WELCOME!

Kasalehlia! We are the Kihleng family and we are missionaries to the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. This blog is to keep friends and family (and whoever else is interested!) updated on what we are doing in the islands. So check back here often to see updates on our ministry as well as our ever growing family!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

October, 2018 Prayer Letter


Kaselehlie! Greetings from Pohnpei!

The last few months have been quite the “roller coaster” for our family with our housing situation and I know many of you have been anxious for an update.  First though, I want to thank God for His faithfulness.  I also want to thank all of you that have given to help us with this project financially and for the many prayers that have been lifted up on our behalf.  You cannot even begin to know how much of an encouragement you all have been to us. In this letter we’ll try to summarize our current situation, but we also have created a video update that may help give a better perspective.  That can be found at https://youtu.be/PEcGnhPB6wQ

Since our last letter, we were finally able to find a company to do the digging, which is the first step of the project and has proven to be extremely difficult to get done.  You may be asking, why the difficulty?  We have run into every setback imaginable.  The company was eager to get started and brought their equipment out right away and began the work.  Within hours the government sent officials to stop the work, stating we had to have a permit.  Both this company’s employees and I all explained that we are only digging out the mudslide but they insisted we could not do any more work until we applied for and received the permit.  Knowing that could take weeks, possibly even months, I immediately began that process.  Thankfully, they waived the court hearing and we were able to get the permit within days.  However, we lost valuable clear weather days during that time.  They were able to complete about a day of work before the heavy rains set in again, stopping all work once more.  This went on for several weeks.  Once they were able to resume work again, the equipment broke down, needing a new part.  Approximately two weeks went by waiting for the new part to arrive.  Finally they were able to start again, only to be stopped by more heavy rains after about a day or two of work.  We’ve continued to have heavy rains the following two months, preventing any more work from being done until mid August when we saw one full day of dry weather, allowing them to make some remarkable progress during that brief time.  The rains picked up again the following day so work was halted for nearly another month.  We know God has a reason for these delays, and while frustrating for us, His timing is best.  The digging was finally complete just a couple of weeks ago.

Meanwhile, we had to continue to adapt to a rather different way of life because of the house being buried.  Every time it rained, the house would flood.  If it rained extremely hard, as it has a tendency to do here at times, the house would flood extremely fast!  It takes everyone in the family working together to get the water outside before it gets to the 3 rooms that we have cleaned out for us to live in.  During all this time, our “kitchen” was still a camp stove and water hose with a makeshift sink on the front porch. We were able to get the septic tanks pumped and cleared of the mud and also restore running water to the house, so we could have working bathrooms again.  We have air purifiers and dehumidifiers running round the clock to help with the mold and mildew.  We are using these in the rooms that we have fixed for now.  Now that the digging is finished, we no longer have the flooding issues and after 7 long months, we can finally start to make progress on clearing out the inside of dirt and debris.  Currently, we are working on the next step of putting in a retaining wall.  We are praying for little to no rain until that’s completed as we are highly at risk of another mudslide until that is done!

Though life is a bit different from normal for us at home, family and ministry life must go on.  We have had quite a summer, another roller coaster for us all.  Susan, Katrianne, and Kaylinn were able to fly to NC to be with her parents for a time and were able to be there for their family reunion.  It was a fun time for the girls as they had not met the majority of Susan’s family.  During the time they were gone, Kaleo and Kestra traveled with the FSM swim team to Papua, New Guinea for the Oceania Swimming Championships.  They did very well with their swimming and we are very proud of them.  During the month of June, we also had our annual youth camp at Black Coral Island.  We had a great number of young people join this year and saw 23 young people come to know Christ.  Our youth group nearly doubled in size and they came back with a strong desire to grow in the Lord and be a testimony for Him.  They spent nearly 3 hours the Sunday night after camp sharing their testimonies and tears with our church family.  One testimony in particular that stood out to many was from a young girl in our youth group, Sellyann Kustin as she shared how she wanted her life to be used for God.  Sellyann is my first cousin’s daughter and is also one of Kestra’s closest friends.  Little did the church and teens know at that time how our faith and testimony would be challenged in the coming days.  That following Friday, Sellyann was walking on the road in front of our church and home, carrying her small niece, when a drunk driver spun out of control and hit her.  She was able to throw the baby to safety just in time but she herself received fatal injuries.  She entered the arms of Jesus a few hours later.  Kaleo and Kyler were at the church when the accident happened and helped in the aftermath.  Kestra was able to be at the hospital with Sellyann as she took her last breath on this earth.  You can imagine how this has affected our church, youth group, and entire community.  Many tears have been shed.  It has been hard on everyone.  And yet we’ve seen a closeness and sweetness among our youth that had been severely lacking.  We ask that you please pray for these young people.  Pray for their spiritual growth.  Pray for them with the temptations and difficulties they face every day in their school and home life.  Pray for those that witnessed the accident that will be testifying in court in the near future, having to relive that day all over again.   Pray for them all as they’ve realized in such a tragic way the importance of being ready to face Christ at any moment. 

We had our annual Vacation Bible School as well, just a couple of weeks after the accident.  It was difficult to plan and prepare under the circumstances, but God worked through it all and it turned out to be a fantastic week.  We had approximately 100 kids in attendance by the end of the week!  We had quite a few decisions made throughout the week though I do not have a specific number.  We are excited that we are still having so many of these children attend Sunday school and Bible Club at the church and have had some families begin to come as well.  

Kaleo and Kestra had yet another swimming competition in July.  The Micronesian Games is held every 4 years and includes all the countries and island states of the Micronesian region.  They were able to represent Pohnpei in the open water swimming competition, held on the island of Yap.  The state sports office decided at the last minute to send me along as an assistant coach, which was a huge answer to prayer as we were unsure of the safety of the athlete’s accommodations but did not have the funding available to purchase a ticket to Yap.  With the state sending me, all expenses were covered for the trip.  The three of us, along with some other athletes were able to stay in the home of one of the missionaries there on Yap and I had the opportunity to preach in two of the Baptist churches on the island while we were there.  It was a great experience to visit an island I had never been to before, to visit and assist in the ministries there as well, and to be able to watch my children compete.  I had the honor of presenting the medals for one event, allowing me to present a bronze medal to Kestra for her 3rd place win in the 2.5 kilometer swim.  

On the day we were to return home from Yap, we received word that another church member had unexpectedly passed away.  Ioanis Aron, who lives directly next to the church and has been faithful to our services for many years, suddenly collapsed and passed away shortly after.  Unfortunately, we were not able to arrive on that flight as the flight was full and we were bumped to a flight two days later.  Again, another difficult time for our church family and community.  Please keep the Aron family in your prayers as well.  

As you can see, our family, ministry, and community has faced some trials in these past months.  Please continue to pray for the work here.  Pray that God will continue to use these difficulties in people’s lives and that many would come to know him as a result.  

We do thank each of you that have given to our house repair project.  We are close to the amount needed for the project but still are short of the full amount.  If you are able to give towards this project, any funds can be sent to our mission board, designated for Kihleng House Repair.  The address is Global Vision Ministries, 7800 Northside Drive, North Charleston, SC 29420.  If you have any questions about the project, the funding needed, or are interested in participating in the team coming, please contact Tom McGann at 843-514-2826. 

Because of Calvary,

Rickson & Susan, Kaleo, Kestra, Kyler, Katrianne, & Kaylinn

Monday, May 7, 2018

May, 2018 Prayer Letter and Photos







Kaselehlie!  Greetings from Pohnpei!  

On Friday morning, March 16, an unusually dark and rainy day for Pohnpei, my wife and I were reviewing our new prayer letter to send out.  We were excited about the building project for the new church building.  We wanted to tell you all about the land fill progress and how the area was nearly ready for the foundation.  We wanted to share with you the details of the project and how you could partner with us in making this happen.  But as we began to notice the intensity of the rainfall and began hearing disturbing reports from around the island, nearly everything was put on hold for the day.  We assumed by the following day, the storm would pass and life would go back to normal.  Sadly that was not the case.  On Saturday morning, we woke to the sound of falling trees and realized two trees had come down on our house.  Throughout the morning, we continued to keep an eye on the hill behind our house as the rain continued to come down heavier than anything we’d ever seen before.  As we began to see shifts in the soil on the hill, by 11 AM we made the decision to evacuate.  Just after noon, we received word from our neighbors that a mudslide had torn through our home.  As the rain came to a halt later in the afternoon we made the drive back to our village to look over the damage.  Nothing could have prepared us for what we found.  The mudslide, along with trees and boulders had taken out the back doors as well as a window.  Mud and water had flowed through the entire house, destroying anything in it’s path.  The dining table and chairs where my wife and I had been sitting as we discussed our new prayer letter, was now replaced with a hill approximately 8 feet high, a water catchment, and a mango tree.  Many of you have followed our journey since then on Facebook, but we have also updated our family blog with photos from the storm damage and aftermath.  It has been a long and trying 7 weeks but one thing remains the same.  God is faithful!  He protected our family.  We are all safe and for that we continuously praising God.  Many mudslides and heavy flooding occurred around the island and there were lives lost.  Please pray for these families that lost loved ones in this storm.  

What is our current situation?  We have been able to clean out and recover two rooms in the house and moved back in approximately a week and a half after the storm.  As of the writing of this letter, we still have not been able to find a company that will come and dig out the house, so that has remained the same.  As a result, every heavy rain brings more flooding and damage.  Two days ago, the ceiling caved in on the back of the house because of this.  
    • We are praying desperately for an answer to getting the house dug out.  We have finally found one company that has agreed to take on the project, but we are still waiting for them to give us a timeline. 
    • Other than moving out the mud and mess inside, there is little we can do to repair the inside until the house is dug out.  We spent a great deal of time scrubbing and cleaning, only to have the house flood again.  
    • After the mudslide is removed from the back of the house, we will need to build a retaining wall to prevent this in the future.  As of now, we do not even know 100% if this will even be possible.  Please pray for God’s leading in this.  We want to be able to remain in this location, but of course safety is of utmost importance.
    • Doors, windows, flooring, appliances, kitchen and bathroom cupboards, furniture, and more will have to be replaced.  We don’t even know where to begin with this at this point.
    • As the water pipes into the house are broken and buried under the mudslide, we have not had running water in the house since the storm.  This makes life “interesting” for a family of 7.
    • We also no longer have a kitchen.  We have been able to set up a camp stove and makeshift sink outside to make do for now. 
    • The septic tank is also buried and filled with mud.  As you can imagine, this along with no running water makes for a less than ideal bathroom situation.
    • Mold is a huge concern.  Finally being able to remove the mud and trees from inside and board up the back of the house has helped considerably but we are still dealing with extreme dampness from the humidity and flooding.  
    • A HUGE praise is that Andy Brett from Charleston, SC will be coming this month to help!
How can you help?
1. Pray!  We desperately need prayer!  Each day brings new challenges, some we never dreamed we would be facing.  And in the midst of the house challenges, we are continuing on with ministry responsibilities with the church and Bible institute, which often leaves us very little time to work on the house. 
2. Give if you are able.  The cost of repairs and replacements are going to be huge.  If God leads you to give towards this project, donations can be sent to our mission board designated for Kihleng Storm Recovery.  A huge thank you to those that have already jumped in and helped our family financially through this difficult time.  I would also like to mention that we do not want our current housing situation to take away from the building project for the new church building.  If you would like to give towards this project, donations can also be sent to our mission board, designated for Kihleng Church Building.  God began this project and we know that He will provide for it to be completed.  
3. Come!  If you have specific skills in construction and would like to be a part of the recovery project, or even come to work on the new church building, please get in contact with us at rkihleng@hotmail.com.  

In spite of much of our life currently being put on hold due to the storm, we have a huge summer schedule ahead of us that we are looking forward to.  We have several youth rallies scheduled, summer camp, a missions team coming from Pennsylvania, some Bible college students coming to help with ministries, Vacation Bible School, special meetings at two of the other churches on island, and more.  It is a packed but exciting couple of months ahead!  Please be in prayer for these ministries and that God will work in hearts this summer.

In closing I would like to thank those of you that have prayed for us, given financially to us, sent notes of encouragement, as well as to our dear friends here on island that have offered their time to help with cleanup, fed us, prayed with us, shed tears with us, and been such a blessing in our lives through this time.  I believe God is going to work mightily through this situation and receive all the glory.  


Because of Calvary,

Rickson & Susan, Kaleo, Kestra, Kyler, Katrianne, Kaylinn

Printable Version of this Letter

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring, 2017 Prayer Letter

Kaselehlie!
Greetings from Pohnpei!  2017 has gotten off to a great start these past few months here on Pohnpei and we are looking forward to the great things God will be doing throughout this year!

CHURCH HAPPENINGS
One of our highlights over the holiday season was our annual Christmas program.  This year we did the cantata Maranatha! The Lord Is Come.  Kaleo was once again able to be a part of the play and Kestra was excited to have the opportunity to join in with the youth choir now that she is a part of the youth group.  Even Kyler was able to be a part of the play this year as he played the part of Kaleo’s character’s son.  Katrianne and Kaylinn were a part of the childrens’ choir. The program was a great blessing and we were thrilled that the kids’ swim coaches all came to see the performance.  

January was a landmark month in our church staff as our youth leader, Resio Aron, married his sweetheart Terisa, who is Calvary Baptist Church of Pohnpei’s Pastor Willam Joel’s daughter!  We’re thankful for God bringing a godly young lady into his life who will be a great help with the ministry here.  Please keep Resio and Terisa in your prayers as they begin their life together.  

We were blessed this year to have our friends Mark and Crystal Javaux here with us over New Year and into January.  They tackled quite a few projects around here and we hated seeing them go!  Mark was able to work on our church sound system that we were able to purchase a couple of years ago (thanks to the generous donation of First Baptist Church of Colchester, Illinois who provided the funding for the system).  We’ve only used the very basics of the system with our limited knowledge of sound technology, but within an hour or so, Mark had it all set up with numerous wireless microphones that we didn’t even realize had come with the system!  He also spent some time teaching the men of our church how to operate the system so we can continue using it without him here.  

Another landmark in our church in 2017 was Ambassador Baptist Church selecting our first deacon.  Siosy Aron has been with the church since the very beginning; in fact our earliest Bible studies before the church officially started were held at his home in the jungle.  We are excited about where God is taking this ministry and are thankful for godly men in the church such as Siosy.

FAMILY UPDATES
Sadly, the year had some painful beginnings as my Aunt Rita, one of my mom’s sisters, passed away in January.  We will miss her greatly but know she is in a better place and no longer experiencing the pain and suffering she has been for the past year or more.  Please keep the family in your prayers through this time.

Through some friends and family members, plane tickets for Susan, Kaleo, and Kestra were provided for a brief trip to the States to visit Susan’s parents.  We were able to work the tickets out so they left on the same flight as Mark and Crystal.  They were able to visit several of our supporting churches while on the trip and really enjoyed getting to see so many of you along the way. 

BIBLE INSTITUTE
We began another semester of the Baptist Bible Institute of Pohnpei in January and are now nearing the end of the school year.  We will be having another graduate this year, our third overall from the Bible Institute program.  She is planning to leave the island after graduation to continue her education at Harvest Baptist Bible College.  

SPECIAL REQUEST
For several years many of you have prayed with us concerning a new building for our church.  We believe at this time God is giving us the burden to move forward with this project.  Some of you may remember from our ministry DVD the outer, open-air building that we use for special meetings.  We have decided to go ahead and convert this into an enclosed building to use for our sanctuary.  Please pray with us as we begin this project and if you and/or your church would like to be a part of this project, please contact us to discuss ways to help with this building project.  

A special thank you to those of you who sent special Christmas offerings to our family and ministry here.  Some were anonymous gifts and we hope and pray you see this and know how much it meant to our family and ministry.  Thank you!

We wish you all a blessed spring and upcoming Resurrection Sunday.  Thank you for your prayers and financial support.  God continues to work here in the islands and we are truly honored to have each of you as a part of the ministry here. 

Because of Calvary,

Rickson & Susan, Kaleo, Kestra, Kyler, Katrianne, and Kaylinn

Printable PDF of this letter

Monday, November 14, 2016

October Prayer Letter and Recent Happenings

Below is our prayer letter from October.  We've had some difficulty getting the email version out due to internet issues on our island.  Quick updates/prayer requests since this letter was originally sent:
  • In the original mailed version of the letter we mentioned our daughter would be traveling in December to Canada.  That trip has at the moment been cancelled due to an oversight on the part of her coaches.  The Olympic Committee had already purchased her plane tickets and acquired her travel visa but will be able to still use her ticket for her to attend a later competition in the summer.  It was a big disappointment for our girl so please keep her in your prayers.  
  • We had a great time with Pastor Frank Bailey and a deacon from his church, Mr. Zipperer, here for a week.  The 3 days of revival meetings during that time were a blessing for us and our church here on the island
  • Within hours after their departure, several of our children came down with severe flu (possibly food poisoning) symptoms, resulting in a trip to the ER.  Please keep the kids in your prayers as they are still recovering and 2 others are feeling sick now as well. 
  • Our church youth group will be performing Maranatha! The Lord Is Come for our annual Christmas program.  This year both Kaleo and Kyler have parts in the play.  Please pray God will use this program to reach many hearts.     

Kasalehlie!

Greetings from Pohnpei!  What an exciting last few months we’ve had here in the islands!  And what an exciting few months we have coming up! 

SUMMER MINISTRIES
A huge thank you to those of you who gave to the camp ministry.  We have tried to contact each of you individually to thank you but as some we did not have full names or contact information, I pray that you see this letter and know how much God used you in the lives of our young people here on Pohnpei.  This summer’s camp was one of the largest in number that we’ve ever had.  We had nearly 150 campers attend and the decisions made during the week were overwhelming!  Approximately 10 came to know Christ as their Savior among the many decisions made.  Please continue praying for these young people as the struggle is a big one for them to live for Christ. We were especially excited that some of our own kids’ friends from their swim team were able to participate in the camp and ask that you continue praying for these young people and our children to continue being a testimony and witness to them.

Our week of Vacation Bible School was another exciting week out of the summer.  We had approximately 90 children attending by the end of the week, including some of our younger kids’ swim team friends as well! Many decisions were made for Christ during this week too and many of these children are still attending our weekly Bible Club where they can continue learning Scripture.  We praise God for these children!  

Another highlight of the summer was having a good friend of ours, Crystal Javaux spend much of the summer with us.  She was a great asset to the VBS ministry as she headed up the crafts.  We’re looking forward to her and her husband Mark visiting us again in December.

Many of you were praying for Brandy Hadley as he came for the summer to ministry as well.  Brandy had a full schedule of preaching through the summer and was able to lead many to the Lord through his ministry here.  He truly was a blessing to many of our young men on the island who are struggling in their Christian life.

BIBLE INSTITUTE
We’re off to another great year of the Baptist Bible Institute of Pohnpei.  We have a few new students this year as well as returning students.  Please pray for these young people as they train for the ministry as well as those of us teaching them.  I am teaching some classes this semester as well as Pastor Rick VeraCruz, Pastor Sonny Padock, and Missionary Gabe Eiben.  

FAMILY
Another homeschool year is underway.  Kaleo is a senior this year and is trying to survive Physics and Pre-Calculus.  He’s also very busy with youth group, his swim training and lifeguarding,  and has a role again in this year’s Christmas program.  Kestra is in 7th grade (yes, we now have TWO teenagers in the family!) and is now a part of the youth group.  Kyler will be 12 in December and is in 6th grade.  He loves fishing and swimming and would much rather be in the ocean than in school.  He also will be playing a role in the Christmas program. Katrianne is in 4th grade and continues to love art and playing the piano.  She amazes us continuously with her artistic talent!  She’s also our little animal lover and loves her chickens as if they were her children. Kaylinn is in 1st grade this year and loves pretty much anything more than school.  She keeps us well entertained daily.  

Our family is looking forward to a visit from a pastor and deacon from one of our supporting churches in November.  We love having visitors from the U.S. and especially love having supporters come and see the ministry here first hand.  Consider this an open invitation to those of you who would like to visit us here in the islands!

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. Without you, we would be unable to continue the Lord’s work here and we truly are grateful for all you do for our family and ministry here.   

Because of Calvary,
Rickson & Susan, Kaleo, Kestra, Kyler, Katrianne, & Kaylinn


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Kihleng Family Prayer Letter, March, 2016


Kasalehlie!

Greetings from Pohnpei!  We’re well into 2016 now and God is doing great things here on Pohnpei.  A quick update on the drought situation here ~ as many of you already know, our island and the surrounding area have been facing drought conditions that are predicted to continue through summer.  We were completely out of water in our area for about 2 weeks.  It was definitely a trying time but God always provides.  We currently have water turned back on and have had some rain, but please continue to pray as limited water could occur off and on for the next several months.  We do have a water catchment that is full at the moment and praise God for that blessing!
BIBLE INSTITUTE
We are drawing near the end of another year of our Bible Institute.  We have had fewer students this year but are thankful for their faithfulness and vision for ministry.  Our son Kaleo is also taking classes in the Bible Institute this year and has willingly taken on the job of picking up students needing rides.  
CHURCH MINISTRY
The church has continued to thrive since the revival meetings with Evangelist Jim Cook that we had in the fall.  This coming Sunday, March 13, is a special day for Ambassador Baptist Church as it is not only our church’s 12th Anniversary, but will also be our Charter Service.  Missionary John Boylston has worked hard to get all the paperwork done and passed through the court system to officially charter the church and we are so thankful for his commitment to this project.  We will be holding special services both in the morning and afternoon along with a church meal between services.   Please continue praying for the various ministries of the church ~ Sunday school, Wednesday kids Bible Club, Jail Ministry, and Youth Ministry. 
I was recently able to take a trip to the island of Nukuoro to visit and help our missionaries there, Jack & Melinda Peeler, and our Bible Institute graduate Ray Ezekias and his family.  The only way to get there is by ship, and I don’t mean a luxury cruise by any means!  The work there is still in it’s baby stages and needs your prayers.  They are desperately in need of building a living structure as they are currently living in tents.  They've been able to begin Bible studies with some on the islands and I am so glad I had the opportunity to see our Institute graduate doing what God has called him to.  
FAMILY
We’re also coming to the close of another homeschool year.  Kaleo will be finishing out his junior year, Kestra in 6th grade, Kyler in 5th, Katy in 3rd, and little Kaylinn working her way through K5.  The kids are all a very active part of our ministry as well as music and sports activities. Kaylinn just turned 6 this past month and is our little social butterfly.  She loves to meet new people and will talk to anyone and everyone. She does not really enjoy schoolwork but would rather be out playing.  Katy is our crafty/artistic child and is always creating something. She loves playing the piano and has also taken up raising chickens, though each chicken become her beloved pet.  Her pet rooster follows her everywhere and crows loudly when she leaves him too long.  Kyler is enthusiastic about life and spends a lot of his time just trying to figure out how things work.  He’s our deep thinker and can often ask difficult questions.  He loves swimming and will be competing in his first international swim competition next week.  Kestra is growing into a beautiful young lady practically overnight! She loves hanging out with her cousins and reading.  She will also be competing next week in the swim competition and hopes to do well.  Kaleo is a typical busy teenager with barely a minute of spare time.  In addition to school and taking Bible Institute classes, he is giving guitar lessons, helping mom run the Bible Club on Wednesdays, lifeguarding several times a week, active in the church youth group, plus daily swim practice. He will also be competing next week and will also be traveling to Fiji this summer to compete in the Oceania Swimming Championships and would appreciate your prayers as he trains in preparation and for traveling safety.  He is thankful for the travel opportunities his swimming has given him.  The FSM NOC has sent him on several trips now which have allowed him to visit Qatar, Manila, South Korea, Moscow, and Kazan all by the age of 15!   
VEHICLE UPDATE
A huge thank you to those of you that were able to help with our car purchase!  The car we had intended to purchase had sold quickly so we began the search for another vehicle that would work for us.  Unfortunately, there were very few available in the size we need as most vehicles shipped in are just small cars.  With the revival meetings just ahead, we desperately needed something and were finally able to find one, though it was considerably more than we had intended to pay.  We thank each of you that gave to this project!  


Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.  God is working here in Micronesia and we are truly blessed to be a part of His plan for these islands! 

Because of Calvary,

Rickson & Susan, Kaleo, Kestra, Kyler, Katrianne, & Kaylinn

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Praying For Rain!


As many of you already know, our little island is in a drought at the moment.  The situation seemed to have gotten bad very quickly with little warning.   A week ago our running water was shut off, as was most of the island's water supply.  As you can imagine, there was a bit of a panic on the island when the last of the drinking water was sold out last Thursday afternoon.  We had some rain over the weekend which allowed us a brief time of water again, though at a very low pressure and really muddy looking.  As of now, in town the water is shut off from 10 AM until 5 PM each day.  As a result, the drinking water companies are able to open again!  In our area however, there is no water at all.  We had a water catchment that had been damaged in a storm last year but we have since been able to repair the catchment and fill it during the time the water was on for a short period.  That is the water we are relying on for now.  However, without rain, this will not last long.  Please pray with us for rain!  We will keep you updated on the situation here.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June, 2015 Prayer Letter

Kasalehlie!

I know it’s been some time since you’ve heard from us as we are past due on an update.  2015 has already proven to be a challenging  year for our family and our ministry.  As many of you may already know, just after Thanksgiving, my mom began having some serious health problems.  Much of January, February, and March were spent caring for her and taking her to different doctors to see what could be done.  On April 4, 2015, just after 5 AM, my precious mother slipped into the arms of Jesus and is finally free from the pain that constantly plagued her the past several months.  It was a very different Easter Sunday for us this year as our annual Sunrise Service was turned into a funeral service.  I am thankful that my 3 siblings that live off island were able to arrive earlier in the week and spend those last days with her, and all 7 of us were able to be together to say our temporary farewells, looking forward to the time when we will all meet again in the presence of our Lord.  Thank you to those of you that sent cards and messages and for your many prayers on our behalf.
Typhoon Season
2015 has also set the record in typhoons.  One after another have swept through the South Pacific, leaving devastation behind.  In March, Susan and Kestra made a short trip to Saipan, but then were stranded in Guam for a time because of a typhoon.  Just after that, another typhoon devastated the islands of Chuuk, Yap, and Ulithi, leaving behind millions of dollars worth of damage and many people homeless and starving.  The US has now stepped in with financial aide as well as many other nations working to rebuild and help these people recover.  Another typhoon, though less intense, hit these same islands again in early May.  It is rare, however, for typhoons to hit the island of Pohnpei.  We were all a bit surprised then when Typhoon Dolphin headed our way.  It was a bit of a nerve-wracking night as the wind howled and rain beat our roof, but thankfully, we had little damage other than a small mudslide and a large mango tree coming down behind our home.  God truly protected us as the tree could have done some serious damage had it fallen just a bit lower on our hill.  The island is gradually recovering from the damage done, though sadly, one life was lost in the storm as well as some critical injuries.  We were without power and water for 5 days, though some parts of the island were without power for 10 days.  We were especially thankful though that our power was restored in time for our summer intern to arrive ~ and I’m sure he is thankful as well!
Summer Intern
Ambassador Baptist College student Ethan Ryan arrived on May 17 to spend much of the summer with us for his student internship.  We’ve enjoyed getting to know him these past couple of weeks and look forward to seeing God use him this summer in the ministry here.  We’ll be keeping him busy with church projects, preaching opportunities, jail ministry, summer camp, VBS, Bible Club, and more!  You can follow his summer adventure at his blog at https://ethaninpohnpei.wordpress.com.  I’ve enjoyed reading his perspective of life here as so much of what is “foreign” to visitors seems so normal to us that we usually don’t even think to mention it.  
Baptist Bible Institute of Pohnpei
We reached an exciting landmark in our Bible Institute ministry.  This past weekend we held the first graduation ceremony for the Baptist Bible Institute of Pohnpei.  This is a dream come true as we saw two godly men graduate, both of whom are leaving this summer to return to their home island to plant a church.  We are extremely honored to be a part of Pastor Ray Ezekias and Nucker Leopold’s ministry on the island of Nukuoro.  Please keep Pastor Ray’s family in  your prayers as they are leaving with missionaries Jack and Melinda Peeler to begin construction on their new home and future church.  Kyle Boylston will also be spending approximately 2 months with them to help them in the ministry there.    
Summer Ministries
With the arrival of summer brings our usual summer ministries.  Our youth camp will be held June 29-July 4th.  Please pray that we have a good sized group of kids out for camp this year.  For many, it is extremely difficult for them to raise the money they need for camp as often the unsaved parents are not supportive and the young people have to raise the funds themselves.  If you wish to sponsor a camper ($20 per camper), please send to our mission board address listed in the header of this letter and designate for Kihleng’s Summer Camp.  We also ask that you email us at rkihleng@hotmail.com to let us know so that we can plan accordingly.  
Vacation Bible School will be held July 13-17.  We will be posting a supplies needed list on our blog once we have finished compiling that.  Any help with craft supplies and prizes would be greatly appreciated!  We’re looking forward to a great week of VBS! 
Thank you to each of you for your prayers and support.  We could not be here without you.  It means more than you can know! 

Because of Calvary,

Rickson & Susan, Kaleo, Kestra, Kyler, Katrianne, & Kaylinn