Wotje Atoll

Wotje Atoll
Taking off from Wotje Atoll

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Projects and Current Needs

This year certainly has seen many things happen here in the Marshall Islands. Challenges have abounded, and in every case God has always provided exactly what we need. He has never been late but always right on time. We now have the funding for our solar/wind project, and the equipment is on the way. Our hold up in that area right now is block for the battery room. As you can see above, the floor is poured and ready to go. We just need the block for the walls. What is the hold up, you might ask? Sand is the hold up! Bricks require a great deal of sand. Currently sand cannot be dredged here, and it has to be made or brought in by ship. We have 200 blocks on order now, and we are hoping to have it this week. The funding we have raised for this will cover our basic setup but we will need to add more solar panels in the future. If you would be interested in being a part of this project just drop us an email.

We have had challenges in the last month with our buses. Our diesel bus went down with a blown head gasket and a cracked crankshaft. We have ordered the parts to repair it and are believing God for the funds. The white bus you see pictured above is on it’s last miles. It is almost beyond what we can do but it continues to run. We recently replaced the water pump and will replace the head gasket on the white bus this week also. We are believing God for a new bus. The cost for that is $18,500 for a brand new bus.

Our computers had their share of problems. Three of our computers went down with bad hard drives all within a month. We thank God we have two of them back up and running. The only downside is that we lost a lot of information and email addresses. Praise the Lord for some individuals who have helped us get them back up and running. We thank God for all of you that help us in so many ways. You are truly a part of what we are doing here in the islands.

While we were in the states a ministry bought two guitar amplifiers for Ebeye Full Gospel. We thank God for that. We still have a need for a lead guitar, bass electric guitars, and amplifiers to go with them. In the midst of all of these challenges we give God all of the glory for we know that He will meet every need.

We also thank God for those of you who hear the Holy Ghost and help us in so many areas. You, our partners in the Gospel truly are helping us build the kingdom of God.

If you would like to help out with any of these needs above, send care packages of food and medicine supplies, if you would like to support us on a monthly basis or one time gift, please email us. Remember though, your tithe to your church is your first priority! Never send us your tithe it belongs where you are ministered to. We love you and thank God everyday for your faithful prayers and support.

Running with the Vision,

Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Christmas Day 2009

Well, Christmas 2009 was awesome as usual. We certainly love this time with the Marshallese. They actually start celebrating on December 1 because nationally they recognize when the Gospel first came to the Marshall Islands. Here, that day is a national holiday. Praise the Lord! Then the rest of the month is filled with practices and getting ready for Christmas day. Many groups in each church practice songs, dances, and small dramas that lift up Jesus for the Christmas celebration.

Of course, many in the rest of the world see this day as just a holiday. For the Marshallese it is so much more than that. It is not about presents, or shopping, but it is about the greatest gift ever given, Jesus! We started the celebration at 10:00 am Christmas morning. We preached the Word, and prayed for the sick. After service, we all share a great meal together. Then the programs began with the children going first. All through the day and through the night different groups came and presented their program.

From the very simple to the very elaborate, each program was unique. All of these programs were done for one reason, to celebrate the birth of Jesus! From 10:00 am in the morning on Christmas day until 7:00 am on Saturday the Marshallese celebrated Jesus and His gift to the world. Shawn and I hope that you had an awesome Christmas. Jesus is the greatest gift ever given and is the reason for the season. We love you and thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support.

Running with the Vision,

Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

ACA Christmas Party

The final day before the Christmas break we had our annual Christmas celebration at the school. Last year was a Christmas cantata and family dinner. This year was a field day full of exciting games and competitions. Shawn is always mixing it up, and does a great job of always having Jesus the number reason for doing something. The children enjoyed making Christmas crafts, had snowball fights (using soft plastic balls), a reindeer relay, a water balloon toss and many other games. It was exciting to watch the kids have a great time, and seeing the smiles on their faces. We had prizes and candy for every event so every child was a winner in some way throughout the day.

Shawn even organized a gift exchange so that each child got a gift. It was so wonderful to see all of the kids as they received their gifts. Throughout it all Jesus was the main focus of everything. Jesus is always the reason for the season! As the children left for the day, Shawn and the staff ensured that each child remembered that. Praise God at the school we use every opportunity to share Jesus with the children. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. We would also like to thank Momma Clark for making sure all of our crafts, prizes and supplies for our games made it in time for our party day. Thanks to friends who sent baking supplies. Many people enjoyed the treats we made with the supplies you sent. Every day, you are a part of blessing the people in the Marshall Islands.

Running with the Vision,

Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen, and Richard

ACA Rugby Team

On December 12th our school rugby team participated in their first tournament here in Majuro. We had been given about three weeks notice about the tournament. Why do I bring this up? Because that is when the boys decided they wanted to play rugby against the other schools. All of the other schools had been practicing for several months. We stepped into this tournament with about two good weeks of practice.

Needless to say, after five games in the pouring down rain, we came in second place out of all of the schools that participated. Praise the Lord! We are so proud of our team and Pastor Apet their coach. They started the game with prayer and ended everything with prayer. Once again, being a witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. We continually thank God for the opportunity to teach and mold young lives for him!

Running with the Vision,

Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Kingdom is Moving Forward!

In the pictures above you see several of the Pastors that we work with in the Marshall Islands. As many of you know I am in the states until the 10th of November. Upon our return we have several trips planned through the first of the year.

The last week of November we will be on the atoll of Ebeye with Pastor Anwi Morris and his church there. The first week of December Pastor Ronald Matthew and I will travel to the atoll of Utrik to the north. We plan to be there for about a week. This atoll is about 350 miles to the north of Majuro. Pastor Tirok Joe and his family are there. This isolated place is the home of a growing church there. Pastor Tirok is doing an awesome job.

We will then return to Majuro and celebrate Christmas with the churches there. After Christmas Pastor Ronald and I will travel to Wotje atoll. We will be there with Pastor Will Lokior teaching the youth for a week. We are seeing the Holy Ghost continue to move in the Marshall Islands and around the world. No matter what is going on in the world the kingdom is still moving forward!
We are also planning a trip to Vanuatu in May 2010 to participate in two pastor’s conferences there along with Phil Plowman (Missionary Ventures Australia) and Rand Montgomery (Regional Coordinator/Missionary Thailand). If you would like to help us to go on any of these trips please contact us at Rikakisteve@gmail.com Start praying with us now for these meetings and agree with us for a mighty move of the Holy Ghost and that lives will be changed! Thank you all for continued faithful prayers and support. We know that God will continue to bless you as you sow into the Kingdom! This is not a time to draw back but to moved forward with the Kingdom. Be blessed in the name of Jesus!

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Family Update!

As many of you know I have been in the states for the last couple of weeks. My time here is coming to a close very quickly. It certainly has been an awesome trip so far and it was great to connect with so many of you. Twelve days from now I will be back on my way to the islands. While I have been gone the mission has continued to move forward. Shawn has kept everything on track and is doing an awesome job of managing everything there. The School is doing well and she has been working a grant from the Japanese government to build new classrooms for the school. Needless to say she has been busy.
Travis is now working and going to college at the College of the Marshall Islands. He is doing great. Stephen is now in his senior year of High School and is excelling in his grades. He is not working at this time but is concentrating on his studies. Richard is also doing well in school and is looking forward to going to high school next year. All of them as always have been a great help to Shawn while I am gone. Please continue to lift them up in your prayers while I am here in the states! Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!
Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Monday, September 28, 2009

Farewell to Cathy and Catie Bentley

On Monday of this week we said farewell to Cathy and Catie Bentley. They had been with us for one month ministering to the Marshallese. They ministered to churches on Majuro, two different atolls and to the disciples of CTC (Christian Training Center). These two are a great team and the Marshallese were blessed during their time here. What is really great to watch is them work together with the pastors here in the Marshalls. They were not doing their own thing but ministered side by side with the Marshallese. It is always refreshing to see the people of God working together. That is the church! The body working together to build the kingdom not a working as individuals but as the body of Christ!
They, by this time are both back in the states. Cathy on Monday the 28th will be on her way with a team to Guyana. Please keep her lifted up in your prayers as she ministers to the people there. We thank God for these women who take the time to follow the Holy Ghost and obey the call of God! To their families we send a big komol tata (thank you). To all of you, our faithful supporters we thank you for partnering with us here in the Marshall Islands. It is with your help that we continue to build the Kingdom here in the islands. Be blessed in all that you do and may you prosper even as your soul prospers!

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Outer Islands Trip Report!

On August 28th Cathy and Catie Bentley arrived here in Majuro. Since they arrived they have continually ministered to the people here in the islands. On 4 September we left Majuro for the outer islands. First stop was Ebeye atoll. They had both been there before so many people there were excited to see them again. We arrived Friday morning and Friday night ministry began. Friday, Saturday, Sunday were filled with the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. We saw people saved, healed and delivered by the power of God.
Cathy’s well balanced teaching and illustrated messages really shed light on the Word of God. Her use of slides and pictures really helped the people to understand what is going on prophecy. It is always great to see and to hear this woman of God minister. It was a great blessing to the people of Ebeye.
On Monday morning we were back on the plane headed to Wotje atoll. Catie had been there with us on her last trip in February. Cathy though, had been waiting eight years to visit this small atoll! The arrival was wonderful! The people greeted us with song and food! From the first day Cathy and Catie began to minister. Nonstop for four days they were continually teaching and sharing the Word. Even during non teaching times Cathy continued to teach the people. It was awesome.

Again on Wotje as Cathy and Catie both taught and preached the Word. People were changed by the Spirit of God. In their short time on this small atoll a huge impact was made by this dynamic team! It was wonderful as always to work with ministers of the Gospel who know how to be led by the Holy Ghost.
On a side note, Ebeye had not had rain for three months and Wotje for over six months. In both locations while we were there the rain fell and blessed the people with water! The rain not only fell in the supernatural but also fell in the natural.
Praise Lord! Be blessed and may you prosper even as your soul prospers!

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Happy Anniversary!!!

This post is a day late but yesterday Shawn and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. Twenty years ago we became one flesh. Over time we have seen the ups and the downs. I watched God work in her life to change her into something so wonderful. I do not have the words to express my love for her. Everyone always remembers Proverbs 31 but I also remember Proverbs 18:22:
“Whoso finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord”!
Certainly I have found the good thing and she truly has brought favor into the house. She brings balance to me, the family and to the ministry. A tireless partner, who puts everything into what she does. I am never ceased to be amazed at what she gets done. Last week as I was preparing to go to the outer islands I looked at everything that was going on here on Majuro. I was thinking about delaying for a few days.
Shawn then came told me to go, she said “I have peace and everything will be okay”. I left with two computers down, one bus not running, a school to run and not to mention running the household in her hands. On top of that the house was in construction mode with three to four workers in the house. With all this going on I left with peace in my heart and returned in peace.
Shawn did not even miss a beat. Bus repaired, computers repaired, school on track, and construction completed. She was tired but had kept everything running smoothly. I am so blessed to have her as my wife. Thank you Lord for blessing me with her. I know this is a different kind of post but I am very proud and honored to have her in my life. Happy Anniversary Shawn I love you so!

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Time for a New Bus

Here is a few pictures of an essential tool that we use here in the ministry. It is our bus. This bus has been used to transport CTC, visiting ministers, vacation bible school kids, and many other ministry events. It has certainly been an amazing blessing. This bus was purchased in 2003 when Dr Lew and Mariesa Davis was here. For six years she has been on the road supporting the ministry.
Now rust is beginning to take her toll. She has had body repairs and engine repairs have become the norm. A couple days ago Shawn was taking students home. She heard a loud noise and then the oil light came on. She put oil in it and got the bus back to the compound. When I came home I opened up the engine compartment to find three head bolts stripped and one missing. Now we have found out that the threads on the block will have to be rethreaded. As I write this we are searching for new bolts and a tap/die set to make the repairs.
The bottom line is, it is time for a new bus. Please agree with us in prayer for a new bus. If the Holy Spirit speaks to you about helping in this area, please email us at rikakisteve@gmail.com
We will post the cost of the new bus on the BLOG at a later date. No worries, God will provide, we continue to build the kingdom. Thank you so much for all of your faithful prayers and support!
Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Cathy and Catie Bentley are Back!

Cathy and Catie Bentley have returned to the Marshall Islands. Cathy and Catie are ministering here with us for the next three weeks. Running a tight schedule, these two women of God are shedding light on current events in the light of prophecy. It is going great. God has certainly blessed us here in the Marshalls with some great teaching.
On Friday we will head out to the outer islands. We will spend 4 days on Ebeye and then travel to Wotje atoll ministering the Word of God. Please keep us in your prayers as we minister to the people! Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support!
Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard