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I thought it was time to update the progress on the missionary house being built on the JBI campus. Lori has been overseeing this project all year from the building permits, the site excavation, to the day to day purchasing and construction progress. It has been a physically demanding project for her as it follows two other construction projects (JBI classroom and married dorm) she coordinated.
We had several weeks of rainy weather in November which really delayed the roofing stage. The metal roof is now on and the roof structure is well-strapped due to frequent hurricanes.
This month we set the water pipes and electrical conduit before the inside walls could be plastered. The plastering has taken a couple of weeks but only doorways and window frames remain to be finished after the Christmas break. The guys have really worked hard.
The list of things to finish still seems very long at this point.
In all this progress, we found out that our landlord wants us to move out before the end of January. The new house will not be ready by then. Staying longer in our rental is not an option as the landlord plans to live in the house himself. So it looks like we will be moving to the school apartment and camping out for a while. As soon as we can get the house livable, we need to move in!
Secondly, all the financing for the house so far, has come from a mission housing loan and a donation from ActioNow but it is becoming apparent that we do not have enough funds to complete it. We need windows, utility hookup, septic tank, light fixtures, closets, kitchen cabinets and worker’s wages.
This house is very important to us in so many ways. We have served at JBI since 2007 but have been unable to live on campus. Living elsewhere requires a lot of commuting and distances us from the JBI community. Secondly, rental houses are very expensive here and as our monthly support decreases the need for cheaper housing has increased.
Would you be able to help us with a special offering to complete this house? The project number is 5677. Thank you so much for your help!
Today Gary was working on some financial reports concerning expenditures from the beginning of this year. While figuring out the exchange rate between the US dollar and our local currency, we realized that the dollar has steadily dropped in value this year while grocery prices get staggeringly higher! I started making homemade mayonnaise this week as the mayonnaise in the store is now selling for 1650 vatu a jar which is US$18.96! That is only a 32oz jar by the way! I know it is unbelievable, that is why we took a photo of it!
In the midst of these challenging economic times, we are ever so grateful to the faithful support of so many! Thank you!
Thank you for your prayers and letters of concern for Jeremy. He is doing better every day. His appetite has returned and he is making up for those days when he did not eat! He will go for another chest x-ray in October to evaluate the pneumonia. Thank you for praying for his full recovery!
It has been extremely hot and humid the last few days and everyone agrees that summer has come to Vanuatu! Though for some of us “dreaming of a white Christmas” may mean dreaming of a couple of hours in air conditioning, the 25th will soon be here and the time has come to put up the artificial tree and play the Christmas carols!
Our living room is not going to be in perfect condition this year as we still have an assortment of moving boxes cluttering the house. We have squeezed ourselves in to a small rental house while we wait for our campus house to be renovated. Most of our things have gone to storage for the next year but the Christmas tree and trimmings were kept out. Friday we started decorating the tree with the help of Nicole, a Peace Corps volunteer who came for lunch, and yesterday we finished it. Jasmine and Jeremy are proudly sitting in front of it in their pajamas to see the lights turned on.
In reminiscing, we realized that this Christmas tree has been with us for many years now and that we have trimmed it in Togo, West Africa, Belgium and French Polynesia. We thank the Lord for his faithfulness to us through the years and the doors of ministry he has opened to us. We pray God’s blessing on you and your family as you prepare your heart and home for Christmas.