|Welcomed by the Tulwei Village, Malekula congregation|
Monday, November 2, 2015
We welcomed our very own HIM (Helper in Missions) worker in September, Abbie Bryant. Abbie will be apprenticing with us for two years, as she learns the ropes of foreign mission work. The HIM program is a ministry of the Memorial Road Church of Christ in Edmond, OK, and closely associated with Oklahoma Christian University.
Note: I debated whether to title this entry as bathroom remodel or toilet remodel. You see, in most parts of the world (including Vanuatu), people distinguish between the room you bathe in and the room you “toilet” in. But alas, since most of my readers are Stateside, I went with “bathroom” even though we actually remodeled the place we “toilet.” So, now you know…
Cyclone Pam passed by the northern islands of Vanuatu on the far east side, and so our house on the northwest side of the Malekula was fairly sheltered. Nonetheless, our toilet room took a pretty good beating from the wind and rain, not to mention the fact that I only had sheets of plywood to make the walls during our last remodel back in 2013.
Flexon and I were recently able to spend a day replacing the old plywood walls with woven bamboo. I LOVE the look of freshly cut/woven bamboo … if only it would stay that fresh looking! We walked about an hour to Flexon’s garden, cut down the bamboo stalks, carried them back to the house, split them each in half, fanned out the halves, wove the panels, and nailed them up. Not too shabby!
|Flexon (green) and Titus (blue) carrying bamboo|
|Split and fanned|
|.... and voila! (new door to come)|
We continue to see God causing the increase and opening up doors of opportunity into new areas. In part five of this series, we would like to introduce you to two new Christians in the Etas Area of Efate Island.
We’ve seen a significant influx of visitors to the Sunday assemblies in Etas this year. The leaders asked me to conduct a week long gospel meeting back in June, with a view towards prompting a decision of faith in these new contacts. We were excited that Ruth and Lois decided to be baptized into Christ shortly thereafter. There are many others (8-12) who appear to be close to making a similar decision, and we pray that the Etas congregation can continue to reach out to their friends and neighbors.
|Ruth (center) and Lois (right) after being baptized into Christ by Timothy|
We continue to see God causing the increase and opening up doors of opportunity into new areas. In part four of this series, we would like to introduce you to two new Christians from Iannuhup Village in South Tanna Island.
Tom took me on my first visit to Iannuhup Village back in May 2013, at the request of a village leader there, Daniel. We spent several hours studying and answering questions with 12 souls that day.
Tom subsequently followed up in the village, with George (Tom’s cousin) and Alice taking a special interest in the studies. I am happy to report that the couple was baptized during my most recent trip to Tanna. Iannuhup is about an hour’s walk from Iatukun (Tom’s village), and the plan is for them to continue assembling with them until there are others in Iannuhup to meet with. George and Alice specifically requested prayers for their marriage, that they can effectively implement God’s plan for their relationship.
|Tom getting ready to baptize his cousin George|
|George and Alice, after being baptized by Tom (center)|
|George and Alice after church on Sunday, along with their kids and George's mom, Mary|
We continue to see God causing the increase and opening up doors of opportunity into new areas. In part three of this series, we would like to introduce you to new contacts in Lousinganu Village in Central Tanna Island.
I had the pleasure to spend a week in Lousinganu Village last month. I was scheduled to spend the week with the Loun/Lorakau congregation, but they requested that we conduct a series of lessons in nearby Lousinganu instead. Thomas, his wife (Mary), and his brother (Peter), have been making the 45 minute one-way walk to meet with the Christians in Loun most Sundays for several months. They were originally contacted by Thomas and Peter’s uncle, Harry, who is one of the church leaders.
We had some 20 adult visitors attend the afternoon studies each day, in addition to 10-15 church members. We are hopeful that the seeds planted during the week will take root and grow into faithful disciples, and perhaps there will be a church meeting in Lousinganu in the months to come.
|Afternoon study in Lousinganu|
|Thomas and Mary along with their kids and extended family members|
We continue to see God causing the increase and opening up doors of opportunity into new areas. In part two of this series, we would like to update you on the activity in the Green Point Area of South Tanna Island.
After spending most of 2014 in Port Vila because of the medical needs of their youngest son, Jack and Anna returned home to Tanna Island late last year, and this year began actively living out their faith in Green Point. Jack and I spent countless hours studying together in 2014, and it is such a pleasure to see his spiritual maturity. Anna and Shawnda also studied together once per week during that year, and she is an absolute jewel. They report that the Sunday assemblies they host at their home have 10-20 adult and children visitors each week.
By all accounts, Jack was the definition of a “brawler” before he turned his life over to Jesus, and many in his home village are stunned at the transformation they've seen in his life. We are excited by his determination to let his light shine, and pray that many others will follow his and Anna’s good example in South Tanna.
|Jack and Anna, along with boys Saing and Ralph, and Jack's aunt|
We continue to see God causing the increase and opening up doors of opportunity into new areas. In part one of this series, we would like to introduce you to two new Christians from Wiaru Village in North Malekula Island.
I met Christine & William during my first trip to Malekula back in 2009. I was originally taken to Malekula by Flexon, and Christine is his eldest sister. She and William live about a 3 hour walk inland from Tulwei Village, which is where our family was based from 2011 to 2013.
We are excited to report that William and Christine were baptized into Christ recently. Both Flexon and his younger brother Alsen were instrumental in studying with and converting them. You may also recall me mentioning their son, Atison, several times in recent blog posts and reports. It is exciting to see this family continue to reach out to their loved ones with the good news.
Alsen and his wife recently moved inland, and are now only about a 20 minute walk from Wiaru, and so the two families are able to gather together each Sunday for a time of worship and encouragement. They have several regular visitors from the community that are meeting with them as well. We are planning to conduct an open air gospel meeting in 2016 in Wiaru, and look forward to the fruit that might be gleaned.