Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to Bennett and Ennrich!

Happy Birthday to Bennett (12 years old) and Ennrich (8 years old)! We celebrated with grilled chicken wings and roasted ears of corn AND rainbow birthday cake! After dinner and after all the presents were opened, we taught these two very bright boys how to play Mexican Train Dominoes. We are so glad for our missionary family and proud to be Uncle David and Aunt Sylvia to these very special MK's!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The God of Peace

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Thank you for helping us to present our requests to God! God has faithfully given us peace through some very difficult days.

Cindy Sutter has been discharged from the hospital. She received daily antibiotic injections for several days and is now recuperating at home. Roger and the family appreciate your prayers during this time. Cindy is still quite anemic and requires lots of rest. They have been planning for several months to travel to Roger’s home in Switzerland at the end of August. Please pray for Cindy’s continued healing and strength for the long trip.

Ben and Anna Story are thrilled with the way God is answering prayer in Baby Simon’s life who is now 11 days old! He has been breathing on his own and is receiving tube feedings of his mommy’s breastmilk. He’s gaining weight! Anna was able to hold him last Saturday for about an hour. I think this was the first time since he was born.

I spoke with Jack Rudd this morning. God has been giving them help and guidance in all the decisions that needed to be made. Kay will leave in 2 days from New Zealand to return to the States. Jack and Jay will finish getting things packed up here in Vanuatu and are scheduled to leave from here on the 29th. Thank you for your continued prayers for them during this time of separation and transition.

After she went to be with Jesus last Friday, we have continued to spend time with Susan’s family every evening in a time of singing and sharing of the Word. We pray together and then share a meal. This “normal custom” for people of Vanuatu has been a source of healing for us as much as for the family. This will continue at least through this week when all the extended family gathers on Saturday for another time around Susan’s grave and another meal together. Arthy, Susan’s husband, shared some of his thoughts with us tonight about the days ahead. It seems clear that the Lord is giving him peace and comfort through these days. God’s peace is also visible in each of the children. I’ve attached one of my favorite pictures of Susan and Meriam.

Pastor Peter was able to arrange to fly home to Papua New Guinea. He will be leaving Vanuatu on August 15th and returning on the 29th. Pray for safe travel and that his time at home will be a blessed time with family. Please continue to remember Jenny and the boys who will stay back in Vanuatu during Peter’s trip to PNG.

Many of you know that we have been asking the Lord for land here in Vanuatu to build a district center for the Church of the Nazarene in Vanuatu. We are presently looking at a piece of land that is situated in a growing part of the city. Please pray that God will make his will clear to us.

Thank you to each of you who have sent notes of encouragement and prayerful support. They have meant so much to us! These have been tough days, but we are thankful that we can be God’s arms of love at this time to his dear children.

Your partners in the South Pacific,

David and Sylvia Potter

Friday, August 7, 2009


We arrived at the hospital only a few minutes before Susan passed away today. We have spent the rest of the day grieving with her husband, Arthy, and her children, Freddy (15 years), Joseph (12 years), Christopher (10 years), and Meriam (almost 7) and caring for their needs as best we could. There were many people who came to grieve – many family members and friends. There are many children and young people who called her Mom, as she cared for anyone who came to her house. She has touched many people with her life of service and love. We will all miss her deeply. Please keep her family in your prayers.

Just about an hour after Susan died, our missionary partner Pastor Peter received a phone call from his family in PNG letting him know that his sister had passed away. She has been sick with cancer for several years. Peter was planning to fly to PNG to be with her in just a few days. The Isaac family both here in Vanuatu and in PNG need your prayers as well.

We are thankful for the reminder in Romans 8 that nothing can separate us from the love of God. This morning during our devotions, we read in Hebrews 13 that God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Our God is with us and holds our hand securely. May he be glorified as we celebrate the lives of these Christian women.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our dear friend Susan

Susan has been our friend since we first arrived in Vanuatu in 2003. She was one of the first ones to become a member of the Church of the Nazarene in this country. She has served as children’s Sunday School teacher and women’s ministry leader, and is enrolled in our pastor’s training program. She is married to Arthy and has 4 children (Freddy, Joseph, Christopher and Meriam). Yesterday she was admitted to the hospital. The doctors are uncertain yet what her illness is, but one thing is certain, she needs a miraculous touch from the Lord, our great Healer. This morning she had 2 seizures and her blood pressure dropped significantly. The family thought she was dying, and when we saw her she seemed on the brink of life and death. She is now in Vila Central Hospital’s private observation room. This is the closest thing to an ICU in the country. We met 2 of the 3 physicians who are working on Susan’s case, and Dr. Crystal shared with us what little information they have available at present. Please join us in praying for God to heal Susan’s body, soul, mind and spirit. Pray also for her family to have God’s peace through this very frightening time. There is a strong sense that a spiritual battle is being fought for this woman’s life.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Please pray

We want to ask each of you to be praying for some of our missionary friends here in Vanuatu.  Roger and Cindy Sutter and Ben and Anna Story are both here with Youth With a Mission.  We have known Ben and Roger almost the entire 6 years that we’ve been serving here in Vanuatu.  YWAM has been a powerful tool of God to reach out to young people in this nation as well as to surrounding nations.  Roger and Cindy were blessed with their first baby about 2 weeks ago.  Cindy has had fever for the past 5 days or so.  She was hospitalized at Vila Central Hospital (the government hospital) last Friday and Saturday and received IV antibiotics during that time.  She was discharged from the hospital, but continued to spike fairly high fevers several times a day.  She needs God’s healing touch and Roger needs wisdom in how to proceed.  Pray also for Baby Leilani’s continued health through her mommy’s illness.


Ben and Anna were living on the island north of us, Santo, when she delivered their first baby on Friday last week.  Little Simon Peter was born 15 weeks prematurely, weighing less than 2 pounds.  There really wasn’t medical facilities to accommodate a premature infant, but the Lord intervened miraculously and kept him alive until the medical evacuation plane arrived 11 hours later.  He is now hospitalized in Brisbane and is stable.  Please pray for Ben and Anna’s peace and comfort during this very difficult time and for the continued health and development of Baby Simon.  There are also financial concerns.  Their insurance is willing to pay for the first 30 days of hospitalization or $10,000. 


Also, please pray for Jack and Kay Rudd and their son Jay.  Jack and Kay have been missionaries here in Vanuatu for well over 10 years.  They have been part of a small group of missionaries that began to meet at our house for prayer and mutual support.  Jack and Kay are serving with World Outreach and have been involved in Christian education.  Two months ago Kay had a heart attack.  God miraculously sustained her life and eventually, she flew to New Zealand where she was able to get diagnosis and treatment for her heart.  A stint was put in one of her cardiac arteries.  She has been recovering well over these last few weeks.  They have decided that it would be best for them to return to the US for further recuperation and monitoring of her heart.  Jack and Jay arrived back in Vanuatu last Tuesday to pack up and prepare to leave Vanuatu.  Please pray for God’s peace through this transition and for his continued guidance.


This has been an eventful first week back in Vanuatu!  Two days after we arrived our Malapoa pastor’s mother died.  She had been ill for several months, but her loss was deeply felt none the less.  We spent the day grieving with the family at their home and at the cemetery.  Our first Sunday back at Black Sand Church was wonderful.  God has continued to establish these dear Christians in their journey with him.


We appreciate your prayers for these friends of ours.  They are our co-laborers and part of God’s mission team to Vanuatu.


David and Sylvia Potter