Friday, April 15, 2016

The Biogas is Burning!

Thank you so much for your prayers!
The Biogas Training was a tremendous success, as was the Graduation and Grand Opening of the Biogas Project on March 26th. Here is a link to the 5 minute version of our small documentary I made about the training, so you can see an overview of the process step-by-step. Click here to go to the video If it doesn't work to click on it, then you can copy the address and paste it into your internet browser. Enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Biogas Training

I know you’ve heard us say this before, but this is what we are excited about since returning from Samoa...bringing the Biogas Technology to Tonga. We believe this development is key in building up our missions campus, and reaching our nation through community development initiatives. God has amazed us with His powerful and creative ways of bringing a team from Samoa this week, and gathering up locals from all over Tonga...and the school starts next Monday! Thank you so much for praying for ‘Osi and I throughout this process of promoting the school, it has really stretched us into new and scary territory, but helped us depend more on God (always a priority) and to see how our individual gifts really compliment each other. We are praying that God will use this school to help Tongans see the wealth of natural resources they have...and break the yoke of the poverty mentality that has most families looking overseas for money, rather than using what we already have. Here is an article I wrote last week for our Tongan newspaper:Turn your Garbage into Gold! - learn how to recycle household waste into Biogas To be honest, I was skeptical when my husband first told me we can use the waste from our pigs to generate gas for my stove. After faithfully filling our propane tank for years, paying a small fortune, I had no idea my kitchen stove could run off other kinds of gas! Then we went to Samoa in November for a Biogas training workshop at YWAM Samoa, and were blown away by the simplicity of maintaining a biogas system. It is basically using animal waste, or septic waste, leaves, sawdust, grass and many other kinds of organic waste - shovel it into the biogas tank inlet, and after 2-4 weeks of "digesting" in the tank all dangerous and smelly bacteria is naturally burned away. The gas bi-product floats into a gas chamber (easily connected to your kitchen stove). And the rest of the digested waste is naturally pushed out of the tank through an outlet pipe emptying into a garden fertilizer heap. This fertilizer is "clean" from harmful bacteria and ready to provide nutrients for your garden! So, once again, garbage goes in and valuable goodness comes out! Biogas itself is useful for cooking in a gas stove, and can be converted to electricity for lighting a home. Perhaps you are now saying to yourself, “Amazing! How can I buy or build one of these Biogas tanks for my own home, and what would it look like?“ Biogas tanks can be big or small depending on the amount of waste a person feeds into the digester every day. It also depends on how much gas the family or community needs. Biogas systems can be made with a variety of materials and designs. Although the tank must meet certain mathematical standards in order to be long-lasting and effective - the aim is for the builder to be creative and resourceful using available materials to save money. For example, during the Biogas Training at YWAM Tonga (Feb. 22-Mar. 24th) we will be teaching our students in a classroom setting, and then put into practice what we have learned by building a large Biogas system made from cement bricks. Before building this system the students and staff must calculate the amount of biological waste available daily from our livestock and grass clippings.....then we have to calculate the number of people who will be using the Biogas. Because we have a large amount of animal waste, and a large amount of people using the gas, we will be building a large cement Biogas tank. However, if we were building a biogas system for a family of four, having daily waste from 3 pigs, we could build an effective and appropriate biogas system for their home using a 500 gallon plastic drum, a length of 1 inch pvc pipe, and a welded piece of metal for the stirring mechanism. The wonderful thing about Biogas is it teaches our families to recognize and appreciate all the good things God has given to us, and use it creatively instead of wasting it. So often our Tongan families are looking overseas for support, meanwhile we do not recognize we are throwing away great sources of income. Other developing nations all over the world are using Biogas systems to improve the quality of life for their people. In India, Africa, Nepal, Samoa...families are using various forms of Biogas tanks to turn their waste into gas and fertilizer. We believe it’s time to start making this technology popular in Tonga as well. That is why our fellow Y.W.A.M. missionaries in Samoa have agreed to come to Tonga to train our people in the science of building, using, and maintaining a Biogas system. (Anyways, the newspaper article continues on for another 100 words or so)….but as you know we are already 3 weeks into the Training, and it is going beautifully! We were too busy working day and night to finish and send this newsletter in February, but ‘Osi and I want to thank you so very much for your faithful prayers and support for our family on this project and so many others! We are also working on a documentary video of the entire project, and hope to publish it by the end of this month. Then we will write to you again with the youtube link so you can see it online! One of our favorite parts of being involved in the project has been getting to know our 10 students. Since anything we do in ministry is coming from a desire to disciple people to know and love Jesus more...that has been our constant prayer. “Lord please let us be salt and light to these great guys who are coming from various Tongan villages. Let this be an opportunity for them to have a “New Beginning” spiritually!” Thank you for joining us in prayer. We love you and enjoy hearing from you. Please write and tell us our prayer requests! The Halalilo family

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Live a life of love

For about a year now I have not had any regular ministry responsibility.  After James was born I took a break from volunteering at the preschool, then shortly after that the preschool closed for various reasons....and I kept praying and asking the Lord where I fit in at the mission.  What can I be doing to serve and love people right now, in the season I am at home caring for our young children?

And I felt like the Lord was inspiring me with the following ideas:
(I'm sharing this mostly to encourage other Mom's like me.  Because you may want to reach out in love and serve more but are not sure how...)
* Reach out to the single missionaries on campus, feed and encourage their laundry.
* Write encouragement cards to people
* Love and serve my family well, setting a good example to others watching us
* Pray for and encourage 'Osi in his full-time ministry responsibilities
* Give, when I see a need
* Pray for and encourage all our friends and missions partners in the U.S.
* Help out in the campus kitchen, chopping the garlic because nobody likes that job.  haha
* Plant more flowers around campus
* Help fellow Tongan missionaries write newsletters...
* Pray with people
* Bake and give it away
* Sew things for people, especially mending and hemming for the singles
* Share the word of God with someone - something the Lord shows me during my quiet time
* Sit with another Mother in their home -visit and encourage them
* Babysit another Mom's children
*Take them all out to the park or beach
* Invite people over for dinner
* Bless someone secretly
I guess the more I added to the list I realized these are things I love doing anyway, because God has uniquely gifted each believer with talents for building up the body of Christ.   So my prayer is that God will challenge me to choose one thing off the list everyday, and above all "live a life of love".  Because its not about what we do but the attitude/motive for why we're doing it, right?  =)

"Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
" - Ephesians 5:2

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Outreach continues - on two fronts!

Bittersweet day yesterday, part of the DTS team left for Vanuatu to finish their outreach and 'Osi is staying here in Tonga with the rest. Lord willing we'll go to Ha'apai next excited to see how God will continue working through both teams to love lost and hurting people to Jesus!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Whoever loses his life for Christ's sake, will find it

I wrote this letter to a loved one, and thought I should share it with more people....because concerned friends and family in America and in Tonga ask us regularly why we are living in Tonga instead of the America, a.k.a Disneyland =)  On the other hand there are some sweet but misguided friends who put us up on a pedestal of holiness that we can't even touch.  SO can I just throw out this disclaimer first?  'Osi and I are missionaries, but we are also just average Joe normal people, we don't have extraordinary talents or holiness. That being said, here is why we do what we do. 
'Osi and the Discipleship students have started their 3 month outreach.  They have been living in the village of Kolomotua, Vautu'u, and Patangata doing community service, door-to-door ministry, and outdoor evangelism programs.  But every few days he comes home to check on us, bring us food, and sleep overnight.  I know its a little bit of a sacrifice, but honestly we have been praying for this opportunity to work with the Discipleship students for years now, and it has been AWESOME to see them fall in love with Jesus, and catch a fire to live for him, start sharing with other people and making disciples of their it multiplies, get it?  =)  

That's what Jesus told us to do "Go and make disciples" and it totally makes sense.  The world would get saved SO much quicker, and be nurturing mature Christians if we were multiplying disciples rather that merely evangelism.
So I am ridiculously excited to be doing this with 'Osi.  The students came over to our house last night, and we were eating bread and butter and tea on the porch sharing stories about all the great ways God is opening hearts and opening doors in the villages.
Tongans make the BEST missionaries, and this place here in YWAM Tonga is the only campus we know of that is sending out missionaries. Besides the Mormons, lol  they are sending out missionaries by the Bushel.
I just think its sad that so many of us Christians just don't  get it.  God has amazing plans for our life, but so often we settle for less.  Maybe we're scared that if we really surrendered our life and future completely to Him He would  tell us to go live in the bush in poverty, nursing aids orphans or something, and that scares us.

So instead we Sing  on Sundays  "Your all I want, You're all I ever needed...."  But we LIVE as if our aim in life is to make ourselves as comfortable and happy as possible here on earth. 
And the world says that is our Right and the natural thing to do.  And if at the end of our life we have a spouse and kids and a house and a good job with benefits or whatever, and are thin and beautiful.... then we are "successful".
But Jesus said "Whoever finds his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."  

When I was 16, I had just returned from the Mexico missions trip that opened my eyes to see the rest of the world does not live like we do.    And I remember driving my nice new car over the Camano Island bridge during this georgeouss sunset, and I was thinking how incredibly blessed I was.  What a life of privilege I was born into!

And I was talking to Jesus, out loud, ( because thats what I normally did while driving  =)  remember how our parents made us wait a year before listening to the radio??

And I started, spontaneously praying the same prayer David did in 2 Samuel 7:18-22
"Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: "Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?...What more can David say to you? For you know your servant...  How great you are, Sovereign LORD!  There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears."

I told Him that I was so in love with Him and SO THANKFUL for everything he's done for me, that I would follow him to the ends of the earth and back.  Just whatever and whenever He wants....
And you know, he was right.   When he said.   "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. ..."
  In losing my life to Him, I really found it.  =)

Its really good.  I know we don't have alot of "stuff".  But its good.....

We are so honored, and humbled to be used by God out here.  And I know at the end of our life we can look back and see that it counted for something.
We won't regret giving up the temporary comforts we could have had in America.
He is worth it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

And this is what its like riding the bus

Standing in line for the AOG church conference....I couldn't help myself, this is exactly what it feels like taking the bus to town, except with 3 children.  Ah!  Scary but really fun, because they play loud music and we meet new people. I always forget to take my camera on the bus - but now you can imagine.  If you ever visit Tonga, you MUST experience the bus!
Standing room only ladies and gentlemen - its THAT popular  =)

DTS Outreach!

The YWAM Discipleship Training Course is divided into 3 months of classroom lecture phase, and then 3 months of outreach where the students put into practice sharing their faith and loving people with the love of Jesus whom they have come to know so dearly during the lecture phase.
Our DTS staff and students feel God is leading them to outreach in Vanuatu and Australia....however they are still awaiting approval of their visas to travel there. So in the meantime they have begun reaching out to Tongan villages. 

A typical day may start with a prayer meeting, then going out for community cleanup work.  Then door to door evangelism - and a couple of days a week they do a big outdoor evangelism program in the village square.

God has truly gone before 'Osi and the team in their outreach to the villages of Kolomotua and Vaotu'u.  The Holy Spirit has softened hearts of the people, and there have been many open hearts to the gospel and renewed commitments to Christ!

I personally enjoy seeing the love God has given these students for lost and hurting people.  They truly understand that life is not just about them and our own personal walk....God wants us to serve those around us by ministering to their practical needs and their spiritual life.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Kids Camp!

I had an awesome time with the kids camp this 3-day weekend, and was reminded WHY kids are the Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Part of the Royal Tongan family came,and although we had set aside a special seating area for them, as part of honoring them and setting them apart...a little prince and princess ran around and joined in with the other kids.  I was so touched to see them dancing that evening with my kids and lots of other kids who went up to the front of the chapel during worship, singing and dancing, hands in the air praising Jesus! 

That's how children are, they are uninhibited by propriety and protocol.  When asked questions they answer honestly,they don't worry about sounding intelligent or holy.  When they pray they do it with a simple faith that whatever they asked for will actually happen.   Its no wonder why Jesus said  "Whoever humbles himself, like this little child, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."   Matthew 18:4

Evangelism ki ai!!!

Awesome time of outdoor evangelism on Sunday, in the village of Ha'atafu. 'Osi did a fantastic job sharing his testimony, and also one of the students.   The students' led in drama and music, which was very powerful, and the Holy Spirit moved the hearts of the people... Afterwards 20+ people stepped forward to receive Christ! 

Now our DTS students are totally fired up for outreach - 3 months of divine appointments just like this!

Check out our video!

Pastor Greg asked us to record a video greeting from our family to our church in Texas. and upload it onto youtube....If you would like to see a glimpse of our life and discipleship ministry in Tonga, you can check it out here
2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Why pray for patience when you can pray for humor?

Lately I have been asking God to help me face stressful situations gracefully by giving me a fantastic sense of humor.  I think it will be great having the ability to "laugh at the days to come".  So many of my friends (mostly Mothers with small children) say they are "praying for patience".  Praying for patience...Yes, it sounds nice, but what does that mean exactly? 
When I ask God to do something in me I need to be as specific as possible, because I truly believe He will answer in that specific awesome way, so I can give Him credit for it later. 
That said...Lord, please help me to laugh when I discover we're on "Island time" and absolutely nothing happens when and how I planned for it to happen.  Give me great joy, when all of a sudden with no warning, various Tongan relatives show up at our house (Surprise!) and announce they will be staying with us for weeks....or indefinitely.  Gleefully I will receive them, and delight in the way you ALWAYS provide enough for all of us.
Help me to count it all joy when facing challenges in ministry and the occasional back stabbing....Finally, help me not to compare my life to other people who look like they have it easier, because Erma Bombeck says "The grass is always greener over someone elses septic tank."  I am so excited for what today will bring...the good the bad and the hilarious.