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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter
August 2018

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NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2018

Hello friends,

I have some amazing news to tell you, so I have decided to send another newsletter quite soon after the previous one.

TONGA

There are many different types of sport in which talented people can develop high levels of skill, such as figure skating, gymnastics and so on. Hosea has its own particular skill set. I could call it “the skill to run a school in different cultures”. During past years we have stumbled and crawled up, stumbled again then got up once more, like a skater who is determined never to give up until they’ve mastered the move.

Tonga is a country where it is impossible to buy land for building purposes, because according to the law all land belongs to one or the other tribe. And even if members of a tribe would promise to rent you a piece of land, soon the chief of the tribe might well say No.

Our main school building in Tonga has been in bad state for years and years, so much so that at one point the children had to hold buckets over their heads because the roof was leaking so much. The walls too had big holes in them, so the wind blew straight through. Thankfully, a Finnish donor came to help and a few years ago we were able to get the roof and walls repaired and so the buckets could be put to better use elsewhere.

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Hosea Tonga school renovations

This year our school accepted the normal intake of 100 pupils to the pre-school, but in addition we took several special needs students whom the government schools had rejected. We had been asked to take these children and give them some special tuition. After some thought we answered, “Yes, providing we can get some more room” because our old school building was already totally full. Amazingly enough, someone then decided to let us use the broken down building next door for this purpose. We were happy -- at least there was a roof over the children’s heads, albeit leaky… and we still had those good old buckets to use during the rainy season.

One day two men walked into the school in the middle of a school day. Tongan people are friendly and generous, so the children performed some beautiful songs for the visitors. They listened and gazed around the classroom and the building, where the poor conditions were very obvious to their eyes. One of the men seemed to ponder for a while before going up to our head teacher to ask her: “What is the most pressing need in your school?” Dorothy answered: “The roof leaks, that is the most urgent thing.”

The visitors then left. But soon afterwards one of them came back to the classroom and said: “The Lord spoke to me when I left and told me that I need to pay for the renovation of this school.” Our head teacher Dorothy could do nothing but nod. She told me that she didn’t actually believe the man. We have received so many promises from different people and organisations over the years without anything actually coming to pass. Dorothy wondered if this would be a similar empty promise.

A few days later the man turned up at the school again saying that he had visited the hardware store and ordered all the necessary construction materials for the repairs, and that they would soon be delivered to the school yard. And this really happened. Soon afterwards the man appeared again at the school and said: “Now I have a builder and workmen with me, can we start the work right away? We will renew the roof first.”

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Tonga school children doing a performance to tourists        Hosea students

At that point it started to dawn on us that this time it was TRUE! And so the renovation began. Teachers and pupils’ parents were all speechless with surprise. This is how it feels when you have been praying for a miracle for a long time but nothing has happened. Finally we get tired of waiting, even though Psalms 27:14 encourages us: “Wait for the Lord. Be strong, and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.” I have to admit that my strength had already failed and impatience had won. But right then God showed up with a miracle.

There was another victory when we received permanent permission to perform for the tourists who visit the island on large cruise ships. In fact, some professional dancers and singers had already been chosen to perform, but then someone decided to ask us if our children would like to come along, since they had done a few performances earlier. On these occasions, many of the tourists arriving at the harbour had been really thrilled to watch the little students performing national dances for them. After the performance the tourists had collected quite a substantial amount of money amongst themselves for the school. Naturally we were very willing to perform in the future too! The first show has already happened and it was a huge success. What else can I say about the goodness of the Lord?!

THE PHILIPPINES

The principal of the government school in Sablayan has now been officially named as the head of all the high schools for the whole of Mindoro Island, and he has promised to open all the high schools for the gospel during his term in office. Nathan, Hosea’s young evangelist, will have busy times visiting schools one by one to preach the gospel to their students.

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Lord Mayor is being blessed

This new leader is well aware of the great results of our Hosea schools during all these years and he now wants to be officially part of the Hosea school board and to have a role in directing the youth work in Hosea. He also wants to be the music teacher in our school. That is really amazing because we have been praying for a music teacher who would want to join our team. We still do not have musical instruments but the Lord has done unbelievable miracles before, so this is not a problem for Him.

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Schools are back to normal                                   Hosea Hotel is nearing completion

The hotel / college is not quite yet ready because the three recent typhoons and heavy rains with severe flooding have delayed the building work. Now the work has started again on the premises, rooms are being painted, windows and the workmen who will fit them have arrived, tiling is underway and water tanks have been fitted on the roof. The construction work is done by manpower without cranes and heavy machinery and that is why it doesn’t happen as quickly as in the western world.

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Bed frames have been made

We will also start renovation work on the Aroma school building soon to repair the damage caused when the floodwaters covered it. The city mayor has visited our main school and thanked Hosea for providing for and taking care of evacuees during the disaster. We fed all those people who escaped to our school, both physically and spiritually. The mayor also asked for prayer for himself so that he would have wisdom to lead the city.

I want to thank you all for your prayers. I am especially grateful to those who prayed when yet another typhoon was on its way towards the island. Your prayers had power: the typhoon changed its route and went in another direction.

With my love and blessings,

 

 

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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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