Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fiji: You can't get any further away, before you start coming back.

Of course that is not entirely true, but until a couple years ago this quote from the Truman Show was all I knew about Fiji. That is about the time I reconnected with a couple of old friends on Facebook. I met these friends, Ray and Laura Pittman, about 15 years ago when I spent some time in Kona with Youth with a Mission (Y-Wam). While many of the students in our discipleship training school were still searching and trying to discover who God was and how that would play into their future, Ray and Laura were grounded in faith and knew what God was calling them to do next. They were going to Fiji to minister to the people that live there. That was their plan and now 15 years later they are living out their vision of "Equipping students and the poor for greater life encounters" everyday in Fiji with their ministry Island Encounters. I encourage you to check out what Island Encounters is all about by clicking here to watch a video and then explore their website, www.islandencountersfiji.com.

Image result for fijifamadventures

Now, comes my part of the story. Ever since I first did overseas missions with Y-Wam I caught a bug. For awhile that was all it was and I knew it was not the right time to pursue it, but in the last couple of years it has gotten worse. It slowly became an itch that I couldn't scratch away. That is about the time I reconnected with Ray and Laura on facebook and started to get a peek into what they are doing in Fiji. As they would post pictures and make comments my heart was drawn to what God was doing through their ministry. This summer God has opened the door for my wife and I to make the journey to Fiji and check out Island Encounters first hand and reconnect with some old friends. We will be leaving in August and will be there for about two weeks.

That's where you all come in. We would love to have you connect with us on this new journey we are about to make. There are a couple of ways that you can do that. First of all and most important, we ask that you join us in prayer. Here are our prayer requests:

1. Pray that God would use us to further His kingdom in the land of Fiji
2. Pray that we would be attentive to all that God wants to teach us through this adventure
3. Pray for safety for my wife and I as we trek half way around the world
4. Pray for our children as this is the longest we have ever been away from them
5. Pray for Ray and Laura and Island Encounters that they would be blessed in their ministry
6. Pray for the people of Fiji that God will open their hearts to hear His message  

Help us pay off their van which they use to transport teams
to ministry locations and to get around on the farm.
Here is the second thing we need your help with. As we are going to Fiji we want to join with them in their vision of meeting practical needs as well as Spiritual needs. In saying that we have decided we want to help Island Encounters in one of their biggest practical needs. We want to pay off their van. Recently they had to take a loan to get a vehicle that they use to transport student teams around the island as well as basic transportation around the farm. In order to pay off this van we need to raise $5000 and we want your help. Anything and everything helps.

If you want to give to Island Encounters you can do it in a couple of different ways. First, we have a fund setup at Connection Church where you can give and you will also receive a tax deductible receipt. To do this, just make a check payable to Connection Ministries and mark Fiji in the subject line. You can give this way through our offering on Sunday mornings or you can mail it to:

Connection Ministries
PO Box 1973
Oregon City, OR 97045

Or if you just get it to Nicole or me, we will get it into the fund. All of the money that you give, unless specified otherwise, will go directly to Island Encounters.

The other option is that you can go directly to their website and they have giving options there as well. To give from their website click here.

Be sure to check back as I will continue to update what we are doing and our progress on paying off the van. God bless and thank you for partnering with us in this adventure!!

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