The Mango Tree Respite Center, located in the Kingdom of Tonga, was very thankful to receive another Work and Witness Team, this one originating from the Newport Oregon Church of the Nazarene (U.S.).
The team made great progress as they continued the work on a short term mission home that will be used by missionaries working at the Center. A New Zealand team that visited just three weeks earlier, dug the footings, laid block, and began pouring the foundation.
The Oregon team finished pouring the foundation, raised the walls, placed the trusses, and framed the windows and doors. In addition, the team was able to work on a wheelchair ramp and the center’s verandah.
While the bulk of the team was from Oregon, two team members were from Papua New Guinea. One of these was Adam Peterson, a Nazarene missionary who serves at the Kudjip mission station along with his wife Stephanie and four daughters. When he learned that his home church was organizing the team to Tonga, he knew that he had to be a part. He recruited Josiah Radcliffe, teenage son of James and Katherine Radcliffe, missionary surgeon at Kudjip, and the two of them joined the team. Adam’s construction skills and Josiah’s youthful energy were a definite blessing.
While work is a main function of any Work and Witness team, the opportunity to touch lives and witness is the primary goal.
The team was able to do just that as they worked with the disabled children, made home visits, worked at the local Christian school, taught Bible lessons at the Wednesday night “Sunday Schools,” and helped put on a vacation Bible school for the children in the area.
A common thread with the team as they reflected on the trip was that that they were the ones who were blessed. They attended nightly prayer and praise meetings at the “Living By The Word Church,” which was located just around the corner from the Center. “The services were filled with the Holy Spirit, and were just what I needed to refuel and reconnect with God,” said Peterson.
It is estimated that the work completed by the two work teams has brought the project to 60% completion. They are praying for additional Work Teams and funding to be able to finish the mission home.
The Mango Tree Respite Center is a Nazarene Compassionate Ministry center that ministers to disabled children and their families in Tonga.
For more information you can visit their website at: http://mtrc.oceanianazarene.org
Contributors: Josiah Radcliffe and Adam Peterson