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.
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!
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.
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 email@example.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