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February 2014 News

Rietvelds return to their beloved Solomons

  • Written by  Profile: Ian Anderson
Kevin & Machi Rietveld can’t wait to return to the Solomons Photo: Provided

After spending 14 years as missionaries in the Solomon Islands, retired couple Kevin and Machi Rietveld can’t keep away.

The couple will be leading a team from their church, Toowoomba Christian Reformed Church, back to the Solomons later this year.

While now retired and living in Toowoomba, Kevin and Machi still get excited about missions, and are looking forward to returning to the Solomon Islands, where they were appointed to a mission called SWIM – Short Workshops In Mission – in 1998.

“Both Machi and myself were involved in teaching ministry, and running workshops for church leaders in the areas of Sunday School teaching, women’s and children’s ministry, preaching, pastoral care and theology,” said Kevin.

“We would travel around the Islands and hold such workshops in different centres, some of which were quite remote.”

Kevin said they were joined by another couple in 2001 and expanded the work to include practical projects such as helping to build or rebuild clinics and school classrooms.

“We commenced a school at the Central hospital for patient children, and developed and ran another training centre for people with disabilities,” he said.

The upcoming mission trip involves a team aged from 15 to 65. They plan to upgrade a health clinic that is in disrepair, located in Yandina, in the Russel Islands, which is a 5-hour boat trip from the capital Honiara.

“This area has suffered a lot in recent years when the region’s major employer ceased operations,” said Kevin. “In addition, we will be running programs for the children and youth, as well as training local women to become leaders to start up Know Your Bible groups.”

Kevin said the best way to help the team as they plan and eventually go is through prayer.

“Please pray that people will be receptive to the mission, that we will have good contact beforehand so we can plan well for the refurbishing of the clinic, and for donations to assist with purchasing materials.”

For more information or to donate, please call Toowoomba Christian Reformed Church on 4634 870.

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