Shannon and Vikki’s Summer (and Madison and Zoe, too!)
What a summer it has been! We started off June by traveling to Missouri for the Christian Union General Council. We have never had an opportunity to go to council since we have been missionaries so it was a blessed time of reunion and new acquaintances. We sure enjoyed laughing with old friends and making new ones as well. We enjoyed our time there but it was too short!
We arrived back in Florida just in time for the start the of The Lord’s Boot Camp and the Florida heat! But, it was all good and Boot Camp went amazingly well. Our team of 25 arrived on June 24th and we started our journey to Samoa on July 13th. Our time in Samoa was awesome, despite a few challenges.
We spent 10 days in the village of Satitoa, an area that was hard hit by the tsunami waves in September 2009. In this small village, 24 people were lost in that tragedy. The church where we stayed had lost 15 church members. The scars are still evident in the community, but they are resilient people. The village is in the process of relocating to higher ground due to the fear of another tsunami striking and the children are still apprehensive about swimming in the sea and going down where the old village was located. One young man, who helped us every day on our work project, was impaled on three pieces of rebar in one of the waves and lived to tell about it. He is an amazing young man and I am sure God has great plans for his life! We stayed with a pastor and his family and they shared with our team the stories of what had happened to the community. The pastor lost his house and his church building and everything that his family owned, but they were spared any loss of life in his immediate family. He said the only thing that was left in his house was a large fish. It was a blessing to see how God has healed the church and the community.
One of our projects was to clear an area for a playground for the preschool in the village. The building was completed the day that we arrived by a team of men from New Zealand. We removed stumps and trees and leveled the ground. The other project we had was to build platforms for the water collecting tanks that were donated by the Red Cross. The villagers had the tanks for several months but were unable to use them without a level area to set them on. Our team built the concrete platforms so they could catch rainwater in them and make the spout on the tank accessible. Our team was blessed by those that we were helping. As we worked, the villagers always had a coconut ready for us to drink from or a pancake ready for us to eat. One family even brought out chairs and a table so we could rest and enjoy our coconut when we took a break. It was a time of great fellowship among the Samoan believers. We shared puppets and songs with the children of the village almost every night. It was funny to see the kids enjoying the songs and puppets but the area outside the open church was lined with adults shoulder-to-shoulder watching from the road. I imagine we were the talk of the village! Our last night in the village we had a Fea Fea-(A Samoan Party). We were living like Samoans that night as they cooked our dinner over lava rocks. We had coconut in several forms, breadfruit as well as roasted pig. During the evening the youth of the church preformed a presentation and the villagers kept giving us gifts. It was like everyone in the church gave something, we were so touched especially since these same people lost everything they owned just eleven months ago.
After 10 days in the village of Satitoa, we then traveled back to the Youth With A Mission base located near the capital city of Apia. We were able to build a large platform/water tower base (10’ x 20’ x 6’ tall) to hold two 10,000 liter water tanks. Our team carried lava rocks for days on end and mixed concrete by hand. We used a total of 131 bags of cement this summer and wore holes in all of our gloves. We were blessed with a tough working team. They worked hard and played hard. They learned all 40 verses and were all great at puppets and drama. Before the summer, I asked God to send just one guitar player on our team and guess what? We had five kids who could play!! The biggest thing that happened this summer is we got to watch our team mature spiritually. We had a young team and they were hungry to learn and grow. We had five of our kids go forward and dedicate their lives to full time missions. We had two kids already sign up for teams next year!
Taylor’s Summer in China
This summer I was on the China Camp Team. Our main project was to do some renovations around the Joy in the Journey Camp and actually help with the camp for a week. As an assistant leader on the team, my job was to cook (with two other leaders) for the team for the duration of our time in China. This is such a fun thing to do for the kids and I am always blessed from it. We worked with awesome missionaries who were constantly in awe of the discipline of our team members and the amount of work they were able to get done. Our team was able to construct a new fish pond complete with rock paths and some benches. We also built a Pergola (an Asian shelter) and painted many rooms. My favorite part of every summer is seeing the change that happens in the hearts of the team members. They grow so much spiritually and it is awesome to see them following the Lord and listening to His voice. I am so blessed to be able to have a part in all of this. My summer in China was one of my favorite summers so far and I hope to return next summer to serve an internship with the ministry there.
Canaan’s Summer in Russia
Canaan served on a team to Russia with two other teens from Ohio Christian Union: Holly Gorsuch from New Bethel Church, and Josh Higgins from Buchanan Church. The three of them were a “dynamic trio” in memory verse quizzing since they have been quizzing together in Christian Union since fourth grade! 🙂 He is in “early admission” at Brevard Community College for his senior year of high school and hopes to graduate in May with his diploma and an Associate’s degree from college. We are helping him apply to colleges and choose a major. Please remember Canaan in your prayers as he makes hard decisions this year.
Thank You!!! (Fa Fe Tai)
Thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement! We were overwhelmed that our summer expenses were paid in full this summer AGAIN!
We cannot adequately express our gratitude for your faithfulness, obedience and generosity! We are truly blessed by your partnership in our ministry. Thank you for giving to the Lord! God is so good!
We will be in Ohio in December and hope to see many of you. We are available to share with you from December 12 through January 2nd. Let us know if you would like to schedule a date for us to come to your church, small group or home. We will also be doing our Third Annual Thanks for Giving Dinner in December as well. We will let you know the exact date soon!
Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts!!!
The Bobb Family
Shannon, Vikki, Taylor, Canaan, Madison and Zoe