Wednesday, March 31, 2010

VBT and Ambrym meetings

We recently got to be a part of the Vanuatu Bible Translators meeting (VBT- a national organization chaired by ni-Vanuatu men).  Our friend, Pastor Peter, who went to Summer School with us last year in Australia, is the chairman so it was great to get to see him again!  We learned a lot seeing how the VBT is organized, and we had an opportunity to meet the new members who were appointed this last year, and have a chance to share with them our vision and leading for ministry here in Vanuatu.  They were very welcoming and the committee member in charge of the province that includes Ambrym island, where we are praying about serving, was willing even to go with the guys in May to further survey Ambrym.  He was interested in giving advice concerning land disputes and talking to local leaders about our coming.  It's exciting what VBT is doing in the country to reach Vanuatu with God's Word!

We also had a chance the last few weeks to reconnect with our friends Philip and Sophia.  Philip is our main contact from Ambrym island and he and Sophia were in town for a preaching conference.  The language group organized a committee with representatives from each village in N Ambrym and the chairman of this committee was also in town for the conference.  We had a meeting together to get to know one another and to answer each other's questions.  We also had several days to hang out with Sophia in particular, storying with her and getting more help on our Bislama.  She's a gem for that. :)  They've all headed back up north now, but we enjoyed our time and look forward to all being together again in the future!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

BMW Vanuatu

Here's the whole BMW crew that all work in Vanuatu!  We had a chance to get together a week or so ago for fellowship, which was great.  Steve and Jane's friend who came to help fix up their house is on the far left, then the Kenners, Richards, Jones' and Gibbs and the whole troop of kids in front!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Identify that fruit

Here's a little game for everyone - who can identify all the fruit in my basket?  I'll be super impressed if you can.  :)  And here's a dried out breadfruit (that was a bit moldy - not sure if that's supposed to be the case or not) from Mota Lava, an island way up in the north.  It was called "biskit blong bredfrut" or like a breadfruit cracker.  It didn't have really a taste at all other than just a bit moldy and maybe a slight smoky taste.  :)  Apparently drying these out helps with preparation for cylcone season when other crops may be wiped out, but it's not common except in the islands in the far north of Vanuatu.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Magreth and family

Magreth was a good friend to me when I was here in Vila last time and we've been hanging out, usually about once a week or so.  Here's some pics of her and her girls, Lin and Sava along with her sister Jen and two of her kids, Kalo and Lee. 
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Sunday, March 14, 2010


Currently I live in Port Vila, which is the capital of Vanuatu.  This city is on the island of Efate.  Last weekend, I was invited to go along with Elder Ann (see earlier post) to a commissioning service (seemed like a "starting the year off and encouraging you to do well" kind of deal) for her daughter's school.  Her daughter goes to a secondary school in a village called Onesua up on the north-eastern side of Efate.  Incidentally, 3 women in charge of the women's groups for their individual islands (the islands of Tanna, Malakula, and Santo) came along with us, along with Elder Ann's older daughter and her friend.  We all piled into her truck and drove on the western route around the island.  Vanuatu was a recipient of the Millennium Fund from the US so a project was started back when we were here last to pave the road that rounds the island.  The road has made it around to just past Onesua so it took us only about an hour to get around.  In 2008, Tania and I went around the east side and stayed in a village called Ekipe so as of now, I'm just about 3 miles short of having gone on every bit of the road around Efate.  It was a considerably different experience this time around going on a paved road as opposed to the hours of whip-lash and jostling last time on the coral/mud road on the other side of the island...  Thanks America for the great road!  :)

It was a beautiful drive, great fellowship, and a great chance to learn more Bislama and culture.  I also ate duck (they call it dakdak) for the first time.  Unfortunately, I was too much of a chicken to ask for pictures of the ladies I was with, but I did get a few of the view from the beach we ate lunch on.  In the distance are a few other tiny islands.  Whew, beautiful, huh?!

Last few Aussie pics

Here's some last pictures I hadn't posted yet from Australia.  In the few months between school and coming back to Vanuatu, I helped Lenna with getting a church library up and running.  And her daughter, Kristen, and I hung out a bit too, which was fun.  Miss you guys heaps!

Our last Sunday at church in Australia was a good but emotional one.  We hope to stay in touch with friends from there for many years to come but it is always hard to say goodbye to the physical part of fellowship.  We were prayed for before the church and sent off with love.
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March '10 newsletter side a

Here's my March '10 newsletter, side a.  Please click on the image to enlarge it to full size. 

March '10 newsletter

Newsletter side b.  Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Girls purity conference

Last Sunday I got to see my friends Madeln and Bali again. (See this post for picture and story Madeln-Bali post). We didn't get to chat long though, so I hope to see them again and get their phone number this coming Sunday! I also met a new friend, Elder Ann, who is the head of womens' ministries for her denomination throughout Vanuatu.  She lives on the way from my house to Gretchen's so I saw her again later in the week and she invited me to come with her to a girls' purity conference she was speaking at over the weekend.  Saturday night I attended with her and enjoyed meeting and fellowshipping with ni-Vanuatu women who had come to share with the girls.  It was a great opportunity to be among Bislama speakers.  I met one ni-Vanuatu woman who is single and older than me...that's a first for me for here!  So we had some good discussions about singleness and serving God.  I believe her name is Lelinau and I hope to run into her again at some point.  She went to Talua College (Presby Bible school on Santo island up north) with Sophia, my friend who went to Equip Summer School with us in Australia last year and whose husband invited us to translate the Bible in his language in N Ambrym. Here's a picture of the girls having an opportunity to "wake up" again by singing Father Abraham with actions.  :)  Pray that these girls will apply what they've learned from this purity conference as the temptations are great in Vanuatu as anywhere.