Monday, January 15, 2007

Soon to survey

The next part of this journey in following as God leads toward missions in Vanuatu is a survey trip. I heard one missionary call such a trip a "Joshua trip" because the purpose is to go "spy out the land" and the people. The trip is scheduled for March 18-April 3, 2007, which is really soon. Lord willing, my family will be driving to my place and we'll all fly out from here to LAX airport. Air Pacific will be getting some great business then from all of us (including my dad, who is very excited to join us for this trip) and also Brad Jones as we fly out at 11:30PM Sunday night from LAX to Fiji, Fiji to Port Vila, Vanuatu (the capital). We arrive in Port Vila Tuesday morning at 9:10. The flight from LA to Nadi, Fiji is 10 hours, 40 minutes and from Nadi to Vila is 1 hour 40 minutes. We lose 18 hours going so that's part of the leaving Sunday arriving Tuesday thing. Of course, it is a long trip too. Gretchen (my sister) is planning to bring both 2 year old Jesiah and 6 month (then) Gwenyth so be praying for them in advance that they'll be able to handle all the travel and changes. I'll type more about our specific itinerary when it's more set later, but the overall purpose is to pray over the country, the people, get some great pictures, and come back with a vision for what the Lord would have us do and how. Also, I'm hoping to check out more specifics on how much it will cost to live in Vanuatu for sure and get a good feel for what it really entails to live there.

We'll also be putting in our visa applications with the local authorities (which is $500 for visa and $300 for work permit...per year). All of this trip is obviously quite costly so should the Lord move you to help out financially and in prayer, please let me know. My overall estimate for the trip is $3,500. If you are interested in the breakdown of that, let me know and I can send it to you. I'm looking for people to partner with me in this trek toward Vanuatu so if that's you, send me an e-mail. Please pray with me too that the Lord would give great wisdom and confirmation about serving in missions in Vanuatu.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Things to do...

I've told you a bit about God's leading for me and the team to minister with, but I'm sure you're wondering what exactly I'd be doing. Well, of course working with God as your boss requires quite a bit of flexibility, but there is an idea of what He seems to be calling me to do there. The overall goal for our team in Vanuatu is church-planting, meaning evangelism (telling people the gospel, or good news about Jesus Christ dying for our sins Romans 5:8, raising from the dead 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, and allowing spiritual birth John 3:3-6 and escape from hell and gift of eternal life Romans 6:23 for all who believe in Him Romans 1:16), discipleship (coming alongside believers to show and teach them about growth to be more like Christ Matthew 28:19-20), and leadership training (teaching about leadership in the church and planting, or starting a church with these native leaders 1 Timothy 3). You can check out all these verse references at if you are interested or e-mail me and we can chat more about them. Anyway, I would be doing these church-planting activities with women and children, Lord willing in the town of Luganville of about 9,000 people on the island of Santo

My role for our team (see last post for pictures and names) is as the logistics lady. I am in charge of paperwork, research, communications with my team members out in the bush villages (the Richards and Jones), collecting supplies, and any organizing or planning I can do. Who knows what that will all look like in the field, but that is the idea so far! I'm starting to fill that role to some degree now. Right now in my job as a school counselor I often comment to friends that I should have been a secretary rather than a counselor because paperwork is my favorite part of my job (when I have the time to do it)! It is awesome how God allowed something that gives me joy and "floats my boat" to be a role I can fill for our team!

Places to go, People to see

PLACES: So now that you know I am heading toward Vanuatu, Lord-willing, maybe you want to know who with and where on earth it is! Here's a pretty good picture of where Vanuatu is in the world. It's about 83 islands off the coast of Australia. An organization called Biblical Ministries Worldwide (BMW, but no, we don't get a free BMW by signing up...) accepted me this summer after a growing, but grueling time of testing and interviews. They can be checked out at for doctrinal position, mission fields reached, vision in ministry, etc.
So, places to go is here, now just people to with (and minister with, of course)! Our team is made up of 3 families and myself. My sister, Gretchen, and her family is going (Houghton and kids Jesiah (2) and Gwenyth (3 months)), as well as the Jones' (Brad and Amber with Zoe and baby on the way) and the Gibbs (Steve and Jane with 6 kids - Matt, Tiffany, Jennifer, Emily, Ethan, and Rose). No, you can't tell that Gretchen and I are sisters by this or any picture. She's the really pregnant one here holding Jesiah, my super-cute nephew. Here's a picture of all of us (minus 4 of the Gibb's kids and Gwenyth, who was born a few months later) at our candidate orientation this last summer in Georgia.You can check more out about some of them at their sites: the Richards (my family) have a blog at and the Gibbs have a website at

The trek toward Vanuatu

So the adventure continues as a believer in Christ. May it be true of me that "our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Thessalonians 1:11b-12

The Lord is leading me toward missions and seemingly toward Vanuatu (check out for great pictures and info on Vanuatu). Please pray with me for provision (it's a bit pricey to fly across the world and live there) and for God's continual direction in my life - that His name would be glorified in me!

By the way, Psalm 96:3, the name of this site, seems an appropriate life missions verse: "Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples." I pray that is my task now and wherever in the world the Lord takes me.