Monday, March 31, 2014

March '14 Update Challenging yet Heartwarming

Blessing a mom and new baby

Couples Weekend Retreat

Quality time together at a Cultural Show

Field Worker interviews at the EE Centre

Lifting our spirits with fellowship

Teaching Hope for Kids

Hospital visitation

Hosting fellow EE workers at home

Maba harvesting bananas from our yard

“By standing firm you will gain life.” Luke 21:19
“All things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27
“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as
 it is in heaven.” Matt. 6:10

March was a challenging yet heartwarming month to say the least. We faced circumstances that brought us to our knees, caused us to weep, and made us yearn for our Lord and Savior. And God met us within these situations that recharged our battery in every way, reminded us of the hope we have in Christ, and filled us with a renewed sense of security in His grace and provision. The scriptures above encouraged us throughout this month to not limit our vision of what God can do and to trust that God’s purposes will always be accomplished despite our trying circumstances.

March Ministry Highlights

·      Young Adults Fellowship – Some of the young people in our church were feeling a bit down so Maba and I organized several outings and fellowship nights to lift their spirits and encourage them spiritually. It was lighthearted fun being unified in Christ and supporting one another. It was wonderful to see them persevere and hold fast to their faith. It’s always an honor for us to be used to help young people discern what is important and affirm them as children of God.

·      Loved ones before the Lord – This month was a real reminder of how precious this life is but also of the great things to come when God calls us home. Several of Maba’s relatives and a small group member passed away this month. We praise God for giving life and taking His own in His perfect timing. Maba was thankful to have visited his aunt at the hospital and pray with her before she passed away and share to his cousins the assurance of salvation. Maba’s cousin passed unexpectedly which was overwhelming for the family and church community. Maba was able to spend time with their family to help them sort out things and prepare for the service.

·      Hospital Visitations – Maba and I spent a great deal of time visiting friends, family, and people in the local community at the hospital and praying over them. Several illnesses have been going around and there has been an outbreak of Dengue Fever in major regions of Fiji. We praise God for covering us with His protection and healing. One young girl who just had an operation was moved to tears when we shared the Gospel with her and prayed with her. We look forward to having glorified bodies in heaven where there is no sickness and no pain!

·      Couples Weekend Retreat – Maba and I had a wonderful weekend with my dear friend/sister Lavenia and her husband plus their little girl. It was a much needed Spring Getaway to catch up on life, marriage, and ministry together. We met halfway at the Coral Coast and had a great time doing what we love – swimming and eating! It was fun to rest and relax and enjoy each other’s company since our last weekend trip together during Thanksgiving last year.

·      Fundraising & Provision – We hosted a successful Afternoon Tea & Treats Fundraiser at our home one Saturday afternoon. We are so thankful for our mission supporters here in Fiji who continue to pray and give to this ministry. And we were so blessed by family who helped us with all the preparations and refreshments. It was a great event to also bring our family and friends together for fun and fellowship. We have been praying for God to meet us in our financial needs and this month we saw God answer our prayers in unexpected ways!

·      New Opportunities – God has presented us with open doors to promote EE and teach Hope for Kids in a local church. This church has welcomed us with open arms and is even allowing EE Fiji to host a training in the coming months. The senior pastor has met with us several times and it’s been so encouraging and refreshing to fellowship with someone who is greatly mission-minded and sensitive to the spiritual needs within the local church community. And we are excited to start new Bible studies with young men and woman in our local area.

·      EE Follow-up & Hospitality – We were able to contact the churches on the island of Kadavu (where we took a team in January) and they have informed us that they have started implementing Hope for Kids in Sunday school and villages! So exciting to hear the testimonies and positive feedback from these areas! Also this month we were able to host fellow EE workers from remote, interior areas of different island for several days. It was humbling to hear their stories of ministry, pray together, and bless them as they are family to us. We hope to conduct more EE trainings in their area later this year. Plus, I got to meet with Rusila (another EE worker and young person we mentor) several times and because of her ministry efforts her local church has increased in number and their network of reaching out has expanded! I’m so blessed to have Rusila has a prayer partner as well and it’s always such a joy to share with her and encourage one another in personal and ministry matters.

·      EE Field Worker Interviews and Meetings – We traveled to the EE Centre to help with interviews. We continue to see the great need for field workers and train up more people to pass the baton to as things expand in ministry. We also met with one of our EE supervisors to share our heart and burdens and discuss the future. We thank God for the constructive and beneficial conversation to help us think things through and prepare for what’s ahead.

Prayer Needs
·      Promotion and Organization for EE trainings in May
·      Teaching Hope for Kids in local churches
·      Training young people to delegate responsiblities to
·      Upcoming EE staff training course (6-weeks) at the EE centre
·      Great need for Financial Support

Thank you for encouraging our hearts and spirits with your prayers and support! We are greatly moved by the ways God is using us here to minister, meet the needs of others, and witness with His message of hope. We hope you have been blessed through this update. Please feel free to share this ministry update with those who will also be encouraged and/or led to support financially!

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
-OR- 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

Rooted in Christ,

February '14 Update - Rooted in Christ

Evia sharing to primary school students

Maba with James and Victor

Team reflecting and praying after the trip

Valentine's Day Dinner Date

Evivi holding her certificate proudly

Maba with Pastor Amini

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-9

This passage encouraged and challenged us this past month in several ways. We focused on increasing our faith by pouring ourselves into God’s Word and studying resources we have at home. As 2014 kicks into high gear our prayer is that God would lift us up to be better prepared and more effective as we serve and minister to others. What a blessing it is to be rooted in Christ where He is our foundation, peace, and hope! As we are firmly fixed on our Savior, nothing can shake us! We possess full, abundant lives as we step out in faith and obedience. Maba and I seek wisdom for the future of our marriage/family and ministry and are challenged that in times of waiting for direction from the Lord we are not to sit idle or be passive but continue to bear fruit!

February Mission Events

·      Kadavu EE Mission Team Testimonies – After returning to the mainland, most of the team were able to meet together for a time of reflection and prayer at our home where Maba and I also prepared a few treats for the team. It was so encouraging to hear these young individuals share how the experience greatly impacted their faith! I had them write down their testimonies so here are what a few of their shared:
o   EVIA (21 yr. old young lady) “The mission trip was a life-changing experience for me because it really helped me understand how God can use young people to build His Kingdom. The trip not only helped me come out of my comfort zone but it also increased my faith in Christ. It is more than just attending youth group or Sunday services, it is also being able to reach out to unsaved people. Through this trip God also showed me how He is our great Provider because I was worried about support-raising. However, as I surrendered all of it to the Lord I saw Him care for my needs and expenses in amazing ways! It also challenged me to be bold and courageous because before it was always hard for me to stand and speak in front of many people and share a testimony or share my faith. I thank God for Sarah and Maba who were always there to push me and encourage me to do all things for the glory of God as His ambassadors. They also reminded me that we just need to take the first step of faith and God will do the rest. Through this opportunity I was able to lead 7 young boys to the Lord, which was a wonderful experience!”

o   VICTOR (22 yr. old) “On semester break, Sarah and Maba approached me to do the EE training and be part of the mission team. I was excited for this adventure with new things to be discovered. Two great things that encouraged me were how the team was organized and so unified. Ten people from different denominations working together for one purpose really challenged me. God indeed separated the denominational walls that surrounded us and enabled us to work together in reaching the people of Kadavu. I personally have never been part of such a wonderful, life-transforming mission trip ever. It was amazing to see people who held an incorrect view of goods works as their salvation come to know the truth that eternal life is a free gift and that it is only through faith in Jesus we are saved. All that pushed me to do more for God and reach out to more people, both Christians and unbelievers. Having known Sarah and Maba, learning so much from them, and being part of one of this mission team, I have been really blessed. Now that I am back in university where the busy demands of a student’s life are increasing day after day, I now understand that I don’t have an excuse for not being able to share my faith. I am now training 5 young guys in EE who are part of the campus ministry at my university and more people are excited to also learn. I look forward to see how God will use us to witness and minister to other students!

o   JAMES (21 yr. old)To go out for missions is something that I always wanted to experience which allows you to be away from friends and loved ones. Being connected with Sarah and Maba’s ministry and the ministry of EE has opened my eyes to the needs, sacrifices, and blessings that come in doing mission work. The Gospel presentation of EE has taught me how to share my faith in a simple and short but very powerful way and be an effective witness in every area of my life. I was also encouraged to be more aware of the spiritual and physical needs of the lost. It was incredible to have my first mission experience in my own nation, especially to a place I had never been. Walking under the heat of the day, short sleeps, preparing for meals, and most of all visiting families for witnessing opportunities made me realize how important it is to pray for missionaries. Learning EE also deepened my knowledge of the Gospel message and gave me greater understanding of what Christ did for me at the cross. It also strengthened my relationship with God. I thank the Lord so much for the lives of Sarah and Maba who do so much to minister to those around them, especially young people like me.

·      Follow-up with EE trainees – Maba was able to contact several people who were trained in EE during our island mission trip last month. Maba encouraged them how to train others and expand their church ministry in their villages.
o   Evivi – She is a nurse at the local hospital who was unsure how and where to start training others and grab opportunities to witness. After praying and seeking help from the Lord, doors opened up in her workplace. She is now teaching other hospital staff the EE Gospel presentation. They meet several times a week to discuss and practice and then take opportunities to share to patients and other workers!
o   Amini – He is a pastor who recently moved to a different, remote area on the island with his family to plant a church. His first Sunday service only a few families attended but just after 1 week of using EE when visiting people in the area, many people were moved to tears by the Gospel and wanted to be part of the church. That next Sunday the church was full! Pastor Amini is excited to disciple these new believers and train them in EE!

·      Home Visitations – There are several families God laid upon our heart to minister to this month. We took the time to bless them with meals and spend quality time with their in their homes to encourage and pray for them. These families were experiencing different types of hardships and it was an opportunity for us to speak into their lives and remind them of our all-sufficient God who is our ultimate Provider and Redeemer. The family members were blessed and we saw them overcome difficulties and persevere in their faith!

·      Bible studies – Maba and I have had the privilege of leading Bible studies for our church small group. We are both so passionate about teaching God’s people how to break apart Scripture, discover its application, and see how it always points to Christ. It has been wonderful to see the members of our group grow in knowledge and wisdom in their personal faith as we share and fellowship together!

·      Christian School Project– This month brought a fun and unexpected opportunity to share about our mission work. I was contacted by a group of 7th grade students from a Christian school in Alabama. They were working on an “International Day” project at school and they were assigned the country of Fiji. They google searched Fiji missionaries and stumbled upon me! They asked me to be part of their project by sending a video of myself sharing how I came to know Christ, why I wanted to become a missionary, how I came to serve in Fiji, and what mission work is like here in the islands. Maba and I were also able to help them organize other aspects of their presentation. It was amazing to minister in this way across miles and oceans! I was so encouraged when one of the parents emailed me saying “Sarah you are such a great speaker and very inspiring to listen to! We are so glad we connected with you, you truly are a very special person!”

·      Tutoring – This month I was able to conduct math tutoring for some students in our local community and to Maba’s nieces and nephews. I love being able to serve in this way and use my educational background and through that share about Jesus!

Prayer Needs
·      Continuing relationships with those we mentor and disciple
·      Organizing Adult/Youth EE and Hope for Kids trainings
·      Kadavu trainees who are implementing EE and witnessing in their community
·      Upcoming EE responsibilities at the EE centre
·      Increase of Financial Support

We are continually blessed by your support through prayer and giving! Through your partnership we are able to disciple and counsel God’s people and reach others with the message of hope. We praise God for His faithfulness and provision as we continue in doing His work here in the Fiji Islands. Please feel free to share this ministry update with those who will be encouraged and/or led to support financially!

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
-OR- 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

Rooted in Christ,

January '14 Update - The Aroma of Christ

Beautiful view of Kadavu!

Team ready for a great week of mission together

Evening devotion and worship time

Our bedroom :)

Maba preaching on Sunday

Rusila testifying in the village church

Beach picnic fresh fish and dip

Morning walk around the bay

EE trainees

Refreshing waterfall adventure

Hope for Kids OJT

Team bonding

Host home family

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession
in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among
 those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one
 we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.
And who is equal to such a task?”
2 Corinthians 4:14-16

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller

JANUARY was a time of cherishing the unity we have in the body of Christ and walking in God’s favor. My heart is bursting with so much joy and praise to God for how He refreshes us in His perfect timing and ways. This past month we experienced more of the sweetness of serving on the mission field and seeing brothers and sisters in Christ stepping out in faith and letting God use them to build His Kingdom. My devotional this past week reminded me that there is something so special about being part of God’s family knowing that the costs of discipleship and obedience never outweigh the spiritual rewards and benefits that come from our Heavenly Father! What a blessing it is to possess the aroma of Christ and carry His fragrance wherever we go!

Main Ministry Highlight – Kadavu Mission Trip
Kadavu is the 4th largest island in Fiji with a population of about 10,000 people within 75 villages. It is one of the least developed areas in Fiji. It is south of the mainland where we are living and known for its lush, tropical environment.

·      Fundraising – Maba and I were able to share about our trip to relatives, church members, fellow EE workers, and friends here in Fiji. As a result we raised more than $800 FJD to help with the various expenses for our trip! We thank God for bringing people to partner with us in reaching an outer island of Fiji. Several of the team members were able to fundraise for their travel costs by baking trays of pie and selling them, which was a big success!

·      Preparation – Several ministry contacts in Kadavu helped us organize for our trip. None of us had been there before so we were trusting God  since we were stepping into unknown territory. Our team had regular meetings before the trip. We were able to discuss the important aspects of the trip, fasting and praying together Tuesdays and Thursdays for half day, and review the EE materials. The team consisted of 3 local EE Fiji workers, 4 young people from our church, and a young lady from an EE church in Australia.

·      Travel – Maba and 7 members of the team traveled 4 hours by bus and 10 hours by boat to reach Kadavu! Whew, a long journey! Myself and Stephanie (from Australia) had a 40-minute flight in an 18-seater plane, which was a bit nerve-racking since you could feel even the slightest movement of the plane.  We praise God for His protection, especially returning to the mainland as a tropical cyclone was hitting Fiji! Everyone made it home safe and sound!

·      Host Home – A wonderful family (a couple and their 5 boys) opened their home to us. team slept in a large, open room where some slept on beds and others slept on the floor. Maba and I slept outside on the porch and hung up a mosquito net. The weather was so hot, so we prayed for the sea breeze to cool us in the evenings. The beach was only about 70 feet in front of our host home! It was a beautiful sight to wake up to as we were located in a big bay!

·      Trainings –
o   Adult/Youth EE Clinic – Maba and 6 team members conducted 2 trainings with a total of 29 trainees represented by 5 churches from different villages. During the On-the-Job trainings 55 people heard the Gospel and 38 prayed to receive Christ! Amen for that!
§  Testimony – 2 team members from our church, Victor and James (university students), were able to learn EE for the first time. They were so blessed by how easy it was to present the Gospel! They were excited for OJT each afternoon and took every opportunity to share. Then during the 2nd training, Maba gave assigned them teaching units and they did an amazing job! They will go back to school this month, and they can’t wait to implement EE in their campus ministry!
§  Testimony – One of the pastors shared how he was supposed to move the previous week to plant a church in another remote area but wondered why God had kept him in that area for another week. After attending the training he knew that God had ordained his family to stay so that they could be equipped with tool of EE! He was confident that using EE in the new church plant will help to build and grow the ministry!
o   Hope for Kids Workshop – I led a workshop for 6 trainees including 2 of our team members and representing 4 churches. I was so proud of them grasping the materials quickly and practice teaching together. One afternoon we conducted OJT with 30 students from a nearby primary school of which 22 prayed to receive Christ! Praise God!
§  Testimony – One team member, Buna (also a university student), really came out of her shell as I challenged her to speak in front of a group which she would usually decline, present a teaching unit, and have a discussion about Jesus during OJT with the students. She was thankful to me for pushing her out of her comfort zone to take every opportunity to speak and serve others during the mission trip. I loved seeing her blossom and grow into a strong, confident young godly woman! When she came back from the trip she had the courage to testify about her experience during her family devotion time at home.
§  Testimony – Naomi, one of the trainees, was moved to tears at the end of the workshop. She shared that as a mother and Sunday school teacher, her passion for children’s ministry and witnessing had grown abundantly. She was blessed by the OJT as the kids were so open and wanted to ask questions about growing in faith. She not only wanted to implement the program in church but also in the local primary school! How exciting!

·      Island/Village Life – There was only one main supermarket and a small vegetable/fruit open market. Things were expensive since most things had to be shipped over from the mainland. Most people lived off their fresh catch from the sea by fishing and diving or from farming the land. People rarely ate chicken or red meat since it is hard to get. Electricity ran by generators and would turn on by 5am each morning, shut off for a few hours in the early afternoon and by midnight til the next day. There were few trucks on the island for transportation. Most people traveled by boat to different areas on the island or on foot.

·      Sunday services – In the morning we attended an Apostel church and in the afternoon an Assembly of God church. Our team took part through sharing testimonies and performing Fiji meke and worship dances. Maba and another team member were also given the privilege of preaching! It was great fellowship!

·      Adventures – When our trainings finished for the day you could find our team swimming in the beautiful ocean or at a nearby refreshing waterfall! Other days we would explore and hike. It was amazing! One day our hosting families took us to another part of the island for a beach picnic where we had fresh fish and dipped it into seawater with lemon and chili! What a treat!

·      Team Unity and Diversity – We could not have asked for a better team to lead during this mission trip! Everyone bonded so quickly and worked together to reach out to the people there! The youngest person was 18, 5 members were 21, myself and another member in our late twenties, and Maba and his cousin above that. Each person, solid in their faith and having a heart for the lost, brought their own strengths and gifts to the team. It was great to see all those things come together to accomplish mighty things for the Lord! And Stephanie from Australia adapted so quickly into the Fijian culture and way of life. She embraced the team and felt so encouraged to serve with us. It was a blessing for me to share my testimony as a young woman on the mission field with her and encourage her in all that God has called her to in Australia. At the end of each day we had our team worship and devotion time together to reflect and pray. It was wonderful to hear different team members share their heart and encourage one another.

·      Me and Maba – Leading a local team together as husband and wife was truly special. We saw God’s favor upon us throughout the trip – before, during, and after.  This trip strengthened our marriage in different ways, empowered us as leaders and missionaries, and challenged us to be ready for what God has planned for us in the future! We took a big step of faith to coordinate the trip. And then to see it come to pass and bear much fruit was a great blessing!

Prayer Needs
o   Ministry roles in the local church community
o   Kadavu trained churches to carry on the work in witnessing and equipping others with EE and our team members settling back into normal routines and recovering after the mission trip
o   Upcoming EE responsibilities at the EE centre
o   More needs of Financial Support

Your prayers and support enabled us to organize and lead a mission trip to an remote, outer island of Fiji where many are so hungry to grow spiritually and many are searching for hope! New doors were opened into areas where EE is still trying to establish ministry networks. We hope you have been blessed by this month’s update. Please share with anyone you know who will also be encouraged and may feel led to also support through prayer and giving!

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
-OR- 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,