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On a Sunday in late November 2015, we had visited the church in that rural farming community. Gary had preached and I was asked at the close of the morning service to give a pep-talk to the church people about launching their own kindergarten. There is no school of any kind for miles around so all children must leave home and live with relatives elsewhere if they want to start their education. I do not normally give such pep-talks but in light of the lack of education for the children, it was not difficult to underscore the need and their ability to do something for their children. The church itself had 50 children in attendance that morning!
So to be asked just five months later to come and attend the opening of the first kindergarten was awesome!
JBI Dean of students, Pastor Kiel Maimai and a group of JBI students accompanied me and Jasmine. Pastor Kiel and the students were to speak in the Sunday morning service which would follow the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the kindergarten.
Welcome speeches were given by Pastor Charley Job and the community leaders. The chief announced the name of the school as LoriNafeNaka Kindergarten and it was unexpected to be thus honored. The next day was my birthday so it was a very special gift. The other parts of the name identify the two language groups the school will serve.
The kindergarten was made of local materials by the community and sits on the church property. I was asked to cut the vine across the door with a machete knife and then we went inside to look at the lovely schoolroom.
Group photo above: myself, Mrs. Charley Job, Pastor Charley Job from Green Hill, JBI students, Pastor Kiel Maimai, and local Pastor David Willie. Pastor David Willie (photo below) is a 2013 JBI graduate and became the pastor of the church after graduating. Rangorango began as an outreach of Green Hill church and many people have come to Christ.
Sunday morning services are held under blue plastic tarps as the former building was destroyed by Cyclone Pam last year. This community depends on market gardening for income and was very hard hit by last year’s cyclone and the drought which followed. The JBI students led the morning service, shared testimonies and song, and then Pastor Kiel preached. We had a wonderful service and a potluck dinner followed.
Please pray for Pastor David Willie and his family as they minister among the people of Rangorango. Please pray for the kindergarten teacher and the little ones being taught each day. If you would like to help provide a more permanent church roof for this congregation or school supplies, please contact us.
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!
Hi! My name is Lucy and I am about to fly to the island of Santo. I am going to be living in the bush and working with itinerant preachers Gino and Freddie. They graduated from Joy Bible Institute last year and are now taking care of five rural churches and teach “religious education” in a primary school. I hear that I am going to be in great demand once I get there! Will you please pray for them as they share God’s love to adults and children alike?
P.S. We could really use some reinforcements here…do you have any puppet friends you are not using? Maybe your church kids could take up an offering to pay for the postage to send them to Vanuatu! I can guarantee that they will be very busy here working with JBI graduates!
Gotta go catch my plane…
Thanks so much,
It is always such an encouragement when someone writes and says they are coming to Vanuatu for a holiday and would like to help out on campus for a day! Last week the Gregson family from Australia did just that. They came and joyfully did some very dirty cleanup jobs and maintenance at JBI for us. We enjoyed meeting them and cannot thank them enough for their help when they could have been sightseeing or swimming at the beach! Blessings!
Twenty JBI students have headed to Santo today for a two week mission trip. Yesterday, they were all ready to set sail but a severe weather front kept the ship at port. This morning it was still very stormy but by afternoon the sun was shining as the “Santo Queen” left port with 18 happy students, spouses, six puppets, boxes of literature, and a whole lot of baggage!
The students have been preparing all year for this trip. They raised all the money to cover their costs, fasted once a week as a student body, prepared a children’s program, and so much more. As graduation approached, the teary graduates have been happy to prolong their time with classmates by a couple more weeks of joint ministry and adventure…this kind of endeavor in Vanuatu is always a bit of an adventure. They are on the high seas tonight, 24 hours of travel time, stopping to unload passengers at several islands and then arriving on Santo later tomorrow afternoon. Once on the island of Santo they will start trekking to churches and villages in bush areas.
Pastor Philip and ourselves will be flying to Santo shortly to join the students. Please pray for us all as we go, taking the Gospel to those who have yet to hear or understand that this Good News is for them.
It was a sunny but very windy Sunday morning when we visited a new church in the Bladiniere neighborhood. This church is pastored by Pastor Kiel, our own JBI Dean of Students. The open building was packed with an enthusiastic group of people for worship. They are currently meeting on borrowed land and would like to buy two nearby house lots for their future church building. Would you like to help them? During the week this church runs a free day school for underprivileged children with sixty-five children currently attending!
We were just recently asked how important our STL “Speed the Light” vehicle was to our work. The answer is, “It is ESSENTIAL!”
When we moved to Vanuatu, we were over a month without a car. The day to day trips to the Post Office, the bank, the grocery store, and the many other errands were time-consuming and tiring without a car but they were possible. We walked many miles during those weeks, rode the bus and once in a while took a taxi. The whole time we were dreaming of the day we would have our own car again!
What was harder during those weeks, was riding the bus to church and ministry to places out of town was impossible! We got rides in the back of a pickup truck to some of our first out of town services but you can imagine how limited we were as to where we could go and what we could do!
The roads around the island of Efate are very rough and even in town, turning off the main road in the rainy season can often require using 4 wheel drive! The photo above was taken this morning as we drove to Fresh Wota, a church right in town! We are very grateful to the young people in Indiana who have raised the money to provide us with a car these many years! Thank you for giving us the wheels to go wherever needed!
Yesterday, we ministered at Ekoftau Assembly of God and witnessed a colorful Christmas gift-giving custom. The Women’s Ministry ladies of the church filed by the pastoral staff draping a four yard length of cloth around each neck and piling household gifts at their feet. Leis of flowers and leaves were added and baby powder was generously sprinkled around each neck and over clothes! A true celebration here always includes a generous sprinkle of talcum powder and a spray of cologne. By the time it was finished the pastoral staff was dwarfed by the lengths of cloth and colors! Gary and I were not forgotten in the event as the ladies draped material and powdered our necks too!