Wotje Atoll

Wotje Atoll
Taking off from Wotje Atoll

Friday, March 18, 2016

High Winds, King Tides and Drought in the Marshall Islands!

You know living on an atoll in the middle of the pacific ocean certainly brings challenges at times.  With that said, we thank God for the honor of being here in the Marshall Islands.  I wanted just to take a moment and update you all on what is going on here in the islands.

As you may know from a previous post we are currently in the middle of a drought period.  This have been brought on by an el nino that is currently in progress.  The last substantial rain we had was back in November 2015.  There have been occasional passing showers since then, but not enough to replenish the water supplies.

The water company here has been doing and outstanding job of distributing water to the people.  Reverse osmosis machines are set up and producing limited amounts of water.  This happening not only in Majuro but in the outer islands as well.  However, according to the Marshall Islands Journal the northern atolls are running out of water and food.  There are just not enough machines for every atoll.

These conditions are affecting plant life and trees as well.  A little over a week ago we had 4 days of king tides.  These higher than normal tides combined with high winds brought some flooding to the islands.  Kili was once again flooded almost completely.  Kili is the atoll where the Bikini people were resettled after the nuclear testing.

There were no lives lost and damage in most places was minimal.  We thank God for His protection and your prayers during this time. Please continue to agree with us for rain over the coming months and also protection from the king tides.  Thank you all for your prayers and support.  God bless, you are truly our partners in the Gospel here in the pacific.

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and family
Majuro, Marshall Islands

The New Bus is Here!

Good day from the islands.  It has certainly been a busy time here in the Marshall Islands.  This morning I just wanted to let you know that our new bus is here!  We wrote about the blessings from the Lord a few months ago.  I will post a link to that story at the bottom of the post for you to go back and read if you missed it.

Basically, we received funding for a new car, new bus and supplies to repair our solar/wind power setup.  The car we were able to purchase here on the islands but the bus was a different story.  You see we only have two car dealers on the island and they did not have what we need or wanted.

However, a company here helped us purchase a new bus in the Philippines and shipped it down for us.  As usual living on an island the new bus would come on a ship and take several months to arrive.  During that time the church allowed us to use their bus to continue getting our students back and forth.

Well, the bus is here!  It arrived about two weeks ago and immediately went into service.  It is a Mitsubishi, runs on diesel and even has air conditioning.  The layout and everything is perfect for our students and ministry.  It is such a huge blessing.  The kids love it and once again as always God has provided.

Our older bus is still on the road and doing a shorter run to Laura.  Someone asked, how long will you continue to use that one?  I simply said, until she can't run no more.  We literally use what God provides until it is unusable.  Shawn and I have found that as stewards we must maintain what God has provided.  When we are good stewards God takes care of the rest.  Trust me, the old bus is still blessing many here in the islands.

To the unknown supporters, thank you so much for following the Holy ghost.  I also want to thank you all for your prayers and support.  Most of all we give God all of the glory for providing the new bus to our ministry here in the islands.

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and family
Majuro, Marshall Islands

If you missed the other blog post you can see it by clicking on the link below!


Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Lot Going On!

There is a lot going on here in the Marshall Islands.  This morning I just wanted to take a moment to update you on what is happening here in the islands.  Two weeks ago a state of emergency was declared here in the Marshall islands.  The emergency, we are in a drought.  Since last November we have received very little rain which has severely impacted our water supply!

Here in the Marshalls over 90 percent of our water comes in the form of rain.  It is caught mainly off of the rooftops and stored in catchments for use.  Even the international airport is a source of water.  It is designed in such way that when it rains the water is pumped into the main catchment for Majuro.

There are very few places throughout the islands water can be pumped from the ground.  These are called water lenses.  There is one here in Majuro but it is not capable of supplying water to the whole atoll.  At this time from what I understand we are below 50 percent here in Majuro.

Of course the situation in the northern and southern atolls is much worse.  The RMI government has reverse osmosis machines in place in several of the outer islands.  The push is to install more of these to take care of the people there.  Even here on Majuro, reverse osmosis machines are already in use.  Emergency water points have already been setup and are providing water to families.

Even with these machines in place they can only provide a limited supply of water.  Our once green island is now mostly brown with many of the trees losing their leaves.  Now when driving around the atoll the once lush growth that could be seen is now dying or gone.

According to the weather forecast these conditions are to last at least through May!  We of course are praying and have seen some scattered showers.  Last weekend we got a couple days of rain.  It certainly provided much needed water.  Please keep the Marshall Islands in your prayers during this time.

On other news, President Casten Nemra was replaced after a vote of no confidence.  Certainly a surprise to many after only two weeks in office.  He was replaced by Dr. Hilda Heine, the first woman president here in the Marshall Islands.  Please pray for the government here as we go forward into 2016.

We are looking forward to Monday, February 22, 2016.  Our new bus is expected to arrive.  Praise the Lord.  It is so exciting to know that this is becoming a reality.  We give God all the glory for His provision for the mission.

Shawn, as many of you know, is still in the states.  She was supposed to be back the end of January.  Due to some medical appointments and other things she will now return at the end of March.  She will return with Richard when he comes back to the islands.  Please keep them in your prayers and me as well.  It has been a long 11 weeks but the end is in sight.

We are looking at ways to obtain a reverse osmosis machine here at the compound.  Please keep us in your prayers as we look at ways to produce water here on the compound.  Next week, we will start a new discipleship class with the Marshallese.  We are looking forward to a kingdom explosion in 2016.  Nothing stop the Kingdom of God when the people of God rise up in faith!

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support.  God bless and have an awesome day in the name of Jesus.

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and family
Majuro, Marshall Islands.

Feel free to leave a comment or question below....  We will get back with you..  

If you would like to help out, support and keep up with us here email us at rikakisteve (at) gmail.com

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Big Change In the Marshall Islands

Good day from the islands.  In November 2015 the Marshall Islands had it's elections.  From the very beginning of the campaign we say several new faces.  A generation rising up to take it's place in leadership here!  In that election we saw one third of the senators replaced by newcomers.  Several of those became the solid 6 and eventually became the solid 10.   Of course, opinions vary on whether it was 8 or 10.  The importance of what has happened can not be overlooked.

This is a true milestone of change in government leadership here in the Marshalls.  Not only was there major change in numbers but we also have three women as senators.  The election was certainly a reflection of the people's desire for change.  It is seen by many as a changing of the guard.  The new young senators reflect a people looking for a younger, fresher approach to government here.

On Monday, January 4th, the new president was selected.  It was a vote between a new senator and a seasoned veteran.  In the end the new senator won by one vote.  The new president, Casten Nemra, is the youngest president elected here in the Marshall Islands.  He is also the second commoner to hold the position of president.  Along with the new president, a new speaker was selected, Senator Kenneth Kedi!

Our congratulations go out to President Casten Nemra and Speaker Kenneth Kedi.  The president is now selecting his cabinet and that will be presented soon.  Shawn and I would like to ask all of you to join with us in praying for the president of the Marshall Islands and his family.  Agree with us for a strong government for the people.  Agree with us for the cabinet to be one of integrity and truth.  We are believing with the people of the Marshall Islands for change.

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and family
Majuro, Marshall Islands

Monday, January 04, 2016

Reaching Out To The Children!

Good day from the islands.  You know children and children's workers are sometimes the most overlooked part of the church.  Yet this ministry within our churches and ministries should be elevated and supported.  Here in the Marshall Islands there is a constant battle for children.  A little over three years ago the first mosque was established here in Majuro.  Since then their major focus has been on the children of the Marshall islands.  

When people are asked about what they think about this, most point out the good things that they are doing.  Certainly they have done good things.  They offer free education, tutoring, medical and continue to bring in humanitarian aid to the people here in Majuro.  However, we also see that the goal is to convert people, mainly children to Islam.  Many would think of this as a negative but for us this has increased our passion to reach a nation for Jesus!

A few months ago I wrote about our children's evangelism training given by Theresa Llorente of Children's Evangelism Fellowship!  Since the completion of that training our children's leaders have done weekly outreaches.  

Sister Lavini, Sister Janet and Shawn have taken a new approach to reaching children for Christ.  They are on the frontline sharing the Gospel with children of all ages.  Glory to God.  We have determined as a ministry and a church not to sit by and watch!  We have been ignited by the Spirit to push harder in these last days.

I thank God for all of our teachers and leaders that teach children every week.  Many providing food on a weekly basis to take care of these little ones!  It is awesome to see so many stepping up to reach others for Jesus!  Look at the news, movies, video games and the world today.  It is a constant battle for the minds of our children and young people.  

That is why I thank God for those who work with children around the world!  So I want to take time to encourage you to stop by your children's area in your church.  Take a look and see what is going on, see how you can be involved, encourage and thank those who are ministering to the children.  

Shawn and I want to thank you for your help in our ministry here in the Marshall Islands and the Pacific.  If you would like to be a part or help out in anyway please contact us at rikakisteve@gmail.com .  God bless you and may you prosper in all things as you follow Jesus!

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and the family

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Celebrating Christmas!

Good day from Majuro, Marshall Islands.  I hope that your Christmas has been an awesome time celebrating Jesus and family.  As many of you know Shawn and Richard are in the states for the holidays.  Shawn traveled back to be with Malissa and Travis for the birth of their daughter Tatianna! Hopefully I spelled it right.  She was born on the 21st of December so needless to say she was the best Christmas present of all this year.

As for me here in the islands it was a great time as well.  On Christmas eve our church, Majuro International English Church, (MIEC), had our Christmas eve service.  It was filled with joy and songs.  Our children's department did an awesome job with their program.  It was wonderful to see them share Jesus with family and friends.  There were other songs as well and a big thank you to all who participated.

 Even our neighbors came and sang for the church as well.  Glory to God.  A big thank you to sister Lavini, sister Janet and all of those who had a part making it an awesome night.

Christmas day members of the church met at the hospital to start our day.
We went into the children's ward and the new born area singing carols and praying for the mother's, families and children.  We also blessed all of them with Christmas goodies.  Afterwards we went to the jail were we sang to the men, blessed them with gifts and prayed for them.  They were so happy to have someone come there on Christmas to share Jesus with them.  We look forward to new opportunities of ministering there in 2016.

Finally, we head back to the church.  There we put together 30 baskets of food for the families of our children who attend the church.  From there we went to 30 houses in the name of Jesus blessing the families.
It is so awesome to be able to bless others on Christmas day.  That is what it is all about.  We have found, as the word says in Romans, that it is the goodness of God that lead men to repentance.  As we continue to share the love of God with others we will reap a harvest.

I hope that your Christmas was as awesome as ours.
What a blessing to serve the Lord here in the Marshall Islands.  Of course a big thank you to all of MIEC who were part of blessing others this year.

God bless you and may you new year be filled with Jesus.  Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and family
Majuro, Marshall Islands

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Blessings!

Good day from the islands.  As many of you know a couple posts ago I let you all know about the blessings that the Lord had sent our way.  Well Shawn has received the first part of the blessing and I think it is best to let her share it in her own words.  This is from her post on Facebook!

On November 11th, I received this letter. Hi Shawn, how are you doing. I know Don talks with Steve more often than you and I but you are in my heart and in my prayers often. When I got to my office this morning there was an envelope over my desk from our friends and donors in Alaska. The card inside so touched my heart that I began to weep when I read it. It says the following: Enclosed are two checks for a combined total of 25K. The amounts from each company are being donated to Wings of Eagles Int. to help the ministry located in the Marshall Islands. The following words came to me relating to this donation,"This Money is for the Kings' Daughter's New Car", along with the scripture in Eph 3:14-21. I hope that means something to the wife of your friend. Clearly The Lord has immeasurable love for both, her and her husband. We really sensed The Lord's direction on this donation and specifically as it related to her.
I could not hold my tears for I know you both, your love for the people and the price you are paying in the Marshall Islands. I have been praying for Steve, you and your children. Eph. 3:14-21 is a reminder of His Majesty, His faithfulness and HIs love for you both. Yes, The Lord has immeasurable love for both of you!
Alls I could do was cry when I got this letter. I thought I would never own my own car again since coming on the mission field. I praise God that He blesses us with our desires as well as our needs.
Thank you, Lord, for lavishing me with this wonderful gift. I want to give thanks to the couple who generously gave money to purchase this blessing for Steve and I.

Glory to God!  I want to let you all know again that this is a couple that we do not know!  They were moved on their heart to do something and just followed the Spirit!  Thank you Jesus.  Just to give you a further update, I was notified today that the new bus for the school will arrive the end of January 2016.  The batteries and equipment to bring our alternate power back fully online is on the way.  There will be further updates as things arrive here in the islands.  Once again we thank all of your for your faithful prayers and support.  God always answers our prayers and is always on time.  God bless you and may you prosper even as your soul prospers!

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and Family