It is great to be back online and have internet service again! Getting a house, unpacking and moving has not been as easy as we had hoped…never is really. Things take much longer than you hope they will. We moved into our rental house and five days later had our first robbery which resulted in the loss of Gary’s new Apple laptop and my mobile phone! It was such a shock to us to have this happen! We are so thankful that Gary had everything except a most recent Bible study backed up. Unfortunately, his computer cannot be replaced here and this is really hindering him from getting his work done. The thieves came again two weeks later and damaged windows and a door but did not get in. UPDATE: Our landlord has just installed security bars on the windows. Thank you for praying for our safety and good rest.
Two weeks ago, we were sitting out Cyclone Vania, which actually formed near the southern Vanuatu island of Erromango, about 100 miles away. It was a slow moving cyclone with high winds which uprooted trees in our yard and all over the Joy Bible Institute campus. The campus still looks like a war zone as so many large trees have come down. We are thankful that no buildings were seriously damaged but we lost the bananas, papayas and much of the avocado crop which the students eat.
The southern islands of Vanuatu were harder hit by Cyclone Vania with food gardens and huts destroyed. For people in rural areas this means food shortages until the next crops can be planted and harvested in 4 to 6 months. We know of four AG churches on Tanna which were heavily damaged. The damage reports are still coming in from other rural areas. Plans are underway for a shipment of food to be sent to Tanna with the assistance of AG World Relief. Thank you to those who have given towards this. Pray that things will go smoothly and a ship will be going south with space to take relief supplies very soon.
UPDATE: Yesterday a second cyclone called Yasi passed over the northern Vanuatu islands of the Banks. All domestic flights were cancelled due to the high winds. Our missionary colleague, Bryan Webb, who was down in Port Vila with us over the weekend and unable to fly home yesterday. His wife and children went through the cyclone alone. I am happy to say he was able to get on a flight home today. We have many churches on the small Banks Islands and are waiting for damage reports. So please pray for the people in the Banks who have just gone through this cyclone. The meteorological department has predicted four cyclones to hit Vanuatu this season.