Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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!

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Mail to: Evangelism Explosion International
P.O. Box 23820 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 33307-3820

Abounding in His Grace,

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