Monday, June 15, 2015

Guest Blogger: Phil Klutts

Ed. Note: In an effort to get the blog back in action, I've asked my good friend Phil Klutts of Edmond, OK to contribute a post overviewing his recent trip to Vanuatu...

My wife and I first traveled to Vanuatu in the summer of 2014.  I didn’t expect to return so soon, but Cyclone Pam brought me back.  This time, I made the trip with the Ben & Tara Bruner and my dad, Larry, after Eric requested some help for cyclone relief work. I had never met Ben or Tara Bruner, and my dad had never met the Bruners or the Brandells. Last Saturday the 4 of us met in Dallas and made the plane rides to Port Vila to stay with Eric, Shawnda & the kids.  We had a week full of various projects ranging from construction to encouragement and many odd jobs in between. We arrived on Monday June 1st and stayed until Monday the 8th.

The men spent the majority of the week in Etas village completing demolition on the old Etas church building and preparing footings for the new cinderblock building to be constructed later this summer.

Ben, Phil, & Eric before the work started
Several of the men and youth from Etas helped put the finishing touches on our work on Saturday. 

The girls (Shawnda and Tara) ran errands and regular tasks (like keeping up with 3 children), kept us well fed, and I’m sure many other things that I missed! 

Shawnda & Tara: Tortillas!

Alexis Lynae and Tara Lynae :)
Our visit ended with a combined Sunday service in Eton and a few “tourist” activities before we left. 

Larry delivers the message with Eric translating

In summary, our week included a lot of physical work, old friends, new friends, tons of encouragement, and a whole lot of God’s blessings. It was wonderful to connect with Christians around the world and see first-hand the great work that Eric & Shawnda are leading for God’s Kingdom.