18:32, 50
“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect….He shows unfailing kindness to His anointed.”

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! We hope you and your families were blessed celebrating the birth of our Savior and welcoming 2014! This time last year Maba and I were in the States spending the holidays with my family and taking time off from the mission field to rest and raise financial support. We praise God for the opportunity to be with Maba’s family and our local church/mission family here in Fiji this past holiday season. Maba and I enjoyed having the Christmas spirit in our home and sharing that same spirit with others and pointing them to Jesus! We were encouraged by the verses above as we saw God’s favor upon us in special ways this past month.

Local Church Ministry:

·      Our church hosted a celebration service to praise God for all that He has done in 2013. Maba and I worked with the young people to prepare 3 different dance items. We had a great time performing the items during the special service! During our involvement with the young adult ministry this year, we saw God move greatly. The ministry came alive in marvelous ways and we have created special bonds with the young people. After the service many church members came up to Maba and I raving about the wonderful performances and how each dance blessed them. People also thanked us for investing in the young people by leading and teaching, mentoring, and opening our home as a safe place of fellowship and spiritual growth. We give God all the glory for using us in these ways!

·      Maba and I hosted a special Christmas party in our home the week before Christmas for our church small group. We organized the activities for the night: read the Christmas story in Luke 2, sang Christmas carols, played games, exchanged gifts, and feasted! I was even able to find candy canes for everyone (after searching long and hard) and share how they are reminders of our Savior (red stripes for His blood shed for us, white for His purity and holiness). When we were new in church back in March this group of families embraced us with love and care, and they were our biggest cheerleaders on the mission field. This group of people became family to us, so we wanted to bless them with a time of fellowship and fun.

·      We also organized an event for the Young Adult Ministry on Christmas Eve. It was a fun making gingerbread houses, delighting in sweet treats and a cup of tea, and reflecting on God’s goodness within the ministry for 2013. Maba and I were so blessed when the young people surprised us with a gift to say thank you for our involvement this year. They presented something for our home that we didn’t yet have – a wall clock! So thoughtful of them! We encouraged them and affirmed them as being incredibly special in the eyes of God and to keep seeking Him in all things.

Evangelism Explosion Ministry:

·      Maba and I visited one of EE Fiji’s Hope for Kids workers and her husband. We have been mentoring Ranjini and Vashneel for about 2 years now. They recently moved into a new home and we wanted to pray over them and their new place. Ranjini and her mom taught me how to cook a traditional southern Indian dish called palau which was so fun! It’s chicken and rice cooked in all kinds of amazing Indian spices and herbs, a fave of mine that’s for sure! It was a blessing to break bread with them, encourage them, and praise God for His provision!

·      Maba and I were able to follow-up with one of the Pacific Interns, Kitione, from this past year. He had been enduring some hardships in his home and church that caused him to be discouraged spiritually. Kiti had been praying for a time to meet with us and share his heart since he doesn’t open up to many people. We praise God for ordaining a time for him to come over during a youth fellowship in our home where we were able to take him aside so he could unload. We encouraged him with the Word, spoke into his life affirming his God-given gifts and his spiritual maturity, and challenged him to see these obstacles as a testing of his faith and God preparing him for greater things to come. Kiti sat in front of us tears streaming down his face with a spirit renewed and strengthened to persevere. He thanked us for listening and uplifting him. Kiti will be joining us on our upcoming mission trip, so we are excited for him to continue using his passions and gifts for evangelism!

·      We have been busy finalizing plans to take a mission team to one of the outer islands called Kadavu to conduct an Adult EE clinic and Hope for Kids workshop. Both of us have never been there, so we’re excited for this new adventure! We have promoted to many pastors, gathered materials for the trainings, and started fundraising for the trip. We have a great team including other local EE workers, young people from our church, and a young woman from Australia who is studying to reach out to the indigenous people in her country. Our team will be fasting Tuesdays and Thursdays in preparation for the mission trip. We are seeking EXTRA FUNDS for this project so if you feel led to give please contact me or follow the directions below.

·      I was able to contact all the Hope for Kids workers here in Fiji and hear reports and testimonies of God moving in churches through children. In an area called Suva (about 5 hours from where we stay), our staff there have been doing a wonderful job helping churches implement the program. On another island in a town called Labasa our staff there have been following up with churches and providing refresher courses for using the materials to help their children’s ministries be effective in the area of evangelism.

Heart-to-Heart Ministry:

·      Maba and I were invited to help throw a surprise 73rd birthday party for one of the elderly women (a recent widow) in church whose birthday always gets overlooked since it is on Christmas Eve. We along with her grandchildren and other relatives celebrated with her on the 28th and she was moved to tears by the special and thoughtful gathering just for her birthday. The family asked me to pray for their grandmother which was such a privilege to thank God for the life of this mighty woman of faith.

·      This past month we attended 2 weddings. The first was for Niu, one of the young women who work at the EE centre as part of the catering team. In EE we always celebrate as a family! It was a beautiful and traditional Fijian wedding, and she was so happy we were there for her special day. The 2nd was for Wilson, a Fijian-Indian young man whom we have mentored and served on the field with. It was a beachside wedding with all kinds of Indian curries and sweets served during the special reception. It meant so much to him that we had taken a one-day road trip (10 hours there and back) to attend his wedding.

·      Recently, we had a sailing adventure on an 83-foot schooner. We were blessed with a daytrip pass and went with Maba’s family. It was a beautiful day of fun in the sun and swimming in the open sea! During the outing I met 2 Fijian ladies also enjoying the sailing trip. We got to know one another and they wanted to hear all about what I do in ministry and how Maba and I met. As I shared my testimony, I saw tears in their eyes and smiles that came from encouraged hearts. They said to me, “Sarah thank you for loving our nation. Thank you for serving our people. It’s so beautiful to hear your story.” It reminded me that there are always opportunities around to share with others the importance of reaching out and demonstrating the love of Christ!

Christmas & New Year’s:

·      We received a package from my parents and sister a week before Christmas filled with presents and treats! It was so special to receive gifts since we decided not to buy any for one another. I was so happy to have a piece of home come to us!
·      Christmas day we attended a morning church service then had a big lunch with Maba’s family at his Mom’s place. In the afternoon we went out for dinner with friends from church. It was a wonderful day!
·      New Year’s eve Maba and I made a special brunch in our excitement for all 2014 will bring! In the evening we attended a Christian Praise Jam (concert) with friends for a great time of worship and fellowship to ring in the new year! New Year’s Day our church hired a big coach bus to go to the beach (where we got married) for a picnic which was lots of fun!

Prayer Needs
o   To be refreshed spiritually to kick off 2014
o   Mission Trip to Kadavu Island for EE trainings
o   Opportunities to serve in the local community
o   Increase of Financial Support

Thank you for continuing to be partner with us through prayer and giving! We love sharing with you all the great things that are happening on the field by God’s grace.  Your support brings us overflowing joy and allows us to carry on! We hope you have been encouraged by this month’s update. Please share with anyone you know will also be encouraged!

Ways to Support:
Online -
*Click on "Support" then "Online Giving"
*Type "Sarah Maba 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 Maba 6124" (all checks tax deductible)
Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International
P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820

Abounding in His Grace,


November '13 Update - His Grace Carries Us Through

Thanksgiving dessert: Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and sweet potato casserole

Maba and I teaching a Godly Courtship seminar to the young people

Watching my mother-in-law prepare to weave a mat

Maba doing some farming in the cassava patch

Dance practice in church

Hope for Kids in Sunday school classes

Excited students and teachers learning how to share their faith

Teaching the students the Gospel Pathway presentation

Maba and I in traditional Fijian outfits to attend a wedding

Thanksgiving meal - YUM!

Family outing at Beachcomber Island

Cherishing quality time together

Celebrating our 1 and half year anniversary of marriage

Nephews and niece who we babysat for a weekend and decorated our Christmas tree

Practicing weaving a mat :)

Psalm 128:1-2
“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”

During the month of November, God’s grace carried us through the busyness. His grace covers everything around us and touches our inner being. John Stott said, “Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.” It was a blessing to see God work within our circumstances and use us to demonstrate His grace to others. This past month was filled with amazing opportunities to minister and use our gifts to unify the body of Christ.

Ministry Events:

·      Maba and I received an invitation to speak during a youth rally in our church where other youth groups were also invited. We were asked to speak on the topic of relationships, which is a sensitive and rarely discussed issue in the homes and churches here. Maba and I came up with the title of our session - “Godly Courtship in a Broken World ”. This was an event near and dear to my heart because I have seen so many young people here in the Pacific find themselves in difficult relationships, young couples who have no clue how to prepare for marriage, and young girls who find themselves pregnant and having no direction because no one has taught them to understand what courtship means as a Christian and how to handle the ins and outs of relationships and beginning marriages that are grounded in Christ. This opportunity was an answered prayer! Maba and I greatly prepared in advance to come up with 8 helpful points founded on Scripture and sensitive to the culture that would have a great impact on the young people. It was a blessing to speak alongside my husband and also share our own love story that God had ordained and continues to sustain! I even got to join the worship team and that brought me great joy since I’ve missed singing on a worship team! Even local church pastors, youth leaders, and Sunday school teachers were present during our seminar. We received wonderful feedback from everyone about how helpful and challenging our teaching was, and it opened many doors for us to counsel young people in our church and their friends!

·      This month Maba and I focused on home visitations in our local community. We were able to spend time in the home of one of Maba’s high school classmates, Seva, who had quit his job earlier this year to take care of his sick father who then passed away recently. Their family had not been attending church for some time now, so Maba was able to encourage him to come back to church and take active steps to help provide for his family and let him know that there are people around who are ready to help him and his family. Seva was so thankful for all Maba shared with him and that it had lifted his spirits. Also, we observed a new family(Mother and daughter) in the area that started attending our church. The mother informed us that her daughter, Helen, wanted to get involved with the youth ministry but was a bit shy. So one afternoon Maba and I walked to their home to visit Helen to introduce ourselves and share with her about the youth ministry in church and invite her to come to our home. She was so happy that we had come around and excited to make some new friends. The next week she came to our place with some of the young people and has joined in with some of the events!

·      The EE Fiji team came together for a special meeting. Our national director, board members, and other field workers were present to share all that happened in South Africa during the EE International Conference and reflect on the growth and fruit of ministry during 2013. We discussed goals and rooms for improvement for 2014 and welcomed new team members (Seth Coleman, 2007 Pacific Intern from the US, who is now the assistant national director). It was wonderful to catch up with one another and pray and fellowship together!

·      This month I was able to follow-up with the Hope for Kids ministry in the Sunday school department at our church. I visited the different age groups in the Hindi and English/Fijian services and reviewed the main points of Hope for Kids with the children. It was amazing to watch them share the Gospel message and hear about how they learned so much! The Sunday school teachers shared how they are always excited for class and want to bring their friends! When small ones have a real understanding of the Gospel and who they are in Christ, it’s something special!

·      3 churches in our local area from different denominations (Methodist, Apostle, and Assembly of God) started a semester of EE implementation(45 people total in training)! Praise God! One pastor shared with us that his church has been greatly challenged by the EE materials and another pastor shared that they are praying to host a clinic soon in their church.

·      The dance team of young people in church has been very active this past month. Maba and I have been able to lead practices and teach 3 different dance items – praise, worship, and meke (traditional Fijian). I personally love dance ministry! I cherish those days I did it when I growing up in the youth group and young adult ministry back home! It has given us more opportunities to encourage and pray with the young people as we opened our home for dance practices. We also came together for a time of fasting to prepare ourselves for performing the items in church and the local community. It has been so great to see the young people come together as one body to minister through song and dance!

·      Our plans for traveling to Australia after Christmas has been cancelled due to come hiccups with obtaining a tourist visa for Maba. We are trusting God’s plans for us and know He has other ways for us to serve and reach out. We are filled with His peace and hope to organize a local mission trip to one of the outer islands here in Fiji in January, so please be praying for that!

·      Thanksgiving weekend was really fun for so many reasons! After almost 5 years of living in Fiji I finally was able to celebrate a real Thanksgiving! I researched recipes to put together a menu that would be feasible and realistic due to what ingredients are available in the islands: Honey glazed roasted chicken, Shepherd’s pie, Sausage stuffing, Oven roasted and herbed vegetables, Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and Sweet potato casserole! Delicious! I felt so accomplished! I was so happy to host Thanksgiving at our home with family – my dear friend Lavenia, her husband, their small daughter, and her sister-in-law. They visited us for the weekend, which was special because we don’t see each other often. The last time we were all together was back in June for her daughter’s 1st birthday in Suva. That Saturday we all went to the beach together on a nearby island and just had a blast! I thank God for people here who have become my family and have a special place in my heart! I don’t know what I would do without them!

Other side notes and Fun facts
·      Our niece and nephews spent a weekend with us and were able to help us decorate our Christmas tree! I even made them Christmas sugar cookies to decorate, which they loved. Our house is overflowing with the Christmas spirit!
·      Maba and I were able to do carry out some island work by farming and weaving. Maba harvested some cassava root crops and I tried my hand at weaving a mat with the help of Maba’s mom and grandmother!
·      We praise God for working in the life of Maba’s sister, Lewa. She has recently come to know the Lord in a real and intimate way and has been enjoying the sweetness of growing in her faith! We have been able to encourage and pray with her. She has seen God work in her and her family in so many ways.
·      December 1st – Maba and I celebrated a year and half of marriage together! God is so good! We went out on a fun and much needed date night out for dinner and a movie J
·      Recently, we caught up with our dear friend Nikita. We hung out at a coffee shop for over 3 hours just sharing about life and our faith. She blessed us with some mission support as a Christmas gift, which touched our hearts greatly. She has such a big heart! We’ve only known her for almost 2 years and we’ve grown so close!

Prayer Needs
o   Opportunities to serve and bless others during this holiday season
o   EE follow-up and trainings
o   Planning a local mission trip with a team to an outer island in January
o   Support-raising for personal and ministry expenses

Thank you for serving side-by-side and hand-in-hand with us in this ministry! We hope you have been blessed by this past month’s stories and testimonies. We are so blessed and encouraged by how God is using us to lift up others in their walk with Christ and living out a Gospel-centered faith, and pointing people to Jesus! Your prayers and support are so appreciated! Please share with anyone you know will also be encouraged!

Ways to Support:
Online -
*Click on "Support" then "Online Giving"
*Type "Sarah Maba 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 Maba 6124" (all checks tax deductible)
Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International
P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820

Abounding in His Grace,

October '13 Update - Serving in the midst of Brokenness

Our little niece Teresia who we look after when their family comes to town

A little daytrip to Port Denarau with friends

Celebrating Fiji Day with our church small group at the beach for a picnic

Maba's sister's newborn who was named after us "Isimeli Abadines"

Pumpkin carving party with church friends


So fun

Tea and pastries

Pumpkin cookies and halwa

Me and maba's beautifully lit pumpkins :)

Maba teaching EE in our church

Maba teaching an EE clinic on another island 

2 past local interns helping serve and train during the clinic

Maba and his team doing OJT in the park 

Deuteronomy 30:20
“And that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.”

As I put together this month’s update, I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of 2013! And I feel like it was just a moment ago I was writing last month’s update to all of you. October was full of great ministry opportunities ad introducing fun festive traditions to our family and friends here! I hope this month’s update will put a smile on your face and a heart full of encouragement.

I finished reading “Broken-Down House” by Paul Tripp this month. It opened my eyes to see things in different ways regarding living in this broken world and serving on the mission field. The author describes this world as a broken-down house where sin has ravaged the house God created. But He is a divine Builder who is implementing a plan of redemption to make His house new again and use us as His tools (the hammers, saws, and screwdrivers) to be an active part of the restoration of this “house”. God calls us to live productively in this broken world. Maba and I see brokenness all around us each and every day, and it is our prayer that we continue to bring truth and freedom to those around us (through the Gospel and discipleship). In this book, Paul Tripp also encourages us to long for heaven and to be excited that this is not our final destination! I was so challenged by that and so encouraged that there will be a day when I am not impatient or homesick or financially unstable or overwhelmed, etc. but where we will be in the presence of our Savior for all eternity!

Ministry Events:

·      Maba and I have really bonded with those in our church small group. We often open our home for the young people to come and fellowship and we enjoy organizing events to hang out. October 10th was Fiji Day and we had a great picnic on the beach! This group has become family to us and we are so blessed by their support for our mission work.

·      Since it was October I was determined to do something that reminded me of being home in the States. Maba and I went to the market and bought fresh pumpkins (pumpkins are in the market everyday as they’re eaten here like squash). We made pumpkin puree and our own pumpkin pie spice (made of cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, and nutmeg) and baked pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin bread!!! I was so happy and felt super proud of our homemade fall treats!

·      This month Maba took a trip to another island to run an EE clinic training with a fellow EE worker, Matia. Traveling there was a trek for him – 6 hour bus ride, 3 hour boat ride, and another 4 hour bus ride! He was gone for 8 whole days, which is the longest we’d been apart since getting married! The training was held in a town-area church and since the participants came from far-off villages they all camped out in church for the week. The members of the hosting church provided all the meals, which was a huge help. They were able to do outreach visits in town, the hospital, and a local settlement. The clinic consisted of 15 people from 5 different churches. One young man named Malo testified that the training came at the perfect time because many in his church had the desire to witness but did not know how and he had the burden to help meet this need in his church. Now he is equipped and excited to use the EE Gospel presentation as part of their outreach ministry. Also, 2 young men from Suva who had attended a youth camp I ran in 2011 traveled to the island to help Maba with the training! It’s so amazing to see more fruit of this ministry and see young people passionate about evangelism. They plan to stay in that area for several months to help Matia follow-up with the different churches.

·      While Maba was away for a week, I kept myself busy. Rusila came from Nadi to stay with me for a few and keep me company. It was so nice to have some quality time with her. I was so encouraged to hear how God is using her in her local area to invest spiritually in young people and expand the EE Fiji ministry. We spent the evenings sharing from the Word and praying together. She also shared how staying with me for several days allowed her to pause and rest and be renewed spiritually. We also invited some friends over to have a worship night. Friday evening one of my girlfriends came over to check on me and brought me pizza and ice cream, such a treat! And Sunday one family in our small group had me over for lunch. I praise God for sending people to look after me while Maba was away! During that week I also had some special sweet quiet times with the Lord and lots of “me” time which I took full advantage of! Hehe

·      I taught a Hope for Kids refresher course with the Sunday School department in our church. I was able to help the teachers better understand the Hope for Kids materials, clarify questions, and create a ministry plan for the rest of the year. It was a great time of fellowship where I also heard wonderful testimonies about children who are excited about learning how to share the Gospel to their friends and who never want to miss Sunday School!

·      This month I was really excited to be involved in dance ministry at church. I choreographed a worship dance that we will be performing next month. I have hosted a few dance practices at our home with some of the young girls and it’s going to be beautiful when we’ve put it all together!

·      Maba invited his cousin, Soni and his son Junior to stay with us a few nights when they came to the mainland from Yasawa Island village. It’s not often they travel to the mainland; they came to do a month’s worth of food and household shopping. Maba cooked his special chicken curry and lamb stew for them. They mostly eat fish and other seafood out on the island so Soni said, “Eating chicken and lamb is Christmas to us!” We were so happy to bless them in this way and give them a restful place to sleep. Maba was happy to catch up with his relatives and share all that has been happening in ministry.

·      Last weekend was a long, holiday weekend. Maba and I were asked to speak at the young adult ministry. We challenged them on walking confidently in their identity in Christ versus spiritual identity amnesia. One young man who usually doesn’t come around participated in one of the night’s activities and we were so encouraged to see him get involved. Also, Maba and I hosted a Pumpkin party at our place. Friends from church came and we introduced them to pumpkin carving. They had a blast! It was fun to celebrate Fall traditions with them here in Fiji. We served pumpkin treats and homemade spiced apple cider!

Other side notes and fun facts
·      One of my best friends, Sally, came to visit for 2 weeks from Vanuatu. We were able to see her and her daughter Jen a few times! It was so fun spending some time with them.
·      We celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights. It was really cool to see so many fireworks going off not only on 1 night but for like a week! And we ate lots of Indian sweets and curry from our neighbors!
·      Cyclone season has started so the weather is rainy, very hot, and extremely humid
·      Rugby League World Cup is currently going on and the Fiji Team has made it to the quarter-finals
·      We found broccoli at the supermarket! It’s a rare find and usually really expensive. But we decided to treat ourselves for once and made used it in our beef stirfry J

Prayer Needs

o   Confirmation for Australian tourist visas and planning our trip
o   EE follow-up and trainings
o   Upcoming youth rallies where Maba and I will be speaking on dating/relationships
o   Support-raising for personal and ministry expenses

Thank you for supporting this ministry and teaming up with us to reach out in these islands! We are so blessed to work alongside you to preach Christ and demonstrate grace to those in need! Your prayers are greatly appreciated! Please share with anyone you know will also be encouraged!

Ways to Support:
Online -
*Click on "Support" then "Online Giving"
*Type "Sarah Maba 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 Maba 6124" (all checks tax deductible)
Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International
P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820

Abounding in His Grace,