For the past 5 years in missions we have been strengthened and protected all over the world because you were praying faithfully.
Sometimes people send us a word of encouragement which is exactly the thing we need to sustain us in a spiritual battle. Your partnership with us is vital, and we want to improve our communication with you. From now on we will try to update this weblog with new photos and stories every week.
One of our main goals in ministry is to proclaim God’s goodness through our testimony.
Revelation 12:11 says the Christians overcame Satan “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”
We all want to be counted in that number of Christians boldly sharing our testimonies right?
So what can we do to be in better communication with you? Should we send newsletters more often? Maybe every 2 weeks instead of every 4-6 weeks? We enjoy praying for you every day when you send us your prayer requests….should we send you more letters or postcards?
If you would like to receive letters through the mail we can do that. We apologize because sometimes our mail doesn’t reach America, coming from our remote 3rd world country. But we’ll keep trying. We received our first letter here this week and were so excited. Jen’s Grandma mailed us corn seeds for our garden (thanks Grandma!)
Whatever we can do from our side, we really want to try our best to improve communication. Because we care about you, value your partnership, and need to share more testimonies for God’s glory. Amen?
Here is the exciting news….
We’re having a baby!
This was a total surprise to us, because we planned to wait awhile—but God did a miracle.
This is a blessing and testimony to ‘Osi’s family too. His 3 older brothers have been married for many years with no children. They really want children but are not walking with the Lord. Now they see how we are walking with God and He blessed us with a baby even when we were trying to prevent it. God is so amazing!
So now we are over the shock, and getting excited. God’s plans for us rarely seem “practical” or “safe”. Remember what He called Noah to do? Or David, or Esther? (Check out Hebrews 11 for more fantastic examples of faith). When we put our faith in Him He can show His greatness and do miracles.
This month we moved back to the YWAM Missions compound on the main island of Tonga. We felt we should return here for a bit more Bible/ministry training while helping serve the mission. Because everywhere we’ve lived the past 5 months of marriage we get heavily involved in local ministry, and quickly the Pastors offer ‘Osi a leadership position among the youth or asks us to pioneer a pre-school….random things. But every time we bring it to God in prayer, we get verses about how we need more training and humble positions first.
While we are serving and training here…..
We are sharing a cute cabin with another missionary on campus. She is a darling 70 year old lady named Loloma, who just gave her life to Jesus and wants to be a missionary. We love Loloma as our own Grandma, and are thrilled to have her in our family. She came with nothing to support herself, and no family support. So we applaud her bravery. She is a true disciple, leaving everything to follow Jesus. Loloma is also helping Jen improve her Tongan, because she talks constantly but doesn’t speak English. The only English word we have hear her speak is "enough!" when we give her too much food.
Maybe you were wondering why we took the past 4 months off from our “normal” ministry to do youth ministry in other villages with our family. Truthfully, we have not changed our missions focus or vision, but were respecting the culture we live in. In Tonga after marrying the man is expected to take his bride home to help his Mom and meet the whole family. Indeed we spent a lot of quality time with the whole family, sometimes packed into a 3 room house with 4 different families. Spending our “honeymoon” in the same room with Grandpa was awkward, but overall God used us in exciting ways.
A few of our relatives recommitted their lives to God simply because they saw that we read the Bible and pray together daily instead of screaming and fighting. Osi’s brother and sister in-law have been married, wanting children for years but never could. But when they saw that God blessed us immediately with a baby, they started praying and going to church again….after inviting God into their marriage they conceived 2 months later! Hallelujah!
The most amazing miracle…..
Is that after 16 years ‘Osi’s Dad is finally reuniting with his Mom. ‘Osi’s Dad, Kesomi sat in our kitchen last week crying as he confessed his failure to a group of friends and family. Kesomi had left ‘Osi’s Mom Kelela 16 years ago in Tonga with their 7 children. Then he moved to Alaska, saying he wanted a divorce and had another girlfriend. But Kelela refused to give up on him, and she prayed for the next 16 years. Kesomi said recently he has been convicted by the way his children are missionaries trying to serve God, yet he should be the one setting an example. So he flew back here to Tonga and is currently reconciling with his wife.
Malo aupito! (Thank you very much) for your encouragement, advice, prayers, and partnership with us. We always pray for you, and look forward to communicating with you more regularly.
Love 'Osi, Jenn, Loloma, and the baby.