Friday, October 15, 2010

Out of surgery

After surgery.

Praise God!  Little Sylvia’s surgery took about an hour, and the doctor was able to get the hip back in place.  She is wearing a cast from chest to ankles with her legs spread far apart to help keep the hip joint stable.  She will most likely be discharged from the hospital tomorrow.  Bekah’s parents, who are in the States on their home assignment, were able to drive up to Buffalo last night to be with Joel and Bekah and the girls.  What a blessing!  The next 4 months will be challenging for Sylvia and her parents.  Sylvia had just learned the joy of crawling, and now she will need help to just turn over.  Thank you so much for your prayers!  We praise God over and over for his goodness to us!

Go back and report…what you have seen and heard: 
The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, 
and the good news is preached to the poor.” Luke 7:22 (emphasis added)

Heading to clinic in a special wagon

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pray for Sylvia Irena's Hip Surgery

Joel with Dora and Bekah with Sylvia

Dora (l) and Sylvia (
We have been wanting to post some new pictures of our granddaughters so you can see how God has been blessing them and helping them to grow!  They just turned 8 months old today and both of them showed us how they could crawl while we talked on Skype.  It was fun that they both seemed to notice us on the computer screen and even "talked" to us!  But, we found out that just today the doctor discovered that Sylvia has a dislocated left hip.  This is most likely a problem that she has had since birth, but was not detected by the normal screening exams that they do on babies.  An x-ray confirmed the diagnosis, and she is scheduled for surgery Thursday, October 14 at 9:30AM (Eastern).  She will be placed in a body cast for 4 months to make sure the hip, muscles, and ligaments surrounding her hip socket will heal properly.  Please pray for her safety during anesthesia, that God will guide the surgeon’s hands, and that she will have full recovery with no complications. This will be a challenge for her mommy and daddy.  Please keep Joel, Bekah, and sister Dora in your prayers too.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Play His Praise on a Grand Piano!

MK piano duet at the Grand Hotel in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Jennifer performing with Iririki Island Resort in the background.
Tonight we had the privilege of attending the piano and flute recital for two high school MK's who live here in Port Vila. Tiffany and Jennifer moved to Port Vila from Australia about 2 years ago.  About that same time Galia, a talented Bulgarian woman who has a degree in classical music performance, also moved here.  For the past year Galia has been teaching these two MK's, and tonight they gave a recital at the Grand Hotel.  The Grand Hotel has a gorgeous grand piano situated in the main dining room with large glass windows all around that look out onto the harbor and Iririki Island Resort.  It was a most classy event!  Something that we don't get to enjoy very often!  They performed two piano duets - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt and I Love a Piano by Irving Berlin.  Tiffany presented two flute pieces - the finale being Concertino for Flute and Piano Op. 107 by Cecile Chaminade.  Jennifer beautifully performed Allegro from Sonata K 333 by Mozart.  We enjoyed pieces by Debussy, Bach, Chopin, and several others.  As we sat and enjoyed the beauty, we gave praise to God for this rare musical treat!
Just behind Tiffany to the right you can see the cruise ship heading out of the harbor as she performed the final piece.
"Sing to Him a new song; Play his praise on a grand piano!"
Psalm 33:3, NIV and The Message

Anyone Want to Adopt a Puppy!

L to R: Brown Socks, Babe, Rex, Princess and Growly
Ginger with her pups at one month old

The little Princess
Two months ago our dog Ginger gave birth to 5 puppies.  This was our first time to take care of puppies since the only other dog that we've had was a male.  Four of the puppies grew real well, but we had one runt who struggled along for about 3-4 weeks and came to the place where if we didn't intervene, he would die.  Sylvia decided to try feeding him milk from a small saline nose spray bottle that had a tip on it about the right size.  Little Babe took to it quite well and gained strength enough to nurse from Ginger and then to start eating puppy food.  He's still half the size of the rest of his brothers and sister, but strong and healthy.

The puppies have provided us lots of laughs as we've watched them play and wrestle with each other.  Each of them has a unique personality just like kids.  Puppies have a way of making you feel like you're the most important person in the world.  When we open the back door, they all come running to meet us, squirming and wiggling hoping for a little scratch on the head or a bit of roughing up.  This is the week that they are to be adopted out.  We'd love to keep them all, but keeping them fed is a pretty expensive venture. 

Getting Ready for Assembly

On Thursday of this week Sylvia invited all four of the Port Vila Nazarene Church treasurers and their assistants to our house to get their offering and attendance statistics ready for assembly in November.  She used the day to teach about God's desire for his people to be generous and sacrificial toward others as they studied together 2 Corinthians 8:1-15.  Then she shared with them some thoughts about how they can fulfill their responsibility as treasurers with a high level of integrity.  After that, they started adding attendance figures and finding averages and determined total income for each local church and how the money was spent.  She also took time to share with them the incredible opportunity that our churches have to participate in the World Evangelism Fund Plus Challenge 2010 offering to support the work of missions around the world.  We are so thankful for our churches who have faithfully given to God and his work in Vanuatu and worldwide!

"God loves it when the giver delights in the giving." 
2 Corinthians 9:7, The Message

Monday, October 4, 2010

WEF Plus: Challenge 2010 - We Need You!

We wanted to alert you to an opportunity that is coming your way in November.  The Church of the Nazarene is asking all Nazarenes worldwide to participate in a very special missions offering.  Most of you know that every Church of the Nazarene contributes financially to support the work of missions around the world.  The name of this contribution is World Evangelism Fund (WEF).  Our mission leaders have advised us that the amount of money that has been contributed toward the WEF this year is 20% short of what we need in order to continue ministering at the current level.  This shortage comes at a time when the Church of the Nazarene is experiencing unprecedented growth around the world.  This is not a time to retreat by calling missionaries home from the harvest field!  Our general superintendents, with an unshakeable faith in the great generosity of our people, have issued a challenge to Nazarenes worldwide to raise the single largest offering for World Evangelism in the history of our church.  The goal is huge - $6 million!  We are asking each of you to personally participate in this offering and to make sure that your local church is participating too.  Please talk this over with your NMI president and pastor.  Each adult is encouraged to give $10 and each child is encouraged to give 40 coins.  Here in Vanuatu, we will be taking part in this worldwide offering as well. 

I've been studying 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 and would like to ask you to humbly read through these precious words of encouragement from the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth.  Paul begins this passage by bragging on the church at Macedonia that even though they were being severely tested and faced extreme poverty, they overflowed with joy and begged for the privilege of sharing in a particular ministry to the saints in Jerusalem.  Paul records that they gave "as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability" (verse 3), and totally surprised everyone!  How and why would Macedonians give so liberally to someone in Jerusalem that they had never met before? The Message Bible says it like this, " was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us.  The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives." 

Please prayerfully consider how the Lord would want you to participate in this historical offering.  As always, we are trusting God that He will provide the means for us to continue in ministry here in Vanuatu.

For those in the USA/Canada region, a special website has been established to make resources readily available to the local churches.  WEF Plus: Challenge 2010 Web Resources

Pastor Peter Isaac to Visit New Believers on Tanna

Pastor Peter Isaac and Pastor Gideon will be returning to Tanna Island on Monday, October 11 to meet with the new believers who came to Christ during our mission trip in June.  He will be flying from Port Vila to Tanna Island and then will travel by truck to the different villages where we showed the Jesus Film and held Kid's Clubs.  Please be in prayer that God will anoint their ministry with the power of the Holy Spirit.  Pray that the believers will be encouraged to move forward in their faith in Christ and that more people from their villages will believe in Jesus.  Pray also for Pastor Peter's time with Morrison, Gideon's brother who is leading these new Christians each week in a time of Bible study and worship.

Record Attendance at Recent SPNTC Classes

Metas studies a passage from the Bible with her small group.
Our SPNTC students love doing group projects

We praise the Lord that for the two SPNTC classes that were offered in August and September, we had more students attend than in the history of the school.  Pastor Peter Isaac taught Christian Music and Worship with 18 students completing the course.  We were thankful for the "old" hymnals that someone had sent to us several years ago. There were enough for each student!  They had a great time learning several of the hymns and presented "Blessed Assurance" at an all-Nazarene Church gathering after the class was completed.  One of the students commented that he had learned that worship wasn't something that just happens on Sunday, but is something that we should be doing every day of our lives!

Sylvia's class on Christian Morals and Ethics was a challenge for both teacher and students.  Twelve students completed the two week course where each day the students engaged in dialogue about various ethical issues such as marriage and divorce, traditional medicine and witchcraft, capital punishment and other topics that were current issues in Vanuatu.  One of the assignments was for each student to memorize and meditate upon Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect"  (NASB).  The class learned the hymn, "Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated, Lord, to Thee" in English and Bislama and presented it at the monthly gathering of all the churches at the end of September.

William and his group present their project to the class.
Thank you to everyone who was praying for the teachers and students of these two classes.

Pastor Jenny Isaac will be teaching the next SPNTC course, Interpersonal Communications, October 25 - November 5.  Each of our courses is 35 contact hours, meeting 3 1/2 hours nightly for 2 weeks.  This is a very demanding schedule for both teacher and students.  Pray that God will give health and strength, and that the Holy Spirit will continue to complete the good work that God has begun in each one.