Thursday, May 5, 2016


In March, we were joined by our new teammates, Casey and Val Ellis.  They are from the US and have two boys: Beckett (4) and Julian (1).  Back when Beckett was about 6 months old, they visited us in the village and started talking to their friends, families, and the church where they ministered (in New Jersey) about coming to work with us in Vanuatu. 
Rather than doing the same translation track we had completed in Australia, they did training in Canada in how to develop materials helpful to people groups with newly translated Scriptures.  Their kind of training is called "Scripture Engagement" and their job is to come behind us and produce materials and curriculum to get people using their newly translated portions of Scripture.  For example, they would write and translate Bible studies, Sunday School curriculum, Bible reading plans, or whatever materials our language group requests to help them engage with God's Word.
 Addy and some of her friends playing with Julian.
 Hanging out with the Ellis family in our front yard.

 Houghton and Casey working out the kinks in transferring the audio version of the Family Story Bible to cell phones.
Val chatting with Philip Joses, one of our translators.

For now, Casey and Val are settling in to a village about an hour's drive north of our village in our same language group.  They are learning culture and language and determining where to settle in for the long-haul.
 Hauling some of the Ellis's stuff up from our village to theirs in a "taxi" truck.
 Moving in.
Addy played with Julian a bit so Val could unpack and clean.
 Gwen sweeping with a local broom.
Jesiah cleaning shelves.
Beckett playing in his bedroom.
 Outside their temporary house.
The guy standing next to Casey is his main local contact to the area.  He's very friendly and helpful so we're hoping and praying that relationship develops and they are able to encourage each other.  The other 2 local guys are the driver and crew for the "taxi" truck.
Our director, Greg, came up to visit us for a few days and see the Ellis family too.  We had a Translation Committee meeting while he was there for him to meet some of the key players involved in translation with us.  Elder Harre stood in as acting Chairman for the meeting. 
 Casey sharing his envisioned role in the ministry.
 Chief Laan is our boat captain, and makes a business with the boat so he explained how the boat wins money for Bible translation in Ambrym.
 Our translation team attended, as well as quite a few from Casey's village that are interested in getting involved.
 Philip Joses discussed the (recent) history of translation in the language group and what the translation team has achieved so far, and is currently working on.
 Houghton encouraged those from Casey's village to get involved and how they could be a part of the translation work.
 George discussed some training he, Philip, and Elder Harre were able to attend in the capital with other translators in Vanuatu.

We are so excited to have the Ellis family on board with us, and are grateful they can be in the language group when we are on furlough back in the US.  Please pray for Casey, Val, Beckett and Julian, for their adjustment, relationships, and language learning and that God would use them to bring North Ambrym men, women, and children to Himself for His glory.

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