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I was so very excited to see the progress on the Green Hill Teouma Primary School today! It is looking wonderful!
The new school year starts in February in Vanuatu and we want the building to be completed for the teachers and children, who lost their school building to Cyclone Pam 10 months ago.
On the downside, work on the school stopped today because we ran out of money. We still need louvre windows, paint, ceilings and worker’s wages. All US donations can be sent to: AGWM, 1445 Boonville Ave, Springfield, MO. 65802 USA. The project #5778 Green Hill Teouma Rebuilding. Thank you!
Photo above: to the right of the school sign, the first shelter is the temporary church with a silver plastic tarp for a roof and behind the church is a new green metal roof building. The green roof building is the new 3 room classroom building for the primary school. Cyclone Pam destroyed the church and school in March.
I was very excited on December 23, to go up to Green Hill Teouma and check on the progress of the new building. Since the rains have started, the road to Green Hill is an hour long 4 wheel drive mud adventure. A group of nine men have been working for a several weeks on the new school building and I was anxious to see what they had accomplished since my previous visit.
The roof is on!
It has been a challenge to build so far off the main road. Most hardware stores and suppliers will not deliver to Green Hill so we have had to use a 4WD pick-up truck to haul materials. We started in November pouring the concrete slab in severe drought conditions, which necessitated the hauling of water from 45 minutes away to mix the concrete. Then when we got ready to put on the roof, the rains started and the road is now flooded! We are happy for the rain as the community had emptied their drinking water tanks!
To this point, the new school building has been financed by ACCIR in Australia. We are so grateful for their partnership. The siding for the building and doors have already been purchased but we are lacking funds for some important items to finish it:
US$3000 – one more month of worker’s salaries
US$700 – masonite sheets for the ceiling
US$700 – timber for knockings
US$1200 – louvre window frames and glass
US$2000 – wood primer and paint
Please label donations for Green Hill School Project #5778 if you are donating through AGWM. Thank you!
Since Cyclone Pam struck in mid-March, I have found myself going to the end of so many roads. Roads I never really paid attention to. Roads I never thought went anywhere. These roads have taken me to hundreds of people I never knew existed, living in small settlements tucked away in the hills, all within an hour of Port Vila.
On Sunday, we were able to go to the end of yet another road and visit the people of Rangorango. Pastor Charley Job (JBI grad) has supported this new church plant and wanted us to see it. He sent a 4 wheel drive vehicle to pick us up as the road is not very good.
The pastor of the Rangorango church, is a 2013 JBI graduate, Pastor David Willie. The people living in these hills are from his home island of Tanna and the majority of them are truly unreached.
It sounded like a short drive, “just follow the road to the end of the airport runway and go up the hill.” But to get to the Rangorango church, you keep driving up and over many high hills and sliding through some muddy low areas. When you are almost at end of the road, you turn off into the tall grass and keep going until you get to a big tree. We parked there and walked down a path. Sitting high on the side of a hill is a clearing with a large shelter covered in various colors of plastic sheeting and a small house, this is the Assemblies of God church. It was so wonderful to see Pastor David and within minutes, people started appearing from different directions until the church was full.
Gary had already preached on the radio that morning at 8 a.m. but he was happy to preach again. We had a wonderful service and several came forward for prayer.
After service, I was asked to make an address on the importance of education, a first for me. Pastor Charley Job is very concerned because there is not a school anywhere in these hills. The children either have to be sent to live with relatives elsewhere to attend school or they stay home and miss out. The families connected to this small church alone have at least 50 children amongst them. The community needs at least a kindergarten. Pastor Charley has started schools elsewhere and wanted me to encourage them to start a kindergarten.
After a lovely lunch, we headed back to town.
Later the community had a meeting and it was decided to start a kindergarten at the church in 2016. This will be a wonderful way for the church to reach out to all the children in this area.
They will build a one room schoolhouse and look within their community for a teacher. Pastor Charley and the Green Hill Primary School will help them organize and we want to help them with some basic furniture and school supplies.
Will you help us provide some basic school supplies for the children of Rangorango?
On Wednesday, April 8th, I (Lori) was asked to become the treasurer of the newly formed Vanuatu AOG Church National Disaster Committee which will serve as the official voice for fundraising and rebuilding.
Our task is to rebuild church facilities damaged or totally destroyed during the passage of Cyclone Pam (March 13-15, 2015) and to continue food distribution in specific areas of need.
We have met five times in the last 10 days in order to open a new bank account and compile information. We are handing all the incoming damage assessment reports and photos of church properties. The information has been put on computer and priority lists are now in place. We have a few Assemblies of God churches in outer islands which have not yet been visited and their buildings may also be damaged.
This level of devastation in so many different places and islands by one cyclone, is unprecedented, I believe, in Vanuatu history. 188,000 people were directly affected by this cyclone, having lost homes, subsistence farms, and/or businesses. Our church members are among them.
Fifty-one Assemblies of God church buildings on four different islands have had damage assessments. 31 of 51 are totally destroyed. The remaining twenty churches suffered damage, mostly iron roofs and timbers blown away.
Pastor Hosea of Karimasanga, South Tanna, (pictured above) is standing in the doorway of their village church. Nothing is left of their building. He also lost his house and many belongings.
Will you please share our need with others who may also be able to help us?
Joy Bible Institute was heavily damaged by Cyclone Pam. This is a photo of the girl’s dorm lounge and kitchen. The roof blew off and fell inside. Torrential rains poured in and flooded the whole house. The ground floor of this building is the school’s library which was in turn flooded. Water was ankle deep in the library after the storm. We do not know if any of the 3000 library books or furniture will be salvageable.
The roof of the boy’s bathhouse, laundry and workshop was totally blown away.
This is a picture of the girl’s dorm (above) on the left and a pile of rubble on the right. That rubble used to be a very nice storage shed for tools and a carport where the girls hung their laundry. The windows are still boarded up as Cyclone Nathan on the Australian coast was forecast to possibly pass through Vanuatu this week.
At the school’s administrative office and guestroom, two large trees fell on the building. On the front side, the roof is very damaged and a lot of water also went into the rooms. Visiting teacher, Maurice Nicholson and his son Ian, were sheltering here during the storm. We thank the Lord for protecting them.
On the left is a picture of our Dean of Students house which we just finished renovating in December 2014. New electrical wiring and light fixtures were installed. The bathroom was gutted and redone, new kitchen cupboard added, paint and flooring.
Unfortunately, the cyclone took off the front half of the roof and water soaked through the ceiling and it collapsed inward. Furniture was also ruined. Another section of the roof went off in the master bedroom.
Pastor Kiel and his wife had a daughter born just a few days before the cyclone hit. They were in this house with their two children and our female JBI students sheltering from the storm when the roof went off. As the high winds were thrashing things inside the house, they ran out through the night to another building for shelter. That is an extremely dangerous thing to do, as flying objects are what often kill people during cyclones. Again we thank God for his protection over them. We are so thankful that the baby was born just before the cyclone arrived as the maternity ward at the city hospital is now damaged and closed.
The porch roof on the Joy Memorial Chapel was ripped off also. The rest of the roof did not fly away though. Thank you to Michael who came and replaced the steel cables which hold the roof down to the ground a few months ago. Without the new cables, I think the whole roof would have come off.
The three newest concrete buildings to the campus; the classrooms, the married dorm, and the new mission house, all survived the storm. They have some water damage and some buckled roof ridging but all in all they held remarkably well in the face of winds of 320kmph. The students took refuge in one of the classrooms and another teacher and his family camped out in the other.
There is a lot of school equipment and furniture that has been damaged by the flooding. We do not have a list of everything which we will need to be replaced. We are so grateful to Tony for taking pictures of the damage for us. We are still in the USA and due to return to Vanuatu on March 28.
At this point, we estimate needing at least US$150,000 to begin to adequately replace the things we have mentioned in this article. Thank you for considering the needs of Joy Bible Institute.
We have just launched a new website about the ministry of Joy Bible Institute. It is still in development, and is primarily for students and prospective students, but you are welcome to take a closer look at life on campus! Check us out at www.joybible.wordpress.com.