Saturday, September 21, 2013

Catching Up and Dreaming Forward - SPNTC Update

Life has continued to move along so fast that the newsletter and blog posts that we expected to publish in early August have been pushed to the “back burner” to make room for the other irons already in the fire!  After arriving in Port Vila on July 23rd, Sylvia began preparing to preach for the first night of the district revival on August 16th , and David prepared to teach Gospel and Culture at the end of August. During the in-between days, we grieved with Pastor Morrison and his wife Rahab whose little 1 year old daughter died as a result of a heart problem.  Our field leaders, Harmon and Cindy Schmelzenbach, came through for a few days of evaluation, encouragement, and leadership development for our mission team.  And, we had meetings with pastors, district leaders, disciples…!  There was lots to catch-up on after being away from Vanuatu for four months and from our missionary partners, Peter and Jenny Isaac, for eight months.

Dave and Dr. Rosie Kerr and Grace and Anna, serving in Fiji
One meeting was called to help our school (principal, faculty, and students) answer some really tough questions to help us evaluate the development of the Vanuatu campus of SPNTC.  David continues to work on this evaluation as he and the other campuses get ready to meet with the International Board of Education in November (17th – 23rd).  Dave Kerr (Chancellor) and his wife Dr. Rosie along with their two sweet girls, Grace and Anna, spent several days with us in September helping to guide us in planning for the future. 

Our two dogs, Ginger and Jodi, insisted on
attending the meeting too. :)
Dave leading key representatives from SPNTC-VU
to dream about the future
During the three weeks of Gospel and Culture class, David taught biblical principles for evaluating the culture through the lens of the gospel.  The students gathered in groups to discuss some of the challenging issues in Vanuatu like the use of kava, sorcery, and how the cultural attitude of respect fits with the gospel.  They also learned about the cultural challenges involved in mission and then developed and presented their plan for church planting in new areas of Vanuatu.

Sylvia will be teaching two classes during the next few months – Biblical Interpretation in October and Johannine Literature in November.  She is praying that her students will become “lovers of Scripture, seekers after God, and joyfully committed to adopting the message into their own lives and to their contemporary contexts” (Syllabus: Interpreting Scripture from Modular Course of Study).

We will be team teaching the first ever extension class for SPNTC on the island of Tanna.  Pray for God’s direction in the preparations and for his anointing on the students and teachers during the class time in December.

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