*I have edited and added a few more pictures and descriptions to this summary post of our trip travelling with GDMMissions to Chuuk.
The trip was a marvelous experience and God blessed greatly. Many heard the gospel and many important church leaders were challenged in their knowledge and understanding of the true gospel against the man-made false teaching which is so prevalent in Micronesia.
Chuuk is just one of the federated states of Micronesia.
We ministered on three different islands 1. Weno 2. Nama 3. Fefen
Weno is the most populated island and the only one with an airstrip and hotels.We worked with Grace International Baptist Church there not far from the airport and our hotel. See the bottom left orange marker for the location of our hotel.
We then prepared for our 60 mile journey on the Pacific to the outer island of Nama. This was the most extreme part of the trip and hopefully the pictures below will help you understand the vast remoteness of it all. The Red Marker is Weno and the purple pin marker is Nama. This map still gives me the chills. The utter expanse of the ocean is terrifying as you are literally a little fish in a very very big pond.
Here are some pictures from clinics and the work done on the islands. GDMMissions does everything from evangelism and discipleship to medicine and dentistry. Jamie was the dental assistant and did a great job! Disclaimer: Don’t sign up for this job if you are squeemish around blood. I was able to run the sterilizer and assist the dentist in distributing medicine to the patients.
Bible stories and gospel teaching. The children and many of the adults would sit and listen for hours.
Telling the story of Adam and Eve and the Story of the Bible.
We were also able to have some fun doing some snorkeling and skewering some octopi! This is one of the local Pastors we were able to work side by side here in Chuuk. He was a lot of fun but also a great example of a man giving his life for the sake of the gospel.
The trip to Nama (see map picture with the purple pin for the location of Nama) was intense, awe inspiring, fearful, and peaceful. I have never felt so helpless, afraid, and secure all at the same time like I did when we were out in the Pacific ocean. God does provide peace in stormy waters. The trip to the island was 5 hours in a 20 foot fishing boat traversing 60 miles of open ocean. The power of the ocean is immense but we have a God who controls and silences the sea at the sound of his voice. Thankfully, that God led us the whole way and we made it to Nama’s shores safely.
On the island of Nama we were able to show the Jesus Film in their native tounge. We brought with us the video and a small visual projector but we did not have any sound. Thankfully there was a boom-box on the island that we rigged up to our projector for all to hear the Jesus Film and the gospel translated into Chuukese. Dozens of people were watching from this view but many people were unable to fit inside the building so they went outside to watch the film on the back of the sheet/screen.
Here is our group of doctors, pastors, dentists, nurses, and national translators. This was right before we left Nama to go back to our hotel. We are all dreading the long trip back which turned out to only be 3 1/2 hours.
We also were able to minister on a closer island called Fefen. One of our local contacts grew up on this island and is now the pastor of a small church on his home island. He is young and a recent graduate from a Harvest Christian School in Guam where they train locals to go back and start or continue ministries on islands all throughout Micronesia.
This picture is a quick pic of some announcements being given regarding the Clinic Registration process. We would arrive for the Fefen clinic by boat from our hotel around 8 and start the clinic at 9 am. The registration process documents the peoples needs and numbers them for a certain set amount for the dentist and the doctor each day. The problem on this island was that people were showing up at 5:00 am the morning for the clinic and would have to wait around until we got started at 9 am. Sometimes the order of arrival verses the order of service would vary because people would cut in line and such so therefore it can be difficult to be fair and efficient. But thankfully, all problems were resolved and for three days many people were given free medical and dental aid as well as more importantly heard the gospel message.
The children were adorable and I am thankful for the gospel teaching they heard. Many of the children were simply starving for attention. They ultimately need the love of Jesus to come into their lives and give them a love that no medicine or family could ever give. It is a reminder of how much I complain when I have the truth of the gospel and I have so much more simply living here in America than these children will ever have. We as Americans must learn not to squander the truth God has given us as well as the success our nature has enjoyed.