"In Him the islands put their trust."
Greetings in the wonderful name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! May the Lord bless you during this Advent Season as you prepare your hearts for the celebration of King Jesus who came, who comes and who is to come again. Rejoice with us as we look back over this year and review what He has done and is doing in Vanuatu!
The Lord poured out His blessing in countless ways as the 15 enthusiastic Point Loma Nazarene University students went into action. They joined us in ministry for 3 weeks during the summer and the Lord accomplished so much through their lives. The team conducted 2 children's clubs, showed the Jesus Film at 3 separate locations, began Bible studies for the youth at Malapoa, aired twice weekly on live radio with testimonies and praise songs, and conducted a weekend teen camp on the other side of the island. All 19 of us lived together in the Potter's house. The Lord blessed us with grace and love for each other. The light that they brought to Vanuatu continues to shine brightly in the lives of the people that they touched.
God opened a door for ministry in the village of Epule located on the other side of our island after Cyclone Ivy struck last year. One of the ladies in our congregation at Malapoa had family in this village. In response to the cyclone, we delivered rice to help this family immediately following the crisis. We have been invited back many times now to share the Good News of Jesus with them. The Loveworks team had an opportunity to share with the young people of this community in a weekend camp. In November the women of Malapoa and Teouma Nazarene Churches have returned to the village to hold a women's conference. Please pray with us for the Lord's clear direction for the future.
Teouma Nazarene Church
Meriam came to David almost apologetically to share with him what she had been hearing the Lord say to her. Since the children's club and Jesus Film showing at her village in Teouma, she had been sensing a need to establish a church near her home. She had been attending the Malapoa church and was one of the 3 received as charter members of the Malapoa Church. She had been serving faithfully as the NYI leader. Her home is located outside of Port Vila. There are no churches in her area and she was feeling burdened for the 50 people who stood after the Jesus Film was shown at Teouma indicating their desire to follow Christ. David was not surprised by her words since we had been praying that the Lord would open the doors for us to plant a church in her area. Meriam shared that she would like to help pastor the church. How exciting to see the Lord answering our prayers. Meriam led one of her neighbors to the Lord while working in her garden one day. Her friend, Leimawa is now a growing Christian and the Lord is doing tremendous things in her family. She is eager to know and follow the path of holiness. We ask that you continue to pray for Meriam and her family as they lead this small congregation.
Women's Conference – Solomon Is.
Sylvia and 3 ni-Vanuatu women flew to Honiara, Solomon Islands in September to attend the International Women's Ministry Conference of the Church of the Nazarene. It was a life changing experience for each of us. This was the first opportunity that our ni-Vanuatu Nazarenes had to meet other Nazarenes. The Vanuatu ladies met with Sylvia in their room after nearly every session to discuss what the Lord was saying to them individually. One of the ladies, Anna, described the experience as though the Lord was holding a mirror before her and she was seeing areas of uncleanness in her life for the first time. She said that the Lord would reveal sin on this side of her life and then the Lord would "turn her over" and reveal something on the other side. It was beautiful to see how the Lord was opening their eyes to his desires for each of them. We prayed together many times each day. They knew that the Lord was doing mighty things in them, and they were praying for his will to be done in their husbands and families as well.
These three women returned to Vanuatu with the fire of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. They promptly shared what they had heard and experienced at the first ever Vanuatu Women's Conference held at Teouma Nazarene Church. Please continue to pray for the Lord to use these women to minister within their homes to their husbands and children.
In October David was privileged to baptize the first two Nazarenes in testimony of their changed lives. Leimawa was led to the Lord by Meriam in her garden. Graziella is the Potter's neighbor and has been changed by the grace and love of Jesus. She has a beautiful testimony of transformation.
Potter Family News
The year 2005 has brought many changes to our home. Jeffrey graduated from high school and returned to the States to begin his freshman year of college at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. The Lord has wonderfully provided for Jeffrey and Joel's college education and for Jeff's transition back to the States. In September, Joel asked his childhood friend from PNG, Rebekah Radcliffe, to be his wife. We are thrilled that they have set July 15, 2006 as their wedding day since both Bekah's parents and our family will be back in the States on furlough.
We will be on home assignment July 2006 – February 2007. Mary Johnson in the World Mission Office is scheduling our deputation services. If you would like to have us come to your church, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Nazarene headquarters.
This will be Wesley's last year in Vanuatu. He will be graduating in June 2006 and will prepare to return to the States to attend MVNU with his brother.
If there are any churches interested in planning a Work and Witness trip to Vanuatu, please let us know. We rejoice that the Lord has provided a beautiful 2.5 acre lot to build a missionary home. We are still praying that the Lord will provide just the right pieces of property for our growing congregations.
We are privileged to have Nikki Roland, a graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University, serving with us until June 2006. She is already having a profound influence in the lives of the young people in our church. Continue to keep her in your prayers.