End of Summer Update

Biblical Counseling At the Bible College

It has been a joy teaching at Fiji Bible College! We are currently half-way through the second semester and it has been a privilege to teach Intro to Biblical Counseling this semester. My students are Student Picturefocused and eager to grow in their understanding of God’s Word and its application to every day life. From the time in the classroom, individual student discipleship, and a number of counseling cases our family has taken on; I am regularly reminded of why God has called us to the South Pacific. We are so excited to see how the Lord will continue to work and expand the ministry of equipping these future pastors and strengthening churches in these islands!

Answered Prayers – Shipping Container

Unloading Truck

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support! The Lord has worked through your faithful prayers and generosity in amazing ways! As many of you may remember, Dr. Greg Harris donated his library to Fiji Bible College and we have been working very hard to bring this second shipping container for many months. However, COVID 19 brought a series of unexpected challenges and delays. We were working around a tight deadline and had until the end of July to bring these items into Fiji. In the providence of God, the shipping container literally arrived on the final day of the deadline. In addition to Dr. Harris’ library, through the generous donations of many of you, God provided an incredible amount of additional books for the Bible college Playground Bible Collegelibrary. We also received more Bibles for our local pastors, a used commercial quality playground for the Gospel Retreat Center (something that Dr. Nair has been praying for specifically for many years), and a grant was given to provide over a hundred soccer balls for island outreach and evangelism along with so much more. It was very evident that the container was packed with so much love for our family, the college, and the ministry here in Fiji. Jordan said that opening the container doors with the young men from the Bible college felt like getting a hug from the USA. We praise the Lord for His kindness and are regularly encouraged knowing that so many of you are constantly supporting and praying for the ministry here!

Taj and Tori

One of the many joys of life on the mission field is watching my children grow in a unique context outside of the United States. During some special time with Premend Choy (the head of Fiji Bible College) and his family, we went fishing close to our home. Taj brought his toy fishing pole and just minutes after asking for real Taj Fishingbait, caught his first fish! After we released the small fish, Taj turned to me as I asked him if he was excited he caught a fish. He replied, “Yeah, but I’m a little sad. I thought we were going to take him home to cook him and eat him.” It is apparent that Taj has embraced that aspect of life in Fiji!

Tori Eating Donut

Tori has now spent nearly half of her life in Fiji! She does not remember the United States like Taj does, but we regularly talk to her about California, Texas, and everyone in the States. Tori was thrilled to enjoy a rare American treat when we found donuts here in Fiji!

Grandma Anderson

There has been a significant amount of change that has occurred in our lives over the last year or so. One of the most difficult has been saying goodbye to those whom we love. My grandmother, Lucile Anderson, recently went to be with the Lord at the age of 104. She holds a special place in my heart as she has always showed specific care and intentionality to know me and love me. Despite spending much of her life on a farm in Colorado, she loved to travel and always sought an opportunity to bring others along on her adventures to see the world. When I was 10 years old, she brought me with her on a P8270719trip to Singapore, which is now a place I have many cherished friendships. After Jordan and I were married, my grandma took us on a trip to Norway. She taught us much about handling death and tragedy as we witnessed the unexpected death of a fellow traveller. She was tough, funny, resilient and the epitome of a seasoned woman. She saw so much in her 104 years, worked so hard, and even at the end of her life, was an active and loved part of the body of Christ. We loved hearing her stories of growing up during the Great Depression, how her father was a pastor, and how the Lord always took care of her and her family. She also was a faithful supporter of our ministry here in Fiji. I am so thankful for her and I do not know if I would be in ministry today if it were not for the way that she lead her family to love and fear God. She was an incredible woman in so many ways and we are grateful that she is now in heaven and that we will see her again!

Prayer Requests

(1) Please pray that the students will finish the school year strong. Despite the delays brought by COVID 19, we are scheduled to finish the semester in November, only one month behind the original schedule.

(2) For the leadership transition from Dr. Narayan Nair to Premend Choy to continue to go well. We are now in the second generation of the ministry of Fiji Bible College and all is going well even though 2020 is not what anyone expected. Dr. Nair is still teaching classes and we praise the Lord that he is currently in good health.

(3) Pray for us as we continue to prepare for 2021 in the midst of many unknowns. We would typically be working through logistics with churches and Bible conference speakers, but Fiji still has many travel restrictions. The Lord has already determined what is best and we are trusting Him as we make our plans. In the meantime, please pray as we aim to take full advantage of the ministry opportunities that this unique season has provided!

Life & Ministry During Covid-19

Covid-19 has brought many changes around the world.  By the grace of God, the final patient with Covid-19 in Fiji has officially recovered, but we are still experiencing its effects as a nation.

Local Church

Although the lockdowns and quarantined areas in Fiji have opened up, local church and Dr Nair Preaching via Zoomlarge social gatherings are still restricted.  We have had the joy of having Dr. Narayan Nair (the founder of Fiji Bible College) preach via Zoom church meetings.  We truly miss the in person fellowship, but the Lord has been faithful to keep the Fijian Bible Churches strong during this time and the ministry continues!

Fiji Bible College

As Covid-19 began to spread throughout Fiji, the government was quick to respond by closing borders and all public gatherings.  During this time, I had the opportunity to Fiji Bible College on Zoomteach online via Zoom.  We are now able to resume in-class instructions with extra precautions and it is an incredible blessing that I do not take for granted!  It is wonderful to be back on campus and the students are thriving in spite of the recent challenges!  Please pray as we prepare to complete our first semester in the next two weeks and quickly pick up to begin our second semester where I will be teaching biblical counseling!

Ministry Opportunities and Our Community

We are absolutely confident in the sovereignty of our Lord to work all things together for Koto with MacArthur Study Biblegood!  The ministry opportunities in Fiji have been abundant during this season.  In response to many conversations here regarding anxiety, I made videos discussing a 31 day devotional titled Anxiety: Knowing God’s Peace, which was written by my dear friend Paul Tautges.  If you have an opportunity to look at it, I highly recommend this resource! (Click HERE to see Paul’s Devotional on Amazon) We have been encouraged by the interaction with many here that have watched these and have been considering eternity and asking spiritual questions.

We are incredibly thankful for the many resources that the Lord has provided through many of you!  Our friend Koto (pictured on the right) has been leading Bible studies on another nearby island with one of the MacArthur Study Bibles that we were able to give him.  We thank the Lord for His provision through you!

Our Family

There have been many joys and trials during this time.  Jordan said goodbye to her beloved Grandma Petrie who is now in heaven.  Unfortunately, Covid-19 prevented her from seeing her in person, but we are grateful that she has the opportunity to talk with her via FaceTime before she went to be with the Lord.  Shortly after, her aunt was hospitalized with Covid-19 and we praise God that she has now recovered!  With the increased travel restrictions Jordan’s parents have been stuck in the US since February after traveling back to help care for her grandmother.  We are so thankful that the Lord has kept them healthy and safe during this time.  They have just been approved to return to their home in Japan and have booked their flights.  Please pray for their safety during their travel home as they are deemed high risk.

Taj Fifth BirthdayMeanwhile here in Fiji, Michael and Taj both celebrated birthdays.  The kids helped decorate the house with balloons, handmade banners, and costumes from the dress up box to make Daddy’s day extra special and we all had fun making Taj’s 5th Birthday pirate themed!  We just finished reading Treasure Island, so everything pirate related has peaked his interest. Jordan baked him a special cake and we had fun with a small party.  Later this month, Jordan and I will be celebrating 13 years of marriage and we praise the Lord for all His kindness!

Prayer Requests

  • The local churches as they deal with many shepherding challenges, while meetings are restricted and Sunday services are performed online
  • Ministry resources that have been delayed, but are on their way to Fiji
  • Many Fijians who are currently out of work due to Covid-19
  • Fiji Bible College (including the students and teachers) as we continue to press on through the school year hoping to allow our graduating class to complete their program by the end of the year

 

 

 

Teaching at Fiji Bible College

Teaching at Fiji Bible College

One of the most exciting moments of our time on the mission field so far was my first First Day Teaching (with Taj and Tori)day of teaching!  We are serving in Fiji so that the South Pacific will have strong local churches equipped with pastors who are well-trained to preach the gospel and shepherd their flocks.  It was an immense joy to meet my first-year students who arrived from all across the Fijian Islands, Tuvalu, and India.  Many of the other returning students are from neighboring island nations Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and others in the South Pacific.  They are so eager to learn and many of them desire to pursue full-time pastoral ministry!  The students are studying everything from: Old and New Testament, Hermeneutics, Biblical Languages, Spiritual Life (Fundamentals of the Faith, Prayer, Worship), Preaching, and Discipleship & Biblical Counseling.  These young men are incredibly committed and have a rigorous schedule beginning at 5am with classes starting as early as 6am.  Please pray for these students as they pour their hearts into ministry preparation and many of them are very far from home!

First day Teaching at Fiji Bible College

Student Orientation at Fiji Bible College

 

Prayer Requests:

  1. Praise:Tori second birthday We recently celebrated our precious daughter Tori’s 2nd birthday and we do not take this for granted!  As many of you know, Tori had a significant health challenge after being bitten by a bug and had a major infection. We praise the Lord as she has fully recovered and has not shown any lingering issues following this trial!
  2. Homeschooling: Jordan has recently begun homeschooling Taj.  She is an excellent teacher, but would love your prayers as she aims to educate him well.  Taj is 4 years old and is eager to learn and we are praying that God will direct his little heart!
  3. Outer Island Ministry: The Lord has provided some wonderful opportunities to bring biblical training to the outer islands in Fiji!  These remote islands are a focal point of our ministry and we are thrilled that God is opening doors in this area!  Please pray for wisdom, discernment, and resources as we serve these islands!
  4. Monthly Support: In our recent newsletter, we mentioned that we have settled in Fiji and our ministry opportunities are growing!  We have received some additional ministry parters and we are now praying that the Lord will bring $500 of monthly support as we prepare to reach out to the outer islands in Fiji.
  5. Shipping Container:  We have been provided with an invaluable collection of books for the Fiji Bible College library from my former seminary professor, Dr. Greg Harris. Dr. Harris played a key role in our family ministering here and also was a good friend and mentor to Premend Choy.  As he now faces a terminal diagnosis he has graciously gifted his library to the ministry here.  We have over half of the shipping costs covered and are currently praying for the Lord to provide the remaining $6,000 for a shipping container to bring these additional ministry resources to Fiji.

We thank the Lord for your prayers and support!

So Much to Be Thankful For!

Fiji Airways

Our flight to Fiji

This year has been one filled with so many wonderful blessings!  The Lord brought us safely to Fiji and we began to establish a foundation for life and ministry here.  We are continually reminded that although God’s plan is not always easy, it is perfect and He is so good!

Jordan Taj and Tori at CTEF

Our arrival at Fiji Bible College

Jordan Taj Tori with Faith and Grace

Faith and Grace Gates visited shortly after our arrival in Fiji

Jordan and Faith

Jordan picking up coconuts and fruit at the roadside market

Taj at VBS

Taj has loved our local church and ministry at Fiji Bible College!  He enjoyed being a part of VBS this year!

Shipping Container

We are grateful our shipping container arrived!

Unloading Container

Many of our Fijian friends helped unload the container

Taj with His Tools

Taj loved watching and helping with his tools!

Books

The MacArthur Study Bibles, Biblical Doctrine, and donated books are such a blessing for the ministry here!

Family with Ravinds

The Ravind Family are now dear friends!

Family with Rodney

Rodney’s visits from Samoa are a great encouragement!

Jordan and Mrs Nair at Church

Jordan has treasured her friendship with Mrs. Nair

taj-and-buddy.jpg

Taj has enjoyed his neighborhood friends!

Tori Airport

Tori had to fly to Auckland for emergency medical treatment after a bug bite became infected

Starship with Pastor Andre

The Lord used His church in New Zealand to care for us!

Tori 1

Tori finally got use out of her sweater and learned the word “Brrr” in New Zealand

Tori 2

Even in quarantine, the Lord provided a kind nurse to play with her!

Tori 3

Tori was in a lot of pain, but was very brave!

Tori 4

Tori was not so happy about the IV in her arm

tori-with-boots.jpg

Tori’s perpetually good attitude is a joy!

Tori Reading

We thank the Lord that Tori fully recovered!

jordan-taj-tori-with-coconuts.jpg

A few weeks ago we jumped right back into life in Fiji!

Gospel Retreat Center

We are so thankful for the ministry that the Lord has for us in Fiji!

gospel-retreat-center-award-ceremony.jpg

The people are precious and such a blessing!

FamilyPhotos-10

Our family is so thankful for all of your prayers and support and we thank God for his kindness and provision for us to serve Him in Fiji!

 

Life Update and Financial Need

This past week we celebrated Jordan’s 34th birthday and have been busy making final preparations with our shipping container to begin its journey to Fiji!

Today we received word that the container is leaving the warehouse in Houston, Texas Shipping Container Leaving Houstonand will begin it’s journey to Hawaii and then on to Fiji.  Please pray for a safe and uneventful transit!  We have heard horror stories of shipping containers falling into the ocean and we are praying ours doesn’t!

We recently had two unexpected expenses arise due to the extensive delay with the Fiji Immigration process.  The shipping container with our possessions and a few thousand books (including 400 MacArthur Study Bibles and copies of Biblical Doctrine for pastors and church leaders) has been forced to wait to ship until our permit was in order and we now have a bill for over $4,000 due to the delay.  In addition to this, the work permit process is about $3,200 more than expected as the government is requiring us to provide them with a bond for our exit expenses.  This money is due upon our arrival in Fiji.

As a family we trust the Lord will provide for these needs and that there is no unexpected expense to Him.  Nevertheless, we also know that this is an opportunity for Him to be glorified and involve others in His ministry in Fiji.  So we ask that you would pray for these new financial needs, that the Lord would meet them far and above, and we ask that you consider making a special contribution to help meet these costs if you are able.  We thank the Lord for you all and will keep you posted as we prepare to board a plane to Fiji on July 28!

To Make a Donation Click Here (Select: Michael Seehusen – Fiji)

 

Fiji Work Permit Approval

visa approvedOur work permit for Fiji has been approved!

This morning we woke up to the most amazing news, we are now legally allowed to live and work in Fiji!

We can not thank you enough for your prayers and support during this first part of our journey. Waiting can be hard and living in uncertainty can be draining. There were many times over the past couple months here in Japan when we wondered why we were not able to arrive in Fiji sooner- especially while watching our family and friends visiting and ministering in Fiji without us being there! Yet ultimately, we knew then and believe even more firmly now that God’s timing is perfect.

Our family has a saying when we are having a hard time with wanting to know the outcome of something — “Just choose to trust the Lord because you don’t know how long of opportunity you have to trust Him.” Sometimes the wait is short. Sometimes the wait is long. It’s like that sermon illustration of the swimmer who gave up crossing the English Channel just a few hundred feet from shore. He couldn’t see the shoreline because of heavy fog. But he and others felt that if he could only have seen how close he was he would have made it. In trials, we don’t have the luxury to see the shoreline, or to know with certainty how or when they will end. But we do know that we can trust our Heavenly Father to guide us one step at a time to wherever the finish line may be.

We do not place our hope in the end of this visa delay, but even the most minute details of this serve as an encouraging reminder to us that God hand-picks our present situation for our benefit and His glory! In many ways, while this season of waiting now has a definitive end in sight, the real work is about to begin. Please pray even more diligently for our family as we transition again to a new country.

Fiji Airways re-booked our previous flights to leave Japan on July 28 and we have every human intention of being on that plane!

We would greatly appreciate your prayers for this upcoming transition:

  1. For the beginning of this new season in Fiji to go well for each member of our family
  2. That our shipping container would have no issues or additional delays and everything would arrive in good condition. After months living out of suitcases it would be so nice to have things that feel like ‘home’ again!
  3. For the Lord to provide the funds to cover the additional charges of the container and change fees.
  4. For a fruitful ministry once we arrive.
  5. That we would enjoy the ministry, the people, and the country that the Lord places us in (no matter where that is today or tomorrow!)
  6. That the Lord would keep us all healthy while transitioning and living in Fiji
  7. That the Lord would give us peace, wisdom, and confidence in Him each step of the way as we make a myriad of decisions from now until we are settled in Fiji.

 

Fiji Immigration Update

IMG_8445The other day, Taj asked, “Daddy, when are we going to move to Fiji?”

I replied, “I’m not sure Taj, but for now God wants us to wait here in Japan.”

Taj responded by enthusiastically saying, “But God wants us to help the people in Fiji!”

ThisIMG_0903 lead to a great conversation with him and ultimately helped remind us of how the Lord works. While the Lord has allowed us to make significant progress towards getting our work visa and we are now in what we hope will be the final stage with Fiji immigration, this conversation reminded us all that this time of waiting is not in vain. God calls us to be missionaries wherever we are. There are many future missionaries that desire to reach Japan. And there are many people here that we can minister to and share the gospel with during our days here. IMG_7748

The Lord reminds us to live each day anticipating His return (1 Peter 4:1-12; Revelation 22). Paul lived every day with intentionality, regardless of his location, whether it was Ephesus, Jerusalem, or Philippi. This applies to every single one of us who follow Christ. We could be called to our eternal home at any time. This might even be the day before we step foot into Fiji.

IMG_3109For now, we are waiting in Japan. We have had the wonderful blessing of spending time with many believers and non-believers. Last Sunday, I had the privilege of teaching in a small house church and we delight in these unexpected divine appointments.

Yesterday, the Fiji Immigration office said that it could take over a week to finalize our work permit. We Taj and Tori on Benchappreciate your continued prayers! The Placerita Bible Church team is set arrive in Fiji shortly and we have planned things so they can begin serving immediately. It is our hope and desire to be with them soon! We love you all!

 

 

Update – Prayer Request: Immigrating to Fiji – Almost, but Not Yet!

Yesterday after a day of phone calls, 2 different trips on our behalf to the immigration office in Suva (the capital), we received an update from Fiji. It was “Option 3” on our list of possible outcomes:

(3) Fiji Immigration tells us there is a Delay – If this happens, we will try to determine an estimated decision time-frame and aim to arrive in Fiji with the Placerita Bible Church’s short-term missions trip later this month.

While we desire to to get settled in Fiji as soon as possible and long to begin ministry, we trust that the Lord’s timing is perfect. From those we have spoken with in Fiji, such extensive delays are unusual. At times, it can perplexing and even disappointing when the Lord is calls us to wait – it can feel like we are the Israelites wandering in the wilderness waiting to be established in their new country. However, the Lord is gracious and His timing is perfect! We know that the Lord is clearly leading our family to ministry in Fiji and that He is overseeing each detail to make it possible for us to obey His call.  The Lord will have us arrive in Fiji exactly when we are supposed to be there!

As of this moment, we have many dear friends and ministry partners in Fiji who are diligently working on our behalf to help facilitate the immigration process and we thank the Lord for their help! Our hope is that if there is a continued delay, that we will be able to obtain a waiver allowing our family to enter the country while they finish working on our permit. We will keep you posted as we learn more and so appreciate your continued prayers for our family and ministry!

Prayer Request: Immigrating to Fiji

Please pray today! We expect to receive an update regarding our immigration process. Within the next 24 hours we should be hearing from Fiji and there are 3 possible outcomes:

(1) Our Work Permit is Approved – If this happens, we will leave Japan on June 4 and arrive in Fiji ready to establish ourselves for life and ministry!

(2) Our Work Permit is Denied – If this happens, we will still leave Japan on June 4 and arrive in Fiji, but on a 4 month Tourist Visa, which will give us the opportunity to determine long-term options and meet with Fiji Immigration in person.

(3) Fiji Immigration tells us there is a Delay – If this happens, we will try to determine an estimated decision time-frame and aim to arrive in Fiji with the Placerita Bible Church’s short-term missions trip later this month.

We love you all and appreciate your prayers so much! Thank you for being such an essential part of our lives and ministry!

Goodbye America! Hello Japan! See You Soon Fiji!

The Lord is continuously working His perfect will in our path to Fiji! An unexpected LAX to Japandelay in receiving my work permit with the Fiji Immigration office has opened the door to spend some time with Jordan’s parents in Japan. This is a sweet blessing as Taj and Tori get to spend some time with their grandma and grandpa before we arrive on the mission field! Please pray that the immigration process will go smoothly and everything will be ready for us to arrive in Fiji on June 5!