Monday, July 18, 2016

PIU USA Ministry Team Update From Scott

(This update was written by PIU recent graduate Scott Refilong. Scott IMG_0566-minalso provided the pictures)

It’s been about 4 weeks since we (Addie and me) have begun our ministry journey in America. Addie wrote all about our one week ministry in La Mirada, California at the Grace EV Free Church. It was a one week Vacation Bible School (VBS) with the theme “Kingdom Quest”. It was a slow first week, as we were trying to remedy our jet lag with “on­time” sleep, something that Micronesians aren’t too fond of especially college students. The actual commencement of events went really quick as well as the rest of the week. We had a chance to minister to 500 children as well as hundreds of staff and parents during our time there.

13606517_10154105149875339_1177526119636340906_nFast forward into the month of July. We have had quite the experience in New Jersey. At the airport we were welcomed by Bill Schuit as well as Sarah Brubaker! We were so happy to see Bill, a part of the PIU family welcome us at the airport and also Sarah Brubaker, former English Professor and Student Life Director! We missed her so much that our eyes suddenly out of nowhere became “itchy and red”. Well, at least mine did. The first week we joined a church called Valley View which was also just preparing for a VBS and their theme was “Cave Quest”. We also got to finally meet our Impact Team from Liebenzell Germany led by Simon and Johanna Weber.

IMG_0050-minLiving with a team that has a different culture has been a challenge, yet a constructive challenge for us as we are learning so much about each other. It has taught us to try and be relational in a different approach and totally out of our comfort zones. In order to better serve God’s people, it is important for a team to know one another and to accept one another in love, taking away differences and plugging in similarities that reflect God. Not to say that differences aren’t special, but that the differences that aren’t needed should be set aside before they take control of one’s every move. I believe that’s a good way to put it. So yes, the team has been very welcoming and we have been learning a few words, my favorite word is kase which is cheese in German. I have also had the privilege to teach a song in Chuukese to one of the team members, that was one of the highlights.

Relief Bus, which is an organization in Elizabeth, New Jersey has been one of the dominant ministry opportunities we have had. Relief Bus is a resource center that uses mobile buses to go out and serve the homeless, people who have low income, substance abusers, and even the unemployed. IMG_0422-minWe have gone out to Manhattan as well as South Newark into different environments of people that are in need. The Relief Bus while providing soups, drinks, and bread also hand out hygiene kits, employment opportunities, and the most important part of the ministry, prayer and company. We have so much fun and have had a whole other level of joy to experience as we help these people in these communities. This week we have begun our ministry with the Child Evangelism Fellowship in Paterson, New Jersey. For a week we will go out in different teams with different people around the city of Paterson (home of Alexander Hamilton) and minister to different children groups. We have a program that we follow and is part of a whole program that transitions every three years. Today was the first day and it went by quick. We meet at the home-base church, have a debrief then we go out for our first session in the morning meet back at HB, get a little break and go back out for the second session, this will basically go on for four more days. After this week is over we might get to see the FSM Representative at the US Embassy. That will be a treat, we have already had a chance to tour New York City with Bill and it was just amazing. If anyone is interested to see let me know. Our new friends David and Matt from Liebenzell USA also drove us 4 hours to see the TOGETHER Conference/Concert in Washington D.C. We experienced the Monument, IMG_0355The White House, and many more things there.

There are just so many things to be thankful for. The experience of living with new people (outside of the PIU dorm experience), the children’s ministry on both coasts of the United States, the outreach relief ministries in cities, and most of all just finding out more about who God is and what He is doing in all these places. We continue to look forward these coming days. Please pray for our ministry, team, and us. Ran Anim, Hafa Adai, Guten Tag, and Good Day Blessings!

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