Friday, 24 January 2014

Raiatea Prayer Requests ~ Raiatea Sujets de Prière

Raiatea Prayer Requests 

Our plans have changed once again. We ended up leaving for Raiatea on the day we were supposed to go to Bora Bora, so we won't be visiting Bora Bora at all on our trip. We plan to be on Raiatea for the same amount of time that we had planned {two weeks} and return to Tahiti a week earlier than we had planned. This change of plans gives us more time to debrief as a team and step into some ministry opportunities that we really wanted to do in Tahiti before leaving.

We are now on Raiatea and the Spirit of the Island is very very different compared to Huahine; It is much much lighter here. We are staying in a house separate but nearby the people who are hosting us. It's an incredible blessing! We are planning to be here until the 5th of February sharing, teaching and spending time with the people who are a part of the house church nearly every evening till we leave. Apparently a lot of youth have come just to hear us teach! It's really incredible just worshipping with them. It's the youth who lead the worship and a lot of the meetings. 

We are not sure if we will be able to get the boat back to Tahiti so that's one of the concerns and prayer requests for us now. We were told that the boats back to Tahiti are completely full.

Raiatea Sujets de Prière

Nous avons changé de projet encore une fois. Nous avons quitté Huahine pour Raiatea le jour où nous devrions aller à Bora Bora, donc nous n'allons pas visiter Bora Bora pendant ce séjour. Notre projet maintenant est de rester à Raiatea pendant deux semaine {comme prévu auparavant} et de retourner à Tahiti une semaine plus tôt. Le changement de projet nous donne plus de temps pour faire un débriefing en tant qu'équipe et de faire du ministère qu'on voulait faire à Tahiti avant de partir.

Maintenant nous sommes à Raiatea et l'esprit de la terre est très différent que Huahine; l'atmosphère est plus léger ici. Nous logeons dans une petite maison près des gens qui nous accueillent. C'est une bénédiction incroyable ! Nous allons rester ici jusqu'au 5 février. Nous enseignons dans les réunions du soir et nous passons du temps avec les gens qui font partie du cellule de maison jusqu'à ce que l'on parte. On a entendu que beaucoup de jeunes viennent simplement pour entendre nos enseignements ! Il est incroyable de louer Dieu avec eux. C'est les jeunes qui dirigent la louange et une grande partie des réunions. 

Nous ne sommes pas surs si nous allons pouvoir prendre le bateau pour retourner à Tahiti, donc c'est un de nos sujets de prière maintenant. On nous a dit que les bateaux pour Tahiti sont pleins.


15th - 21st

During our time on Huahine we stayed at the house of Rose and Marius, spending a lot of time with them as well as Raiti who is a friend of theirs. They poured out blessings on us so generously the entire time we were there. They showed us around the Island, took us to see the islands' infamous blue-eyed eels, took us swimming and boating in the ocean, gave us a tour of the Marae, and took us to church on Sunday. Our time of ministry on the Island was spent fellowshipping with Rose and Marius through many long discussions over meals, worshipping together and praying over their house. 

"Our team has maintained the unity which we began to see shift just as we left for Huahine and it's incredible!
Rose mentioned to Ali how she sees that we love each other and that we are unified. It's so incredible and awesome to see how God really does unify us as one loving body and it remains the most powerful testimony of God's love that we can bring. The distinctive roles men and women in the Polynesian culture is much more obvious on the Island of Huahine than the other Islands we've been on. Because of this, Mathieu is really respected here and they are eager to hear what he has to say about the bible and hungry for truth. Mathieu stepped into the role of representing/speaking for our whole team here. It has been exhausting for him especially as he is the only guy but the impact that he is having on their lives is pretty significant. They asked him to do a bible study/teaching one of our evenings here, and he shared about the importance of our thoughts especially related to how we see the people around us with love or judgment. It was really powerful."

"Since our arrival in Huahine, we felt it was spiritually rich and there were many things going on. There are spirits of depression, loneliness and suicide on the island. It was so strong that each one of us felt these spirits strongly. These feelings were confirmed by stories others told us, and by the attitude of the people, and the way we observed them living their daily lives. There is not a lot of work on the island, so many people get bored without future prospects. These are the reasons why the spirit of suicide has such a hold on the people, especially on the youth. Suicide mostly touches people between 18 and 25 years old, but has begun to happen even younger, as young as 13 years old. It is very alarming, and shows us how important intercession is for this group of people."

"During our week in Huahine, our team receive a ridiculous amount of blessings from Rose and Marius! Not only did they freely provide their home for us: but they took us around the island many times, they both dropped and picked us up at the port very early in the morning, they bought our boat tickets, they washed our laundry, Rose sowed together Casia's torn skirt, and they  so kindly would provide 3 meals a day for us. They weren't just meals either… they would always ensure that there was more than enough food for us to eat. They always provided fresh meat, fruit, and salad for our team. Since I am a vegetarian, they would even cook me fresh fish every day! So incredibly thoughtful! Rose and Marius even made a few meals even more special in which one day they bought us a cake from the bakery and then the last evening they bought us serungs, flower necklaces, and a couple wedding presents for Mattieu and Farrah. Every time we thanked them or offered to help, but they would always say with a smile that it was a blessing from God! They always gave so lovingly and freely, they never asked for anything in return. They truly demonstrated God's heart of hospitality, love, and giving.  It really made me reevaluate my hospitality for my guests!"

"The Marae are religious and political structures found throughout the islands of French Polynesia. They consist of a large volcanic stone platforms (from the size of a bedroom to the size of a house with several bedrooms). They are outside exposed to the elements and most are near the water, if not in the water. They were used for political meetings as well as for religious rituals and sacrifices which included human sacrifices. Of all the islands, Huahine is known for having the largest number of maraes. One of the largest was next-door to the home of Rose and Marius.  We had an opportunity to visit a group of them, and the associated museum, next to the water, as well as take a hike with a guide to some that were on the mountain. Several of us could feel an ominous presence around and among them."

du 15 au 21 janvier

Pendant notre sejour à Huahine nous avons logé chez Rose et Marius. Nous avons passé beaucoup de temps avec eux aussi bien que leur ami Raiti. Ils ont déversé des bénédictions généreuses sur nous tout au long de notre séjour. Ils nous ont montré l'île, nous ont amené à voir les célèbres anguilles aux yeux bleues. Ils nous ont amené à la plage pour nous baigner et sortir en bateau, nous ont donné un tour des Marae et nous ont amené à l'église le dimanche. Notre temps de ministère sur l'île était dans les temps de communion fraternel avec Rose et Marius où nous avons passé beaucoup de temps discuter pendant les repas, louer ensemble et prier sur la maison. 

"Dès notre arrivés a Huahine nous avons ressentis que spirituellement c'était très riche et qu'il se passait beaucoup de choses. Il y'a des esprits de dépression, de solitude et de suicide qui résident sur cette île. Il est vrai que c'est assez puissant puisque chacune de nous l'as ressentis très fortement. De plus cela nous a été confirmer par les histoires que nous racontais les gens ;sis surtout par leur comportement et attitude révélateurs de ce qu'ils vivent au quotidiens.Il n'y a pas vraiment de travail sur l'ile et les gens s'ennuient beaucoup et ils n'ont pas vraiment de respectives d'avenir voila une des raisons pour lesquelles l'esprit de suicide a beaucoup de puissance surtout chez les jeunes. Le suicide touchait les personnes de 18 a 25 ans mais la nouvelle génération est également touché et a présent ce sont des jeunes qui se suicide a partir de 13 ans c'est très alarmant et cela nous montre a quel point l'intercession est important pour cette population."

Anna is Here!!!

Anna is Here!!!
Jan 11th

"So I've been with the team here in French Polynesia for nearly two weeks now and it's been a lot of fun getting to see them and spend time with them. I've loved seeing all that God has been doing in and through everyone (so many awesome things!) 

One of the reasons I'm here has been to do a 'pastoral visit' - to catch up with everyone and see how the team is going. I also felt like I was supposed to stay longer than just a shorter one week visit as the Pacific is an area of the world that has been on my heart for awhile. So I'm super excited to be here with the team now until the end of outreach!
Even though it's only been two weeks, I've been learning so much being in this culture. The island culture is extremely relational, giving and generous and we have been so blessed by the hospitality of the people each place we've stayed. While we want to honor and bless our hosts back, I've been learning more of what it looks like to not live from a place of fear or obligation to meet the expectations people can sometimes have of us. We always look to God first and foremost and then do what He's doing. As He asks us to pour out to bless others He will give us the strength to do so. When He calls us to come away and spend time with Him, we have to trust that He will give grace to the people we are with. It's always best when we choose to live with our eyes fixed on Jesus, rather than in fear of man. This isn't always easy when we're living in a very different culture, and even when we have many cultures within our team. It's a daily challenge to keep discovering the culture of the Kingdom and to bring that in all we do. 
I'm so excited for this last month in French Polynesia and believe that God has some awesome things He's going to continue to do both in and through our team."

Stepping Out Into What God Asks

Stepping Out Into What God Asks 
{Ministry night in Papeete} 
Jan 4th

"We all have expectations we place on ourselves. Some are expectations we have of ourselves, some are expectations others place on us, some are expectations we think others are placing on us. During DTS and outreach, we are learning to hear and understand the expectations God has for us. One of the biggest character traits of God I have learned is His gentleness. He guides gently and speaks gently in a loving manner. His expectations for each of us are different. Sometimes he calls us to be in front of people, the center of attention, speaking to many people and sharing about him in a loud voice. Other times he calls us to work quietly for him with little or no recognition. 

It is these callings where we receive little or no recognition that can be difficult. Our work goes unrecognized and we can feel that it is unimportant. We may feel others are looking down on us because maybe, just maybe, they think we are not pulling out weight…maybe we don't have enough faith…maybe we aren't doing what we're supposed to be doing. 

We were in Papete with the team from Sydney for an evening of evangelism. I was paired up with Zara, a girl from their team. We walked around for 10 minutes or so when she stopped me and said, "maybe we should talk to that man in the baseball cap." We started to walk his way when she stopped me again and said, "well, I don't know, I don't know if God is telling me, or if I just feel I'm supposed to talk to someone." I told her that sometimes, we are called to talk to people, sometimes we are called to just pray, sometimes God might have something completely different for us that we feel others want us to do. She thought my words were so wise. I heard me preaching myself a sermon. 

Street evangelism is hard for me. God doesn't usually tell me random people to speak to. It sometimes feels forced. I have been surprised when another who does hear more starts speaking to someone and I end up having a wonderful conversation with them, but I do better with the random shopkeeper or person sitting next to me on a plane that I strike up a random conversation with. 

Zara, though for a moment, then said, "I really feel God asked me to ask you what you needed prayer for." I told her a couple things. She prayed, and then over the next half hour, we continued praying for all the people and places around us. It felt so right. It was so refreshing. We had our eyes open and just looked like 2 people having a conversation. Our work was quiet and didn't demand recognition, but it was significant to God. 

God is continuing to teach me to step into his plan for me, and not be concerned with what others think. It's a long process, sometimes it's a difficult process, but it's a good process."

Monday, 13 January 2014

Coming in the Opposite Spirit

Coming in the Opposite Spirit
Jan 11th
"Today was an incredible shift within the unity of our team.
KNOW people have been praying for us because the shift couldn't have happened without some serious intervention from God.
So thank you so so much for everyone who prayed for us… we are deeply thankful."


"Ali has been wanting to orchestrate washing each others feet since the first week that we arrived in French Polynesia but every time that she planned on doing it, something else came up. Our prayer and worship times together have been seriously attacked as well. This morning Ali made it the priority to just soak and worship together.
Afterwards she read from the passage in John 13 about when Jesus humbled himself in an act of love as well as an example to His disciples, and washed all of their feet. Then Ali explained how in order to combat the Spirit of judgment and pride we need to come in the opposite Spirit: humility & love. She proceeded then to wash all of our feet. I know everyone was really touched and overcome with emotion by this time. Some of the people in our team continued to serve each other by rubbing an oil perfume on our feet after Ali's example. The entire worship and feet washing time I was so moved. I was so humbled and overwhelmed by God's love and Jesus's example of love that I couldn't hold back tears. God's love was so evident this morning.

In John 13:34-35, when Jesus finished washing His disciples feet He said:
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
This is what we are called to do as a team: love each other, and love those around us. Because that is the biggest testament of God's love.

That morning Kelly received the scripture: Psalm 133

"Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore."


There has been a serious shift in the unity of our team.
God has been orchestrating the changes in the dynamic of the team as well. It is such a good dynamic shift to have Anna on our team now too. We are so thankful to have her with us. She is a refreshing encouragement for our team.


Jan 13th

"This morning, we went to the port to speak to the captain of the boat one more time to see if we would be able to leave for the islands. We arrived around 8am and had to ask around for the captain who was on the boat. I explained that he'd told us to come back and speak to him about our travel plans and he asked us to write down our names and ages, then said we could come to get the boat tomorrow. We didn't pay anything, which makes it feel less certain, but it seems to be the way they do things. 

He said that for the boat to the other islands we'd have to turn up at the port each time, but I did show him where we planned to go and when, plus he can see our persistence to go! I also explained that people are expecting us there, as we have hosts who will welcome us. I believe that he will stay true to his word about us getting the boat, but I am also aware that the government has been checking on how many passengers are taken. So, pray that throughout the next month there will be NO checks on them! I believe that God would not open the door for us to leave without giving us a way back in a month so we can return to France!! :)

I'm excited to be leaving and going back to the islands, although I will be sad to leave Tahiti - this place is so rich in wonderful people, so it's sad to say goodbye to those here, but exciting to be visiting new people on other islands!"

"Before we knew if we would be getting the boat to the Island's or not we prayed together as a team about the direction we should take. Regarding leaving to the Islands {Huahine, Bora Bora, Raiatea} God gave Farrah this scripture: 
2 thessalonians 3:7 
"For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you." 
She felt like it was a warning about not taking advantage of the people we are supposed to come and bless. 
So please continue to pray that we would be more a blessing than a burden to the people we've come to bless."

Friday, 10 January 2014

Prayer requests, the Spirit of the land, Decisions and Changes

Prayer requests, the Spirit of the land, Decisions and Changes
Prefacing our prayer requests, here is some insight into the Spiritual climate around us: 

There is a big emphasis on the spiritual… which is really good cause people are so excited about what the Holy Spirit is doing but that can also lead to the spirit of the false prophet {Being prophetic and performance focused and getting the glory for yourself} And there is also a big issue with the religious spirit where people go to church as a tradition but do not know Jesus personally. There is also a Spirit of deceit where there is a confusion between Christianity and the Old ancestral religion or Mormon beliefs. There is a spirit of tiredness - laziness. Issues with miscommunication, lack of trust & a Spirit of judgement also seem to be common. The spirit of judgement and pride partially comes from the way people communicate here too.
When you're vulnerable it is easy to step into the attitudes of the spiritual climate around you. 


"Kelly and I both felt the exact same oppression of judgement separately and realized it was a spiritual attack… that it was one of the Spirits of the Island. The oppression of pride, feeling judged by others and judging others. The judgement we were both experiencing was ridiculous! It was almost every thought! I said: "Okay God this is not of you and this is not me either so what is this?!" God has been talking about armor to me in the new year as the season is shifting:
Yesterday and this morning I was really struggling with frustration and sadness… missing home… missing family.
It was cool what God spoke to me about it today though…
Beth was really struggling with the same thing this morning for different reasons and we were prayer partners. 
She was crying so I was holding her and praying for her.
God gave me the word righteousness but I didn't understand what it meant.
We went and sat down and I began speaking to her about asking God to put a border of protection around us when we are in a vulnerable place… And then I realized what the word righteousness was for.
We were meant to put on a breastplate of righteousness today...

It's really easy to be in a vulnerable place when you are sad and missing home…
It's really easy to step into wrong attitudes or the spirit of the land or people around you and agree with lies…
Really easy when you are vulnerable.
Things like anger, frustration, apathy, laziness, judgement…
Just some of the things that I've been attacked with…
God showed me his breastplate of righteousness.
A piece of armor that protects your heart
and righteousness - the opposite thing to step into than the attacks….

It's so cool how God puts me in a position where I'm speaking to someone with the same struggle I am having
 and then gives me the very words of encouragement that I need to hear for myself.
I love it when he does that!!!"

"When I first planned our trip in French Polynesia, I planned for us to spend a month of our time traveling to some of the islands near Tahiti called the Windward Islands.

The boats that take passengers to the islands are actually freight boats that allow passengers to travel on the bridge. Because of this there are limited spaces on board - they advertise only 12 places. Unfortunately I didn't get to reserve tickets before the new year and the offices were closed for the first week of January. As a result, when we got to the offices to try and reserve tickets to go to three different islands, we were told there were no spaces until the end of the month. When we came 3 years ago, we were able to book tickets quite close to the date of departure and the captains weren't worried about having more than 12 passengers on the bridge. Unfortunately, now the government is giving fines regularly when the boats are overfilled, meaning the captains are more cautious about how many people they allow on at a time. Thus it's hard to book tickets for 7 people when they say they're already full!

This past week we've taken the half hour drive to the port several times in order to speak to the captains of two boats, to see about getting tickets for next week. We were told to come back ready to go on the day of departure to see if we could get spaces. With this as our option, we knew we'd have to start working on a back-up plan in case they decided not to allow us on. I felt uneasy about having to wait until the departure day to know if we'd be able to get the boat and then we didn't even know if we'd have the same problem for traveling to the other islands or even getting back to Tahiti in February!! 

We've been wondering if there's a reason why the door hasn't been open yet for getting tickets, especially as we keep being told to wait until the day of departure. We know that there is a heavier spiritual atmosphere on the other islands and we wondered if perhaps God was showing us that we're not ready as a team to face that kind of spiritual climate. Throughout the last 6 weeks we have been working through issues affecting the unity of our team, so perhaps there are still things we need to work through before leaving. 

We decided to set Thursday as a day of prayer and fasting as a team to seek what God wanted to say. There were several options to use as backup plans - there are so many ministry opportunities in Tahiti, even if you don't have a car to get around (we have to give our rental cars back on Tuesday and we don't have a budget to keep them longer if we have to stay in Tahiti). The problem is knowing which place we should go if we don't get to go to all of the islands (at this point, it may still be possible to go to Raiatea at the end of the month even if we don't go to the other two islands).

Before going to the port on Thursday afternoon, we discussed the different options and what our feelings were towards them. Unfortunately it felt quite confusing, as we were all feeling different things about different places - we weren't united on what path to take. It's also hard for me to know how to make the final decision when there is such discord, as I know I have my own preferences, but I don't know if that is God leading me. 

We decided to write all the options on pieces of paper, turn them over and give them random numbers, then each to pray and ask God to speak revelation over the different places without us knowing what they were. Some of us received words and verses, others of us didn't receive anything about specific places. Most of us felt drawn to one number (3). It was hard to know what to do with it though once we discovered which place it was - Was God telling us to go there and if yes was it only if it didn't work out to leave on the boats or was He telling us not to get the boat for Huahaine? I know on my part, I felt the options in Tahiti were only a backup plan if it didn't work out for the boats. Meanwhile, throughout the whole prayer time, Beth felt a very strongly that we needed to go to the port to ask again about tickets, if only to book for Raiatea at the end of the month before that was also fully booked. 

Eventually a few of us left to go to the port. For one boat, the office was closed and the boat had left for it's tour of the islands, so we couldn't speak to the captain again. When we got to the other boat, the Hawaikinui, which I took last time I was here, the boat was loading cargo and the passengers were waiting to board. We went to ask in the office about booking tickets, but the woman told us the first available spaces were February 6th! We explained that we planned to go to several islands and that we had planned to stay with people there already, so she told us to go and speak to the captain directly and get tickets through him. 

It was interesting to see that many of the people waiting for the boat didn't seem to have tickets either and they were just waiting to see if the captain would allow them to board. They even waved Beth and I onto the boat and even though we said we wanted tickets for Tuesday, they were saying we could go with them right then and there! That would've been great if we'd all been there together with our luggage! He told us to come ask on Tuesday to see if we could get on then. I explained that we needed to get tickets for several journeys for 7 people and that we wanted to be sure to get tickets as it was more complicated than just one journey! Eventually he told us to come back and speak to him on Monday morning and he'd see what he could do. This made me hopeful, as this way we would have our answer the day before we were supposed to leave (and give up the cars etc). I feel that whatever happens on Monday will show us if God is opening or closing the door for our travel to the islands. But I also feel that it would be a shame to miss out on going to visit the people there, as even with the spiritual heaviness, the islands are rich with wonderful people to meet and many more opportunities to share Jesus' love!."


*Unity within the team


*That we would get the boat

*Clarity of Direction
{That God would clearly open and close the doors we are meant to walk through, or not.}

*Peace about a decision

And most especially that we would be a blessing and not a burden to the people we meet wherever we are, wether we stay in Tahiti or go to the Islands. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Faith and Sports

Faith and Sports

"One of the ministries that we have been able to be a part of during our time in Tahiti is "Foi et Sport" {Faith and Sports}.
Just on the beach outside of the church "Assemblée de Dieu," Alain and the guys from the church set up soccer nets or volleyball nets and play with anyone that comes. It really is an incredible ministry because you give the glory to God and make it known that you love Him {Pray before and after the game} and then play the game you love with teamwork… It's so so fun. It has been one of the funnest things to be a part of while in Tahiti. Just this last Sunday was one of the funnest games of soccer that I've ever played. It was so cool too because several of the guys we met while doing ministry in Papeete on Friday night, came to play with us."