Wotje Atoll

Wotje Atoll
Taking off from Wotje Atoll

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Crazy, Busy Summer!

Good day from the Marshall Islands.  It seems like forever since I last posted.  It certainly been a crazy, busy summer.  Over the last few months we have said two major good byes and been a part of two conferences.  It certainly has been a year of transitions for our ministry and our family.

In June, we said goodbye to my mother who went home to be with the Lord.  She had been battling cancer since the first of the year.  We were blessed to spend time with her the end of April first part of May and to be there for her home going in June.  It was hard to say goodbye but we rejoice in the fact that she is with the Lord.  As a follower of Jesus, we know we will see her again.

In July, we returned to Majuro with Cathy Bentley and Thomas French.  Cathy an awesome teacher of the word and Thomas French who pastors in the Cayman islands.  It was so awesome to connect with Thomas on his first trip to the Marshall Islands.  

They were both speakers for the Full Gospel Church's youth conference here in Majuro.  What an awesome time in the Lo
rd, they were both a great blessing to the youth of the Marshall Islands.  After the youth conference, Thomas returned to the Cayman islands and Cathy stayed.  She would spend the next week as the main speaker for the women's conference.

It was so awesome have this mighty man and woman of God here in the islands.  They made an awesome deposit in the Spirit which certainly brought change to the youth and the ladies.  We thank God for those who are willing to travel around the world to share the Word with the people of the Marshall Islands.

In August it was time to say another hard goodbye and that was to our youngest son Richard.  He was accepted to Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida and it was time for him to leave.  So Richard and I traveled to Florida to enroll him in school.  I have to tell you that even though two had already left home watching our youngest son go was hard.  However, Richard is doing awesome in school and has adjusted well.  Is excelling as he always does.

With that said, Travis, Malissa and Tatiana have moved back to Majuro.  Travis is working at Do It Best and Malissa is working at the school.  What a blessings to have them all back with us here in the islands.  We thank God for all of the changes because we know that change is good and always brings God the glory.

We ask that you continue to keep us in your prayers.  Please keep our father in your prayers as well as he adjust to mom being in heaven.  As always we thank you for your faithful prayers and support.  May the Lord bless you always as you follow Him.

Running with the Vision,
Steve, Shawn and the family..

If you would like to partner with us and know more please email us at rikakisteve@gmail.com    

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