Fall has arrived in Kona. It probably doesn’t look much like where you are. For us, there are no leaves on the ground, other than those from branches that have blown down in the strong winds. There are no cold temperatures, other than us celebrating the thermostat showing in the high 70’s in the mornings and evenings. The most obvious sign of Fall is the decorations in our home. October 1st is Fall decorating day in the Randerson Ohana. Despite living in Hawaii, Lynnette loves Fall, and so we decorate!
Today is also Fall quarter arrival day. We are anticipating close to 500 new students arriving in Kona today, to be trained in various schools over the next 12 weeks. Almost 350 of these students are taking YWAM’s entry level course, the DTS (Discipleship Training School), and will be equipped in Knowing God and then Making Him Known!
It has been a busy season for our family and in ministry of late. The A-team, on which Paul serves, continues to look for ways to improve our outreach effectiveness. We are working on outreach evaluations, from both staff and students, to see areas that need improvement. We also had a meeting yesterday with our Winter school leaders. The main goal of that meeting was to communicate that outreach planning begins now, connecting with contacts on the ground, figuring out visa cost and process, required immunizations, budgets, housing plans, etc. A good outreach begins with well planned logistics. At the end of October will be our next quarterly Outreach Training. These have been really great events, as we look to equip our staff to handle the environment and challenges of outreach in some of the toughest places on earth!
October is also Ironman month in Kona! The Ironman World Championships are on October 10th, and for our triathlon loving family, that means volunteering and cheering. The event, which hosts almost 2,000 athletes, requires over 5,000 volunteers to run, and our family will be running an aid station during the run portion of the race, as well as doing security at the pre-race and post-race banquets.
For More than Sport, one of the ministries we work with, Ironman is a huge deal. Chris Lieto, the founder, is a professional triathlete, and knows many of the athletes that come to Kona. During race week, we will have the More than Sport village, right by the race finish line. Thousands of people will come by, and learn more about what this ministry does, encouraging athletes to give back, and “do more” than just sport. We are also partnering with several companies, and by buying their products, a portion will go back to More than Sport. You can learn more by going to the Kona landing page of More than Sport.
Paul had a small skin cancer removed from his lower right leg recently. It was a “basal cell carcinoma”. The doctor was confident that he removed all the cancer, and that it hadn’t spread. Now, Paul’s leg just needs to heal up, which will take several months. So, sadly, no swimming for Paul for a while 😦
In other health related news, Lynnette’s dad Dennis, 74, had a stroke a week and a half ago. It was caused by a blood clot, and caused loss of feeling in his mouth and the entire left side of his body. Just today, he moved into a rehab center, where he will receive 2 hours of therapy each day, to help his brain and body recover. We are praying he will make a full recovery. Please pray for Dennis and Marilyn, as well as Lynnette and her brother and sisters, as they walk through this time.
Here is a great video that YWAM Ships Australia put out, talking about their work in Papua New Guinea. PNG is a country of 7 million people. YWAM Ships is bringing medical and dental care, in the name of Jesus, to people who are in desperate need.
Our Fundraising push is going well. As of today, October 1st, food is no longer free for our family on campus. Eating a meal for our family would now cost us $10. So, we are going to predominantly eat at home, which will increase our overall costs of living here. As if our food costs weren’t high enough already. A gallon of milk costs us $5! Much more expensive than the U.S. mainland. Our goal is to raise an additional $1,000 per month, to bring us into a position of financial sustainability, with the increase in expenses we are facing. So far, we have received pledges of $400 per month, so we are almost half way to our goal. Would you please consider becoming a monthly partner? If you would like further information, please contact us. You can also visit our partner page for information on how to give. All donations are 100% tax deductible for U.S. and Canadian taxpayers.
Thanks for reading our update! Have a great October, and may God bless you richly!