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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter

March 2018

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NEWSLETTER MARCH 2018

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Asia and the Pacific Islands.

THE PHILIPPINES

In the Philippines the school year finishes at the end of March with a great celebration where the students weat blue graduation robes and hats. I am so very happy for our Mangyan school children. For them going to school has been a real achievement and now at the end of the school year, the happiness in the village was really tangible. Unfortunately we could not bring them the graduation robes but we celebrated anyway -- the villagers were so proud of their children, and so were we!

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Mangya school graduation

I was recently contacted by an evangelist who works amongst Mangyan tribes. I did not know of him earlier but he told me with great enthusiasm how he had just come across our tribes church while wandering around in the Mangyan villages, and how astonished he was to hear that we even have a school for the children in that locality. He told me how very happy this had made him, to see how someone loves these tribes so much that they want to give schooling to the children and bring the tribes people to the knowledge of Christ. It was gratifying to get such feedback on our work from him – it made my day!

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Mangya village

Trevor and Birgit Majoinen from Australia visited the Philippines in February and held the third and last part of a discipleship seminar. The course has been a real success and many people from other churches have participated in it too.

Nathan from Norway has travelled to Mindoro Island to spend April there, as a large evangelistic meeting is being held on the island. The young people from Hosea churches are active in evangelistic street work. I would also like to tell you that Nathan has now officially joined the Hosea organisation, being part of our team. He is also planning to do an evangelism trip to Papua New Guinea in the future. It is so encouraging to see the younger generation taking responsibility for these evangelism trips – that means this old one can pass the mantle to the next generation.

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Discipleship course

TONGA

Whilst the Philippines school year is now ending, in Tonga they just started their school year in February. Dorothy is very busy as the school has expanded to have a total of 102 students. Amongst them are students sent from government schools. Some of these students are illiterate and below general standards. These children are placed in our early years classes even though their ages range from 8 to 10 years. This causes more challenges than usual. Dorothy has had to do extra hours to design an educational curriculum for these children and has also had to hire two more teachers.

That also meant that our school building became too crowded. But as a big surprise we were offered the building next door for school use! God has really good timing. Government schools have too many students in their classes and so often that means that weaker students who struggle may just be forgotten and left behind without the much needed support in their studies.

A few years ago government officials contacted us and asked if we could take some pupils who were not very successful in their classes, as our reputation had grown with good results. We said yes and gave opportunity to several of these children. Outcomes have been really good; things just started to work and these students started to learn new skills fast. Now we have received even more requests for students in need. I believe that this is due to the combination of good teachers and God, otherwise it would not have worked so well.

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 Tonga students
Hosea school students

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

A couple of weeks ago one of the dear brothers from PNG contacted me after a long period  without any interaction. They sent me an email asking if we have forgotten them and why Papua New Guinea is hardly mentioned in our newsletters! The head pastor from PNG wrote: “Have you forgotten that Hosea still has churches and schools in Papua?”

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Papua New Guinea school Papua New Guinea school sports day

What a surprise it was! I was so happy to learn that the brothers there are continuing their great job in their county of Enga. They are not seeking any monetary gifts as they are proud of having sorted it all out themselves. They are very independent and busy in the work of the Lord.

I am really blessed by the fact that after the many trials and problems we faced in the beginning,  we have now got honest people whom we can trust with the ministry in Papua. The people of Papua New Guinea are composed of many tribes. There are still five churches and three Primary schools and some preschools. Also Hosea Bible College is still functioning effectively.

Our brothers in Papua New Guinea are keen evangelists. I warmly remember asking them once in a very western way how they managed to communicate in such primitive circumstances. I wondered how they survived without internet and mobile phones. The answer was: “The Holy Spirit talks to us and He guides us where we should go and when.” Wow! That reminded me of the time when our Hosea pastor received guidance through a dream to go to a certain place because the villagers were waiting for men of God to arrive. And that is exactly what happened: in this region the tribe chief had received instructions in a dream to go to a specific place with his tribe to wait for the men of God, who would come to tell them about God. God’s GPS is really effective – the tribe had faithfully waited in that spot for a whole day. The evangelists spoke about Christ and the tribe came to faith. Blessed Papua people!



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Mangyans had bravely formed a choir and even composed a song. We have now more than 40 adult students in the school, their ages varying from young to old. They told us that they were now able to vote for the first time in the elections. Earlier they had had to give their voting slip to others to fill in, without knowing what they wrote in them, because they could not read or write.

When the Mangyan students were singing their song, I was standing in the back of the church. Suddenly I noticed four small children hiding between benches. Our teacher said that they were our students, and she then went and asked why they were not among the other children. One of them explained with tears, that they were so hungry that they could not go to sing. I was so surprised to learn that they were already 6 year olds, even though they looked more like 2 year olds, skinny and bony small children. Nheng commented that this is due to malnutrition, which is the reason why all these tribespeople are so small: their continuous lack of food stunts their growth. We brought a 40 kg bag rice with us and also other foodstuff and fed them all after the meeting, thanks again to the donors! We made so much food that there was enough for evening meal as well.

Last spring Hosea organized a medical mission for the Mangyan tribe. We also left some medicines with the local Pastor, so the tribespeople could be given help later as well. The Pastor said that some Mangyans come even at night begging for help in their desperation. Also some people from other tribes turned up for medicine and were given some, for it is hard to turn desperate people away without help. Now we are in the process again of collecting funds for another medical mission, which should happen sometime next year.

While we were in the Mangyan village, I recognised that most of them were walking bare foot again. I wondered what had happened to all those sandals which had been donated for them a year earlier. The Pastor laughed and explained that the Mangyans have a peculiar walking style, they step heavily on their heels and that wears out the heels of the shoes very quickly. That means that they will need a new pair of sandals every year. One man had a good pair of sandals slung over his shoulders, so I went and asked him why he didn't use them. The man replied: “I don't want to use them as they would wear out. When they hang on my shoulders everyone can see that I have shoes.” So this man had still good shoes, while others had worn theirs out”¦ Now, who is the wise and where is the wisdom here?

We also distributed a bag full of clothes. Birgit and Ulla went to buy some more and as always the Mangyans put the new clothes on top of their old rags. They can't see any reason why the old clothes should be taken off, so they carry their whole wardrobe with them all the time. The same clothes are worn day and night and the extra clothing keeps them warm at night on the mountains. The price tags are also left on, so everyone can see they are new clothes.

Hosea's second fishing boat is now operating on the eastern side of Mindoro Island (Oriental Mindoro) where it is manned by our Mangyan pastor, thus serving the Mangyans also. There are more fish now on the Oriental side of the island because big Indonesian fishing trawlers have appeared close to the Occidental Mindoro shores (the western side of the island). Occidental Mindoro is facing the open ocean, so Indonesian factory ships come close to the shore and take in all fish, big and small, diminishing the fish population. Locals usually fish with spears, sparing spawning fish for reproduction. They understand the laws of the nature and know that spawn fish are needed to keep fish stocks -- you cannot empty the ocean of fish. Local small fishing boats can't drive away large foreign fishing vessels, so locals are deprived of their fishing livelihood.

The Hosea Filipino team want to send their heartfelt thanks to all the supporters and prayer warriors. They and also our students keep praying for you. They understand that it is because of you, your prayers and your donations, that they have this wonderful opportunity to get an education and thus a good start to their lives. It was really great to meet some of our very first students, the ones with whom we started this ministry in the Philippines. It was so wonderful to see the fruit of this work. Many parents are also saved as they attend our weekly Bible studies.

Great blessings from the islands,

ANNE

 

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