Monday, March 31, 2014

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:
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-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,

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