Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Here I am at the University of the Nations working in missions support by helping with some administrative management at the largest YWAM base in the world. The difficult part of that is manifold; for example, (1) it isn't really what I ultimately want to do from a ministry standpoint (but God has confirmed in so many ways that this is where He is putting me for now); (2) it isn't nearly as exciting as telling someone you are headed off to some uncharted island or African nation; and (3) it is hard for people to catch a vision of supporting someone who is in Hawaii doing "legal" things or managing people or projects. So, sometimes I feel like I don't have much to tell people about my work here, at least not something that seems very important.

But, on occasion I do get to see some amazing ministry work being done by others, and I sure love sharing about that. Below is an email from friends of ours, Nick and Jen Greener, who have been in Fiji for the past four weeks doing missions work. I hope it inspires you as it has me. It reminded me of one of the reasons why we are here: to support people doing work just like the Greeners.

Greetings from Lautoka!

We’re getting settled here in Fiji. The people we’ve met have been warm and very welcoming, and YWAM has some great projects that we will be a part of throughout our time here. YWAM has a “drop-in” center for neighborhood kids here in Lautoka that we’ve all been working at—Christian loves it, and they all look forward to “Auntie Jen” helping them with a new craft each day. Nick has been working with a similar program in a squatter settlement built around the dump at the edge of the city, though instead of crafts we have a focus on teaching some basic health and hygiene skills that are so badly needed there. It's hard to describe how miserable the conditions are there-- and even more difficult considering the number of kids that live in and around the dump settlement. We’ve also been able to help with some of the ministries run out of the prison and a home for disabled children (Christian was confused and sad-- he asked to pray for a new little friend he met there "who didn't know how to stomp"). All in all, we have been getting a great amount of experience and exposure to different types of missions work.

We leave on October 24th for two weeks on one of the smaller “outer islands” in a village called Teci. There are about 200 people there, good water (when it rains) and we’ve been told that there is a small generator in the village that provides a couple hours of electricity a day to one of the buildings. It should be exciting—and as is the custom there, Nick will be expected to catch dinner for the family each day. We may come back thinner.

One of the main purposes for our time there will be to begin plans for a drinking water system that will allow for consistent potable water for the village (not just during the rainy season). If the plans come together well we may be able to have a YWAM team come in to begin construction within the next few months.

When we leave Teci we will work at the YWAM base in Suva (the capital of Fiji) up until Thanksgiving—then we’ll go back to Kona to determine where our long-term missions work will take place. There are still a number of possibilities as to where we will be for the next couple years. We are very much hoping to be in place and settled at the beginning of the new year though—living in one room as a family has made us appreciate how nice even a small apartment would be!

We'll give you all an update when we get back from Teci-- we'd appreciate your prayers for health, safety, and plenty of fish. We are having a great time, even with all the challenges that this brings. It's been fun to watch our own kids grow here! Ava is crawling, and seems almost ready to walk. Christian is doing great, and we're all healthy after a tough couple weeks when we first got here. We've got mosquito nets, medicine ready in case of scabies (unfortunately very common here), and we've taken our pills to help prevent elephantitis. Christian took the pills for elephantitis, but wants to know if we can somehow get tiger-itis for him. (end of email)

I love it. The way God works through people following His call. The way He works in the lives of those people following His call. How he can have a zillion things going on all at the same time, for His purpose and His plan, and it is all for the best for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. WOW! Isn't God AMAZING? PRAISEWORTHY? THE BESTEST!


jasonk said...

Nice ax bro.

jasonk said...

Sorry, in keeping with the island spirit, I should have said, "nice ax, bra."
Forgive me.

John Smulo said...

Cool to bump into other YWAMer's. We used to be at the Honolulu base.