Lately I have been reading about ‘chaos’ theory and its application to organisations. One principle is that behavior can look unpredictable, but that there are actually patterns and rules. The classic example in nature, is the mass of swirling birds which appear to be leaderless. However, the following rules apply: fly in the same basic direction, don’t get too close or far away from your neighbours, and always stay away from predators.
How is this relevant to Outward in Focus, you ask? Isaiah 55:8 declares –His ways are not our ways - and at times, God can seem illogical and unpredictable! (A lot like chaos theory!) I am currently involved in a project that I am unsure of the outcome. Using the analogy of ‘building the plane, as we are flying it’, we are discovering different parts of the project AS we go. We have the pilot (God), the co-pilot (me) and a couple of young flight attendants. We know the direction we want to go, and the wings and floor are attached. There is an exoskeleton of a structure, but we don’t have seats, food, or even lifejackets. We don’t have to have it all planned out and we are comfortable knowing that there will be course corrections on the way.
What makes this adventure possible is that, God promises to be with us. On this journey of faith, God said he would never leave us nor forsake us. (Deut 31:8). Although He appears to be ‘unpredictable’, his strongest ‘pattern of behaviour’ is always motivated by Love. Will it be scary, yes; exhilarating, yes; worth it, definitely yes!
Enjoy the reports attached, and ask the Lord, what part of His plan you can be involved in. Some ideas could include: ground control, baggage handler, seat maker or food preparer. Perhaps he has a ‘plane’ for you to design and build too!
Together making God famous
Our annual Light Party was a huge success with approximately 2000 people through our doors on Halloween night. The night included entertainment, carnival style games, bouncy castles and two new attractions for this year, a glow in the dark room complete with a glow dance floor and glow in the dark games, and Zorb balls! Kids went away with lots of lollies and many parents thanked us for providing a safe and fun night for their children which allowed them to dress up, get lollies and have fun without having to go knocking on doors. And once again City Church people came to the party and volunteered on the night to help give our community a great event to go to.
2018 - Two courses ran this year attended by 19 people.
2019 - Courses coming up in Term 2 at night & Term 3 during the day.
Mark it in your diaries to sign up for this 9-week course early next year.
Below are snippets of the latest reports. To read them in full, click on the heading and you will be taken to the official PDF report.
Volume 14, Issue 5
UPSKILLING 1-3 Nov 2018
The Upskilling for SIOL Alumni was held from 1-3 Nov 2018 at Manipur, North East India.
The theme of the upskilling was on “How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good news” Isaiah 52:7.
The program included :
On former missionaries, on the challenges they faced, the passion for souls, and the outcome of their ministry for the Kingdom of God.
Kanhai taught how Christianity came to Manipur through the missionary William Petrigue about 100 years ago and the first convert was a Meitei named Angom Purom Singh. Because the king of those days did not allow them to stay in the valley instead sent them to the hills - therefore Meitiei Christians are minority. It was indeed very interesting.
All the alumni were given chance to speak about their field reports on the last day.
Our deep appreciation go to City Church Tauranga for praying and supporting . Because of your help this time of Refreshing, Learning and Empowering did happen. Glory to God! With Love for His Kingdom service.
Kiwi children raise funds
Loretta and Frederick and their daughters Olivia and Isabella from City Church, Tauranga came to Mt Hope for 9 days. Olivia and Isabella are holding the paper that mentions the amount collected at their school. The children raised money for Mt Hope primary school. There are some 160 children and teenagers boarding at Mt Hope plus another 300 or so who come in daily to school. So children from overseas always brings curiosity and excitement. Also a chance to practice their very limited English!
The kindergarten in dire need of another class!
In visiting the kindergarten yesterday I can see there is a real need for another room. There are some 60 4 & 5 year olds in 1 room which is just partly divided by a partition. There are 4 groups but because there is no permanent wall, it is hard to talk with the noise! Most of these children come from homes where there are no rules! One of the teachers said in our meeting yesterday, she finds it hard talking with the children with the other groups also talking!
WHO WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE FOR THIS NEED?
This month of October, the Junior High students had a very successful retreat at Sanggau led by a Tawangmangu graduate. It was a time of inner healing especially towards their parents.
1. Sam is 75, Carol 73. Pray for strength and health to carry on in the ministry.
2. The children will grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
3. Finance to continue building the added primary school classrooms.
4. Mt Hope black pepper plantation that it will produce well and sell at a good price.
5. The land in Kalimantan (Borneo) is not as fertile as in Java so much fertilizer is needed. Pray God’s
blessing on the land so that the vegetables and fruit trees will produce an abundance and for all
surplus to sell.
Thank you for standing with us in prayer and support.
Sam & Carol Soukotta
Sam & Carol Soukotta- firstname.lastname@example.org
We pray God's blessing upon you and your family.
Greetings to you all
You may recall from our previous newsletter we shared about health concerns for our family and surgery for Elise.
An update on Elise’s surgery. She is doing well after 3 brain operations in a 2-week period and 6 weeks in hospital recovering. She returned home to recuperate at the end of September and I returned to the Solomon Islands early October. Elise is doing well and as she puts it ‘back to normal!’ A follow up appointment with the Neurosurgeon is planned for 16th November where decisions will be made when to operate on the remaining brain and spinal tumors. We really appreciated your prayers and support for us during this time.
So back on the SWIM base, this has not been without its challenges with staff and management moving on. Ron had the privilege of teaching another staff member to drive and pass his license and we have been in the process of recruiting for more staff. Our Word Pastor, Eric Maefonea has left SWIM and will continue to minister to the Solomon Island people through his training programme.
Last month we were busy supporting a team of 18 from Wamberal Church in Sydney who are doing an amazing job building a secondary school out at Samasudo in the Isabel Province. They will return next April to continue work out there. Ron anticipates joining the team on this trip.
We look forward to an exciting time next year with new challenges and opportunity for ministry here at the SWIM base and within our own local communities and programmes we are involved in.
We are returning to NZ for the Christmas break and look forward to catching up with many of you then.
Have a blessed Christmas and New year.
All our love and Gods blessings to you
Ron and Tanya
Celebrations, crutches and settling! We are now well into December, the Christmas tree is up and we are looking forward to family arriving soon to celebrate Jesus and enjoy time together. In October we transitioned from YWAM Marine Reach to YWAM Furnace (YFNZ), as the Pacific Hope is now Caribbean based and our roles have come to an end. YFNZ is now based at Faith Bible College (FBC), where they share some of the amazing facilities alongside FBC staff and students. Read more about YWAM Furnace at ywamfurnace.nz
Highlights from the last 2 months -
Support team - We are very thankful for the continuing support- practical, prayer and financial- given by our sending church Pirimai Baptist, City Church C3 – where we currently attend in Tauranga and Napier Baptist Church - Mike’s childhood church and our family church prior to Pirimai. If you would like to join our amazing team of financial supporters as we begin this new season of service please click here for details on our full report.
Prayer Points -
Thank you for partnering with us; as we train and equip the next generation for mission!
Enjoy this special season with your family and friends,
Love from Mike, Inga, Bailey and Lauren
“ Splendour and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His place” 1 Chronicles 16:27
It’s been an exciting year for the Orphans Aid Imuka team in Uganda!
Twenty-seven more families have been added to the Imuka program – a wholistic journey designed to see even the most vulnerable and forgotten begin to flourish as they discover why they were created. Families receive ongoing training and mentoring, teaching them to apply biblical truth to their everyday challenges and to demonstrate love to others – integrating both physical and spiritual need. This is in addition to any initial emergency support they need.
We always love hearing stories from the team in Uganda about how these families are moving out of extreme poverty towards wholeness. (See Cissy’s story below). We’re currently working with over 60 families caring for more than 200 children in addition to several hundred children who’s families are now able to care for them without outside assistance.
Pete and I continue to work remotely (travelling to Uganda once or twice a year), overseeing the care of the staff, strategic planning, meeting legal, financial and reporting requirements in both Uganda and NZ and in general making sure things are running smoothly! It’s a challenge living between two worlds, constantly thinking in multiple currencies and time zones. It’s not uncommon to produce the wrong currency at a store without realizing!
CISSY’S STORY: I NO LONGER BEG TO SURVIVE
Cissy, a single mother of 2, was abandoned by her husband early on when he realized their younger child had complex special needs. She faced rejection and isolation from her community due to the stigma attached to raising an autistic child. She lost her low paying job due to her having to care for her son. By September last year, her family was surviving only through begging food from relatives and friends. It was at this point that she was referred to the Orphans Aid Imuka program.
Social workers helped her set goals and developed a care plan. She was given temporary food support to meet her family’s immediate needs and received training in business and employment skills, health and hygiene, parenting among others, took part in bible studies and proudly graduated with a certificate of completion.
Cissy was later guided as she developed a business plan that involved selling second-hand clothes and frying potatoes chips at the trading centre. Her business start up capital amounted to approx. $140NZD given to her by Orphans Aid International in the way of a business grant. Today, she is able to pay her son’s school fees without difficulty. She has invested profit into rearing a local pig breed and plans to expand her piggery business and introduce better breeds of pigs.
Cissy is successful in her business, she is able to take care of her children without begging and she says she is now living happily and without stress.
She may have been abandoned but she is not alone.
We are working closely with several churches in the area to identify families in their communities that are the most vulnerable, and come alongside them in a joint effort to see poverty and injustice overcome!