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!

Monday, December 8, 2014

December, 2014 Prayer Letter


Merry Christmas from Pohnpei, Micronesia! These past months have been a blur since we’ve been back on island so we’re a bit behind in getting out an update! We literally hit the ground running from the second we stepped off the plane and have been going ever since.  
Summer Recap
Right off we dived into planning, organizing, and running our Vacation Bible School program, which we held just weeks after arriving home.  In spite of short term planning, God still gave us a great week!  We saw quite a few kids come to know Christ throughout the week as well as other decisions.  It’s been exciting to see these kids continue to be faithful to church, even when their own families will not come with them!
Just after VBS was the 2014 Micronesian Games, a sporting event held every 4 years in the South Pacific.  Our island hosted the Games this time and it was especially exciting for us since Kaleo competed in the swimming events.  We’re proud of our boy and enjoyed seeing him earn a bronze medal in the Men’s 100x4 Freestyle Relay!
The following week was our annual Youth Camp, which we again held on Black Corral Island, a small island several miles off the coast of mainland Pohnpei.  Another exciting week as we saw 13 young people come to know Christ!  Many more decisions were made for Christ throughout the week and seeing these kids grow in Christ has been a joy these past few months.  
So yes, three major events just within the first 6 weeks of being back on island!  We thought perhaps we’d have a chance to “rest” a bit after that, but of course things rarely work out as planned.  For a moment here, I’d like to share a bit of my heart with you, our praying friends who have invested in the ministry here.  Never in our nearly 14 years on Pohnpei have we experienced spiritual warfare as we have since we returned from this furlough.  Satan has used gossip, jealousy, hatred, prejudice, and false beliefs to attempt to tear our church apart.  This was kept hidden from the Boylstons while we were gone and then from us during our first weeks after our return; finally, in desperation, some church members met with us and the Boylstons to reveal the issues.  It was a very difficult time for us as we had to confront the root of the problems; people were hurt and some left the church in anger.  But during the same time, God was working.  We could literally SEE Satan attack and God overcome, time after time.   At the same time as people opposing us and threatening us, we were seeing miracles right and left.  After nearly every service for a time, someone would meet me after to ask how to be saved.  One night a young lady showed up on our porch in tears saying she needed to be saved.  Several young men we have been burdened for made tremendous decisions at camp and have showing a miraculous change since!  In spite of opposition, our little church building is often filled to overflowing for services and the alter is full.  Through much prayer and anguish, we began to see hearts soften, past hurts forgiven, and enemies become friends.  Please keep praying for the ministry here, for true revival and growth!
Bible Institute
Our Bible Institute got off to a great start this school year and we are excited about this great group so eager to learn.  The Boylstons have worked hard to put together a scholarship program with the funds that have been donated for students and as a result, students have been able to return who otherwise would have been financially unable to.  This will be a landmark year for the Baptist Bible Institute of Pohnpei as at the close of this school year we will have our first graduation and send off our first graduates into the Lord’s work.  One of our students is ready to leave after graduation to plant a church on his home island! Seeing the fruit from this ministry is exciting!
It’s been a readjustment back to island life after being gone for 10 months but we are gradually getting back into a routine.  It’s tough developing a routine though when you can never predict the craziness of life here! Basically we’ve been on “power rationing” since we returned and only have had power at scheduled times.  Often the same with water (though we’re not really sure why on the water). Working home life, homeschool, and ministry around the power “schedule” is quite a challenge!  Thankfully, the island now has 3 new generators and are also installing solar power and promises that by the end of the year the power hours should be a thing of the past!  
The kids were more than thrilled to be home again!  They missed their friends and their pets while we were gone.  The school year has gone fairly well in spite of the power challenges.  Kaylinn started K4 this year and of all our 5 is the first to NOT enjoy video school.  She’s our social butterfly and would much rather have live interaction.  Katrianne started 2nd grade and is doing well.  She loves school and art and joined the swim team this year.  Kyler is in 4th grade and keeps life interesting on a regular basis.  He loves the outdoors, swimming, and annoying his older brother.  Kestra is in 5th grade and thrives in school.  She’s usually ahead of everyone with school tasks and begs for extra projects.  While she loves reading and studying, she also enjoys sports and the outdoors and has excelled in swimming this year. She’s also a huge help to mom around the house! Kaleo is a sophomore in high school, though school is usually the last thing on his mind! He’d rather be playing the guitar or piano, swimming, or hiking in the jungle.  He had the opportunity this month to attend with several members of his swim team a youth training program at the FINA World Championships in Doha, Qatar. It has been especially tough on mom having our boy go so far away, but it has been a great learning experience for Kaleo.
Susan and Kaleo took on a new project since we’ve been back and that is a Wednesday night Bible Club for the children of our church.  This has been a desire for some time and they decided to just jump in and do it!  The Boylston’s three sons also help out.  They have been averaging about 22-25 kids per week!  
Thank you to each of your for your prayers and support.  God is definitely working in these islands and we ask you please keep our family and the ministry here in your prayers.  It means more than you can know!

Because of Calvary,

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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

We're Home!

Photo Credit Nathan Fry

We're Home! (Update by Susan)

It's so exciting to be able to update you from Pohnpei finally!  We had a long but fairly uneventful trip back and we're happy to say that everyone is adjusting well.  Many of you have already read our updates on Facebook but going to repost here for those of you that missed it.  I could literally write a book on the last couple of weeks, but I'll spare you all the details (that you most likely wouldn't find as interesting anyway) and summarize our coming home:

  • Two full days of flying. With 5 kids. Not much else to say there. You can imagine how "fun" that was.
  • Jet lag. Need I say more? It's starting to fade now but still lingering a bit.
  • Heat and humidity.  Wow! It's easy to forget about that aspect of island life after being away for awhile.
  • Lack of supplies.  Shopping is quite the adventure here.  Yeah, I kinda miss Walmart.
  • Missing Starbucks as well.
  • Mildew. Our house is full of it after not being air conditioned for 10 months.  Going to take awhile to get things back to normal but we're getting there.  It's a long process of taking everything out of drawers, cupboards, and closets, washing them down, washing everything inside, and putting things away.
  • Crazy pool schedule.  Our oldest son will be competing in the Micronesian Games next month.  Kaleo jumped right into the heavy swim schedule the day after we arrived as well as rushing to get all the paperwork/physical/blood work done to enable him to compete.  He started back to working at the pool too so more hours there. He's pretty tired and sleeping whenever he's not at the pool.
  • A car wreck. Yeah, after driving in city traffic for 10 months without incident, I was in a car accident a week after getting back on this tiny little island with no traffic lights and only a 2 lane road.  A car hit me from behind when his breaks failed; thankfully no one was hurt. Unfortunately, we are required to go to court over it.
  • Catching up with ministry.  We are jumping head first into summer ministries such as Vacation Bible School and youth camp.  We can always use your prayer! (And please take a look at the Special Ministry Needs section of our blog as we have some specific ways you can help out!  We are still adding some VBS and camp needs but for now, the ink toner is a BIG need with all the printing for summer ministries that we have ahead of us!)
  • Enjoying catching up with friends and family. A given, of course. We've missed everyone SO much!
  • A new puppy. Yeah, our kids were given a new puppy as a welcome home gift.  So in the midst of unpacking and cleaning, I am also cleaning up puppy messes! Yay! (yes, that is sarcasm).
  • Beach day. Everyone needs some time out for fun.  So we took off from the crazy the other day and spent the day at the beach with the Boylston family. 
  • Enjoying the beauty of the place we love more than anywhere.  Maybe I am a little biased but this island is without a doubt to me the most beautiful and amazing place in the entire world.  I wouldn't choose any place else to live!
So yes, we are thrilled to be home!  Thank you for your prayers! We wouldn't be back here without them!  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June Prayer Letter ~ Heading Home!

Heading Home!


It’s hard to believe that our furlough is coming to an end and we are finally returning to our beloved island! We thank you for your many prayers and notes of encouragement as we’ve traveled to so many different states and churches. Sadly, we were unable to visit all of our supporting churches as it’s just not possible in such a limited time. We will be sending a copy of our presentation DVD and some of our new prayer cards to each of the churches we were unable to visit for an update. 

Our family will fly out of Charleston, SC on Tuesday, June 10th to return to Pohnpei. We are counting down the days of course, but it is also bittersweet as we once again have to go through the difficulty of goodbyes. Please keep our family in prayer as we make this long trip as well as through the time of readjustment once we are back in Micronesia. 


We have quite a summer ahead of us! In addition to readjusting to island life, we have Vacation Bible School, summer youth camp, and the Micronesians Games this summer so we will literally be hitting the grounds running once the plane lands! We are hoping to hold our VBS the first week of July and youth camp the first week of August. The Micronesian Games are being hosted on our island this summer and we are looking forward to it being a huge outreach opportunity. We are making plans to distribute tracts and literature to the 1500 plus athletes, coaches, trainers, and officials that will be on the island for the Games as well as the thousands of spectators expected. Please pray that this will be an effective outreach for the Lord.

Home on Pohnpei

We are especially thankful for the Boylston family and their ministry on Pohnpei. Without them to oversee the church and Bible Institute, we would have been under a great deal more stress while in the States. God has really used them to keep things running smoothly and we look forward to getting back to work with them and pursue the original goal of Bible translation. 

College Students

Continue praying with us for our college students who are attending Ambassador Baptist College. Many of you have helped aid them financially with their school bill this past year and we are truly thankful for this. Both Brandy and Okalani were able to finish out their first year at Ambassador without an outstanding balance. Brandy is working at the college through the summer and Okalani will be staying with Susan’s parents in Charleston until school begins and is currently looking for a job there. Please pray the Lord will provide just the right job opportunity for her. If you are interested in assisting these two young people with their college tuition for the upcoming year, donations can be made to their school bill at https://www.ambassadors.edu/Students/Payments.php. Their full names are Brandy Hadley and Lillyuokalani Yamada. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. We are truly thankful for those of you that have partnered in the ministry in Pohnpei. 

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