Wednesday, January 29, 2014

September '13 Update - By His GRACE Alone

Mentoring and Fellowship with another newlywed couple Ranjini and Vashneel

H4K Graduation in a local Sunday school class

Blessing from a mission supporter at a wonderful resort

Maba speaking in a village to a young adult ministry

Follow-up with Pacific Intern in his home

Meeting up with recent intern and IFW in Suva to encourage and fellowship

Family Reunion

We love this little Akeneta!

Maba playing rugby and ministering to his club team

Young adults fellowship in church

Speaking on godly character to the young people

2 Corinthians 9:8
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound
in every good work.”

This month I have been studying 2 Corinthians and it has been such a joy to read through God’s Word. I have also picked up again with memorizing scripture and the verse above truly encouraged me as one of my memory verses this month. God’s GRACE abounds to us! How amazing? Abound means to have in abundance or to be richly supplied with something. By God’s grace He promises to give us a large increase of spiritual and physical things. Our great God is ALL-SUFFICIENT! We are HIGHLY FAVORED and just like it says in Ephesians 2:10 He has prepared every good work for us to accomplish for His glory! During this past month Maba and I experienced God’s grace in new and miraculous ways. We also saw the body of Christ in our local community show their support for our mission work here in Fiji, which was such a blessing!

Ministry Events:

·      The children’s pastor in our church invited me to lead a Sunday school seminar about effective children’s ministry. It was a privilege to challenge the Sunday school teachers to impact the young ones in faith. I shared with them different aspects of ministering to children such as having vision and purpose, roles and responsibilities, preparation of lessons, and for all things Gospel-centered. It was a great time of fellowship and empowering the church workers!

·      God has been continuing to use Maba to reach out to his club rugby team. The team has observed Maba’s godly character, and they hold him in high regard. During their practices and games, Maba is always asked to share devotion and pray with the team.  One specific player, Sefanaia, approached Maba wanting to hear more. Maba was able to share the Gospel with Sefanaia who then prayed with Maba to receive Jesus. Shortly thereafter they both went to the hospital to pray over someone. Maba saw that Sefanaia had a special gift of healing through massaging people. They visited a man who recently had a stroke and could not move certain parts of his body. After Maba prayed and Sefanaia massaged him, the man was able to walk and move around! It was amazing! And the next day this man was discharged from the hospital and well enough to go home. Praise God!

·      New churches have also started to implement EE teaching weekly! It’s so great to see the church community understand the importance of witnessing and the need to equip their members.

·      Maba and I were able to catch up with Ranjini and Vashneel, the young Fijian-Indian couple whom we mentor and consider family. It was so wonderful to hear how they have been able to spend more quality time together at home and do special things together as a married couple. They have also been able to come out of the conflict within their families and focus on their own marriage and daily faith. They treated us at a local restaurant and contributed to our mission support! We were speechless and blessed! It’s such a beautiful thing to see the fruit of investing into God’s people and seeing how they know have the desire to be our financial partners in ministry!

·      One week Maba and I were able to attend a Sunday school graduation of children who finished learning Hope for Kids. It was awesome to see these kids know how to share the Gospel with all the hand actions! Maba and I passed out the certificates to each child who had the biggest smiles on their faces!

·      This month we took a road trip to Suva (5 hours east around the island) with a few stops on the way. We were blessed by one of our supporters with a 1-night stay at a resort(our first stop). It was so nice to have some time to ourselves to relax. Then we were able to visit one of the recent Interns, Josua, at his village and hear about how he has continued to be involved with mission work in the community. It was great to see where he lived and meet his relatives. We then attended youth night at his church where I shared my testimony and Maba preached. It was a unique opportunity to encourage the young people in this village who rarely receive strong teaching. We then continued on our way to meet up with another Intern, Dan, and a EE Fiji worker, Takape. It was fun to catch up with them at a cafĂ© in the city and hear about all the happenings with their church and outreach ministries. We stayed a few nights in Suva with La and her family (as we always do). One evening we let the husbands go out for pizza and watch a big rugby game while La and I ate our heart out at a nice Chinese place. I cherished the girl time with La to share our hearts about marriage and ministry and daily life, I always miss her and hate that we are far apart. Maba and I had a great long weekend getaway!

·      For several weeks Maba and I have been able to speak and teach at youth group/young adult nights in church. We have been also able to work with the youth worship team introducing them to more songs, which they really enjoy. It’s been really fun for us to minister to the young people. We’ve been teaching on godly character – how’s it developed, maintained, and passed on through being influential.

·      We have a special opportunity to go to Australia and speak at 2 youth conferences in Melbourne about our mission work! A theology professor who spoke during the Pacific Internship has invited us. We have launched Maba’s tourist visa and now wait for the results. It’s after Christmas and through all of January. It will be Maba’s first time to Australia, so we’re really excited! Please be praying for all the preparation and fundraising. We hosted a Curry Nite fundraiser at our home this past Saturday and it was a great success! We had so much help from families in church so that we didn’t have too many expenses for the event. And the young people from our small group were there to help serve all the food and tea and clean up! We couldn’t have done it without our small group that’s for sure! It was $5 a plate, which included chicken curry, puri (fried, flaky flat bread), rice, pumpkin curry, tomato chutney, and halwa (semolina dessert). We also served with tea with pastries for extra donations. We ran short of everything quickly! We had so many people turn up and we raised more than we were expecting! It was a really fun night! We were so moved by all the support from our church, EE family, family friends from the church Maba grew up in, close friends, and Maba’s relatives!

Other side notes:
·      Maba’s sister gave birth to a healthy baby boy which was named after us, “Isimeli Abadines Daniel Racumu”. Since part of our names are included we call him “yaca” (pronounced “ya-tha”). It’s like we are his godparents. Having a “yaca” in Fiji culture is really special and means you play a special role in the child’s life and always help to look after them!
·      Lots of babysitting! This past month we loved looking after Maba’s nieces and nephews. We love them to pieces!
·      We were excited to find a place that host Zumba aerobics classes every afternoon! It’s been really fun to go and just sweat it out!
·      Lately Maba and I have really enjoyed trying new recipes when we cook such as baked bread-crumbed and rubbed garlic/sage pork loin chops and potato wedges with olive oil and Italian herbs.

Prayer Needs

o   Revival and growth in the youth/young adult ministries in church
o   EE follow-up and trainings
o   Preparation for Australia mission trip
o   Support-raising for personal and ministry expenses

Thank you for wanting to be a part of what God is doing here in the Pacific! We are so blessed to serve together with you in reaching many for Christ and helping the body of Christ to rise up and strengthen their faith. Your prayer and on-going support push us forward as we live for Him alone! We hope you have been greatly encouraged by this month’s update. Please share with anyone you know will also be encouraged!

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Abounding in His Grace,

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