Saturday, January 4, 2014

'Land'-mark News for the Church in Vanuatu

Entering the Land

The two David's (landowner on left) complete the
final step of the purchase of the Erakor land

A source of great frustration and joy has been the purchase of a half acre of land for a District Center for the Church of the Nazarene in Vanuatu. This land is located beside a main road and is an ideal location for the church in many ways, including its price.  However, the process has been long, convoluted, and difficult.

We are thrilled to announce, that finally, this beautiful piece of land is in the possession of the Church of the Nazarene in Vanuatu!  Not too long after the deal was complete, Nazarenes from around Port Vila joined together in a common effort to clear the land of “bush” or excess vegetation in order to make the land available for construction.  It was wonderful to work alongside people who have remained faithful to the Lord and the Church from our earliest days in Vanuatu, more than ten years ago.
Anna and Edward from Malapoa have been part of the
Nazarene Church since we arrived 10 years ago

Making progress

The tremendous fellowship and work was suddenly interrupted, by a very large, tall man claiming that a different tribe really owned the land.  A group of young men stood nearby showing off their 'bush knives' (machetes) in order to intimidate and to stop any development of the land.  DS Peter Isaac was gentle, but undaunted, knowing the recent completion of legal searches regarding ownership that had just been accomplished. He made it clear to this man that our church had legal ownership.

David, Peter and Bennett (the Isaac's oldest son)
measuring the land and locating the borders

After the man left, DS Peter shared the story of Nehemiah’s trials and triumphs through his trust in God with the stunned Nazarenes who were now sitting quietly on the ground.  He helped them recognize WHY opposition comes when you are involved in the Lord’s work, and inspired them to return to their work of clearing the land.  Soon, everyone was on their feet again, with new vim and vigor, putting their hearts into their work.
Mostly all cleared except the larger trees and some fruit trees
that were left to continue to bear fruit.

This was a key day in the development of the Church of the Nazarene in Vanuatu; a day the Church chose to enter the land that the Lord provided.  Now the churches are beginning to dream together about the needed buildings, building plans, Work and Witness teams, and finances.  We praise God that one of our ministry partners has already given $8000 toward the project, and we are trusting the Lord for the rest of what is needed. Please continue to pray for this project, the ongoing relationships, needed Work and Witness teams, and for the people and leaders involved!

Enjoying some rest under the tropical canopy
The work crew listens as Ps. Peter shares some words of gratitude and inspiration.

The Church Moves Forward


Our vacation spot overlooking the Pacific
Two weeks before the scheduled District Assembly, we were on vacation in Australia.  It was unfortunate that David was sick during the first half of this time, but great to be able to rest and recover in such a beautiful place.  Our rest included a break from e-mail and the internet, so upon our return to Vanuatu a one-week-old e-mail gave David quite a surprise as he read that he would preside over the 2013 Vanuatu ‘District’ Assembly.
Refreshed and renewed!

Fortunately, preparations for the District Assembly had preceded our vacation, so with DS Peter Isaac’s assistance David officially opened the 2013 Vanuatu District Assembly in the Eluklom Church of the Nazarene on November 9th, 2013.  There was great joy and enthusiasm as we met together in this first permanent church building for the Church of the Nazarene in Vanuatu, the official church opening being held just days before the Assembly.

There were highlights and “low lights” as the pastors reported on their churches.  All of us were disappointed that in spite of increased attendance in the Vanuatu churches, church membership had not increased.  We were encouraged by Pastor Gideon Sam’s report of six new preaching points started by the Prima Church.  This young Vanuatu ‘District’ had only two district licensed pastors during this past year, but was able to increase to five district pastors during this assembly.  DS Peter Isaac challenged us all as he cast a vision for all the pastors, ‘District’ leaders, and missionaries for the new year.  We give God all the praise!
District licensed ministers with their spouses -
Front (L to R):  Ps. Meriam Naunga,  Rachely Kidhly, Aline Gideon, Simone Sandy, Letin Kalorus.
Back (L to R): David Potter, David Naunga, Ps. Kidhly, Ps. Gideon, Ps. Sandy, Ps. Seul Kalorus, and Peter Isaac

Eluklom Church OFFICIALLY Opens

Although the Eluklom Nazarene Church has been meeting in their new building for a year now, it was important to the congregation to have an official opening.  Many people from other churches in the community came to celebrate with them.
It began with a march to the church.

Front of the church.

Ribbon cutting in the midst of a downpour by Rev. Peter Isaac with Ps. Meriam assisting with the umbrella.
The name changed from Eluklom (the name of the village) to Faith Eratap Nazarene Church.
And then we were invited to look inside.  Notice the beautifully tiled floor with the inlaid cross.

Black Sand Nazarene Church Hosts Community Outreach Day

To begin the day, David installed a sign above the door of the church.

About 50 kids came to enjoy a variety of activities.

Ps. John (student pastor from the Black Sand Church) shared the Good News
with the kids using the colors of the Evange-Ball.

Ps. John and Noela getting the volley ball net ready for afternoon sports with the youth.

One of the activities that we shared with the kids was to make the colored bead bracelets
that reinforced what Ps. John taught.  Many of the kids prayed for Jesus to come into their hearts.
After we served a meal to as many in the community as would come, we showed the Jesus Film.
Many adults lifted their hands desiring to pray to receive Christ as Savior.
Picture above shows Ps. Gideon and David preparing the screen.

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