Sunday, December 26, 2010


Vanuatu had another decent earthquake (7.6) hit after midnight sometime here.  All is well with no damage I've heard of.  Here's an article if you wish to know about it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bislama girls Bible study

This year I had the privilege of running a Bible study for some ni-Vanuatu girls.  It was quite an age spread (or would have been for a Western group but they aren't quite so age-divided here) with the girls ranging from 14-29, most in their early 20's.  We studied through 2 Timothy but also did some foundational Bible teaching with storying through some of the major stories throughout the Bible.  They had homework to learn the stories and share them with family or friends and most did, which I was pleased about of course!  :)  For our last Bible study I assigned 2 stories to each girl to have ready to share at study.  Below are some videos from them sharing their stories as well as other items from the study.  Please pray for these girls that they would remember what they've learned from the study and be reminded to put it into practice in their lives.
  Link to this is Gretchen leading the girls in a song she made the tune for of 2 Timothy 2:15 (sorry the girls aren't near the light and aren't easy to see).
  Link is (Me) storying 2 Timothy 1:9-10.

Link is Frida storying about original sin and it's consequences in the Garden of Eden.
  Link is (Me) sharing about God creating angels and about Morning Star becoming Satan.
Here are links to the others if you are REALLY bored.  They are dark and unclear and difficult to hear, as well as in Bislama so like I said, if you are REALLY bored...  :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

office stuff

I've been volunteering 3 days a week doing finances for the Bible translation group that houses us.  It's been a blessing to help out and I've learned a lot about Vanuatu and bookkeeping both in doing it!  :)  Plus, it's great fellowship as well.  Here's some of those who work in and around the office to support Bible translation in Vanuatu.  In a few pics you'll see some who worked here in the past as well but just came back to visit.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Learning Bible storytelling methods in Australia has turned out to be useful in a few settings.  I've been able to story in a woman's expat Bible study, at the Bislama girls' Bible study I'm currently leading, and also at a training for teachers and Sunday School teachers for ni-Vanuatu in Vila.  I'm thankful for One Story trainers and Backyard Bard trainers for passing on their skills!  Praise God for these opportunities to share God's Word creatively!

new church pics

I attend a ni-Vanuatu led, Bislama speaking church here in Vila.  Here are some new pics from there!  Also, one of my friends from church, Innette, a dear lady who was only 40-something, just died this last week, reportedly from asthma.  Please pray for her family and also for my friends here who don't know the Lord!  Medical care and accessibility just isn't here what it is in Western countries and people die here of things easily treated in the States.  That gives an urgency to sharing Christ and to communicating clearly in language and culture!
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Saturday nights Jesiah, Gwen, and Addy rotate between sleeping over at my house.  I pick one up in the afternoon, we hang out until bedtime, do a few activities in the AM, then go to my ni-Van church and then back to the Richards for lunch.  Then I usually spend a few hours of the afternoon with the Richards on Sunday before heading back home. 
 It's been a fun routine and I really enjoy the one-on-one time with the kids.  We've made salt-dough creations, kazoos, paper chain people, napkin angels, and paintings in our times together.  Sometimes Si and I watch cartoons or dance clips from You Tube together too. 

Poor Addy's salt dough snakes burnt to a crisp since I forgot them in the oven...  And apparently I need to take some pictures with Addy!  Sorry girl! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ni-Van family times

My parents got to experience going to see my friend Magreth when they were visiting.  Here are pictures from that time.  Also, Houghton helped me last month with some issues with Jaen's arms and legs and recurring sores she has so the last pics are from that. 
 The homes on the way.
 Heading down the road.
 Another house
 Papa, mom, Magreth, Mama Rupi, Jaen's daughter Morina, dad
 Being given an island dress. 
 And hugs.  Mama Rupi is good at those.  :)
 With Jaen and her 2nd youngest, Kalo.
 Meet the parents.
 Showing postcards of Montana.

Enjoying one of Rupi's great hugs.
 One of the cooking houses at Magreth's.
 The gate at the boundary of Magreth's family's ground.
 Neighbor's house.
Homes of others living nearby.

Below are pics of Jaen's legs (a bit graphic so if you're squeamish, don't look).  She's had a swollen right leg for a few months now.  :(  If you know anyone with an extra diabetes tester and test strips that wants to send it this way, let me know!  In the meantime, praying she'll be willing to go back to the hospital or if it be God's will, that He'd heal her!

 The black spots are old scars from old sores.  She's had these just on her arms and legs, for years, recurring in the dry season.
 Below is Houghton putting iodine on her sores after she's soaked them.  Prin is the teen on the left - Magreth's firstborn of her 3. 

We convinced Jaen come with us to the local hospital to get some blood tests to rule out diabetes or some other cause of these, but our first try was unsuccessful due to the hospital (socialized medicine here and VERY lacking) and the doctor being unwilling to take her blood at this time and the doctor's disinterest in her situation.  She was not interested in going back and wasting another full morning trying again (understandably) and has since gone to local workers of leaf medicine which did give her some reported relief for a few weeks but the sores and swelling are back and not going away.  :(  Please pray with me for her.

October newsletter

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Monday, September 13, 2010

September newsletter

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Dances and songs

One of our touristy activities when my parents were here was going just across the Vila bay to Iririki island. We got froofy drinks and watched the sunset, then got food. We coincidentally went on their Melanesian Feast night so although we didn't pay the big bucks for it, we got to watch all the entertainment, which included a string band playing and doing custom dances. Pretty cool!

Custom dance number 1! They told us the names for all these but I neglected to write them down and have since forgotten. So mom and dad, if you remember, help a daughter out! :)Here's the link: Fatuna custom dance 1

Fatuna island men play bamboo and glass bottles, along with string band instruments. Sorry for poor quality video and lighting. Or get from this link: Glass bottle song

Fatuna dancers dance 2: Fatuna dancers 2

Link:  Fatuna custom dance 3

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kenners made it back!

Our teammates, the Kenners, made it safely back to Washington state to stay with family as of today, praise God!  If you read an earlier post, you know it wasn't without a few an earthquake canceling their flight.  :)  But they flew yesterday AM to Fiji and caught a night flight out to the States.  Thanks for praying for them!  They'll be chilling for a while with family, then start heading around to churches to complete their sending support team (financial/prayer/encouragement support).  If you'd like them to share in your church or with a group at your home, please e-mail me at and I'll get you in touch with them. 

Tania has also recently made a great new post on life in Ambrym, so check that out at:  Life in Ambrym pt. 2 - Tania's

We continue to have smaller earthquakes and tremors - actually just had 2 more just now.  We're all ok though, no real damage done in any of these, praise God!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Walking on hot rocks

Another video from our time of learning at the mock custom village.  Here's the link if this doesn't load well:  Walking on hot stones

Earthquake update

Usually I'm amazed at how fast people find out about earthquakes here.  And half the time people write and ask if all is well and I haven't even known there was an earthquake.  We get little ones all the time here, but today was the biggest I've ever felt.  It was a 7.6 lasting 15 seconds (which felt like forever!) with the epicenter about 30 miles NW from where we live on Efate island.  I was working in the office at the time and things definitely got shaken around and tipped over.  We have some friends who were mildly hurt, but everyone is ok.  A few taller buildings have been moderately damaged, but fortunately the 2 story building I live in is fine.  Here are some links about the earthquake.  This one:  Fox news article is a bit dramatic and this one: Australian Broadcast Co article  is probably more realistic.  Seven plus hours later though, we're still getting aftershocks, crazy!

Our teammates, the Kenners, were scheduled to depart at 4PM today to head back to the US.  They were late leaving, waiting on the runway for a latecomer.  As they were taxiing to go out, the earthquake hit and shook up the plane.  An engineer was called to look it over and said it looked fine, but the pilot was uncomfortable taking off.  So about 6:30Pm everyone was kicked off the plane and the flight was canceled.  The airport officials spent the next several hours calling hotels here to find rooms to put up the 100+ passengers.  I took the Kenners to their hotel around 10PM.  WOW, great place to stay, too bad they couldn't have more time there!  :)  I have all their luggage so they have to sleep in their clothes, but tomorrow AM I go pick them up early to go back to the airport and they fly on to Fiji.  In Fiji, the airline will have to put people up yet again as flights only go a few times a week from there to LA.  So pray that they will be able to sleep, relax, and enjoy these times in these great hotels and not worry about all their luggage!  Pray too that they'll make it back to the US safe and sound, in God's timing.  :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Custom dance

A custom dance the Fatuna islanders demonstrated for us on our around-the-island (Efate island) tour.  Here is the link if the above doesn't load well:

Around the island in a day

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We convinced my parents to let us be tourists with them a few times.  One full day we got to travel around the island we live on (Efate).  We learned some historical and cultural things on the tour and got to see more of the beautiful place where we live.  What an opportunity - thanks mom and dad!  :)

Family pics

 Tania, our resident photographer, did a family photo shoot for us while my parents were here.  Great to have new family pics!