Monday, July 30, 2012

Eluklom Church Building Project

The cement foundation and floor were almost
completed by the end of February.

The Eluklom Nazarene Church out at Eratap is growing fast!  This congregation is only about 4 years old, but is very active in reaching out to the villages around it.  They were challenged at the District Assembly last November to host the assembly this year.

They knew the shelter that they had been meeting in wouldn't be big enough, so they plunged into building a new cement block church.

This is what the building looked like about a month ago.

The family that started the church has a business of making cement blocks, as well as timber and other things.  They have finished the walls and are now ready to put the roof on.  The estimate is that the roofing irons and trusses will come to about US$20,000.  Each sheet of corrugated tin will cost roughly $100 and they have calculated around 60 sheets.  They are praying and we are praying along with them for the Lord to provide for this need.

John Kalorus - the father of six sons who own
the cement block business, also SPNTC student

We are very proud of their efforts, as they have sacrificed to provide the materials and have done all the construction themselves.  Most of the guys working on the church are SPNTC students, so when they are attending a class they put the church building on hold in order to dedicate themselves to their studies.

Just last week, we received a donation of $5000 (USD) towards the completion of the church which will encourage these hard working folks to continue to pray and believe that God will provide!  If you would like to know more about how you can help in this project, please contact us.  You can e-mail us at or by clicking in the "Contact Us" box in the upper left part of this page.
Walles (orange shirt) and Seul (green shirt), both are John's sons
and Sandy (red shirt) with Pastor Peter (middle).
Getting ready to lay the final blocks on the ends of the building.
Notice the baptistry in the floor just to the left of John (blue shirt).

Life and Times of the Potter's

On June 7th, we celebrated 32 years of marriage and friendship! 
Tamanu on the Beach Resort - Hibiscus Bungalow
 A few days later we got away to our favorite beach resort bungalow 
and enjoyed watching the waves and listening to them crash against the reef.  
We took an early morning walk and watched the sunrise.  
In the evening, the full moon was reflected on the ocean and we made moon shadows on the sand.  
Full moon over the Pacific
We are so thankful for the privilege of living and serving in this beautiful place!  God has been so good to us!

Tomorrow afternoon (July 31), we will be taking a much anticpated vacation!  We are flying back to the States for lots of fun with friends and family.  We will start off in Kansas City, then head to Truman Lake in Missouri for a Potter family reunion.  Then, it is on to Ohio to celebrate Tim Radcliffe's marriage to Bethany and to spend some time with Dora and Sylvia's other grandparents, Jim and Kathy Radcliffe.  We will drive up to Michigan and visit Sylvia's parents and Wesley for a few days before driving over to New York where Sylvia will get a medical check up, and hopefully David too!  We'll spend our last days of vacation going to the zoo and the park with our two favorite little girls!

Our Monthly District Gatherings

The last Sunday of each month at 3:00 in the afternoon, all the Nazarene Churches that are located in Port Vila gather together at one of the four locations to worship the Lord and fellowship together.  It is always a great time!  Our churches are fairly small, but when we get together we pack out the place!

At the end of June, Women's Ministries was responsible to lead the district gathering at the Black Sand Church.  The two district leaders met with Jenny Isaac and Sylvia to plan the program together and decided that each of the congregations would help to present a drama based on Acts 9:32-43, the story of Peter raising Tabitha (Dorcas) to life.  Metas had prepared a wonderful devotional from the story and each congregation provided ladies to act different parts of the story.  Black Sand Church provided Tabitha and the ladies who were attending to her when she died.  Vila North Church provided the mourners.  Prima Church had the part of the ones who ran to get Peter, and Eluklom Church provided someone to play the part of Peter.  It all came together beautifully! The ladies did such a good job of acting during the mourning part of the drama, that some in the congregation thought someone had actually died!

SPNTC Vanuatu - Teaching for Transformation

David teaching Theology 1

South Pacific Nazarene Theological College in Vanuatu has offered five classes so far this year.  Each class has been well attended with many new students enrolling this year.  We are so glad to be able to rent a beautiful, new classroom from Joy Bible Institute for our classes.  Pastor Jenny taught Wesleyan Holiness History in May/June.  David taught Theology 1 in July.  Pastor Peter will teach History and Polity of the Church of the Nazarene in August.  Each teacher prepares his or her own curriculum.  Because many of our students do not know English well, the materials must be translated into Bislama.  One change that has been made this year is that the classes are being taught for three weeks now rather than two. We have been trying to print and bind some "textbooks" for the students to use. We've gotten lots of positive comments from them and have heard that they have used their books to teach their children what they've learned and also used it to share with others in their churches.   It is exciting to see the students grow in their Christian lives as they participate in the classes!

Rev. Dave Kerr and the SPNTC Vanuatu faculty
Within the last two months, SPNTC got a new chancellor, Rev. Dave Kerr, who was serving for the last two years at Melanesia Nazarene Bible College.  He and his wife, Dr. Rosie, and their two daughters, Grace and Anna, are making the transition to a new culture and language in Fiji.  Dave came for a visit to Vanuatu while David was teaching this month.  He has lots of great ideas and is helping the college to take some giant steps forward.  He sat in on David’s classes and the two worked together on figuring out how SPNTC could operate more effectively across the five nations of Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Guam, and Vanuatu.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Prima Church Update - Stoned, and THEN...

Gathered for worship at Prima Village
On July 1st, all the Nazarene churches were invited to meet at Prima Church to worship God and also to bring an offering that could be used to help the church construct a better church building. It is basically just a tin roof held up with bamboo right now. There were some drunk guys who were nearby trying to disrupt the service. They were constantly calling out. Pastor Gideon and Kami were on guard the whole evening! Then, after the sermon when the altar call was being given, someone from outside the worship area, threw some rocks toward the church - four in all. The speaker and the worship leader were both hit in the leg. The area where we were meeting was quite crowded, and we are thankful that no one was seriously injured. Also, the stones didn't hit the church's tin roof which would have made a lot of noise and caused everyone to be very alarmed. Most of the people didn't even know at the time that the stones were thrown. Pastor Peter went forward and began to pray in a very strong voice against the principalities and powers of the darkness and that the people who threw the stones would be convicted in their hearts. Holding the stones that were thrown, Pastor Gideon, Prima Church's pastor, closed the service by asking for prayer for the young men that threw them. He has endured much persecution as the pastor of this church. But, he has been faithful to continue to humbly lead the church and reach out to the people of the village. Thank you for praying for Pastor Gideon, his congregation, and the village at Prima.

Second ladies meeting at Prima.
L to R: Pastor Jenny Isaac, Rehab, and Naoia (yellow dress).
Three days later, Sylvia was scheduled to share at the first women’s ministry gathering at Prima Church. When she got to Prima, none of the ladies were ready. Most of them were just coming back from “swimming” (bathing) in the river. Kami, who has been a Christian now for about a year, sat and chatted with her and told her that the ladies would be meeting at the home of someone from the other side of the village. The other side of the village is under a different chief and he is very antagonistic toward the church. He has rejected all attempts that Pastor Gideon has made to reach out.

This was such a surprise after the service on Sunday!  God is answering prayer for this village and how exciting that Sylvia could be part of the first gathering on "the other side!" After everyone had gathered, there were about 15 ladies, 4 men, and lots of kids. Sylvia could tell that many of the ladies were not from any church as they did not sing along with the familiar choruses as the meeting began. Pastor Gideon’s wife, Aline, shared a testimony, and then Kami's wife, Naoia, gave a testimony in her own language. Sylvia could tell she was talking about how she came to know Jesus and the difference that it made in her life. Then it was Sylvia's turn!

Church of the Nazarene Articles of Faith Study Map
by Stephane Tibi, copyright 2008.

Sylvia began, "I've experienced new life like Naoia has been talking about!"  Then she shared her testimony of how Jesus took away her fears and gave her life.  After that she shared from the "Articles of Faith study map" and explained through pictures how they could receive forgiveness and new life too. The Articles of Faith picture guide was developed to help people understand what the Church of the Nazarene believes, but it is also very useful in sharing the plan of salvation. When she finished sharing and asked if any of them wanted to receive the gift of new life, they all raised their hands! She guided them in a prayer of repentance that they repeated after her. When we were shaking hands and greeting each other, all of them had such lovely smiles which was a big change from how they looked when they first arrived. Later she learned that the ladies stayed until dark talking with Naoia who clarified in their own language the things that they had heard.

New Testament in the language of the
Southwest Tannese people

Wycliffe missionaries, Ken and Mendy Nerhbass, just completed the translation of the New Testament in the language of these particular people who are from the southwest part of the island of Tanna. They now have a printed New Testament and recorded reading of the entire NT in their own language. Many of the ladies who met with Sylvia never learned to read, so an audio Bible would be a great blessing to them, especially in their own heart language! If you would like to assist us in getting audio Bibles and written Bibles for these people at Prima, please contact us!

" word that goes out from my mouth...will not return to me empty..."

Isaiah 55:11, NIV

"[It] is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,

it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, NIV