Saturday, July 12, 2014

July Update: Teams, Trees and a Trust

We are currently hosting a six week "Edge" team from Pioneers.  These nine young people have been so awesome to get to know as we watch God work in and through them. One just made it through dengue fever and one is currently sick, so please pray for protection for these students. (Ray had dengue last month as well, Laura had it earlier in the year, and we hope no one else gets it).  We've had some fresh interest in people joining us as staff (please pray for them as they seek the Lord on this).  We are in the midst of  shifting some things around organizationally; all very positive. We are praying for continued guidance from the Lord.  In a nut shell, God is working and it's exciting to be a part of what He's doing!  Read on for more. . . 

THE EDGE TEAM

The Edge team that is with us now are a group of nine young people from 18-24 years old who came to us through Pioneers on a summer missions trip.  We love having teams here for a longer period (six weeks), as it really gives them a chance to dig deep in the culture, relationships, and ministry.  They are forming great relationships with each other as well as the local people.  Throughout each week they work at Oasis Farm, conduct after-school tutoring for the kids at Loloma Home (a nearby ministry for single mothers and abandoned children), and they also do Bible studies, home visits, Kids Clubs and one-on-one mentoring with IE leadership.  On the weekends we take them on fun excursions.  Today they visited a Fijian village and a beach.  Last week we took them on an around-the-island tour to visit Homes of Hope, the deaf school hostel, and some other missionaries and ministries.  Pouring into missions-minded young people is something we love to do.  Thanks, Edge team, for all of your hard work!

 

PRAY FOR RUSI & SALA

Rusi and Sala are our Fijian team members.  "Uncle" Rusi works on the farm, is interim caretaker, and helps to oversee the team on their farm and work projects.  "Auntie" Sala cooks for the teams and helps to take care of them while they're staying at Oasis Farm.  Those of you who have come to Fiji with Island Encounters know them and have been blessed by them.  Tragically, several weeks ago they lost their 27-year old son Jiuta to a scuba diving accident.  He was diving for Beche-de-mer (sea cucumbers) when there was a problem with the gear.  They had to bury his body out on a distant island before his parents could come for a proper funeral.  They just returned from visiting the island where he is buried, and are grieving the loss of their eldest son.  He is survived by a wife and small child.  Please pray for the family!  Praise the Lord for Uncle Tomasi and Auntie Serena who were able to step in and take care of the farm and cooking during Rusi and Sala's absence.

ORGANIZATIONAL STUFF

There's lots of good news and new exciting challenges on the organizational front. We have had our Island Encounters charitable trust (non-profit) approved in Fiji, which means that we can start to transfer the ownership of the farm from us (Ray & Laura) to the Trust.  We still owe a lot of money on the farm (we used our savings and took out a loan to buy it and build the dorm), so please pray that God continues to provide in all of these areas. We need wisdom on how to best set up the organization and board as well.  In addition, we have recently been granted status as our own separate team under Pioneers (instead of falling under the Fiji Team).  We have had several people enquire about joining our team and are praying that God continues to open doors for each one He may be calling to come help us here.  Please keep praying for this and passing the word around as well!  Our teammates Phil and Anneliese finish up their 2 year commitment in January 2015, so we'll need some help by early next year.  

GOODBYES

Speaking of teammates moving on . . . we've had a couple more goodbyes recently. it seems we are always saying goodbye, but the sadness of our goodbyes is far overshadowed by the joys of the friendship and blessings God brings into our lives through the people that come and go through our home and ministry.  Last month we said farewell to Emily, who originally came to us through Mission Nannies, then came back "home" again this year.  She's headed on to college and a teaching job in CA. Talei has helped our IE team in so many ways over the past months as she has served tirelessly behind the scenes with us, helping us with shopping, finances, logistics and leading the teams.  Talei has been accepted to attend the LinkYear program in Branson, MO, on a full scholarship (thanks to Adam and the team that were here in February!).  She'll be leaving us soon as well.  THANK YOU Emily and Talei, we love our "big girls" and you will always be a part of our family.

OASIS FARM

We have been so encouraged this past month to have found an excellent buyer for all our papaya!  FRIEND Fiji is a NGO working with the poorest of the poor in Fiji.  They are now our primary buyer, which saves us a lot of running around.  We love that the papayas from our farm are going toward employing Fiji's poor.  FRIEND employees make dried papaya snacks from them.  They are sold in the local grocery store chains.

FAMILY CORNER

Life is so busy right now, and has been for so long.  We're loving having the team here but are also looking forward to things settling down for a bit between this team and the next one (not until September).  We've recently welcomed Ruth and Michelle from New Zealand, who have come to help with Eden and Elani's home-school.  They arrived here in time to get in on the around-island trip last week, so that was fun.  The girls just had a short school holiday this month but we're all back at it now.  Elani will be turning 9 tomorrow.  Time flies and the girls are getting so big!  We love watching them grow and are enjoying this season with them very much.  Please keep our family in your prayers as we seek to raise our children in the Lord and keep the right priorities regarding our time.
Our little Fijian dancer!
PRAYER & PRAISE
  • Praise for the Edge team and the ways God is at work in and through them.
  • Praise that our charitable trust status in Fiji has been established!
  • Pray for wisdom as we set up the organization in Fiji accordingly (we are seeking advice and prayers).
  • Praise for our Island Encounters team and prayer for new members.
  • Praise for Friend Fiji and our papaya partership.
  • God to continue to provide for our personal support as we are still lacking (see below) as well as the ongoing needs of Oasis Farm.
Thanks so much for your love and support!  We appreciate you so much.

Because of Him,

Ray, Laura, Eden, Elani & Isla Grace
 

Check out our Links:

Island Encounters Website
Island Encounters Facebook Page
Fiji Family Adventures Blog
Picasa Web Albums (Our Photo Gallery)
Give through Pioneers
Laura's Island Encounters Photography Website
Laura's Island Encounters Photography Facebook page


**NOTE:  Make sure to like our Facebook page in order to get more regular photos and updates of what is going on with Island Encounters and Oasis Farm!

 
Facebook
Facebook
Website
Website
Email
Email
Share
Forward to Friend
PERSONAL SUPPORT NEEDS:

Our family is in need of an additional $800 per month.
We are in need of both one-time gifts for current ministry needs,
as well as monthly support pledges.

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT OUR FAMILY (tax deductible)

RAY & LAURA PITTMAN, ACCT #111546

Or print a response slip and mail to:
Pioneers, 10123 William Carey Dr., Orlando, FL  32832

************************************************************************************************************************

HELP FUND THE MINISTRY!

 
We are in need of funds to pay off the Oasis Farm land, and to enable further development so that we can continue and expand this ministry in Fiji.  We are looking for people excited to invest in God's kingdom and partner with us in this work.

CLICK HERE TO GIVE TO THE MINISTRY (tax deductible)
 
ISLAND ENCOUNTERS, ACCT # 150658

OR GIVE TO THE OASIS FARM PROJECT OF YOUR CHOICE  
Biggest Needs:  Dorm, Pay off the Land, Tractor, Renovate the Farm House


Thank you so much!
Copyright © 2014 Pioneers, All rights reserved.
An update on the Pittman Family serving with Pioneers in the Fiji Islands--thanks for reading!

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PO Box 10976
Nadi Airport 00000
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Know Anyone?

Dear Ray Pittman,

We'd like to put the word out to everyone we know (that's you!) to see if you might know someone who is interested in joining our team.  It's official: this ministry is growing and we are in need of more help!  Our biggest need at the moment is for individuals (or couples/families) who have a passion for working with students. We need help with the logistics of running teams and student programs throughout the year. This includes mentoring, driving, logistics, shopping, discipling, leading excursions, taking groups to volunteer at partner ministries, etc. We are feeling stretched and are wondering why we didn't ask this sooner!  Our other needs include help with administration/finance/business, and local ministry including experts in agriculture, construction, aquaculture, community development, education, community health, etc. If you or anyone you know are interested (short term or long term), please let us know by replying to this email, or forwarding it to a friend.  THANK YOU.  Keep reading for all the latest Fiji news. . . and how we've been staying busy recently. 

GRACE COLLEGE TEAM

We are currently hosting a two-week team from Grace College in Indiana.  This is their fourth year with us and we really love having them here.  They've been working to set up the aquaponics system at the farm (growing fish and vegetables together) along with working on the water lines, harvesting papaya and many other tasks.  As far as ministry goes, they were able to do Kid's Clubs, home visits, Sunday school and volunteer at Loloma Home.  They also enjoyed some fun excursions including the beach, Fijian village, zip line and boat.

CHICKENS!

The chicken coop is finished and we have 30 baby chicks, with 20 more to be ordered soon.  They will grow into egg-laying hens that will serve as part of the demonstration farm as well as produce food and profit for the farm/ministry.  Thanks to the LinkYear team for building the coop and all those who donated towards the chicken purchase!

PAPAYAS OUT THE EARS

The papaya trees have been producing really well.  We harvest between 15-25 crates a week.  Our certificate to export is still pending, so please pray that it goes through (we've been waiting about a month on this).  Until we are able to export, we've had to find a local market for the fruit, which can be time-consuming.  Our teammate Phil has taken this over and has been working hard to sell the fruit.  Check out these before and after photos! The time lapse between Emily planting the tree and hugging the tree is only eight months!

SHORT TERM VOLUNTEERS

 Since we last wrote, we've said goodbye to Shawn from Canada (helping with building and leading projects), Carissa (here for four months with Mission Nannys) and Mirjami (doing an internship for her Bible school in Finland).  We hosted a one-week family missions trip earlier this month for a family interested in children's ministry.  Also, this week we welcomed back Emily (who volunteered here as a nanny here last year).  Next month we have two girls from New Zealand coming out to help.  It's a blessing to do life and ministry together with those whom God has called to come and help.  THANK YOU to you all!  

FAMILY CORNER

Our health has improved since last month, thanks for praying!  We are still feeling very busy but have about a week and a half between the Grace team departing (tomorrow) and the Pioneers Edge team arriving (June 7 to July 22).  We had a Pioneers retreat earlier this month.  Laura had a birthday and enjoyed celebrating Mother's Day as well.  Please pray for us as we head on into hosting a summer of missions interns!  We love what we do but it can all feel overwhelming sometimes when there is just so much to do!
Time for an updated family photo!
PRAYER & PRAISE
  • Praise for the Grace College team and the ways God has worked in and through them.
  • Praise that our charitable trust status in Fiji has been established!
  • Pray for wisdom as we set up the organization in Fiji accordingly (we are seeking advice and prayers).
  • Praise for a good Pioneers conference--we were able to meet our new area leader and look forward to more involvement with the larger Pioneers family.
  • Pray for the Pioneers Edge team summer missions team coming for six weeks in June/July.
  • Pray for God to bring some new members to our Island Encounters team to help carry this vision forward.
  • Pray for our certificate to export for Oasis Farm to be granted so we can export our papayas.
  • God to continue to provide for our personal support as we are still lacking (see below) as well as the ongoing needs of Oasis Farm.
Thanks so much for your love and support!  Don't forget to forward this email to anyone you think may be interested in serving in Fiji and helping us out with teams and ministry!  (there is a forwarding button below)

Because of Him,

Ray, Laura, Eden, Elani & Isla Grace
 

Check out our Links:

Island Encounters Website
Island Encounters Facebook Page
Fiji Family Adventures Blog
Picasa Web Albums (Our Photo Gallery)
Give through Pioneers
Laura's Island Encounters Photography Website
Laura's Island Encounters Photography Facebook page


**NOTE:  Make sure to like our Facebook page in order to get more regular photos and updates of what is going on with Island Encounters and Oasis Farm!

 
Share
Tweet
Forward to Friend
PERSONAL SUPPORT NEEDS:

Our family is in need of an additional $800 per month.
We are in need of both one-time gifts for current ministry needs,
as well as monthly support pledges.

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT OUR FAMILY (tax deductible)

RAY & LAURA PITTMAN, ACCT #111546

Or print a response slip and mail to:
Pioneers, 10123 William Carey Dr., Orlando, FL  32832

************************************************************************************************************************

HELP FUND THE MINISTRY!

 
We are in need of funds to pay off the Oasis Farm land, and to enable further development so that we can continue and expand this ministry in Fiji.  We are looking for people excited to invest in God's kingdom and partner with us in this work.

CLICK HERE TO GIVE TO THE MINISTRY (tax deductible)
 
ISLAND ENCOUNTERS, ACCT # 150658

OR GIVE TO THE OASIS FARM PROJECT OF YOUR CHOICE  
Biggest Needs:  Dorm, Pay off the Land, Tractor, Renovate the Farm House


Thank you so much!