Good News at a funeral

We have been invited to preach at several funerals lately, with three just in the last week. Even though we haven’t met most of the people who have passed, the family invites us to come and be a part of their loved one’s service. Most funerals are two to three days long with several relatives and friends traveling far to be there.

A funeral service is a great outreach opportunity and an excellent time to share the Good News with many unbelievers. Some people receive hope in eternal life with Jesus while confronting the hopelessness of physical death. There can be good news at a funeral!

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Some of the funerals we go to are close by in the city, some are in villages, and some are hours away up into the interior.  Lots of food and traditional music and singing are included.

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(Written on Mother’s Day)

This past week has been the hardest week for me as a mother. Our little Clara Joy has been sick since the first of May. We made three trips to the doctors in one week. On our third trip we were sent to the hospital because Clara’s illness had developed into pneumonia. She also developed a severe rash from her first course of antibiotics. With possible antibiotic allergies, it was difficult to treat the pneumonia at first. Then she began vomiting. She was so sick and weak that she didn’t talk for two days…just laid there. It was scary and heartbreaking. I wished so badly we were “home.” But…God was here. In the midst of this difficulty, He surrounded us with amazing people–many of whom we met only two months ago. They had our backs completely. They fasted and poured out their hearts in prayer for our girl. They babysat and had lots of fun with Allison. They cooked meals for us, brought us juice, sat with us, cried with us, called every hospital and major pharmacy in the country to find the right meds for our girl, gave me rides to and from the hospital. God’s love was evident and tangible for our family this week. Best of all, Clara’s health drastically improved and she is home tonight. I could not have asked for a better Mother’s Day gift! Thank you to those of you who support and lift our family in prayer. We love and appreciate you! Happy Mother’s Day! 🌺

We are HERE!

Bula!

We made it to Fiji! We have been here for about five days, and are starting to adjust to life in Fiji. The hospitality and friendliness of the locals are very welcoming! Allison and Clara just beam every time we go somewhere because we are greeted with beautiful smiles and big “Bulas!”

A week ago (last Sunday), we were prayed over and “sent out” by our home church in Spokane, Washington. Words cannot describe the overwhelming love and support we have received from our family and friends. We are truly blessed with an amazing support team. David preached his last message at Roots, the Jr. High ministry, and passed the baton–so to speak, to Isaiah Hollister who has done a phenomenal job taking over for him. After the Jr. High service, we celebrated with friends and family at our send-off party. It was wonderful to share our gratitude for our team and say our goodbyes. The hard part was saying goodbye, but we know that God has called us here for a time, and we are so excited for what is to come!

 

During our first few days here we caught up on sleep (after 19 hours of travel), figured out the public transportation system, went to the market a few times-which was an adventure because it was payday, went to the beach, looked at houses, and went to a local church service! We feel pretty well rested now and are eager to get settled and meet the wonderful pastors we will be working with. We spent the day with one such pastor and his family yesterday and it was a joy to encourage him and the church with God’s word. Allison and Clara were wide eyed with the new experience of worshipping God in a different setting than they are used to. It will take some time to find our new “normal.”

Thank you for following and being a part of our journey! We are deeply grateful for all of the ongoing support we have received.

We would appreciate your prayers as we continue forward. Our current requests are as follows:

  • To find the right home and vehicle.
  • For the girls’ education. We are looking into a private school.
  • To have an understanding of the culture and basic way of life here.
  • We would love to build strong relationships and connections.
  • And for us to be a blessing to those we serve.

Vinaka Vaka Levu! (Thank you very much!)

David, Danielle, Allison, and Clara

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January Newsletter

JANUARY 31, 2017
Bula/Namaste/Hello!

Welcome to our first official monthly newsletter! We have some very exciting news to share with you… WE ARE MOVING TO FIJI in just three weeks! As you can imagine, the past few months have been filled to the brim with the holidays, spending quality time with friends and family, support raising, and downsizing all our possessions. This process has taught us many wonderful life lessons, especially about trusting God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6. These familiar verses have certainly been put into to action and have been resounding in our hearts over this past year. God has marvelously guided us on this path to Fiji and has surrounded us with an amazing team of support! We are in awe of not only God’s generosity, but yours as well. Thank you for being on this journey with us with your prayer and financial support. It is a privilege to serve the Lord with you!

While we wrap up our time here in the United States, we are ironing out some logistics in order to make a smooth transition. We will say our goodbyes and try to enjoy every second we have with our loved ones! It is a bittersweet time for us, but we are anticipating the work that is ahead of us in Fiji.

In December David had the opportunity to go to Fiji with a Pastor from Santa Rosa, CA who has been working with some of the local Fijian pastors with church planting. They have planted nine churches throughout the Fiji islands! David was able to meet the pastors as he traveled across three of the islands. It was an honor to meet them and we are looking forward working with and getting to know them more.

We are looking forward to sending you our next newsletter from Fiji. Newsletters will be sent out monthly, but if you would like to be even more up to date with what we are up to, please check our blog as we will update it more frequently. Make sure to check it out in the weeks to come at gobickleys.com.

Thank you again for all of your love and support! We are praying for each of you.

God Bless!
David, Danielle, Allison, and Clara Bickley

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  • Our final preparations for moving to a foreign country to go smoothly and without hinderance
  • A good transition for Allison and Clara
  • Unity and growth among leaders
  • We find favor with everyone
  • Health and safety

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During my December trip to Fiji, I was welcomed into a family’s home for a meal with other stranded motorists while the roads were flooded from a tropical storm. We made new friends and were able to share the gospel and pray with them. One of the stranded motorists surrendered his life to Jesus! Praise the Lord for interrupting our plans with HIS plans!

December Fiji Trip

Bula!
    I (David) recently returned from a trip to Fiji where I had quite an adventure! I went with my friend, Pastor Dan Boyd from Hope Chapel Foursquare Church in Santa Rosa, California. We traveled by big and small planes, trucks, boats, and vans to several different villages and cities on three different islands to visit pastors and churches. We had quite a few adventures! One being a night-time boat ride in stormy seas with no lights. We preached, taught, evangelized, met, and encouraged many pastors and leaders.
    Dan introduced me to several people he knows and has ministered with over the last six years. This introduction has definitely given me a head start in building relationships with the many wonderful people we met. I am extremely grateful to be able to learn from him and to be his friend.
    By far my favorite part of the trip was making several new friends! I kept thinking, “Wow! I get to come back soon and hang out with these wonderful people!” While there, I learned more about the culture and customs, but I have soooooo much yet to learn. My prayer is for God’s love to shine through us and over time our heart to serve will be evident. We look forward to being a part of what God is doing in the wonderful people of Fiji.
    The hospitality in Fiji was amazing! We were warmly taken care of wherever we went on the islands of Taveuni, Kadavu, and Viti Levu. They treated us with warmth and kindness…and so much food! Everyday was a feast of tropical fruits like papaya, mango, pineapple, and bananas. We had fish, chicken, lamb, beef, and other meat. Dalo (taro root) was served with almost every meal as it is a staple starch along with cassava (tapioca root). I was hoping to lose a few pounds while traveling but easily maintained because of all the good food.
    We met and traveled with several great people during this trip! I wanted to briefly share one story about how we were traveling by van on the main island of Viti Levu. We were traveling with Pastor Sashi from the big capital city of Suva to his small town of Raki Raki. After stopping to meet and encourage another pastor, Richard, and his family at his church in the northern part of Suva, we traveled up the road to Raki Raki. It was quite stormy and had been raining for almost a week. The rivers started flooding pretty bad. Many people said it was the worst they had ever seen. We kept driving and as we crossed bridge after bridge, the streams and rivers were almost over each bridge. In the outer part of the village of Savusavu a big river flooded the bridge and road. We turned around but the road was flooded behind us too. We were stranded on a small hill near some houses along with another car behind us with five people.
     We sat in the van on the road for a couple of hours watching the rain and the floodwaters rise. We talked about life and ministry. After a while, we and the other stranded motorists were invited to wait out the storm in one of the houses nearby. We gladly accepted their invitation and hurried inside with all the others. We spent the next six hours sitting on the floor together talking and getting to know each other. We shared the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus with the people sitting there and one guy named Epeli surrendered his heart to Jesus. Pastor Dan then led him through a bible study and showed him some good passages to study. I loved seeing Pastor Dan and Pastor Sashi talk to Epeli about following Jesus! God knew why we were stranded there in that place with those people at that time! I also met and prayed with a stranded couple who were having difficulty getting pregnant, and I am believing God for a miracle. I can’t wait to visit Epeli and all my new friends in their village. He asked if Sashi and I would come and visit and plant a church there. The waters receded and we went our separate ways but I know God is at work.
    I have been home for the last couple weeks, and we are close to being fully funded. We have 93% of our support raised. Praise Jesus!!! We are still getting all of our logistics figured out for moving a family to a different country. Lord willing, we will hopefully be moved sometime in February.
    Thank you to those who are partnering with us in prayer and finances.  We cannot do this assignment without your support and God working through us.

We are working a video to show more parts of this trip. I am learning how to edit and will share as soon as I can.

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Trip to Fiji

Bula!

Today I am leaving for Fiji for a couple of weeks. I am going to be traveling with Pastor Dan Boyd of Hope Chapel Foursquare Church in Santa Rosa California. Pastor Dan has helped to plant 9 churches in Fiji with Fijian members of his congregation. He will introduce me to the pastors and Churches of which he is associated. We will be traveling to a few different islands in Fiji meeting with pastors, families, and churches. We will also preach at a Pastor’s conference and a few different churches. While we are there, I hope to figure out where we will be living when we move early next year. The goals of this trip are to build relationships, listen and learn, share the word of God, encourage any who need it, and to figure out more of our moving logistics.

Please pray for good health, safety, and for peace.

I will update you via the Blog when I have access to the internet.

It is great to have you partner with us!

Bula Vinaka!
David Bickley