Saturday, December 5, 2009


Wahoo, we graduated!  I now have a year of linguistics skills under my belt for ministry in Vanuatu.  I pray it is to the Lord's glory and the good of a people group in Vanuatu!  Please pray for the students from this year that God would enable us to use what we have learned to honor Him and that people would come to know Him as a result.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Newsletter Dec. 09 side b

New Address and newsletter side A

Please note to the right my new address for the remainder of the time I'll be in Australia.  Here's side 1 of my last newsletter.

Last class of the year

Thank you to all of you who prayed for stamina for us to finish out the year well.  We finished all of our Semester 2 classes up the 2nd week of November and then had just one class for the last week of school before graduation.  It was a great change of pace in that we were in a different area than the regular classroom, were able to spend most of our class time working on the assignment, and we had group presentations outside at a beautiful venue a bit of a drive away from the school.  The class was program planning/program design management so it was useful for our team to work together to plan out how we see things fitting into where we see God leading us in the next few years.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Great Ocean Road

The "Dodgy D Dorm" dames (single girls at the school) had a last hang-out, going for a drive to see the "12 Apostles" on the Great Ocean Road south-west of here.  It is a gorgeous drive and we had good quality time together.  Had it been warmer I would have jumped in the ocean but it was just a bit too nippy for me.  I'll get my fill of bathwater temperature ocean water in Vanuatu so I'm happy to save myself for that.  :)  Here are some pics from the trip.

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Blue Tongue Lizard Visitor

Blue tongue lizards have been found by the kids around campus but I still didn't expect this one to come waddling into my room from where it had been wandering the HALLWAY of our dorm.  I'm really not sure how on earth this big guy (he was at least 12 inches) got into our dorm in the first place.  It made me pretty nervous about snakes after that.  I don't mind non-poisonous snakes, but they have some nasties here and our dorm has more than its fair share of tasty mice running around for them to come eat.  Anyway, I chased him out of my room but rather than heading him off toward the outside door, he managed to get in another girl's room.  I figured my dorm-mate wouldn't appreciate me telling her a big lizard was hanging out somewhere in her room.  So, I rushed to an Aussie student's room to ask if these guys bite and she helped me herd him out of the room and back into the great outdoors.  Apparently they bite but aren't poisonous.  I considered picking him up but decided to use cricket wickets to move him instead and save my hands.  Here's how he looked where he was supposed to be... in our front yard.  Sorry, he didn't give me any tongue to show off to you.  :)

Semester 2 language work

Rather than learn another language our last semester of school (like we did with the Tanna, Vanuatu language in Summer school), we learned how to document a language.  This is useful for especially endangered languages or just for getting a lot of language data that can be used by people from all disciplines.  I did language documentation with Farsi and my partner Elyse and I had a lovely Iranian language helper.  We went to her house one day to enjoy some Iranian food and had some very interesting food and got to meet her son and a friend.  The main dish was delicious and the sides yummy.  In desserts they use a lot of rosewater so I think that may be an acquired taste.  Here's some pics of our tasty treats!  Our langauge helper is off to Iran now for a visit but hopefully she'll keep working with Equip students in future years if we didn't scare her off too badly.  :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

David & Alana

The end of September, we had visitors David (Lumpy) and Alana stay on campus with us for two weeks.  We are all praying about the possibility of them working with us in Vanuatu as logisitics support.  In other words, they would be living in Vila (the capital city) and would hook us up with sending us supplies in the bush, be our emergency contact, help us out with transport for you when you come to visit us, etc.  They are a fun, genuine couple truly desiring to serve the Lord and others.  We are so blessed to have had the chance to get to know them and hang out for a few weeks.  They have just recently moved way up to northern Australia to live and work in an Aboriginal community.  They have commitments for the next year or so there, so we will all continue to pray about God's leading for our team.  Please pray with us and for David and Alana that the Lord would especially use this time in their lives to prepare them for future ministry, whether that be with us or others. 

While they were here, we went to my 1st ever rugby game, which is pretty wild to see.  We also drove about 1 1/2 hours from here up the mountains to snow.  David and Alana hadn't seen snow in TWENTY-SOME years - can you imagine?  It's not common in Australia, by the way.  :)  So it was fun to experience with them.  Alana made her first ever snow angel!  We drove through some areas that were burnt in the bush fires here the beginning of last year and it was eerie to see how much damage fire can really do, yet amazing to see how vibrant new growth is.  It made me think of the verse that says "He gave me beauty for ashes..." 

Check out the very last picture.  Lumpy does some photography and took this one of one of our albino kangaroos looking at a bunny.  So cute!  :)

Check out the video!!

Hey friends!  A few months ago we made a new video with some ministry updates.  Hopefully a lot of you have seen it or will see it at your churches.  We sent loads out to churches we presented at on our travels in the US before coming overseas.  If you haven't seen it yet, check with your pastor to ask if your church received a video.  Watch it here (cuts off the last 1/4 of the screen on the right) or click the YouTube link below to see the full version.  Enjoy!

Team Vanuatu video 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Operation Christmas child

Operation Christmas child ( is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse which packs shoeboxes to send to kids all around the world. They include gifts that are fun for Christmas - something to play with, school supplies, something to wear, etc. - as well as packing the Gospel in the language of the area they are sent to. Our church pastor's wife is a mega-deals-shopper and gets stuff throughout the year to pack into boxes. We helped out on a Saturday and packed tons of the things! It was a fun day and we pray that the boxes have an eternal impact around the world!

Vanuatu Ventures Sept. 09 newsletter

Click on the image to enlarge.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vanuatu friends

Last week we had fantastic visitors - friends we met in Vanuatu! Pete and Liz were in town for work and stopped in to see us. We first met them when they were helping out SIL in Vanuatu but then they ditched us there to come back to Australia of all places. Crazy people! :) When we came over to AUS in December last year, they hung out with us a bit in Sydney when we had a layover before flying down to school in Melbourne. Hopefully we'll get to see each other again before we head back to Vanuatu!

girls and make-up

Grace on our team just turned 13 this year. She is growing up! When I was about her age, my mom went with me to a make-up party put on by a lady in our church. It was a great opportunity to kick-off wearing make-up and also learn some make-up application skills. To my mom's chagrine, I of course still dabbled quite a bit in thick black eyeliner and teal mascara for awhile, but I like to think I've come around a bit in my ability to use more flattering stuff. :) Anyway, Gretch and I suggested the idea to Tania, who found an Aussie Mary Kay consultant and we had a make-up party. It was a fun time. Here are some during and after pictures from our girl's night.
Tania giving Grace a hand.Gretchen shows us alternative places to put our make-up... :) Elyse and I pucker up. Tania shows off her best fish face.
And.... the after pictures. Gretch, Grace, Elyse, me, Tania.

Friday, August 28, 2009


We attend a great international church about 1/2 hour drive away from Kangaroo Ground. It's in a little suburb called Watsonia. Here are some pictures from various things we've been involved in there. Pastor and his wife are great at making everyone feel welcome and loved. We've been invited as a big group over to their place for lunch every so often after church and are impressed with her ability to cook for a huge crowd. They are church planters from the States and have two children of high school and college age.

The church meets in an elementary school so there is quite a bit of set-up and tear-down each week but it is a good size space for the group and is a fairly established church plant. Just this month an Arabic service was started for the large Lebonese population in the church. There are quite a few Philippino attendees and others from other countries so we enjoy the diversity there.

In an earlier post I mentioned the VBS-ish day we were involved in. Every so often we sing or play as a small group or in a choir. We've been practicing for Christmas for some choir pieces and also some songs using chimes, a first for me. We help with nursery and children's church from time-to-time.

In a week or so I'll post pictures from the missions conference. Videos will soon be coming your way that we showed for the missions conference and that show some updates from this last year that we've been away. The missions conference ended with an international dinner. Who can say no to trying all kinds of new foods!

One Story

An opportunity presented itself on campus to attend a workshop called One Story ( The workshop was for a full weekend and was hands-on, super practical, and interesting. We learned how to tell a Bible story in an engaging, interesting way that can be remembered for the listeners to then be able to retell the story to their friends and family. We also learned how to lead a Bible study with Bible storytelling techniques. During the weekend we worked with partners to learn two stories. At the end of the weekend, we told our stories to an audience on campus. It was so fun to see how everyone in the course (including my teammate Tania and her daughter, Grace), grew over the course of just a weekend in confidence, in ability to learn in an oral way, and in storytelling skill. I hope to continue to practice what we learned and especially make use of it in the oral culture in Vanuatu.