Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you for reading yet another Collins family newsletter. This season, the refrain going through our heads is “KEEP GOING.” The longer we stay here in Micronesia, the more we can appreciate the Bible’s exhortation to persevere. As Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” All three of these admonitions are reminders to continue-joyfully, patiently, and faithfully. Life is a bit of a roller-coaster sometimes. Still, the fact that the Bible gives so much encouragement to persevere through everything life throws at us makes us grateful that God thought of all this beforehand and put it in His Word. He knows, after all!
Here is a peek at what has been happening with us the past few months:
AMOS TO PALAU (May-Oct.): Amos stayed in Palau for 5 months to fill in for our teammates on furlough, while Heidi and the kids stayed behind in Yap to finish up school and help with the summer ministries. Amos had a variety of activities to keep him busy. In the first few weeks, he was mostly flying aerial surveillance missions for the nation of Palau. Then he welcomed and trained PMA’s newest volunteer pilot, Stephen Newton, who joined us from Moody Aviation. On three occasions, their aviation team was called to do medevacs from Angaur Island. He also helped lead the Bible studies that PMA staff hold there every Saturday. But the biggest project during his time there was the construction of PMA’s new hangar. Amos’ background in construction helped him oversee the design, purchase, and construction of the hangar.
Although the facility will not quite be completed by the end of the year, PMA still hopes to move operations over in December.
SUMMER MINISTRIES IN YAP (June): The summer started off with a bang: two kids’ outreaches and a week-long youth camp back to back! About 80 children and 50 youth came to each of their events and learn more about what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. Cue the ringing ears and exhaustion, but it’s always worth it.
TOGETHER AGAIN! (July-Sept.) After 2 months apart over the summer, Heidi and the kids flew to Palau to join Amos. The kids were so thrilled to see their dad again, they jumped out of the plane right into his arms! It was wonderful to be a family again and experience Palau together. We enjoyed doing trips on the weekends like hiking to waterfalls, kayaking through the Rock Islands, camping, and eating at a variety of restaurants that we do not have in Yap. We also had a great time becoming part of the PMF Church in Palau. They were warm and welcoming, and we loved making new friends.
BAPTISMS IN YAP (July): While we were in Palau, our teammate Pastor Petrus led a workshop for new believers. They were flown in to Yap from the outer islands of Ulithi and Fais for discipleship and leadership training. After the workshop, many asked to be baptized before returning to their home islands. Praise God for leading people to make this important decision, and may they be effective witnesses for Him back in their home islands!
TEAMMATES LEAVING (July): Our teammates and PMF church pastor in Palau, the Hammonds, had to leave early to get medical help for Pastor Mike. We are thankful for the fruitful two years they had here in Palau, and they are very much missed by the church.
TRIP TO ANGAUR (August): Once a month, PMF church members volunteer to fly with PMA to Angaur Island for children’s ministry and movie night (this is besides the weekly Bible studies). Kring, our church staff member, is in charge of this and does a great job engaging the children as they learn about Jesus. A Christian movie is then shown for the adults and children who come to this event. Our family was able to take a turn and be involved in this ministry.
YOUNG ADULTS BIBLE STUDY (June-Sept.): While our teammates the Klassens were on furlough, we took over the Young Adults Bible Study for a few months. We had so much fun spending time with this fantastic group of people, and were sorry to leave them at the end of our stay in Palau!
COMING HOME (Sept.): In mid-September, Heidi and the kids returned to Yap to start school again. Amos stayed behind for another month to keep working on PMA’s hangar project before coming back to Yap. Although we loved the months spent in Palau, experiencing a different island of Micronesia and the wonderful people of PMA’s church there, it was good to come home to our Yap family too.
HOMESCHOOLING (Sept.): Heidi was excited to start another year homeschooling this delightful mob. It gives her such joy and purpose to teach these kids!
We are so thankful to be here in Micronesia and doing this work! God has blessed us in so many ways, not the least through your persistent prayers and generous financial support, which enables us to stay out here.
Thank you, friends.
Amos & Heidi Collins, Tommy, Raina, Honora, & Theo