We are a family turned mission team. For years we heard the call and just kept putting it off, hoping for better timing, better finances, more spiritual growth. These were just excuses. The time is always NOW! When you hear God tugging on your heartstrings GO! DO! Rise up! Have FAITH! Our time to reach people on this earth is short and we waste it every day. We all take on our unique roles in this ministry according to the gifts God has given us and it’s AWESOME. We are people just like you, full of sin, full of shame, redeemed by a Savior…stepping out in faith to meet the spiritual, physical, and mental needs of a community.
We are currently working in Tonga. Tonga is a small group of islands located in the South Pacific just northeast of New Zealand. Tonga’s culture and adoption of some western practices had led to its health demise. Type 2 Diabetes, Coronary Artery Disease, and Hypertension are all a huge problem in Tonga, yet there are limited resources to assist with both the prevention and the treatment of these top NCD (Non-communicable diseases) contenders. By the time people many people are even diagnosed for diabetes, long term damage to capillaries has already been done, often leading to amputation of body parts due to lack of blood supply. Additionally, hypertension increases risk for heart attack, coronary artery disease, and stroke. Many Tongans die young due to health issues that could have been easily prevented with education.
Our programs provide health education on disease processes, prevention and treatment. We do health screenings on individuals to bring to light their risk factors for disease. These tests include blood pressure, blood glucose, height & weight for BMI calculations, family history, and some personal lifestyle risk factors. We flag anyone who stands out and educate them further on the disease process. If we feel it is warranted, we send them to a local doctor for further testing and to possibly prescribe them some either long term or interim medication until they can make lifestyle changes that reduce the results.
We run exercise and nutrition classes 5 days a week and are currently working to build up local leadership to teach and take on a team for monthly competitions. The Tongan culture loves to play games, laugh and have a good time, so it is important that we find physical activities that they can enjoy. Currently our programs are mainly focused on women as their activity level decreases drastically after high school and obesity rates are incredibly high as well as risk factors for NCDs.
Soon we will begin a weekly kids program that will include things such as song time, bible story, craft, game/sports time and healthy snack. There will be a huge emphasis on nutrition at these meetings as kids make excellent teachers! While Tonga has professed to be a Christian country, many people are heavily weighed down by religion and don’t really know what it is to have a personal relationship with Christ or the joy that they can have living in his Spirit! We hope to reveal more of Christ in everything we do so that we can bring glory to His name in the community of Tonga!