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

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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!

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

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

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

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Tori was not so happy about the IV in her arm

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Tori’s perpetually good attitude is a joy!

Tori Reading

We thank the Lord that Tori fully recovered!

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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!

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The people are precious and such a blessing!

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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!

 

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!

 

 

One Step Closer!

Leaving California
It was a whirlwind leaving California.  We celebrated Tori’s 1st birthday, said goodbye to Goodbye to Jonifamily, friends and sweet neighbors we have come to love and appreciate so very much, and packed up our home.  When we look back on the past years the Lord has given us during this time of preparation, we will always remember them as some of the sweetest times for all of us.  They have been years filled with friendships, love, beauty, excitement and fruitful ministry and we are deeply thankful for them.

Goodbye to Paul YochimWe had a wonderful time saying goodbye to Joni!  She is such a blessing and gave tremendous encouragement to Jordan and our family in the midst of such a big move and life transition.

 

Packing the Shipping Container

We are continually reminded that man makes his plans, but the Closing ContainerLord directs his steps!  Extremely dangerous fires in the Houston area delayed our shipping container and pushed back our plans for loading.  On human terms, this seemed like aBooks for Ministry significant setback, but God brought the right help at the perfect time and we were able to load and lock the container!

Saying Goodbye

Goodbye to Paul TautgesThis has been a continual season of Goodbye to Grandmasaying goodbye.  It was such a joy to see Tori loving time with Grandma Anderson (who is 103 years old!).  Tori’s eyes would light up and she would wave excitedly every time her great-grandmother would enter the room.  We are currently enjoying time with some of Jordan’s family and saying goodbye in the Dallas area.

What’s Next

The department of immigration in Fiji has been working on our work permit and Tori on Bikerequested additional documentation, so we are still trusting the Lord with every aspect of our move to Fiji!  We are currently scheduled to fly out of Los Angeles to Fiji on April 28, but are confident in the plans that God has established.  Please pray that each and every aspect of this process will strengthen our trust in the Lord and bring glory to Him as He continues to provide!

The Final Countdown

Our Fiji Planning Trip:

We had an eventful November and December that included trips to Egypt, Uganda, IMG_6378Singapore, Malaysia, and our planning trip to Fiji!  It was a great opportunity to make preparations for our upcoming move as we evaluated housing, immigration procedures, travel plans, and every day life issues such as grocery shopping and medical care.  The Lord provided many helpful meetings and gave us a better understanding of what it will look like to live in Fiji!

IMG_6226Transition from Joni and Friends:

The last three years have been some of the sweetest and most wonderful of our lives!  A significant reason for this is the joy that it has been to be a part of the ministry of Joni and Friends.  God has taught me so much through this season and we are looking forward to continuing the friendships and partnerships formed as we head to the South Pacific!

Moving to Fiji:

On March 15, we will be taking our moving truck from California to Texas to be loaded onto a shipping container out of Houston.  Many of our dear ministry supporters have provided books and resources that will be a tremendous blessing to the ministry in Fiji.  We are progressing through the immigration process and will arrive in Fiji once they give us the official green light, which will likely be within the next several weeks!

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Prayer Requests:

The Lord has been graciously providing for our ministry needs!  God has provided ministry partners that are giving financially so that we can move to and serve in Fiji.  A significant number of these are individuals, which means monthly support fluctuates as personal budgets and circumstances change.  If you have a desire to become a monthly supporter (or give a one-time gift), we would love for you to be a part of this ministry!

 

Fiji Pastor’s Conference Recap

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(Michael Seehusen, Rick Holland, Kim Holland, Kelli Ramey, Ken Ramey, Henry, and Rodney)

Thank you all for your prayers and support of the 2018 Fiji Pastor’s Conference.  This year’s theme was on The Christian Family and it was truly an amazing time seeing God’s hand clearly at work in Fiji and the South Pacific!  The conference was held in the capital city of Suva, Fiji and over 200 pastors, teachers, and church leaders attended to hear what the Bible has to say about the family.  Throughout the sessions we covered topics such as how the family is designed to function, God’s plan for each of us within our own family units, and what to do when the family is not functioning the way it was intended.  This topic is of critical importance to the Fijian people as they begin to address issues within the church such as adultery, abuse, depression, homosexuality, and other threats to the Christian home.

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Dr. Nair opened the pastor’s conference with a strong message regarding the authority IMG_5475and sufficiency of the Word of God.  Fiji is currently facing intense social pressures from the outside world to tolerate sin and sinful lifestyles especially within the family unit.  Dr. Nair’s timely message set the stage for Rick and Ken’s teaching to be accepted not as man’s opinion, but as God’s holy and perfect standard clearly communicated in Scripture.

As you get to know Fijians, you will learn that they LOVE music!  One wonderfully memorable moment occurred when Ken Ramey used the illustration of the Christian familyIMG_5370 compared to a choir singing four-part harmony.  When each person (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) sings their assigned part well, the end result is absolutely beautiful!  However, if someone abandons their role and encroaches on another, the song becomes dissonant and full of discord.  In the same way, God has designed the Christian family in a specific way so that the end result would be a beautiful picture of unity that brings glory to God as husbands, wives, and children please the Lord in their God-given role. This truth resonated with those attending and it was such a joy to see the Lord bridging cultures through a shared passion. IMG_5373

This year was also the first annual women’s conference where Kelli Ramey and Kim Holland spent time speaking directly to the Fijian women on their roles and responsibilities within the family.  The stories of the responsiveness and eagerness of the women – even from those living with extremely difficult circumstances – highlighted the need to continue having biblical teaching regularly available to these women who traditionally have fewer opportunities to participate in and learn from the truths of Scripture.

One woman who attended the conference wrote the following note to Lakeside Bible Church to thank them for allowing Ken and Kelli to teach at the conference.

Today was the last day of a 5 days seminar that I had been attending here in Suva, Fiji. I have been so incredibly BLESSED by the lessons imparted, with such real life illustrations by your Dr. Ken Ramey. His personal, and their joint experiences as a couple, that he shared as examples in how I can practically and realistically live out what God had instructed in the Bible has been so encouraging, inspirational. I know now how to put the biblical principles I had always know into action. It was such a huge relief to learn that I had not failed, and that it’s not too late, and just my being there to receive all that I did is proof that God has a purpose for me, and what I had learned have a usefulness. PRAISE the LORD. I am a widow, with 4 children, and a granddaughter. So yes, definitely so BLESSED to have been there

IMG_5436Perhaps, one of the conference highlights for me personally, was watching the Fiji Bible College students engage with Ken and Rick regarding life and ministry.  The students were able to have in depth conversations discussing the challenges and persecutions that comes from standing for sound theology and doctrine, how to communicate truth with love, and ways to maintain personal holiness as a minister of the gospel.  While the students will be returning to ministries that look far different from the American churches we are used to, the issues and hurdles that they face as shepherds of God’s flock remain the same. What a special time it was to see them learning from these seasoned and faithful pastors.

We thank the Lord for you and your prayers!  We are grateful for the generous support from those of you who made this possible!  It is truly a joy to serve the Lord together and we are thankful for God’s provision for the ministry in Fiji!

We praise God for what He is doing in Fiji and around the world!

Fiji Ministry Update

The past few months have been a true whirlwind for our family. Shortly after receiving his ACBC Certification, Michael had the opportunity to lead a short term trip to Fiji to work on several exciting projects alongside Fiji Bible College and the Fijian Bible Churches.

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Team members in the front row: Lucas, Michael, Grant, Hannah & Jonathan visiting a local church on Viti Levu, Fiji

Fiji 2017-68This past year, Michael has been working to secure grant funding for resources for Fiji Bible College and was able to purchase numerous resources for the college and local churches. Due to Fiji’s remote location, Bibles and theological resources are difficult and expensive to obtain. On this trip, the team was able to deliver boxes of evangelism Bibles as well as preaching Bibles for the graduates and pastors of Fiji Bible College and the Fijian Bible Churches. In addition, Michael was also able to help equip the college leadership and library with laptop computers loaded with Bible software which allows them access to thousands of Bible resources in a digital format to supplement their current library.

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The team was also able to begin a library assessment project. It is our goal to bring as many theological books and Bibles with us on our shipping container this upcoming spring. With the help of Grant Gates, the team was able to begin to evaluate the current library computer system as well as the current resources the college has for their students so we can ensure that we bring the best material possible to meet the needs of the students and local church pastors.

Fiji 2017-226Michael also had the privilege of preaching at one of the local churches that we will be serving alongside next year. It was such a blessing getting to worship with them and to share God’s Word on the life of Joseph.

We continue to be profoundly grateful that the Lord is allowing us to participate in His work in the South Pacific. It is truly exciting to see all that He is doing through Fiji Bible College and the faithful men who are teaching in the local Bible churches. We are eagerly anticipating this upcoming Spring when we will be able to transition into full-time ministry in Fiji.

We are currently working on sending out our annual newsletter with additional ministry updates of projects we have been working on. If you are interested in receiving a copy, please let us know! You can contact us at seehouse@gmail.com with your mailing address.

 

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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.

 

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!

Saying Goodbye at PBC this Sunday

This Sunday, April 28, we will be saying goodbye to our dear friends at our home church PBCPlacerita Bible Church in Santa Clarita, California.  For the past 5 years, we have worshiped the Lord, served the body of Christ, reached out to the community, and enjoyed sweet fellowship with this wonderful church!  Jordan, Taj, Tori, and I will be around after each service.  If you are in the area it would be an absolute joy to see you before we leave for Fiji!