We have so much exciting news to share with you this month, and here are the highlights:
We moved to Vava’u the beginning of this month. Vava’u is another main island in the kingdom of Tonga. ’Osi’s Mom Kelela, and some siblings still live in his childhood home where we are living temporarily to help Kelela finish her house, and renew her farm. ’Osi’s Dad and all 3 older brothers moved away to find work, so Kelela really has to work hard to care for the other children on her own.
I love, Kelela so much. She is the perfect picture of a Proverbs 31 lady. When we first married ‘Osi told me “Jennifer, I love you so much. I love you like I love my Mom.”What!! That’s every American wife’s nightmare being compared to the perfect Mother in law!
But now that I am living with Kelela I understand, I can’t be jealous of an angel. Besides ‘Osi gives me ample reason to feel secure. Every day he scrubs the Tongan mud off my feet and tells me how much he loves me. He is a wonderful husband. Another way God blessed us this month is through ‘Osi’s Dad giving us land for an inheritance. Land in Tonga is passed down from Father to son, and his Father gave us the best piece. We praise God for this generous gift. Hopefully we can build a little Tongan house from coconut leaves so we have a permanent address anytime we need to return from missions.
When I first visited the property I cried and cried. Its everything I ever dreamed about, and ‘Osi was totally confused when I reenacted a scene from Gone With the Wind – grabbing a fistful of dirt I declared “With God as my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!!!”
‘Osi was working as a youth leader for 3 different churches in Tongatapu before we moved to Vava’u. We are still involved in ministry everywhere we go, and I have internet set up at home now to continue mission communications work. Also I finished two documentary videos this month for YWAM Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. But our main ministry now is friendship evangelism with many of our unsaved family members and friends in our village.
Everyone goes to church as part of the culture, but many people don’t have a relationship with God. So alcoholism, abuse, and other problems are common within families in our village.
Village life centers around church meetings. So I really need you to pray for me to learn Tongan faster. I love going to church at home, but going to church Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30 in the morning, then again on Sunday 3 times a day is a bit much when I don’t understand the language.
It was hilarious, today was the quarterly giving Sunday, but I didn’t know the protocol. ‘Osi and I were rushing out of the house when I grabbed our tithe, thinking it was a $50 but it was only $2. So the protocol in our Free Wesleyan (Methodist) church is every 3 months we save up our money and bring a large offering to the front. Then the deacon calls out our name and the amount we gave. Man, I was so embarrassed giving our $2 widows mite.
Good thing God and the Pastor are more concerned with our hearts than public displays of holiness.‘Osi has had many meetings with the pastor of our church here. They have several ideas for reaching the youth in our village. Most of the youth are going to church on Sunday as part of the culture, but during the week they are taking drugs and alcohol and falling away from God’s plan for their lives.
Please pray for the youth in our village. It’s difficult to reach people who think they are Christians because they go to church, but they don’t have a real relationship with God. We want to encourage them to see that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life.This promise is true for you as well dear friend.
God bless you as you grow closer to Him,
♥ Jen and ‘Osi
Praises and prayer requests:
1.) Praise God for the opportunity to serve our family and new village in Vava’u.
2.) Please pray for our good health, Jennifer is recovering from dengue fever this week
3.) Praise God for our ministry opportunities to the youth, through ’Osi’s favor with the Pastor 4.) Pray for Jennifer to learn the language and adapt to being the only foreigner in the village, it can be lonely sometimes