Wotje Atoll

Wotje Atoll
Taking off from Wotje Atoll

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Praise the Lord He is Faithful!

Today we are celebrating here in the islands. All of the equipment, house, buildings, and buses here on the compound are paid for! Praise the Lord! We had forty eight months to do it, and it has been completed in thirty. We thank God for those who have stayed faithful in helping us accomplish this! Even in the middle of a major building program, Pastor Jeff and Winter Haven Worship Center (our home church) stayed with us to the end. We would also like to thank Pastor Reggie Scarborough of Family Worship Center, Lakeland, Fl; Pastor Eddie Trayers of Family Worship Center in Virginia; Pastor Steve McCart of Family Worship Center in Florence, SC; Pastor Charlie Hoskins of All Faiths Church in Lehigh Acres, Fl; Pastor Blake Lorenz of Pine Castle United Methodist Church in Orlando, Fl.; Don and Maria Elena Steiner of Wings of Eagles Ministry in Lakeland, FL., and all the individual supporters who have had a part in our ministry here in the Marshall Islands. Thank you also to MVI for help on the seawall; MVINZ for help with the radio station and boat project. We praise God for all of their prayers and continued support in all areas of our ministry here.
Our ministry here is certainly a team effort. You all have a major part in this ministry. It is not the size of the gift that matters. Every gift given has helped us push forward here in the islands. We cannot name each individual supporter but your faithfulness every month has given us the ability to reach many in the name of Jesus. Individuals and families that have been a major part of our projects here we thank you. Words cannot express our thanks. Since we came to the Marshall Islands we have seen supporters come and go. We know that God will replace those who have went another direction. We thank God everyday for those of you who have not wavered in your steadfast support! You are our partners in the Gospel! We give God all of the glory and all the honor for what He is doing here in the Marshall Islands. Please agree with us for those who will step up and help all of us run with the vision here in the Pacific. May you always prosper even as your soul prospers.

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

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Arno Story

In the top center picture of CTC is Pastor Waston and his wife Jammey. They are currently Pastoring the church on Arno, Arno.
We told you in our last post about our trip to Langnaar. Today we would like to tell you what is going on in Arno. Pastor Deek and his wife a few months ago went to Hawaii for medical treatment. The church called on Pastor Waston and his wife to come in and take over until Pastor Deeks return. I remember when these two first started CTC. Waston was new to the Lord but had a desire to serve. He knew that God had called him to pastor. He and his wife started CTC when Lew and Mariesa Davis were still here in Majuro. We came along side Watson and Jammey and watched the Lord radically change their lives.
Since they have been there on Arno we have seen God use them to change an atoll. When they first got there the church had about fifteen members and no children's ministry. Now there are over fifty in the church. Jammey saw the need for a children's ministry. Jammey was trained by Shawn in children's ministry here on Majuro. After the training she has been continually active in children's ministry. Now every Sunday she ministers to twenty five to thirty children on Arno. Praise the Lord! Waston and Jammey are moving forward in the name of Jesus. God is using this couple for His glory. We have had reports since our trip there that the numbers have continued to increase. People getting saved, healed and set free. During CTC's time there we went door to door and helped support this couple in their work. Please pray for Watson and Jammey as God uses them on Arno for His glory. They are doing a great work. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. You are truly our partners in the Gospel here in the islands. Your support helps pastors on Majuro and the outer islands reach people for Jesus. Thank you!
Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn, Travis, Stephen and Richard

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Langnaar Story

Top Left Langnaar team, Pastor Norton is in the back on the right side. Next Picture his wife Emeko, Carlton and Marissa.
During our trip to the outer islands, one of the places we went was to Langnaar. We went to Arno on Tuesday with the plan to go to Langnaar on Friday morning. The bulk of our team would stay on Arno ministering there while we took a small team into Langnaar. We needed to bring in some much needed supplies to the pastor and the church there. On Friday morning, we prepared to go, and about noon the boat was loaded with supplies, heading for Langnaar. The weather was good, and the seas were choppy. The mission was a go. We traveled along the edge of Arno to dynamite pass where we entered the first lagoon. To get to Langnaar we have to travel through three large lagoons. Langnaar is located in the third lagoon (Arno atoll has three lagoons).
As we traveled along, the trip was going smoothly, and the boat was performing well. As we came close to going back into the ocean from lagoon number two to get to Langnaar, the captain suggested we take a shortcut. He was confident that we could save time, and the tide was right. As we approached the shortcut, we noticed the water was low but coming up. After an hour or so, we decided to go for it. We unfortunately did not consider the weight of the boat. Soon, we were in low water scrapping against the bottom. We could not turn around. We were committed to the path we had chosen.
We knew that if we went back, we could not get into Langnaar before dark. We decided to push forward, literally. So we got out of the boat and began to push it along the reef. For five hours we worked the boat across the reef. Our feet cut up and enduring the coral from the reef, to get to a pass into Langnaar. The sun began to set, and darkness was coming fast. A storm was brewing. The waves were beginning to smash into the boat, but as a team, we kept moving forward. Just at the edge of dark, we spotted the entrance into Langnaar. Praise the Lord! We were tired, a little battered, but morale was good. Trust me, many times during this effort the thought crossed my mind to go back. Even when we reached the entrance, my flesh said, “Deliver the supplies and go back in the morning.” My spirit on the on other hand said, “ Press on!”
When we arrived at Langnaar, it was dark. We could see the lights of the church from a distance. It was a refreshing sight! As we got closer to the shore, we heard the sound of singing. As we unloaded the supplies in the dark, the singing grew louder. They were praising God with all their heart. The sound of their praises was music to our ears.
We then made our way to the church where we were greeted by the church. They were singing and rejoicing , and had prepared food for us. They had been waiting there all day for us to arrive. It was a humbling experience to see because we knew of their need. After the singing and welcome, I sat down with Pastor Norton and we began to talk. With tears in his eyes, he began to tell me that he had begun to think that no one remembered him. That he and his family were alone on this far atoll. There had been no supplies come in for over six weeks. He and his family had been eating bread fruit and coconut only for over a month. There were no staples or rice to be had anywhere on this little atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. For one month they had lived on that and what fish they could catch. My heart was touched even more by the offering of food the people prepared for us.
He told me that he was tempted to quit. In that dark time, when he felt alone, he knew what to do. He decided to stand in faith and believe God. He and his wife got on their knees and prayed. God heard their prayer. Two days later, he got the message by radio that CTC and I were coming to minister and bring supplies. He said he began to rejoice and praise God. My heart was overwhelmed hearing this! All of the hours of pushing a boat, meant nothing now. I was stirred, and truly humbled, sitting with a servant of God who was living by faith every day.
The next day we preached, ministered to the children and youth, and baptized people. That evening, we had a great service. After the service, the wind began to rise and rain began to fall. The winds were now 25 to 35 miles per hour and getting stronger. We were in a major storm. Our boat was tied up well, but we kept checking on it. The storm continued to get worse, and about nine o’clock PM it broke free from the lines. We all ran out into the driving rain to save the boat. We caught it, and for the next three hours we battled the storm to secure the boat. We were pushing and holding on to the boat, battling the waves and storm until we could secure it safely back to the buoy. Once it was secure the five of us made our way back to the church. I began thinking to myself, I am tired, cold, and wet how can I preach tomorrow?
I then began to think about the pastor and his church. We were on a mission, and we were going to complete what God had sent us to do. The next morning, we got up and preached a Holy Ghost message. God moved, people were touched, and healed by the power of God. Pastor Norton and his wife were encouraged and strengthened by the Spirit! Praise the Lord! In the middle of nowhere, in a church made of palm fronds, the Spirit of God is moving! It is faith that moves the hand of God, not what you have.
Our trip back that afternoon was smooth with no problems. On the way back, I determined in my heart never to let them go without supplies again. Shawn and I have decided that once a month we will go to Langnaar. We are believing for the provisions by faith, but we are determined to support our outer island pastors. Please keep Pastor Norton, his wife Emeko, son Carlton and daughter Marrisa in your prayers.
One more thought, there are men and women of God around the world who think that they have been forgotten. They are living faith, believing God everyday for food and provision. God is providing for them in so many ways. Sometimes, they just need to hear that someone cares and is praying for them. Some of you now, are thinking that I am getting ready to ask for support. No I am not! What I am asking you to do is to go to your pastor, the church staff, and those in ministry. Take time to tell them that you are with them and are praying for them. Sometimes, the one who needs to hear from you the most is the one in your pulpit. Be blessed today and thank you for all of your faithful prayers and support.

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