Sunday, April 4, 2010

Great Things Happening in Aniwa!

"We thank you, God, we thank you -- your Name is our favorite word; your mighty works are all we talk about" (Psalm 75:1, The Message).  That's how we feel too!  God has done great things and we want to tell you all about it!

Because you were praying Priscilla Radcliffe received her passport from the US Embassy in PNG just in time for her to join the group who was flying to Vanuatu to offer the Community Based Health Care workshop from March 23-April 3. God worked a mighty miracle as a result of prayer as Jessica Myers was given approval in Brisbane Airport to check-in and board the plane headed to Vanuatu.  To read more about her exciting story, click here.

The international team of Nazarene missionaries boarded the twin otter early in the morning on March 23.  Dr. Becky Morsch, Dr. Stephanie Doenges, Dr. Susan Myers and Jessica, and Priscilla Radcliffe (daughter of Jim and Kathy) all haled from the Nazarene Hospital in Kudjip, PNG.  Rev. Aseri and La Quraivalu are Fijians serving on the island of Kadavu in Fiji.  Our own Rev. Peter Isaac (missionary from PNG to Vanuatu) and Sylvia accompanied the team.

Steph and Susan taught classes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  The classes were very well attended, and some folks from the north of the island even came.  Children and women's health issues including instruction in how to do a breach delivery were the topics of discussion for the first two days.  Friday was dedicated to general health teaching that included hypertension and diabetes (common illnesses on the island) as well as teaching about HIV/AIDS. 

Some of the teaching sessions were translated from English to Bislama and then to the local language.  Since PNG Tok Pisin is quite similar to Vanuatu's trade language called Bislama, the PNG missionaries were able to communicate fairly well without translation.  God really blessed in the area of communication, making it possible for the message of Christ to be shared by every member of the team. 

On Friday afternoon, Jessica and Cilla organized a Kid's Klub and Sylvia was thrilled to be asked to join them.  We had a great time playing games with the 25 children, then Cilla shared the message of the Gospel using the 5 colors on the Evange-Ball.  The children participated in a drama about the Good Samaritan which was followed by an opportunity for the kids to make "salvation bracelets" that they proudly wore home to show their families. 

Jessica and Cilla had some great times with the girls in the villages.  Here's what Cilla shared about it: "...we went with some of the girls from the village to the island's "Sports Day" where we watched the boys play soccer and taught the girls how to make friendship bracelets.  They were all very shy, but that was a perfect opportunity to learn their names and get to know them a little bit.  Over the next few days, God kept providing opportunities for us to get to know them better.  Pretty soon they were teaching us how to make Vanuatu's staple food, lap-lap (not to be confused with wrap-around skirts), braiding our hair, and showing us their favorite place to swim in the ocean."

The Lord intervened in so many ways to bring this team together so that they could come.  Then, he intervened again and again to bring us close to people in the village.  Each of us on the team had many opportunities to share Christ's love and the Gospel.

Sylvia was delighted that she was able to pray for a lady who became her friend during the health teaching sessions, Magia.  She was raised in the John Frum Movement and married the son of the man who brought the cult to Aniwa.  Her husband disappeared many years ago leaving her with the responsibility of raising her children and providing for their needs.  She continues to hold to her belief in John Frum, but allowed Sylvia to share about Christ's love for her and then to pray for her and her family.  Please join us in continuing to pray for Magia, her family and the others who remain in the John Frum cult.

Susan, Steph, Jessica, Cilla and Sylvia left Aniwa on Saturday afternoon after a torrential rain storm that delayed the arrival of the plane by several hours.  Rev. Jenny Isaac met us in the Tanna Airport as she boarded the plane for Aniwa.  She would join Dr. Becky and the rest of the team to assist with translating for the final Community Based Health Care workshop.  Becky shared about an unexpected blessing that happened on Thursday of that week, "The chief of the northern village of Imale invited us to do health training in his community on Thursday. While I presented a sample lesson, more importantly I introduced the Ikaukau Health Volunteers who were trained and ready to do the training themselves in Imale and throughout the island. The chief invited them to return and arrangements were begun for the health volunteers to extend their knowledge and influence beyond their own village."  That evening "a graduation ceremony was conducted and certificates given to the nine individuals from Ikaukau, one from Port Vila, and two from Fiji who completed the health volunteer training."

In addition to the marvelous health training that occurred during those two weeks, Pastor Peter offered membership classes and eight people joined the Nazarene Church on Friday night.  We praise the Lord for all that He has done to extend his kingdom in the hearts of people here in Aniwa!

To view more pictures of this story, click here

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