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Author: admin
• Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

posted Nov 26th 2019

 

map of central America, with arrow highlighting Belize

Since leaving Fiji earlier in the year, Susan & I have been fulfilling a lifelong dream to visit central America, & are presently in Belize! Besides visiting ancient Mayan ruins deep in the jungle & some of the amazing islands off the coast, we’re also offering free drug prevention programs in the primary & secondary schools.

 

 

 

 

Belize is a really special country: it’s the only English-speaking country in the region & used to be called ‘British Honduras’ before becoming independant in 1981. It has the smallest population of all the countries in central America, with only 408,000 inhabitants.

map of Belize

The population are a mixture of African, English & Hispanic peoples, with additional newer arrivals from China, India & other parts. We’ve also visited large Mennonite communities, who trace their roots to Dutch & German immigrants & some of whom still move around in horse-drawn carts!

As stated earlier, our main purpose in coming to Belize is to do drug prevention programs in the primary & secondary schools. Drugs are a major scourge throughout the Caribbean & Central America & if, through our audio-visual programs, we can help some young people to avoid this trap, then we feel that this is something really worthwhile to dedicate ourselves to.

Here below is a radio/TV interview that we did on Nov 25th in San Ignacio in western Belize…..

https://www.facebook.com/maximumhighlights/videos/2383829158501352/?t=0


 


Author: admin
• Monday, August 05th, 2019

posted August 5th 2019

To finish off with, we want to include a Fiji Times newspaper article about our book distribution in Kadavu schools.

Here is the the text, along with some more photos:

Early this month, Pacific Outreach was in Kadavu giving out library books to fifteen schools on the island. The fifteen schools are: Vunisea Secondary School, Richmond High School, Kadavu Provincial Secondary School, Ratu Nacagilevu Primary School, Nabukelevu District School, Nabukelevu I-Ra Primary School, Richmond Primary School, Tavuki District School, Yawe District School, Eliki Memorial School, Drue District School, Navikadi Primary School, Yale District School, Namalata Central District School, and a box was sent to the island of Galoa.

the lovely Fijian family I stayed with

Director Peter Kingston said the organization brought boxes of library books from Australia to be donated to schools in the interior & the outer islands of Fiji. He said these books are collected from schools around Australia.

 

“So we collect these library books & find a ship to send them for free because this is a charity project”, he added.

pushing our boat out of shallow waters

Mr Kingston said their priorities are cyclone-affected schools, burned down schools, & new schools that are opening. “Every year we collect books & find needy schools to donate them to. We are happy with the response from the people. They are very appreciative & thankful for the project. I think it is a great way of lifting Fiji through education”, said Mr Kingston.

Author: admin
• Friday, July 05th, 2019

posted July 5th 2019

Goundar shipping Lomaiviti Princess ferry arrival

Next step was to consult with the Ministry of Education to get their input: we were thinking to start with schools that had no library books at all, but the chief education officer in charge of Kadavu had other ideas: he told us that every school had been advised to construct bookshelves but that not all schools had followed this directive. He went on to say that if we gave to schools without bookshelves, our books wouldn’t be treated well and would only have a short life. Better to give to schools that at least have a small, basic library! Good advice. He drew up a list of 15 suitable schools scattered around the large island, further dividing them into 2 categories: those that could be reached by 4×4 truck and those that had no access road whatsoever and therefore could only be reached by speedboat…

distribution by pickup

As soon as the ship arrived, it was a non-stop adventure taking the books over rough terrain to the schools, sometimes involving some additional hiking through the jungle or braving rough seas in the speedboat! Both children and teachers were extremely grateful for the donated books and their happy smiles made it worth it all. Altogether we gave to 3 secondary schools, 15 primary schools and 7 preschools, along with plenty of donated toothpaste, clothes and shoes.

Nabukelevuira Primary School

 

Nabukelevu Primary School

Category: Weekly Blog  | Comments off
Author: admin
• Saturday, June 29th, 2019

posted June 28th, 2019

The following 3-part account follows our adventures & accomplishments in Fiji during the first half of 2019. The account is a more complete version of our last newsletter, #58, with completely different photos & additional info.

 

Part 1

Major renovations!

As a small charity, we have always based out of our house in the suburbs of Suva, Fiji’s capital. Our home thus serves as our office, storage depot, visitor centre & guest accommodation all at the same time, thereby saving a lot of money on rented facilities.

 

Despite repairing & upgrading the house over the years, including numerous roof patch-up jobs, over time the roof finally reached its expiry date, requiring us to change it entirely, along with much of the supporting timber. In order to get an engineer’s certificate, (very important here in Fiji), there were also numerous structural improvements to make, which stretched out the work to several months.

Sue painting the driveway wall

At times we had as many as 10 workers on the roof, all hammering & sawing & drilling! In addition to the roof, we also had to put up a security fence around the property, which became another whole saga. Then, there was an exhaustive list of internal repairs to take care of as well…..

 

 

 

 

By the time we got it all done, the school term was just finishing, but at least we could start making plans for taking boxes of books to village schools as soon as the schools reopened. In fact, one of the main challenges was to find an island where we wouldn’t get marooned — many of Fiji’s over 300 islands have only an unreliable monthly boat, whereas others have a weekly or biweekly service. The bigger ones also have airstrips for small propeller planes, but as many of these are made of grass, there’s a big risk of cancellations if there is heavy rain! In fact it’s already happened to us several times in various Pacific islands that we have been completely stranded, due to just such occurrences.

map showing Kadavu island in relation to Suva

 

Finally, we selected Kadavu as the most suitable choice, having several transport options, as well as a tarmac runway. (In fact the 800 metre strip is the only tarmac on the whole island, as everywhere else is dirt roads.) Kadavu is Fiji’s 4th largest island with an area of 411 sq kms (159 sq miles), & a population of about 10,000. To complete the picture, it’s a mountainous, volcanic island with lots of virgin rain forest & beautiful beaches, but very little development. Most people there survive from their small family vegetable & root crop plantations, along with some fishing.

The map on the left shows Kadavu island — to put things in geographical perspective, it’s about 50 kms long & is located 100 kms away from Suva.

 

To be continued….

Category: Weekly Blog  | Comments off
Author: admin
• Sunday, July 01st, 2018

 

posted July 1st 2018

originally posted by Good News Blog team, June 25, 2018


Susan working hard on her monthly mail ministry

Up until recently, Susan and I were basing our outreach on round-the-world tickets that we were getting each year. We would start off by doing drug awareness programs in the Caribbean, followed by donations of educational materials to village schools in Fiji, followed by motivational programs in schools and orphanages around Malaysia.

 

As we approached local businesses for help in most of these places, we ended up collecting business cards from all over the world. If we add to this all the people that we continue to meet while hitchhiking or going about our daily duties, it’s easy to see how we ended up with large stacks of business cards! The Lord gave Susan the excellent idea to send out monthly devotional PowerPoints (PPS) to every email address. Many, many thanks to Brian and Martha at Tommy’s Window who made the majority of them and inspired us by their wonderful example!

Showing Activated to an interested Fijian couple

 

Along with the PowerPoints, we also send our newsletters and Activated magazine links. We calculate that over a nine-year period, Susan sent out roughly 1,000 PowerPoints each month, 900 in English and 100 in French, making a total of 108,000 emails! They were sent to over 30 different countries, including many unusual islands that we visited:

Showing Activated magazines on Fiji national TV news

Fiji, French Polynesia, Western and American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Borneo, Bermuda, Antigua, St. Kitts, Montserrat, St. Barts, Anguilla, Dominica, the Dutch Antilles, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas! Here are some of the many reactions we’ve received over the years:

 


Hi Peter and Susan, great to see your email appeared in my mailbox again. After reading your news about Fiji, I was touched to feel we should be helping those people in need; we should live more to help each other. I’m starting to realize that getting involved with charity will give me a better feeling than aiming for a luxury lifestyle. I can say that your email is a powerful alarm to trigger in me the thought, “What can I do for those people in need?” I hope your news will always appear in my mailbox. Keep in touch, looking forward to hearing that you’re back in Malaysia. Best regards.—Enzo, a businessman that we met while hitchhiking


Many thanks, Susan, for the PowerPoint; it is so true and applicable for now. Hope this finds you well. Thanks so much for remembering us both in prayers and through your emails. We enjoy very much the PPS you send and also your website news. We look forward to seeing you again in Fiji.—Joy, UNICEF Director, Fiji

Peter and Susan in traditional Fijian costumes

 


I have been reading your emails and the PPS and those nice words that speak to us and further strengthen our faith when we are tested. My husband will soon be going back to Iraq. Thank you for sending me this email as it encourages me to reach out to others, too, that are facing the same struggles. I want to tell them to keep trusting the Lord. No matter how big and how hopeless the situation may be, God is still very much in action. God is real, and you just need to trust that His words are real and keep hanging on to His promises. It works, and my family has been a living testimony of this over many years!—Atelina, bank manager, Fiji


Thank you, Susan and Peter, for the PowerPoints and the e-mags. I’m sharing them with friends. Thank you again for the wonderful work you and Pastor Peter are doing for our country. You are a blessing! Do stay blessed.—Jokapeci, Ministry of Education, Fiji


Visiting a hospital with Activated member Marlene

I have recently come to Fiji, along with my family, and one thing that I eagerly look forward to every month is your PPS. I have observed that the messages contained in your PPS are highly meaningful and inspiring. Thanks, and do continue the good work.—Venu, insurance company director, Fiji

 


I have had a bit of a difficult year, but I know that with God’s strength and prayers from special people like you, I will make it through these tough times. It is great to hear from you, and I hope you guys are doing well. You are special people who have touched many lives, and I am thankful that one of them was mine. Keep in touch!—Sonja, restaurant owner, Antigua, Caribbean


When you were staying with me during your visit to Singapore, I was wondering about the charity that you told us about. Now that I have read your newsletters, visited the website, and seen all the photos, I have finally understood. Not only that, but I think that you are amazing, as you have changed people’s lives! I will pray that your charity will get better and better and that more people will support it.—Caishi, a student we met while couch surfing, Singapore


You’re doing a great job with your mission work.—Marica, Mayor of Suva, the capital of Fiji


Thank you for your message. I like the information you shared. I only wish there were more Susans and Peters in this world so that the spirit of sharing and caring can become a globalization issue.—A government minister, Fiji


I really would say that both of you are walking angels; you’re bringing so much love and hope to whoever needs it. We would definitely help in whatever way we can.—Lavina, Caribbean


Many thanks for the PPS, they truly refresh the soul and renew the spirit. I have already encouraged some friends and colleagues to browse through your website. Some of them have been amazed at seeing all the exploits you have done for the Lord in different parts of the world.—Dr. Soji, university professor, Fiji


Wow!!!!!! Really I must mention that all your emails are so interesting that I feel like I’m travelling with you wherever you go! Opening and reading through your emails gives me peace and takes away a bit of the stress I feel from day to day. I would really love to meet you both again on your next visit!—Lavina, a university lecturer, Fiji

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