Psalm 125:1-2, "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore."
What a wonderful promise to know that He is surrounding us with his love and strength in all that we do.
We found out this week that the Papua New Guinea National Board of the Church of the Nazarene has approved and appointed Revs. Peter and Jenny Isaac to be missionaries to Vanuatu. We are excited and thrilled with this tremendous answer to our prayer for workers. Peter has been serving as the chaplain for the Melanesia Nazarene Bible College.
Jenny was just ordained in their district assembly this year. They will be coming to serve with us for the next 2 years. They will be coming with their 3 sons, Bennett (8 years), EnnRich (4 years), and Junior (4 months). Please pray that their passports will be returned to them from PNG Immigration soon so they can secure their tickets to come to Vanuatu as soon as possible. Please pray that the Lord will help them and their families as they leave PNG and then as they embrace a new people and language here in Vanuatu.
We praise the Lord for Pastor David Tasso. He is Taku's father, one of the strong Christian young ladies in our congregation at Malapoa. Her parents have come to Port Vila in the last few months to work so that they can pay school fees for their other children. Pastor David has been pastoring in another evangelical church since 1996, but has not been assigned a church in Port Vila. He and his wife, Esther, are loving, Spirit-filled believers. We are so grateful for his willingness to serve as pastor at the Malapoa church while we are away. Please pray that the Lord will continue to lead them as they get acquainted with the people in this community and shepherd this growing congregation.
Just a few weeks ago we visited with Sonia's sister, Sofie, in Fres Wota. This is where the newest Nazarene congregation has been meeting on Sunday afternoons. Sonia had been saved several months before, and Sofie had come to the outdoor worship service on occasion. But on that day, Sofie met us and asked for us to come to her small home. She is the mother of 3 children. Her husband left her many years ago. She tries her best to provide for her family but finds it very difficult. We sat together on the floor in her house which was put together with scraps of wood and corrugated tin, and she shared with us her hunger to know Jesus personally. She wept as she shared about her life and the pain that she has experienced. What a joy it was to lead her to Jesus through His Word and then to pray together as she asked the Lord for forgiveness and trusted for her salvation! As we left that day, the change in her life was obvious. Her face was glowing as she called out to her sister to let her know that we were leaving. Please continue to pray for these two ladies, Sonia and Sofie, as they grow in grace. It is their desire that all their family members come to know Jesus like they do. Also pray for Graziella as she goes each week to share God's Word at this new church. She has been a Christian for just about a year and is being used by the Lord to bring others to Christ and then to disciple them.
We have less than 2 months before we leave and there are so many things that we want to get done besides all the stuff like moving and passing on of responsibilities. We would like to take a team of people to the island of Malekula to a village that has asked us to come. They want to be Nazarenes! David took rice to them after the cyclone in 2003, and they've just contacted us about coming back to establish the Nazarene Church. We are making plans for a week long trip of training and encouragement. We would like a team of about 10-12 to go and hold training sessions with adult and children's SS teachers, women's ministry, and youth ministry. We'd also like to show the Jesus Film during the time and then have follow-up discipleship studies with whoever desires it. We're not sure how we can fit this in before we leave. Our proposed dates are June 12-19, but we need to find ships that travel in the right direction on the right days. Please pray for these details and that the Lord would help us as we prepare and equip the team.
Please continue to pray for Nikki, the PLNU graduate who has been serving with us since last October. She has just one month left before she will return to the US. We are still trusting the Lord for a leader to carry on the ministry to the prostitutes after she leaves. Doors of opportunity continue to open every week to new individuals who need the love of the Lord Jesus. Pray that the Lord would make his will for Nikki's future clear to her in these coming months.
This weekend we rejoice with Joel (our oldest son) in his graduation from Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He is graduating with an Honors degree in Philosophy. He plans to begin his graduate studies in philosophy in the fall. We look forward to July and the joyous occasion of Joel's marriage to Bekah Radcliffe and the joining of our two families.
We are also very proud of Wesley (our youngest son) and his successful completion of high school. He is eager for the next chapter of his life when he will begin his studies at MVNU, but he's also torn with the thought of leaving his good friends and life on the mission field.
A few other prayer requests:
- Pray that the Lord would give us daily wisdom and strength. We will be packing all our belongings and putting them in storage during our time in the States.
- Join us in fervently praying that the people of Vanuatu really open their hearts to the purifying power of the Holy Spirit so that they can be empowered to witness and serve.
- May 26-27 - NYI camp. Theme: Live a Life Worthy of the Calling. Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in power and that many young people will be saved and sanctified.
- May 29- June 9 - David is teaching his 3rd Bible course for people preparing for ministry – The Life and Teaching of Christ. It will meet every week night 6:30-9:30. Pray for him as he prepares to teach and for all those attending that the Lord will give them understanding and wisdom.
- June 30th - We must be out of our house.
- July 4th - We fly back to the States.
We thank the Lord for your prayer support and all that He has done in answer to those prayers! Great is His faithfulness!
Trusting in Him,
David, Sylvia, and Wesley Potter