Talofa lava from Samoa!
Our team arrived here in Samoa about 2 weeks ago. I haven’t updated until know because, quite frankly, there wasn’t much to say that would’ve been positive and I didn’t want to be a downer. Our first week was pretty rough, as the students experienced some serious culture shock. The Samoan culture the most legalistic culture I’ve ever experienced, and it just sometimes seems like a lot of rules! I can relate to how they felt because I had a hard time back in 2003 when I first spent time here. And, honestly, even having been here before, the culture shock definitely hit me too. However, we’ve all prayed through it a lot and God is definitely giving us a heart for this place and the people in it. So, that was the first few days and then at that point I came down with an ugly/painful/nasty staph infection that spread rapidly, even to my face. I won’t go into more detail, because trust me, you’ll get grossed out…The good news is, I’m healing up and feeling much better (Praise the Lord), and I’ve now become the team joke as the boys are quite amused by the whole thing… it’s like having 2 little brothers I tell you!
Ministry on this island has generally been awesome….well, with one exception ;) Yesterday we were all teaching at a church on the inductive Bible study method using the book of Philemon. The pastor of the church had already interrupted us once to tell us we were leaving things out, when meanwhile we were only on the first step and just hadn’t got to that part yet! So, I got up to teach my portion, and before I could start he announced to us all that most of the people in the church had already been through Bible training and so just go through it quickly and don’t let them ask questions, they know everything already….I was like, ok, so why am I about to teach?! ;) ha ha, but I put a smile on and kept going, and by the end the pastor was so thrilled with our inductive Bible study method, that he invited us back, and arranged for us to teach in another village. I don’t know why this experience was so hilarious to me, but it really was! Basically every church we’ve taught at, we’ve focused on teaching them the Bible study method. My friend Adam in SBS always talks about how teaching people the method is like teaching them to fish, not just feeding them once. So even though we have quite a few books of the Bible to teach, we really feel we are to focus on teaching them how to study the Bible for themselves, so they can continue to do it after we are gone. It’s been really exciting to see the responses of the crowds. God is really at work on this island, so even though we had a rough start, it’s turning out to be a really awesome learning experience.
In other news, I’ve finally made a decision on my next step. For the last couple months I’ve been applying for and praying about taking a school called Foundations in Counseling Ministries (F.C.M), in Perth, Australia. God has layed counseling on my heart for years now, and I’m so excited to finally be able to begin my training. I know God has called me to some type of ministry, and I know that counseling is a part of in, along with the Bible teaching, but am still curious as to how He will place it all together! The school is very outreach focused, and very involved in the community, which I’m really excited about! So I’ll be doing 3 months of training in Perth, and then another 3 months of outreach, to practice our counseling training, in a location unknown as of now. It’s taken me quite a while to make the final decision about whether or not to do this school, and so I hadn’t sent off my visa application until 2 days ago. At this point, I thought it may have been too late to get my visa, as it often takes a while. But, the very next morning, I check my email, and there was my visa acceptance! It’s really unheard of for the visa to be processed and accepted in this short of time, so I was so excited, and really took this as a promise from God that He’s taking care of the details. Since He had put this school on my heart, I kept telling Him that I was very willing to do it, but He would have to provide and take care of the details because I can only do what I can humanly do. Last week, I was having second thoughts and considering pushing the school off until next year, which would give me some time to work and save up for it. However, God was really clear with me the He wants to show me how He can take care of it, how He always takes care of me and how He always will. I was really convicted and definitely had to repent of trying to do things my own way. So, even though I still have some fear and it’s hard to admit that I don’t have all the finances for this school, I know my God is a God who provides. And so, the worry has pretty much gone away, and I’m excited to see how He will do it.
So, here’s how it will look. Straight after outreach is over on August 27, I’ll be flying to Taraunga, New Zealand to meet up with my Kiwi (aka New Zealand) family, Jacqui and Lester and their 2 adorable kids, Holly and Reuben. I met them on my backpacking trip through NZ 3 years ago and it was one of those times in life where you just instantly bond and feel like family. Since then, they’ve always said I’m welcome to come stay with them and use their spare room. So I finally am getting a chance to take them up on this, although a month may have been more than they bargained for! J I’ll be with them for 4 weeks, just being part of their family life, and enjoying some time of rest. I’m also hoping to help out at Marine Reach (a ministry of YWAM) with whatever areas of need they may have, Bible teaching or otherwise. Taraunga is pretty much my favorite city in the world, and I’m so excited to be so blessed as to get to spend a whole month there! Then I’ll spend my 5th and final week in NZ in Auckland, at my friend Alana’s, before I fly out to Perth on October 3 to start my school!
So that’s the latest on me. Thanks for reading and please continue to pray for team unity and open hearts. Outreach will be over before we know it.
If you would like to be a part of my ministry, I’d love to have you partner with me. If you feel in your heart to give towards my next step, here’s where to go:
To make a donation:
Rachel Hennan HR10
YWAM Project Funding PO Box 51700
Phone # 604-436-4433
Fax # 604-436-4406
Much Love <3