Friday, November 6, 2015

Home Assignment and Continued Relief Efforts

Newly rebuilt Black Sand Nazarene Church
Black Sand Nazarene Church after Cyclone Pam

Disaster relief efforts following Cyclone Pam were still in full swing when we left Vanuatu for our 4 month scheduled home assignment.  Pastor Peter Isaac and his team of district leaders continued to assess needs in communities and purchase and distribute supplies.

One team of national Nazarenes took rice, boxes of canned fish, tarps, and building supplies to the island south of us, Tanna, where the cyclone had done the most damage.  The compassion of Jesus was also shared with the people on Aniwa, just east of Tanna, as Pastor John from Black Sand Nazarene Church took relief supplies and Christ’s love to share with the people there.

The two Port Vila Nazarene church shelters that were destroyed in the cyclone have been rebuilt, as well as the Nazarene church shelters on Aniwa and Tanna.  We are thankful for the financial support of people around the world who generously gave to the Nazarene Compassionate Ministry disaster relief fund and for the generosity of others like Youth With A Misssion in Vanuatu who also partnered with us to provide food, shelter, and clean water for thousands of people! 

Newly rebuilt Prima Nazarene Church including the gutters and
 rain tanks donated by the YWAM -Vanuatu team.

One of the most frightening things about going through a category 5 cyclone was knowing how many people were going through it with no safe shelter.  So, one of the long range recovery goals is to work with our church communities to consider the possibility of constructing “houses of refuge” where people can find safe shelter during a violent storm and can also be used as a church and community gathering/training place.  Please pray for God’s guidance as we work together on this goal.

We had a tremendous home assignment traveling from Alaska to Florida, Michigan to Colorado, and from San Francisco to San Diego, and many places in between!  We were overwhelmed by the generosity and hospitality of the Nazarenes who welcomed us into their homes and churches.  We met with many people who were eager to be connected with God’s work in Vanuatu.

David's family including his 94 year old father
Sylvia's family gathered around her parents for their 60th anniversary
While we were home in the USA, we were able to be with all of our children and grandchildren, our parents, and our siblings.  David’s family met together for a reunion on Orcas Island, and Sylvia’s family met in northern Michigan to celebrate her parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.  Along our way, we were delighted to meet up with many of our friends which made the time at home so satisfying!  We also celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary!  We are so incredibly blessed!

So happy to be with our kids and our four grandchildren!

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