Friday, June 25, 2010

Youth in Mission in Vanuatu 2010

We returned to Vanuatu and were met at the airport by our three Youth in Mission students, Andrea, Lisa, and Jacob!  They arrived a week and half before we did.  Each YIM team student is living with a different family, learning all about the culture, language, and day-to-day life of a ni-Vanuatu family.  They had already done several Kid's Clubs in two different neighborhoods and were making plans for at least two more.  They come with tons of enthusiasm and lots of laughter and fun!

Last Friday, they were joined by six Nazarene young people at an area called Prima.  One of the young pastor's wives is from this village and would really like for her family to come to know Jesus like she has. The team conducted a Kid's Club with more than 50 children, youth and adults in attendance.  Puppets and games and activities all focused on sharing Christ's love through his death and resurrection.

This weekend they are joining together with the Nazarene youth in an evangelistic outreach to an area called Eratap. Pastor Peter Isaac has been preaching there for about a year now and a congregation of about 30-40 has been faithfully meeting.  Please pray for the team as they share through Kid's Club, sports evangelism and Jesus Film and then lead the worship service on Sunday morning.

On Monday, June 28th, the YIM team along with 6 Nazarene young people, Pastor Jenny Isaac and us will be boarding a ship headed to Tanna, an island to the south of us.  This team of 12 will be visiting three separate villages to share the love of Jesus with as many people as we can.  Tanna is an island that is known for its animistic practices, resistance to the Gospel, and home of the John Frum cult.  Our desire is to see people in each village come to know Christ as their Savior and started in some basic discipleship studies.  We will be ministering on Tanna for two weeks, so please pray daily for open doors to the Gospel, and that we will be able to declare the message clearly and boldly.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Family time in the States

While we were in Nadi, Fiji, for the annual South Pacific Nazarene Theological College Board of Trustees meetings, we received an e-mail letting us know that David's mother was found to have a malignant tumor blocking her small intestine.  She has been mostly paralyzed for the last 4 1/2 years that was a result of a massive stroke following coronary bypass surgery.  She has been lovingly cared for by David's sister, Beverly, and her husband, Rev. Ron Bynum, throughout this time.  Following the board meetings in Fiji, we were scheduled to fly to Colorado Springs where she lived.  We arrived in time to spend Mother's Day with her and with all of David's siblings (see photo to the left).  Mom Potter was very alert and seemed to really enjoy having all her family gathered around her.  We had some blessed times of singing and praying around her bed in the days that we had together.  She passed away quietly in her sleep on May 24th.  We were in New York with Joel and Bekah when she died.  While David and Joel flew to Colorado for the funeral, I stayed with Bekah to help take care of the twins.  We praise the Lord that we were able to visit with David's mom and family while she was still alive, and that David was still in the States to participate in her funeral.  Many thanks to all of you who sent cards and greetings via e-mail and Facebook.  We have felt your prayers throughout the entire month!

Our time in the US was spent mostly in Buffalo, New York, getting acquainted with our two little granddaughters, Dora and Sylvia.  We were delighted to finally hold these two precious girls in our arms after 3 months of admiring them from the other side of the world!

While David and Jeffrey drove to Mount Vernon, Ohio, to attend the MVNU commencement, Sylvia was able to go with Joel and Bekah on the girls' first picnic in the park.  It was a beautiful spring day complete with a very slight shower.  David and Jeffrey drove back from Ohio, along with Grandpops (Dr. Jim) Radcliffe and Tim and our youngest son Wesley.  The following day, May 23rd, was one of the highlights of our trip as we all gathered at Joel and Bekah's church to dedicate the babies to God.  Jim and Tim had to leave the next day, but Wesley stayed through the entire week.  It was a great delight to have our family all together.  Joel took the guys for a hike one day in a "gorge-ous" place called Letchworth State Park - the Grand Canyon of the East!

After Wesley had gone back to Ohio, we took two days and spent some time in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada, to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  We enjoyed a music concert in an old Anglican Church with local musicians performing, bicycled through the lovely vineyards and along the Niagara River, and enjoyed Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.  To view more pictures of our time in the States click here.