Friday, July 29, 2011

The Giver of Gifts

God sure is good! I mean, He just never ceases to amaze me with His love and faithfulness. I don’t just mean with the big things either. He takes the time to care even about the tiny things that don’t matter to anyone else but me. For example, during our first two weeks here in Tahiti I was craving pizza like never before! You might be wondering why I didn’t just go get some, but it’s REALLY not that easy to do here in our situation. Anyways, I mentioned this quite a few times in those two weeks. I probably drove my husband crazy because on the Friday at the end of the 2nd week he prayed, “Lord, will you give my wife pizza today!” That night we had a community outreach event at the church and believe it or not, someone brought a pizza!! The following week I was craving chocolate chip cookies. I bought some at the store, but they tasted terrible. That Friday what did someone bring to the community outreach event? Yup, homemade chocolate chip cookies!! This last week I was craving apple pie (I even dreamed about it!). We are at a new location where we are running a weeklong mini-DTS for the youth from the church. They give us a snack everyday (they always offer me seconds “for the baby”) and what did they give us on the first day? That’s right, hot apple turnovers!! His love for me doesn’t end there. Yesterday I was telling Morgan that I wanted some Brazilian churrasco (some salty bbq’d meat) and what did we have for lunch today? Salty barbecued steak, of course! There are tons of other things that have happened like this since we’ve been here and they don’t all have to do with food (that’s just what seems to be on my mind a lot these days….I blame it on Baby!!).
Then there are the big things. A couple of weeks ago we had a baby scare. I had lots of cramping and some bleeding. The moment I saw the blood my heart just stopped. I know this is often normal, but keep in mind this is my first pregnancy and it’s all new to me! So, the American missionary couple that is here (Poi and Lita) came to take me to the nearest hospital. Once there we found out that they weren’t really going to be able to check on the baby because they didn’t even have an ultrasound machine or anything like it. It was a very interesting experience though and worth the visit! The doctor there referred me to the nearest private OBGYN. It took two days to be able to actually see the doctor, but once there he took a look and we saw that Baby was fine. In fact, Baby was moving all over the place in there and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen! The thing is, the night before the ultrasound we were having a real struggle with fear over Baby (the rest of the team told me later that they were as well). Morgan and I asked ourselves, “Why are we doing this? Let’s just ask our Father. He knows everything.” We both prayed and I heard, “It’s okay. He’s fine” and Morgan heard, “He’s aliiiiiiiiiive!” This brought us comfort. He was right, of course.
One last thing. Though this outreach has been a bit more challenging than the others (due to the human growing inside of me), I wouldn’t change a thing. I realized the other day that Baby is developing in an environment where prayer and worship are going on all around him/her EVERY SINGLE DAY! It has been prophesied that Baby is going to come out a worshipping warrior. Amen! In addition, Baby is SO loved and well taken care of by the Tahitians. They are always trying to feed me extra food (especially desserts, which I am now having to say no to since we get them twice a day!) and don’t want me to lift a finger. The other night they wouldn’t let me wash dishes because “Baby will be cold.” Oh, and I knew that once someone has a baby people often forget about the parents and it’s all about the baby. What I didn’t realize is that it happens even before the baby is out of the womb! I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “Not for you, for baby” or “No care about you, for baby.” Funny.
Well, please keep praying that God would continue to pour grace down upon us. We need it! We love and miss you all.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We're Really Cookin'!

We are well into week 4 here and things are really cooking. We spent three weeks working with a Full Gospel Church in Papeari. Papeari is a small country town at the basin of a valley. Papeari means “Water Wet” in Tahitian, and it rains there a lot and is actually kind of cold. We did several community outreaches where we invited young people to come and hang out with us. These were very successful. After the first one the young people began coming over everyday to hang out with us. Relationships formed pretty quickly. There was some resistance as the local Mormon missionaries began coming over to check us out. We didn’t argue with them, but only loved them and invited them to hang out with us on their day off (which was our way of tempting them since they are not aloud to go to the beach, go swimming, or do anything fun on the during their mission). One of the Mormons, a 19 year-old from Arizona, admitted that it was kind of a “drag” being a Mormon missionary because they are not allowed to do much. Could you imagine being in Tahiti and not being allowed to go in the water? A sad moment occurred when we witnessed and helped break-up a fight between the church caretakers (whom are husband and wife). The husband, William, beat up his wife, Olivia, pretty bad. She went to the hospital that night. We were all a little surprised when he checked her out of the hospital and brought her home two days later. In all honesty they are not completely sane. They were homeless and on drugs a few years ago. They have very sweet hearts and are hungry for the Lord, but are definitely a work in progress. The church has separated them and checked them into a Salvation Army counseling program. It was very sad and very disturbing. On a positive note, we saw several healings, including a girl that had a hole in her heart. We had a bit of a scare with the baby (Lisa had lots of cramping and some spotting), but we got to go to the local OBGYN and have an ultrasound done. Everything is as it should be and we are relieved. We got to see Baby’s feet, fingers, knees, elbows and head. We are currently in a city called Taravao working with an Assembly of God church. We are running a week long mini-DTS for forty people aged 13 to 26. Lisa, me, and our students are taking turns teaching on a number of subjects. I taught on how to know God’s ways yesterday, and Lisa taught on God’s plan for our lives. After Lisa taught we had a time of ministry which was very powerful. Brent (one of our students) and I were used to bring deliverance to an 18 year-old kid, which lasted almost 2 hours (it was pretty heavy). The guy got free, and we are all stoked. Things are really cooking here for us. We are thankful for all of your prayer and your support. Please continue to pray for us: 1) For wisdom, patience, etc. as we lead 2) For Lisa and the baby growing in her 3) For God’s guidance and power 4) For unity for our team 5) For our team as we teach this week 6) For healing for Morgan’s back, which is out of whack. Once again thank you all so much. We are so blessed and privileged to be here ministering. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank You to Jesus. In Jesus our Lord and friend, Lisa, Morgan, and Baby PS I got to surf a pass at a place called Tiarei (or something like that) on my day off. My friend, Poi, and I took a boat to the pass. We surfed head high waves over razor sharp reef, and than road a jet ski back. It was amazing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wow, we left Kona only one week ago. Seems longer ago, but this week really has gone by fast! Tahiti is a beautiful place. There is only one main road around the entire island, so you look to the amazing turquoise ocean on one side and lush, green mountains on the other. The people are what I am most taken by though. The Tahitians may be the most hospitable, kind, loving, generous and warm people I have ever met! Still, this place is in desperate need of Jesus. Other than the strong religious spirit and disunity among the Church there are the usual island problems of drug abuse, domestic violence and kids living on the street. The Lord has already opened many different doors for us to minister and we are super thankful for the privilege to be here! The couple that takes care of the church grounds, William and Olivia (they are in the team picture with us), came off the streets three years ago. They were strung out on drugs and had all four of their children taken away. They have been joining our team worship and intercession every morning and though they speak only Tahitian and French the Holy Spirit has really been ministering to them through this time and there has been great breakthrough!

I will admit that outreach is a bit tougher this time around than when I WASN’T eleven weeks pregnant! I am just more naturally cautious now in regards to the food I eat, the water I drink, traveling methods, etc. In addition, I haven’t been feeling so great and have had to rest more. A few days ago I confessed all these fears and worries to Him and I heard Him say that Baby will be fine, so I will trust in that. Besides, as Morgan mentioned in the earlier post the Tahitian women are treating me like a princess because of Baby. They always want me resting and eating and don’t like me to have to walk anywhere (I’m really going to have to watch that baby weight while I am here!). Morgan and I have been joking about what a warrior this baby is going to be. He/she will have traveled to at least three different countries before even coming out of the womb! Baby will be use to cold showers (that’s what we have here), cockroaches (a HUGE one crawled up my pajama sleeve while I was sleeping the other night……uugh!) and extensive travel (at least 18 airplanes before he/she is out!). Again, it is a privilege to be here and we will stand firm as a family. Please pray for us! I am attaching a video from our time at a nearby community center. Some of the children have been taken away from their parents because of abuse and some just spend the day there while their caretaker is at work.

Glory to Him,


Saturday, July 9, 2011

This "ain't" Club Med!

We are in Tahiti, but this isn’t Club Med. Things were crazy before we left for Tahiti so I wasn’t able to send out an e-mail. We have been here for one week now. We have been staying in a little village named Papeari and we will be there for three weeks. We are staying at a church that has some rooms, a kitchen, and some cold showers for us. I didn’t realize it could get cold here on the islands but… it does. We have been doing the usual YWAM stuff: mime skits, dances, painting kids’ faces, etc. We will be working with the youth while in Papeari doing kids clubs, as well as some local outreaches. The church is down the street from a HUGE Mormon temple. Mormon temples are all over the place here. Most people think it is the same as Protestantism… which of course it is not. We are spending the weekend near the big city of Papeete. There is an outreach to teens at the McDonalds. We will be giving some testimonies, a skit, and some dances. We are staying in the homes of two ladies that are sisters, Henriette and Yolande.. This morning we spent a couple of hours worshipping in Tahitian, French, English and Korean. The house we are at has a million dollar view of a surf spot and the island of Moorea. It is quite breathtaking. We are doing well. We are adjusting well to the Tahitian culture. The food in particular is amazing, not to mention the sights. Lisa has been feeling nauseated quite often and is having a little bit of a hard time, but she is doing well. The Tahitian women are treating her like a little queen: feeding her, not allowing her to walk or carry things, and prohibiting anyone from massaging her (according to the Tahitian ancestors it causes the baby to come out early). Please pray for us for the following: 1) Our time in Tahiti to be fruitful. 2) Unity for our team, especially amongst the leaders (we are co-leading with an 18 year-old girl). 3) God to direct us and to provide for our team. 4) That we would be sensitive to the Tahtians, and respectful to their culture. 5) For Lisa and our growing baby. 6) Pray that we will take more pictures (we are not very good about that). 7) That finances would come in. (We ask that you please prayerfully consider supporting us either monthly or with a one-time contribution.) Special shout out to the O’Briens and their new baby girl, Birdie(?)! Thank you all so much for your prayers, and support. We love you all and miss you guys so much. We are so blessed to be doing this, and incredibly thankful. Jesus is always victorious! Muruuru (Thank you) Morgan, Lisa and Baby Isa 60: Arise and shine for your light has come...