On June 28, we welcomed 22 friends from Indiana and Pennsylvania, who flew to Vanuatu to put up the walls of the new JBI classroom building and do various renovation projects around campus. The team was the first construction team we have ever had visit us from our home district in 29 years of missions. So it was quite an exciting event for us! The group was from New Life Church (Kokomo, IN), Life Church (Fishers, IN) and one pastor from Pennsylvania. Even after 24 hours of travel, the team was eager to see the school and the building site so after a quick lunch we walked up to the campus from their motel.
Next morning, the guys started laying cement blocks. Bob McCauley, an electrician, began to fix the faulty electrical wiring as the school had been experiencing many power outages! The ladies got busy with plans to transform a dingy chapel storage room into a prayer room, renovate a new office for Gary, and numerous other renovation projects. What a boost to have so many helping hands on campus for 10 days! The two photos above show the building foundation BEFORE and AFTER the team had put up the walls!
Four different pastors were with the team, Randy Blankenship, Pete Campbell, Nathan Peternel and Dan Peternel. They preached in JBI chapel services, at local youth meetings and Sunday services. Many lives were touched.
The young people in the group came prepared to do a children’s outreach complete with black light puppet show, tricks, and songs. Black light has never been used for any church event here to our knowledge, so the glowing fluorescent signs and puppets were a real hit!! The kids of Blacksand settlement gathered at the church on a Saturday night and were totally enthralled by the puppet program. The puppet program clearly explained the Salvation colors and at the end every child got a bag of treats, a balloon animal and a Salvation bead bracelet.
It was a wonderful two weeks and we hated to see them leave!