Update - Mar 2020
Update - EndJan 2020
Feb 2, 2020
Mandolin back in service
It is Hurricane season in the South Pacific between December and April every year. During that time owners of yachts either take their boats out of the water, sail them home to New Zealand or Australia, or find a relatively safe mooring where the boat in case of destructive winds will be relatively safe. Both of our yachts are currently in safe harbour, but we also want to continue to use the vessels to go to the outer islands in Fiji – staying close to safe anchorage – just in case.
Unfortunately we had some engine damage on our sailing yacht Mandolin. Through the generous gifts of people we were able to purchase and fit a used engine into the boat. Dan Schulz from Canada very kindly availed himself to do the job of re-fit and then sailed the yacht from Suva to Labasa on the island of Vanua Levu, where a team of 13 people was waiting to use the boat for transport to go to one of the outer islands for ministry. Mali is a small island offshore with a population of approximately 200 people Later this week they will go to another island called Kia and then visit each of the reamining 6 islands in the chain that we have not visited yet. May the love of Jesus shine through the people who are ministering in those remote islands.
Hinrich – for the Yachts For Life team
Update - January 2020
Jan 20, 2020
This morning , January 20th, Dan Schulz is arriving in Fiji in order to fit the new engine into MANDOLIN and then sail her up to Vanua Levu. A team from Marine Reach Tauranga is waiting there to board the boat for outreaches into islands in the Macuata province.
We are finding that Labasa will offer a safe anchorage for the boat in possible hurricanes which are frequenting the region at the moment. But we want to continue with reaching to the remote places as much as we can even during this windy season.
Please pray for safety of the crew as they install the new engine and that all will go well with it.
Also for safe passage sailing the boat to Labasa.
Pray for the Marine Reach team as well as they are ministring in Labasa with our local YfL team for the next 2 weeks before going to the outer islands.
Hinrich – for the Yachts For Life team
Update - year end 2019
NZ Dec 29, 2019
Dear Yachts for Life friends!
While I am writing , we are monitoring a category 2 storm lingering just south of Fiji at the moment, The storm has done some damage on land, but we are not aware of any loss of life or damage to our vessels. SEAHAWK is tied up safely in Vuda Marina with one of our staff onboard and Mandolin is sitting on a safe mooring in Suva. But please keep praying for the storm to move away from Fiji. Predictions are that it will do exactly that , but there is no way of telling really until later this coming week. Thank you for praying!
We were able to purchase a new engine for Mandolin. It has been shipped to Fiji. The customs clearing should start this coming week and then installation following that, so that we have Mandolin available in Vanua Levu for an outreach team from Marine Reach in Tauranga. Would you please pray that Dane Kai, a very skilled YWAM skipper from Finland, will be able to get the finances it takes to come to Fiji next week. The plan is for him to sail MANDOLIN to Vanua Levu and then to outer islands in mid- January with a team of young people from a DTS in Tauranga. We still need 1,500 Euros to make this happen before the end of this coming week.
We are so grateful for God’s protection over us . A couple of weeks ago we hosted a dinner for our skippers from last year and it was a sobering moment hearing from Bruce Goodwin about his survival at sea after a friend’s yacht sunk just offshore in NZ several weeks ago. Although the owner of the boat lost his life during the accident, the lives of the other three were saved thanks to the heroic effort of the NZ military and SAR personell. We are so grateful for the lives saved!
We are looking forward to a very busy season in Fiji this coming year. We want to put a work-crew together to do some much needed maintenance on the SEAHAWK in the early months and simultaneously use Mandolin to do the work of reaching into the islands until both vessels get going in May in the Lau group.
Thank you so much for your prayers – and support
Many blessings – and please stay tuned
Hinrich – for the Yachts for Life team
Update - November 2019
Update - September 2019
This year’s outreaches to the outer islands in Fiji have been exclusively in the Western Part of Fiji. A four week outreach with BELT seminars in 4 villages in the Yasawas went very well. Many lives were touched and people’s thinking and lifestyle transformed. We are so grateful to the skippers Barry and Sheryl Wanhill and later Bruce and Elaine Goodwin who steerd the boat safely through the reefs and islands. Besides some great Fijian crew it was just great to have Jonas Becker with us as well – from Germany. Jonas , you are amazing! Not many people really get into the handling of boats and at the same time also take a lot of time to connect heart to heart with the people of the islands – esepcially the young people. Well done, Jonas.
After the Yasawas we have been ministering in three islands in the Mamanuca group: Yanuya, Viwa and Waya. The SEAHAWK is currently in Waya , with a crew of 10. A BSN outreach team from Tauranga in New Zealand is leading the ministry time and running BELT seminars, praying for people and distributing Bibles into every home of the islands. May much fruit come from their labour...
had been scheduled to sail for three months to Vanua Levu at the beginning of September, but due to complete engine failure we had to abandon that mission and get working on changing the engine before we can utilize her again. Skipper Dan Schulz had arrived from Vancouver Island to skipper this outreach. He is a fantastic engineer and mechanic, so we are very grateful for his time given to Fiji at this time.
BSN team Yanuya Mamanucas
One testimony from children’s ministry: After sharing on the kindness of God in salvation, several youth committed their lives to the Lord and received their first Fijian Bible! Pictured below are the children performing a new song they learnt with the lyrics ‘Be strong, be steadfast, be willing. I trust you Lord, I trust you know it all for me’.
Throughout the seminar here in Yanuya we have had some encouraging conversations with the people. Several have expressed interest in missions and have opened up about the things that hold them back. We were able to encourage them with testimonies of God’s faithfulness in our own lives and share more about YWAM with them.
Pictured below: Odelia teaching on the greatness and goodness of God.
Village picnic celebrating Yanuya day
Update - August 2019
Exciting times where we can see how God orchestrates things.
Instead of focussing on Lau we have been re-directed by the Lord to be in the Yasawas in the Fijian islands. The local BELT team ran 4 seminars during a one month period in Yasawa-i-rara and after that returned to the mainland for a much needed rest. We are super grateful for Bruce and Elaine Goodwin to have taken over the helm of SEAHAWK at the moment. Our local team will be back on board exploring and setting up for outreach next week in the Mamanuca group. There are several islands that have we have not visited before, so we are getting closer to the goal of visiting every island in Fiji before the end of next year.
Hinrich spent last week in Papua New Guinea with leaders from various other organizations who are sold out on ending Bible poverty. It was a very fruitful time with lot sof encouragement to continue doing what we are doing to see the Kingdom of God advance in Fiji.
For the next there weeks Hinrich will be in Fiji taking the YFNZ BSN on outreach to the Mamanuca islands. We look forward to what God has for us and for the people in the outer islands during that time. Please continue to pray for spiritual discernment of each team member involved in the outreach to minister effectively.
With much love – til next time
Hinrich – for the Yachts for Life team
Vatoa - October 2018
Vatoa Update #5
Last Sunday morning at eight o’clock the village people came together for their normally ten o’clock church service to farewell us in a church setting. It was so very special! Tui preached his heart out on ”following your calling” remembering his own journey of being called from this tiny place to be a blessing to people not his own. His visit to his family (2 sisters and numerous cousins) after 40 years had made an impact on them - and on him.
Many lives in Vatoa were impacted – adults and children alike. Two young ladies and one guy are signing up for DTS. The pastor (Rupeni) – only 26 years old being the youngest Methodist ordained pastor in Fiji – want to continue his relationship with us and stay accountable in his work and walk with God. Tui was able to see his sisters move into their renovated home with new shower and toilet – such a blessing. The 3 church-denominations in Vatoa have worked together during our visit which released a huge blessing in the community.
There were many tears again, when we said our good-byes, making our way to the SEAHAWK to sail off. What a sight to see the Vatoa population stand on the beach waving us off! The village chief, the pastor and a few other people from the village jumped on board with us to sail out of the reef and then get back onto the small village boat which escorted us out to sea.
We then sailed to Fulaga in calm seas , dropped anchor and rested before sailing to Moala early the next morning. The weather had turned rainy and more windy, but could still sail comfortably for the 16 hour trip arriving in Moala to anchor for the night. When we tried to lift anchor the next morning to head for our last leg of the journey to Suva, the Holy Spirit clearly stopped us from leaving, We all agreed that we needed to stay and visit the island. We did.
A whole day of visiting leaders in the main village in Moala, setting up for future BELT seminar, praying for some people and caring for our unwell crew-member made the day a very special one. Obeying the prompting of the Lord is just so important. Having our own yacht made things possible which otherwise we would not happened.
Thank you, Tui, Kelepi, Joe, Aporosa, Rubin, and Blake fopr giving your time, money and energy to be a blessing to the people of the sea!
Glory to Jesus!!!!!
Til next time – for the Fiji Team ---
PS: We are all very deeply grateful for all the prayers, accompanying thoughts and interest shown in what happened through Yachts for Life the last few weeks/months. We had a meeting last night in Suva with different people on the ground moving BELT further along. Such a special time.
Dane and Joshua, skilled sailors from Finland and Canada, have arrived from Europe and they will take the skipper role on SEAHAWK for the next 6 months in Fiji. What a blessing!. It felt so good to hand over the responsibility to them yesterday. BELT stories will continue as outreaches are already planned for Beqa, Yanuca, Vatulele and Vanua Levu in the near future.
Vatoa - September 2018
We arrived in Vatoa on Monday morning, 24th September at 9 am. We had a vague idea where the entrance into the tight reef was, but what we did not expect was a fleet of 3 Fibreglass boats to come and meet us at the entrance to the reef escorting us all the way to the only village in Vatoa. What a welcome!
The people of the village had gathered on the beach to welcome us pouring scented oil on us, hugging , kissing and putting leis on us. They truly were looking forward to our coming. There are about 200 people living here of all ages. Three church denominations are present – Methodist, Catholic and one family being CMF. But the village people are working closely together in all things.
We brought a lot of paint with us and have already finished painting the school and the Catholic days in our first three days here. With all the village men helping the job gets done quickly and it also allows time for praying for people on the side. Yesterday two people experienced physical healing after Blake and Tui prayed for them during painting. Should have seen their smiles!!
In the evenings we are running the BELT seminar - one for the adults and one for the school children simultaneously. Great fun! And people are already really benefitting. The entire island population shows up for the seminar as a visit of this kind is very rare – the church is packed each night so far. “I have had so many questions about God and life – tonight I received so many answers!” One of the village leaders told us after the first teaching on truth.
God is speaking to people and it is great to see how people are taking in the truth about the word of God, about God himself and beginning to understand about the amazing love that comes from the heart of God. So each evening we have an assembly with teaching and during the day we are working in two teams – one is helping paint and do other practical work, the other team is visiting in the homes.
Thank you for praying for us. One of our team-members – Blake from NZ – is not feeling very well since he has gotten here. Please pray for his physical health and for mental and spiritual strength for all of us.
What a privilege to be here.
Update - September 2018
This morning I picked up two heroes arriving back in Suva from Vanua Balavu. The team of five Fijian nationals conducted full BELT seminars in 4 villages and did some teaching in another four villages. They worked very hard for 3 weeks and saw many wonderful things happening. The other three will arrive on another ship later. Here is part of the story that Joe and Kelepi have reported:
Kelepi and Josaia
“We had a great time teaching during the past 3 weeks some sessions started at 4 o’clock in the morning because that is when people gather for prayer in some of the villages. The hearts of the people were wide open. We were impressed with the teachability of people – especially the older generation. We have now covered every single one of the 12 villages in Vanua Balavu. Here is what some of the people of the island told us:
‘You have opened a fresh well for us that we can now drink from. The well we have been drinking from has been dry for many years.’
‘It is not that you brought us a new message, but we now understand for the first time. Because the truth is coming with pictures that we understand.’
‘For the first time I really understand that God values each one of us so much. I have not lived that way all my life. I have been treating my wife and children as if they were of lesser value. So I have changed now. I asked my wife and children for forgiveness for the way I have been treating them. Our family will be different from now on. I know I can treat them differently and I will.’
The teaching the design and purpose of people made the biggest impact in the village communities. There was much crying , asking for forgiveness and people are trying to change their way of communicating with eachother. Encouraging eachother, to express blessing, hope and care were very important.
THANK YOU FOR PRAYING FOR THIS team!!
We are now preparing with a team of seven to leave for another outer island – Vatoa in the Southern Lau group. Will write another update before we leave with pics of the team.