Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2009 in the Solomons & Happy New Year

Dear Prayer Partners,

I Want to thank you for your prayers and support during this past year 2009 and looking forward to a great year ahead.

Christmas in The Solomon Islands:

This year we had District Assembly up until 12 of December and had a house full of people until the 17th. Then we left on the 19th to attend a Christmas camp on Makira Island. We returned on 26th December. Since we were so busy during the Holiday period we did not even get out our Christmas decorations this year. In some ways it did not feel like Christmas, at least not the traditional Western Christmas, but it was awesome anyway.

So you want to know; “How did we celebrate Christmas in the Solomon?” I’m glad you asked. Even if you don’t want to know I’ll tell you anyway. In the Solomon Islands, most people travel to their home island during the holiday period. Schools are out for the “Summer Break” in early December and do not resume until mid-January. We held our district meetings the first week of the break 8-13 December.

Zion Christian Academy, ZCA, held their closing Christmas program and graduation on Thursday 3rd of December. George was the guest speaker, but found out about it the day of the event. He sensed that this would happen so had something “on the back burner” ready to share. It worked out fine. Pray for Nancy as she leads the school for another year. Pray that our students will be well equipped to meet the challenges in the future. So I suppose the Christmas celebrations here began December 3rd. But actually 3 weeks earlier they began making preparations for the closing program.

Then December 12th we killed three pigs and held a feast primarily for the Bible College graduation but it was also the Christmas dinner. The tables were full of all kinds of delicacies. Some of our church folk presented special music for the event. The youth, particularly female youth, helped in the food preparation and serving.

December 19 we boarded the Solomon Airline flight to Kirakira on Makira island. Then we took an outboard motor boat to Nukukaisi village. This was Nancy’s first time to visit this village. It was a joy for George to have his wife along. Nancy and George were both involved in teaching and preaching. The camp was a combined youth and women’s camp. I wasn’t sure how that would work out, but everyone enjoyed it and they chose to have the next district camp combined in 2011.

Sunday we had our opening service and we had a big feast and we were full of pork, fish, sweet potatoes, greens, and all kinds of Solomon Island delicacies, complement of the Tikopian (Polynesian) people at Nukukaisi village can fix.

The camp was awesome. All of the classes and services were great, but the Wednesday night service was very special and memorable. Many came to the altar to pray. I was worn out and exhausted from the teaching and preaching duties, arising early for prayer and going to bed late after the evening services. At 9:30 or so when they requested me to pray for those around the altar, I was really tired and ready to go home and hit the sack. As I was praying the Holy Spirit fell in upon the service and then I was no longer sleepy. After the prayer I said, “Anyone who needs someone to pray for them to remain at the altar”. Some remained and while we were praying for these, others came to the altar. Anyway we had spontaneous testimonies and prayer. I was praying with people until 2 a.m.

Christmas Eve, we held a combined outdoor service, on the beach. It had rained everyday while we were at camp, but even with the clouds threatening rain they decided to go ahead as planned. There was no rain during the outdoor service and it was in the middle of the night, well after all the equipment was safe at home before the rain began falling. The rain was always a welcome sight and provided us with fresh drinking water. The rains always came at the most opportune time and did not interfere with the services.

Christmas morning we had a baptism and baptized 14 children and youth. Then after the early service (7:30 a.m.) baptism at 9:00 a.m. they held the village combined Christmas service. All the denominations met in the Nazarene Church to standing room only. They expanding the church building by extending the roof and removing the side walls to accommodate the attendance. I would estimate 300 in attendance. We had an excellent service, with Bro. Dickson Manongi preaching complete with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Now today as I write this is New Years Eve and I expect to have the ship ferrying the campers to return sometime today. Tonight we are planning a church fellowship and service welcoming in the New Year.

That is the Christmas in the Solomon’s. I know yours was different, but I trust it was just as enjoyable.

1 January 2010 - HAPPY NEW YEAR

Well in the Solomon Islands as I get around to concluding this letter, 2010 has officially begun. We are looking with great anticipation toward the future.

Last night we had a fellowship meal followed by a service at Zion church. People shared their testimonies and we had communion together. The ship arrived at 3 a.m. this morning returning with those who attended the youth and women’s camp. The sea was rough and the ship they were fortunate enough to catch has a tendency to roll from side to side even when the sea is fine. It is good to have them back and are looking forward to their sharing about their camp experiences.

As I heard the revelry and the parties going on around the church. The beer was flowing and many were celebrating the New Year in this way, the thought of it all just made tears well up in my eyes. When I think of the price that Jesus paid for these people in spite of their addictions and sins. “Lord please help us to make a difference, to be the Light and Salt of this dark world” was my prayer as I sat teary eyed praying and weeping over the challenges faced in the Solomon’s. It is overwhelming, and to think this is in the Solomon Islands which claims to be a “Christian Country”.

Many things have happened recently which have intensified my passion for souls and has given me an urgency to be about the Masters business. I have no time to play games with the Lord, souls are hanging in the balance. Continue to pray for the Solomon Islands and Nancy and I as we want to make a difference this year.

Your Partners in His Ministry,

George & Nancy Miller

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Prayer and Praise Letter December 16

Dear Prayer Partners,

[Picture of the youth leading the worship service]

Sorry it has taken me so long to post this to the Blog. Thank you for your prayers. Our district meetings were awesome let me give you some of the highlights of our time together.

District Meetings:
From the opening service on Tuesday night until the closing service on last Sunday night, you could sense the Lord’s presence. There was a good response at the altar.

The emphases of these meetings was on prayer and living in obedience to God. I held a “Prayer Awakening” seminar from materials I received at General Assembly from Rev. Elaine Pettit. Then we also used the “Concert of Prayer” that Toni & Jerry Porter, our General Superintendent Dr. Jerry Porter and wife Toni, {this explanation is for the many non-Nazarene prayer partners we have.} presented at the recent District Superintendent conference I attended in Malaysia.

Many people responded to the challenge to come forward and pick up a prayer commitment card, committing to pray for one hour minimum per day and fast once per week. Pray that they will return to their home villages with the challenges of this assembly and will be able to get their church’s prayer warriors organized so that we will really witness a spiritual breakthrough in the Solomon Islands. I’m having all the churches write down the names of those they should be praying for (Pastor’s family, members, unsaved in area, backsliders, and casual attendees, or anyone with contact with church). Then I’ve encouraged them to divide their list up and have each prayer warrior to each take some names and commit to pray daily name by name. That way everyone in the church is being prayed for by someone daily. Then after three to six months prayer, I’d like for the churches to hold a revival campaign.
[Picture of youth putting on a Drama]

Saturday morning was the District Assembly. Pray for the district secretary as he finalizes the report. It is Christmas time and he is ready to travel home, same as everyone else in Honiara. We gave a District minister’s license to 10 pastors. Pray for these pastors that they will lead their church to a new spiritual level.

It is always a blessing to have Harmon Schmelzenbach, our Field Strategy Coordinator, with us. He ministered to us and was our guest of honor at our first Bible College graduation. His address to the students was very powerful. We had three students graduate. A fourth student has completed his work but felt he would like to wait for next year because his wife was not here to witness the graduation. Pray for our graduates as they return home and to their places of ministry. Harmon left us and went to Fiji, where he was met by a cyclone. Please pray for those in Fiji. He then is to fly to Samoa for their District Assembly. Pray for the Samoan assembly and Harmon. Fiji was flooded and so pray that the Lord will strengthen Harmon for the challenges he faces, and that the flood waters will recede so he can make it to the air port.

[Pictures of our first Graduating Bible College Students.]
We praise the Lord the rain came and gave us water until the meetings were over. We have not had rain since, and the water tank ran dry the Sunday night right after the assembly was over. Continue to pray for rain. Thanks to everyone who gave toward the water project. After the Christmas Holiday period we will be able to get someone to came and give us an estimate for the cost for pump, etc. Also we need it to rain so we have water to make cement for the pump house.
New Starts:
It was exciting hearing the encouraging reports from the new start churches.

1. Our Sovereign Grace Church in Munda, Western Province is off to a good start. They recently held their first membership class and took in 6 new members by Profession of Faith. They have three men attending the Bible College. One of the men who was a recent convert, Rodney, has a glowing testimony of the transforming power of Jesus. He owns a small store and uses his store as a place to minister. He closes at noon on Wednesday and Friday so he can attend the church’s programs, and he said that on the days he closes early his sales during the morning equals his daily take on the other days when he is open all day. Pray for Pastor Alick Hagi as they are involved in outreach into the neighboring communities.
2. Tautaumalefo is another new start and I request your prayers for them. Pray for Pastor Revelation Kalia.

3. Pray for Barakoma on the island of Vella la Vella and their pastor, Kendrick. They also have started a school. Pray for Rollingson and Grace as they administer and teach at the school.

4. Pray for Malasova, Vella la Vella Island, and Hudson as he leads this new church.
5. Pray for Jimmy Kwaisui as he pastors two churches. His primary responsibility is to the Iriiri Pasapasa Church, but he also goes to the Vilorae church. This area has recently seen an alarming increase in crocodiles, so pray for their safety and the safety of their children.

New Church Buildings:

I want to say thank you to those of you who have given to the approved special for new churches, as we had funds to assist the churches in building needs for these new starts.

Land Cruiser:

The land cruiser broke down before the start of the assembly, so we were without transportation during the assembly. I was returning from picking up people from the wharf at 2 p.m. or so when the timing belt snapped. I was thankful that this didn’t happen the previous night when I was taking people home on this very poor narrow road during a torrential downpour. I took it to the dealer and knew I was in trouble when it took 4 days work to get me the estimate for repair. Ouch! Anyway it will be after New Years before the parts ordered from Japan will arrive and then it’s anyone guess when it will be fixed. Thanks for those of you who gave generously toward our deputation during last home assignment.

Youth/Women’s Camp:

The youth and women are having a combined camp December 20 – 25 in Nukukaisi. They plan to leave by ship tomorrow. Pray for this camp, their travel, and their safety. Nancy and I will fly to Kirakira on Saturday and then take a boat to Nukukaisi. Nancy doesn’t swim and climbing down from a ship into a small boat to ferry us to the shore doesn’t appeal to her. I can’t imagine that. Anyway, I wanted her to go along with me so I purchased the air fare.

Pray that my new SIM card for my satellite phone arrives this week, because I like to have that contact in case we have an emergency while there.

Pray for Nancy and I as we prepare to share during our classes and we both are on the preaching schedule.


Our Christmas letter will have to wait until our return from Nukukaisi on 26th December. From the 20th through the 26th we will be out of contact so I pray there will not be an emergency.

Your Partners in His Ministry,
George & Nancy Miller
PO Box 712
Honiara, Solomon Islands