with Joel & Terri
When leaving for the mission field Joel and Terri could not have imagined what would be in store for them as they purposefully moved forward. Every year brought new challenges and big changes. Being obedient to what your 'gut' tells you to do, even when your mind keeps pondering the logistics and viability of the plans folding out in front of you, is overwhelming enough when you are in familiar surroundings. Adding in a new culture, misinterpreted hand gestures and realizing English is not always the same language makes for some fun stories and conversations.
Keeping your humor and being flexible is a must! Nothing starts on time and nobody arrives when they say they will. Changing your mindset of what "being on time" means, can challenge ones sense of humor! When making plans to get together, changing your phrase, "Dinner will be at 5 o'clock sharp!" has changed to "Dinner at 5 o'clock SHARP-ISH!"
Mereiani Veikoso is the first employee of Joel and Terri's Fiji Charitable Trust, Ruel Foundation (Fiji). June through August 2019 will be the first time the work will continue while the Shafer's return to the US for their annual fundraising! This is a big step towards the missions' sustainability in Fiji. They want to ensure the work will continue long after their work is done.
Mereiani is certified as a Care Giver and has a heart for both ministry and healthcare. She has struggled to see how both could be done at once. During the most recent surgical outreach, with Loloma Foundation, she was able to experience exactly how God plans to use her and her abilities!
After assisting in locating, screening and transporting patients for surgical treatment, she watched as patients began sharing stories of the Gospel and prayers with anyone willing to listen. Seeing God's plan in action helped her see the difference she can make!
Terri also has a varied range of experience. Early on she was a clinic manager of a veterinarian hospital. Most recently she worked as an EMT, firefighter and a surgical scrub technician. Medical Management and triage are her specialties!
Joel & Terri entered the mission field with a broad base of experience. Joel worked 10 years as a certified auto mechanic, 10 years in HVAC, 3 years in farm irrigation and retired after 21 years in the Armed Services. He even obtained construction experience in high school. Over the last 4 years he has pulled from this knowledge base many time over!