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, November 13, 2012

November, 2012 Prayer Letter

Kasalehlia!  Greetings from Pohnpei!  Thank you for your prayers over the recent months.  I mentioned in our last letter that we were facing some challenges in the ministry.  God is always faithful and has worked in the hearts of many involved.  Many apologies have been made, hearts softened, and families restored.  We’ve been able to move forward as a church past this situation!  

We also mentioned in our last letter that we sensed the Lord’s leading in moving forward with our building project.  At this point, the funds are just simply not available for us to begin the building we would like to, but we have began the reconstruction of our outdoor “tent” structure that we use for revival meetings.  Most Sundays now, our small building is packed to overflowing – children have to sit on the floor, adults and teens have to share seats, and some have to stand.  We cannot effectively grow in these conditions; therefore, we are doing what we can to improve this open-air structure to begin holding services there.  Our goal is to have this completed before the end of the year.  

Upcoming Events

We have a lot coming up!  This month we will be holding our annual Missions Conference.  We are looking forward to having several of the local missionaries/pastors coming to share their hearts with our people.  One of the things we have emphasized in our Bible Institute is the need for good Bible-believing churches to be started on the outer islands throughout Micronesia and that is our focus of our missions program as well.  Please pray that our church people will catch the burden for these ministries and do what they can to support them!  

Speaking of the Bible Institute, our students just finished their mid-term exams and are eager to begin the last block of courses before Christmas break.  I have been teaching Old Testament Survey this semester along with Pastor Ric VeraCruz.  Susan also began teaching this semester and taught an 8-week course in English as a Second Language.  I will be continuing with OT Survey as well as Pastoral Theology for the men and Susan will be teaching Teacher Training to the ladies in the Institute.  We’re seeing such great potential in each of these students!  Please keep them in your prayers, that God will use them greatly. 

We are extremely excited about the Boylston family coming to join us soon!  They have been on deputation and are nearing the time for their departure from the States.  We are praying God will allow them to come within the next couple of months!  We want them to have the opportunity to settle here and adjust before we leave for furlough.  Our current furlough plans are for the end of summer, 2013.  This will have been five years since leaving for our previous furlough.  We’re looking forward to being able to report back to each of our supporting churches!

Christmas is just around the corner and this year our youth is presenting Ron Hamilton’s “Christmas At Home”.  They are hard at work, putting in extra practices during the week.  We translate the play portion into Pohnpeian and invite all of our area to attend.  Please pray that this is an effective outreach in our community!  

In March we will be having revival meetings with Bro. Randy Chovan.  God has really blessed in previous meetings we’ve had with Bro. Chovan and we are looking forward to this week of meetings as well.  Please begin praying with us that God will greatly work throughout that week and in the weeks and months after.  Pray that our people will begin preparing their hearts for the meetings now!  


As for family, we are doing well!  Kaleo is in 8th grade this year, Kestra in 3rd, Kyler in 2nd, Katrianne in K5, and Kaylinn jumps from grade to grade!  Kaleo has surprised us all by suddenly growing taller than both his mom and dad!  We’re often asked how Kaylinn is doing; she is doing well.  We’ve had no further problems with her breathing – though I must say we still all jump and “panic” over every cough or strange sound she makes!  She is growing and thriving though and we are so thankful for God’s protection over her.  She will be turning 3 in February.  She’s our only child that was completely fluent in both Pohnpeian and English at such a young age!  She surprises us daily with the funny things she says and does.  

Susan had the unexpected opportunity last month to make a quick trip to the States for her parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary!  We were able to get her a discount standby ticket through a United employee at the last minute and some dear friends of ours paid the fee for that as well.  It turned out to be quite a family reunion as there were many relatives there that Susan had not seen since we left for Pohnpei 12 years ago!

Thank you again for your prayers and support!  As we come closer to the end of 2012, we look back and reflect through this past year.  Thank you for the sacrifices that so many of you have made so that we can be here.  We only pray that God will use us! 

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

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Update!

Kasalehlie!  I know some of you have been waiting to hear an update of our summer so here it is!  
We started out the summer with a visit from Tom and Corey Pennington from Huntsville, AL who came for a missions trip.  We had a great time with them here.  They were such a blessing to our family and to the ministry here.  We certainly hope they can return for a future visit!
July 16-21 was youth camp and the week went really well, in spite of having no water for bathing due to no rain the whole week!  If you ever thought camps in the US are "roughing it", you should camp out here!  No electricity, no running water, very primitive bathrooms and sleeping arrangements!  A true camp experience!
We just finished out our week of VBS!  It was another great week!  We started out the week with low attendance as there were some childrens activities going on at other churches in the area but towards the end of the week we were averaging around 60 per day.  Photos and videos of the week are being posted on our new church Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ABCPohnpei.  
At the beginning of the summer, I started to get an irritating cough that just wouldn't go away.  I had no other symptoms - felt great actually, just an annoying cough.  It continued to get worse, in spite of going through several rounds of antibiotics, and being tested for just about everything!  Then I started having some severe pain in my left side around the rib cage which became so severe they decided to admit me at the hospital.  They were afraid my spleen had ruptured.  Thankfully, this didn't turn out to be the case but the pain continued so they kept me for 4 days on IV meds for pain and to treat the cough.  They determine I had pertussis, but were not sure what the pain was from.  They've since ran some x-rays on my ribs and spine and found that the rib right in the area where the pain is, is slightly pulled loose, probably from the coughing and my spine is very crooked! Fortunately, as the cough is getting better, the pain is getting less and less and we're praying it will go away completely.  Of course, we're wishing we had a chiropractor here on island!  Thank you to those of you who prayed for me through this!  It made the summer a little bit difficult for me but I'm happy to be seeing the end in site now! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

June, 2012 Update Letter

Kasalehlia!  Summer is here and with it our many exciting summer activities!  It’s been a few months since our last prayer letter and though many times we sat down to write a letter, we just couldn’t put into words what is in our hearts.  We have been faced with some tremendous attacks from Satan on our ministry these past couple of months.  We never dreamed we would face some of what we have had to face in recent weeks and while we wanted your prayers through this time, we didn’t even know where to begin in explaining the situation.  Rather than go into details of the events here, I will simply say that Satan is using culture and tradition here to cause people to openly defy Bible principles and our stand.  Through much prayer, seeking of Godly council, and searching the Scriptures, we have been able to slowly see hearts soften in our church and village.  Please band with us in prayer that all will be resolved and hurt hearts will heal.  And above all, that our church will stand as a testimony of Christ’s love and forgiveness.  Pastors, feel free to contact us if you feel you can pray more effectively in knowing more specifics of the situation as I do not feel at liberty to speak of details in an open letter such as this.  A special thank you to those of you who have prayed for us through these times. 
Let me back up just a bit.  Just over a month ago, we began to feel God pressing on our hearts to move forward with our church building program.  As you may know, we began to pursue this last August, but then needed to put our plans on hold due to the medical emergencies with our daughter.  Since that time, the church has continued to grow, and quite frankly, cannot realistically grow anymore in number with our current building.  We are filled to overflowing every Sunday!  Praise the Lord!  We have no Sunday school classrooms or nursery facilities; all meet outside at this point and are often even forced to take cover in the church van on rainy days!  A new building is a very real need.  We began to talk more about this and through several “circumstances”, the Lord showed us it was time to move forward.  We made the decision to announce this to the church, our supporting churches, and praying friends and families.  That very week, the “problem” broke out in our church!!!  This was a clear attack from Satan to stop our moving forward with the building project!  We believe with all our hearts that God wants us to continue with our plans for the new building and we are asking you to band together with us in prayer to make this possible!  Again, pastors, please feel free to contact us for more details on the building project.   We would love to see this building completed before our next furlough, which is currently scheduled approximately a year from now!  
Summer is full as usual!  Our Bible Institute classes are now out for the summer.  We’re thankful for the 35 students that completed this semester!  We’re taking a brief break before starting classes again in August and now looking forward to our exciting summer ministries.  This Friday we have Bro. Tom Pennington and his son Corey coming from Alabama to help us out.  We’re looking forward to having them here!  July 16th begins our week of youth camp.  Our theme this year is Honoring God.  Pray for these young people to come back with changed hearts!  VBS is scheduled for July 30th – August 3rd.  Last year we reached our goal of having 100 children in attendance and seeing many saved!  We look forward to seeing what God will do this year!  We do have a request for our summer ministries:  we would like a Big Ball to use for games at both camp and VBS.  If there is a church, youth group, or individual that would like to take on the project of donating one and shipping it out to us before our youth camp, we would be thrilled, as would our young people!  
Our family is doing well.  Susan is trying to get the school year finished up with the children.  We started very late due to taking Kaylinn to HI for medical treatment so we’re a good bit behind our usual schedule.  Kestra worked ahead and finished already!  Katrianne should be done by the end of the week, and both boys have a couple more weeks left to go.  They’re all looking forward to a summer free from studies!  Kaylinn has done well in recent months.  She’s good at giving us frequent “scares” of course.  We have found now that she has a heart murmur.  The doctor doesn’t feel this is serious but just something to keep an eye on as she grows older.  Thank you for all your prayers for our little princess and for all of our family.  
A quick note before I close:  I’ve had many requests recently for prayer cards!  We have had a recent photo of our family done and are in the process of having one designed and printed.  Once that is done we will be sending out to each supporting church and any individuals that wish to have some as well.
We do thank you all for your prayers.  We could not be here without them!  Thank you for your love and support.  

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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Photo Album

Take a look at our new photo album if you haven't already!  Will be adding more pictures soon!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our February Prayer Letter

Here is the  latest newsletter we have sent out.

Kasalehlia!  We have much to update you on!  God is blessing in our lives and in our ministry!
I know many of you are anxious to hear about our January revival meetings with Dr. Ron Comfort.  We were thrilled to have the Comforts come to our island January 14th for a week of meetings.  The meetings went great!  God really worked that week and some nights we had over 600 in attendance!  It was exciting to see more than 50 accept Christ as their Savior during the week and several more have come to know Christ in the weeks since as we have followed up with visitors.   It was just such a blessing to have Dr. and Mrs. Comfort here with us for a bit and see God use them here.  And I’m sure they probably had some interesting stories to take back to Grandpa and Grandma Stevens in the US after spending a week with the Kihleng kids!
The Baptist Bible Institute of Pohnpei started up again after the holidays just after the revival meetings.  Please pray for these students as they train to serve the Lord here in the islands.  We also currently have 5 young people from our church off island in Bible college and several more preparing to leave this summer.  We have prayed that God would bring up more Micronesians with a passion for Him and His service and these young people are answers to our prayers!  We do not take lightly their decisions to go into full-time Christian service and want to do everything we can to encourage them in their studies and training.

   We recently said a temporary farewell to one of the founding members of our church.  Mr. Elter       Samuel went home to be with the Lord on February 5th.  He will be greatly missed in our lives but we are comforted by the knowledge that we will see him again someday! 
Many of you are praying for the John Boylston family as they raise support to come here to Pohnpei to work with us.  Please continue to pray for them, for safety in deputation travel, for funds needed, and for their support to increase quickly so that they can be here within the next year!
Update on Kaylinn:  Thank you for your continued prayers for our little Kaylinn.  She is doing well.  We have had two minor breathing incidences with her since returning from Hawaii but nothing too serious.  We are thankful that it appears her problems have passed.  She is still on medication but the doctor has reduced her dose and will be taking her off it entirely within the next month.  We also thank those of you who have helped financially with the medical bills and expenses of taking her to Hawaii for testing and treatment.  God has really blessed in providing through you all!
The rest of our children are also doing well.  There have been a lot of bacterial infections going around the island lately and it seems the kids have really been plagued with these this year.  Currently they are all doing well though.  School has been a challenge as well lately as the island is having daily power outages from early morning until noon.  We also had no water for awhile too but they seem to have that problem straightened out now!  We are thankful for that!  You don’t really realize how much you take electricity and running water for granted until you have to go for awhile without it!
Thank you all for your continued prayers for our family and for our ministry.  We are looking forward to what God is going to do in our lives and our ministry in 2012 and thank you for being such an integral part of our being here on Pohnpei!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Finally, an Update!!!

I apologize for being 'gone' for so long!   The past few months have been so busy!  We had great holidays though they were some of the busiest we've ever had here!  In mid January, Dr. Ron Comfort and his wife were here for meetings.  It was a great week and we were so blessed to have them here.  We saw over 600 in attendance some nights of the meetings and over 50 accepted Christ as their Savior that week!  We were sad to see the Comforts go but praising the Lord for such an exciting week.  
We've had some 'adventures' lately in that the island has had to go back to doing scheduled power outages each day.  Our scheduled time is no power from 8AM till 12 every day.  It has made it rather difficult to keep up with our homeschooling!  And they are now also shutting off water!  Fun!  We had no water for three days this week but are now getting enough of a trickle to catch up some on laundry and dishes!  
Many of you have probably already heard about Kestra's mishap.  She is very allergic to mango trees - if the leaves or bark touch her skin she has a bad reaction.  She must have gotten too close to a leaf this week as she came in from playing with a rash starting to break out on her leg in the shape of a leaf.  I gave her Benedryl and cleaned it, but within about 4 hours it started to swell and began to look infected.  By night, she was running a high fever and in a lot of pain.  We took her to the ER and they put her on an antibiotic as it was already badly infected!  I am amazed at how fast the infection set in!  The antibiotic wasn't strong enough though and within another day her leg was hot, swollen, and very painful and she was continuing with the fever.  We took her back and they wanted to admit her right away as cellulitis had set in but there were currently no available beds at the hospital.  So they put in the IV and we just took her back for each dose.  Three days later, she is now doing much better and they took the IV out this morning.  Thank you to those of you who knew of the situation and prayed for her!
Bible Institute is back in full swing.  We have a smaller group this semester - only about 35, but we are excited to be working with these!  
I hope you all are having a great week!  I will try to do better with updates!