Last month I was wondering why I was not hearing from Vanuatu and I was preparing to go there to investigate. Then a message came through from Simon Lovo, National Director, saying he had been in hospital in Port Vila since early January. He had been struck down with a condition diagnosed as Clinic Reactive Arthritis, which is very painful and, in Simon’s case, affected his ability to walk. This usually clears up within a few months, but can last up to a year. Simon had been wondering why the EE Vanuatu Board had not met, but then we discovered that the Chairman, Rev, Thompson Aki, had also been ill for the past two months. Please pray for the healing and recovery of these two important leaders and for a release of much needed financial support. If you would like to join Raj and me in sending a donation to them, it would be much appreciated. This of course, meant postponement of my visit to Vanuatu in the meantime.
I did visit Tonga, however, just a week before Cyclone Gita hit Tongatapu, the most populated island and location of the capital Nuku’alofa. Rod Story, Executive Vice-President of EE International, has been there many times and introduced me to Fa’unufe, the young EE leader who is likely to become the EE Coordinator of the EE ministry in Tonga, and also to the newly formed EE Tonga Advisory Committee. I contributed to a meeting of the Board and, best of all, spent a lot of time getting to know Fa’. A team from Figtree Anglican Church will be returning in July to teach an XEE Training Clinic and a Hope for Kids Workshop there. Rod Story is going back to recruit more senior pastors to the Board – and to be cook for the training team in July!
Talking of Rod Story, we’re excited that he and his wife, Rhonda, are coming over for the Commissioning of Raj Narayanan as National Director of EE New Zealand. The Commissioning Service will be at Greenlane Presbyterian Church on Sunday 18 March, at 3:30 pm (see your invitation attached/enclosed). We do hope you will be able to come, support and congratulate Raj on his appointment and also meet his wife Shanthi, and their daughter and son, Ruth and David. This is also an opportunity to hear Rev. Dr Rod Story who will preach at the Service.
Next week, I embark of my first visit to the Solomon Islands and I’m excited about this. The National Directors, Rusiate and Sai Tulaga, have been away for most of the last year, living in the Marshall Islands to the north, helping to establish the EE ministry there. In their absence, the work in the Solomons has been led by Rev. Ross Marika, Senior Pastor in the Harvest Church and the Field Workers. There is also a new Board Chairman, Mr Mataiasi Lomaloma. I am looking forward to doing the Annual Review, assessing progress in the Marshall Islands and to meeting these new leaders.
A thought from the writings of Mother Theresa: “Prayer changes us and we change things.”
Anne Bowie, VP Oceania