By Rachel Musser
Over the past three weeks Amber and I have had the opportunity to go back to Tahiti, the largest of 118 islands in French Polynesia, the South Pacific Archipelago! We were blessed to help serve again with Evanelia in both women’s and children’s ministry throughout our stay. I came away so encouraged by all that occurred.
One of the children’s ministries we got to be a part of took place in Papara where we had the chance to meet multiple times a week with two English clubs in a rural town on the southern side of the island. In Tahiti, most everyone speaks either French, Tahitian, or both ! A community center helped plan an English club for their residents (Maro & Vairoa!) which Mark and Rene run weekly. On top of the English club, the community center helped plan a children’s Bible camp for the residents in the neighborhood. This was so special to see a whole neighborhood event and turn out for a camp going over the stories of Ruth, David, and Jesus – emphasizing the good news of Christ’s gracious offer of salvation to all who believe in Him, the One who gave His life to pay the penalty for our sins and rose again (John 3:16, 1 Cor. 15:3-4, Romans 5:8) .
We had amazing help from our friend Tepoe and her mom, Elvie in translation and preparation. An extra neat opportunity was that this community has not yet been reached by Operation Christmas Child. Working with the OCC team (Edualdo & Aline), it was special to see a small piece the gift giving ministry here on the island. We heard the OCC team give the gospel and then pass out the gifts as an example of Christ’s free gift of salvation (no works/ strings attached!) to all who believe in Him (Eph. 2:8-9, Galatians 2:16). There are still around 50,000 boxes to be distributed within the country, enough for every child in the nation. It was extremely special to also have the chance to pray with the OCC directors of Tahiti after hearing how they plan to reach every island and child in French Polynesia as God opens the doors over the coming years.