Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Passing of Time

Nine months have passed since we sent out our last newsletter!  We have been keeping busy teaching courses for SPNTC and encouraging and supporting the pastors and leaders of the Nazarene churches.  We are excited to share a story in this newsletter about a young man that we’ve been working with for the last 9 years.   

John being dedicated by David in 2008 at Black Sand Nazarene Church
One of our first memories of John was as a young boy in Sunday School marching around one of the central posts of the church.  John blew on the end of a long branch of a papaya leaf, his imaginary trumpet, together with the other children.  They were reenacting the day the walls of Jericho fell down.

Today he is co-pastoring the Black Sand Church of the Nazarene with no less faith than he exhibited as a small boy.  John is an accomplished guitarist and a district leader for Nazarene Youth International this year influencing the youth of our churches to live wholeheartedly for the Lord.
Pastor John (in red shirt) with leaders from his home village.

We were excited that he was able to join two Nazarene Compassionate Ministry teams for trips to Tanna, an island to the South, on December 2015 and July 2016.  John was not only able to distribute water filters and help build a much needed cement water tank, but also able to visit his dad’s “home” village.  There he discipled a young couple, Seth and his wife, and another villager, Joshua, teaching a Membership class, and accepting them as the first three Nazarene members in that new church plant!

Pastor John has now completed all requirements of the South Pacific Nazarene Theological College to graduate on November 26th of this year.  He continues to minister at the Black Sand Church of the Nazarene.

Peter and Jenny and their boys arrived back in Vanuatu in time to participate in the District Leadership Retreat (pictured here with Pastor Natja from Aniwa and Pastor Kidhly from Erakor Nazarene Churches).

Peter and Jenny returned from their home assignment in May with their three sons.  We praise the Lord for the financial support they received during their deputation and especially from Peter’s home district in PNG which gave the equivalent of $15,000 to help build a district center on the land in Vanuatu!  Peter is working with the District Advisory Board members to develop plans for the center.  He is also working with the pastors and church leaders to implement our new vision statement: Every Nazarene becoming more like Christ and multiplying outward!

David and his father sharing the Word together on July 5.

On August 31st, one month after returning to Vanuatu following our vacation in the States, we received the news that David’s 95 year old father had passed away.  We made the long flight back to Colorado Springs to be with the family for the funeral.  Dad Potter was a kind, loving, godly influence in the lives of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as countless others who knew him. 

Within a few days after arriving in Colorado Springs on September 4th, David was seen by the “Walmart optometrist” for some strange symptoms he was experiencing in his left eye.  He was seen the following day by a retinal specialist who confirmed that he needed immediate surgery for a detached retina.  The surgery was done just two days after his Dad’s funeral.  We are thankful for David’s sister and brother-in-law who have given us a place to stay while David’s eye recovers.  Because of a gas bubble that was placed in David’s eye during the surgery, he is not able to travel to any other altitude which means no flying until the bubble has been absorbed.  The retinal specialist advised David yesterday that he needs another surgery on October 10th to fully restore his vision.  We are thankful for medical insurance provided to help us in times like this, and for our Global Mission team that granted us medical leave of absence until it is safe for David to fly home to Vanuatu.


Please join us in praying for these needs:

  1. ·        Every Nazarene in Vanuatu will become more like Jesus and be actively sharing their faith with others.
  2. ·        Strength, wisdom, and protection for DS Peter Isaac and his family.  Pray also for Peter’s wife, Pastor Jenny, who is taking university classes as well as her normal missionary responsibilities.  Also pray for their three boys, Bennett (18), Ennrich (14), and Junior (10).
  3. ·        Nazarene pastors and leaders will have the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace guiding them into loving, trusting relationships with each other.
  4. ·        Prima Nazarene Church where the enemy is working hard to destroy and discourage the members and pastors.  Pray that forgiveness and reconciliation will take place.
  5. ·        Pedro and his wife Meriam who have recently opened their home to start a Nazarene church in an area of our island, Efate, where there are no churches.  We held services there for the first time in August.
  6. ·        Seth, his wife, and Joshua, who have recently accepted the responsibility of overseeing a new church plant in their village, that they will grow in Christlikeness and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Their village is in the southern part of Tanna Island.
  7. ·        The District Advisory Board to work in unity with DS Peter to establish the plans for the construction of the district center and development of the district.
  8. ·        Nazarenes will give full authority to God’s Word and be cleansed of all that clings to their lives from their animistic religious past.
  9. ·        Complete healing of David’s eye with restoration of his vision.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support of the work of the Church of the Nazarene in Vanuatu and for us personally! 

With our love and gratitude,

David and Sylvia
Secure Online Ministry Donation Website: http://web.nazarene.org/goto/David_Sylvia_Potter

Want to support our students and leaders? Here’s a great way:  http://nazarene.org/global-mission-project?project=2555

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