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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter
  Late February early March 2016

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NEWSLETTER LATE FEBRUARY EARLY MARCH 2016

Hello again, my dear friends,
I have some more exciting news from our ministry that I would like to share with you all.

What is happening in Tonga

The school year has now begun in our Tongan Hosea school and the renovations of our old rented school premises have almost been completed before the new students arrive. A big thank you to all the supporters of our Tongan work! You have enabled us to get the much needed renovation work completed. The leaking roof has been fixed along with the big holes in the walls. The rooms have also had a new coat of paint. And the best news of all is that we have been able to supply the schoolyard with some new play equipment. Such basic things as a new sandpit made the children so happy, and so did the play house!

During the past several years our Christian school in Tonga has received gratitude, popularity, jealousy, hardships and everything in between … but perseverance has brought us victory, and we are still there! The last two years have been extremely challenging for us because our rented school building has been in such poor condition and the education authority told us that it was not suitable for school children any more.

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The new sandpit at the Tonga Hosea school

The number of students permitted to attend our school was reduced to less than half in the middle of the school year. That was until the authorities inspected several other private schools and found their premises to be totally unsuitable for use, resulting in many being closed. Our school building was at least serviceable, and we were allowed to continue using it after some renovations. The net result was that pupils from the closed schools were sent to ours, even though we had to refurbish our building before the school work could continue.

Last year we received shocking news from our landlord. He told us that he wanted to sell the building and therefore we would have to move out. We spent some sleepless nights, trying to figure out where to go and how to find a replacement building for our pupils, who then numbered around one hundred. We had already made substantial efforts to try and find better premises for our school during past years but there was nothing available in the whole city. And if any rented buildings did come on the market, not many people wanted a school as their neighbour. The situation felt totally impossible. As our own plans failed, we turned to the Heavenly Building Department for help. Suddenly something happened and the owner changed his mind, telling us that the school could stay. Perhaps the building was in such poor shape that it would have been too difficult to sell it.

I asked our head-teacher Dorothy to arrange a written contract with the owner of the building because we did not want to remain unsure of how long we could stay there. Thankfully such an agreement was set up covering a ten year period and that made it worth renovating the school.

 

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New equipment for school has been bought

When the agreement was made, we also got a very pleasant surprise from the owner: he gave us permission to use the empty block next door to our school as well. This too was an answer to our prayers. Dorothy had been praying for a long time for a piece of land where the school could grow vegetables, both for their own use and to sell, to get some funds for the school. We could not find such a plot of land anywhere and now it came as a free gift! The only problem is that there are feral pigs that seem to think the land belongs to them. Such pigs wander freely all over the city anyway, so our next step is to get funds for proper fencing to keep the hungry animals away. Otherwise the only satisfied customers will be the pigs.

A human being tries to solve problems by what he can see with his eyes but only God knows what the future is going to bring. A couple of years ago we rejoiced as our Hosea school was chosen as a building project to be taken on by the US army. The army trains its soldiers to build and repair houses and aims at helping developing countries at the same time. Our school fitted their requirements perfectly. In fact the engineer in charge of the project told us that it was in such bad condition that they planned to demolish it totally and to build a brand new one instead. The engineer noted that many of the government buildings only needed some windows replacing and some other small repairs done, so they were not appropriate at all for the size of project they were seeking. We celebrated but too soon … bad news followed. When other schools heard that we had been chosen for the project, they became jealous and complained about it. The result was that the Tongan authorities decided that only government schools could apply to be selected for this project, otherwise Tonga would not accept the project at all.

The project director gave us this sad news and said that there was little he could do about it. We were disappointed and wondered why this always seemed to happen to us. I complained to God in prayer too: “Don’t You see how they treat us – please do something!” But the Heavenly office was totally quiet.

In the end it happened that the whole project just collapsed and nobody got anything. It was only much later when I understood that if we had received a new building, the owner would have sold it straight away and we would have had to close our school. He had already much earlier spoken of his wish to sell up. But because the building was in such bad state, nobody wanted to buy it, and that turned out to be a blessing to us.

In the midst of all this chaos Dorothy's son fell ill with a heart condition and had to spend a long time in hospital in a bad way. Once again God answered miraculously. Just at the same time as the boy was admitted to hospital, a visiting heart specialist team from Australia arrived as part of a charity work mission. Local hospitals in Tonga cannot carry out demanding heart surgery at all as they are lacking both equipment and trained heart specialists but now Dorothy´s son had the chance for immediate and life saving heart surgery.

I really do not believe in coincidences. This was perfect timing by God. We have experienced so much of God's blessings and goodness. Dorothy's son is doing well, a big thank you to all those who have prayed for him! Everything that has happened in Tonga has only emphasised the fact that we should never give up, even if it looks like there be little hope and even if things do not go according to our plans. God has much better plans!


What is happening in the Philippines

 

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Cabacungan Hosea church mission work
Preaching gospel to Mangyans

Cabacunga church on Mindoro Island has been very active in evangelism and has started ministering to the local tribespeople too – they have received the gospel with great joy. Hosea has also done charity work, collecting clothes and food for these people because we try to help the tribes as much as possible. The mission work has progressed at great speed and is all the time spreading to new areas.

This type of outreach has engaged the enthusiasm of local Christians and swelled the number of members in our church. Many people have said that they want to belong to a church which preaches the gospel to the poor and also ministers practically to their needs. Everyone is welcome to take an active part in the ministry work. Paul says to the Galatians “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)

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Construction has started finally Motel construction is going forward

We have also begun the construction of the motel building in Mamburao city. It was delayed for a long time because we had to wait for different permits to come through, but now everything is finally in order. The idea behind the motel is that the money earned from it will support the school charity work we do and also in the future perhaps act as a training centre for young people wanting to enter the catering and hospitality sector.

There is a great need for good accommodation in Mamburao because many seminars and various government education / training courses are held in the city. When our motel building is ready we can offer venues for such events and accommodation for the attendees. Our aim in Hosea is to get all our ministry work to the point of self-sufficiency from local revenues without the need for outside donations. And when the original projects are self-supporting, the good news about Christ can be carried to other islands too.

Blessings,

Anne

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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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