I cannot remember a year that Christmas went by as fast as this past one. As a family we were blessed with a 4.5 foot “fake” Christmas tree from our friends on the Kwajalein base. With decoration sent from USA from our families we were able to make it feel more like Christmas even though it was in the 80’s with about 80-90% humidity out. The air conditioning was not working so it was warm and very muggy no matter where or what you were doing you were sweating!
Well two days after Christmas we got 4 visitors from Kona that were doing a DTS but now I am getting ahead of myself.
This year we were blessed to have the Fall DTS from YWAM Ships Kona ask if they could send a team to the Marshall Islands. Of course we responded as this is our heart for the Marshall Islands, to receive teams and give the islanders here hope which we receive thru the love of Jesus. David & Marisa Norris the leaders of this DTS said that it looks like it might be a large team, like maybe 10-15 students. Well long story short it ended up being 16 students with 2 team leaders. Praise the Lord with alot of knocking on doors and putting the word out that we needed space to put all these guys and of course God provided a space for each of them! Many thanks to Tony and Makiko Miaka for the use of the house which housed 9 of the team!
So yes a group of 18 from different places in the world, places such as the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, Canada and of course the US of A came to do outreach with us for 10 weeks!
I think Katie and I have gain more insight to what it might have looked like for Jesus trying to create disciples from different walks of life and different countries. I have more respect for some of the stories told in the New Testament of where Jesus was frustrated with the disciples.
Anyway having this large of a group has been really incredible in regards to getting things done and a hidden blessing in that we don’t have a boat big enough to take a team this large altogether so we had to split the team up into groups of 9. The islands we were able to do ministry at were Carlos, Gugegue, Ebeye, Namu-Namu and Majikin in the Namu Atoll.
In splitting up the team we were able to make two trips to the Namu Atoll, and impacting 2 inhabited islands out of the 4 that make up the population of Namu atoll.
Namu-Namu as seen above was rather windy and rough
HERE IS THE BIG NEWS ,
In taking the first team of 9 to Namu-Namu we discovered that it was the first time in 40 years for missionaries with a boat to come and share the Gospel.
This was a delight to our ears as it was a bit of a rough voyage going there and this news made it all worth it!
We gave out bibles to each household, did wound care, diabetes testing, good news clubs everyday (like a vacation bible school). Actually the truth is that I Scott did not get to go to Namu-Namu because the weather was so rough and I needed to stay on the boat doing anchor watch the entire time. God is so good though as when the government boat which came to pick-up the team came they said that they were having issues with their engine so told them to come back the next day so I could work on it. It turned out to be a great 3 hours of testimony sharing, working and friendship building. Trip back to Ebeye was 100% better than the trip going and only half of the people that got sea sick on the way there got sick going back.
MAJIKIN – as seen above was so beautiful.
Majikin is 12 miles east and a little south of Namu-Namu. So with it being closer to the pass it took less time for us to get there.
Majikin with a population of around 300+ people were again able to give away 1 bible per household along with the same things we did in Namu-Namu. The biggest difference to this trip was that the weather was so nice that much of the time we were able to leave the boat as a family and not worry about it. It was not until the day of our departure that the winds kicked up very strong and made thing interesting. But God is good and because we left when we did things were not bad at all. As I write this almost a week later the winds have not stopped but have increased since that day and has made the seas very rough. So we got out of there just in time!
Highlights of this last trip would be about 30 kids accepting Christ into there lives and the baptism of 2 of the team members and two Marshallese teens that decided to be baptized as well. It was amazing, stretching and so, so tiresome……. but we would turn around and do it again in a heart beat. It is so cool to see all that God is doing here in the Marshall Islands and in the team members when they are here.