The AUTHORITY behind the Imperative!

Authority behind Imperative.pngThe first thing that we find in the Great Commission is not the imperative, but the authority of the One who gives the imperative:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given unto me” (Matthew 28:18).

My father, who passed away in 2014, left final instructions concerning his funeral arrangements, the participants, his favorite hymns, his favorite Scripture verse, etc. The Great Commission, found in various forms in each of the Gospels and in the Book of Acts, constitutes the final instructions of the One who died and rose again and who is alive forevermore. Final instructions are not to be ignored, especially when given by the One who received all authority in heaven and on earth. This plenipotentiary in His final orders to the Church gave us the imperative of making disciples of all nations. The fact that He has received all authority in heaven and on earth tells us something about the imperative:

  • It is not optional.
  • It is not negotiable.
  • It is not limited to certain groups or churches or individuals.

It may not be immediately clear to us that this imperative is unlimited in scope or time, applying to all peoples at all points in history between the two comings of Christ, his first coming and his return. Yet the imperative given to the Church by our Commander in Chief is

  • to make disciples of all peoples everywhere,
    • baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    • teaching them to obey all his commands, including this final command to make disciples of all nations.

Thus as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are to obey all his commands including the command to make others what we ourselves have become: disciples of Jesus Christ. The cycle begins with the first disciples and continues unto the end of the age:

disciples who make disciples who make disciples…

until He returns.

Who is this One who has received unlimited authority to issue such an imperative?

  • He is the head of the Church (Ephesians 1:22).
  • He is the One who said, “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).
  • He is the One who declared, “This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 ESV).
  • He is the One to whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).
  • He is the One to whom has been granted the right to pass judgment because he is the Son of Man” (John 5:27). He will judge the world in righteousness and God has provided proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead (Acts 17:31).
  • He is the One who said, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done” (Revelation 22:12 NIV).

Yes, this One to whom all authority in heaven and on earth has been given, this One has given to His Church the final imperative of making disciples of all peoples everywhere, final instructions that we ignore at our own peril:

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,'” Jesus asked, “and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46 ESV).

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21 ESV).

The degree to which the Great Commission is central to our lives and to the mission of our churches indicates the degree to which we are submitted to the One who has received all authority in heaven and earth.


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Gary and Lori Ellison have been serving as Assemblies of God missionaries since 1982, training pastors in Africa, Europe, and the South Pacific. Gary serves as the principal of Joy Bible Institute of Vanuatu. In addition to teaching and coordinating various projects, Lori translates Christian literature into Bislama.
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International America, Nations Among Us

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Photo from Assemblies of God World Mission Hall of Nations (2017)

The face and sound of America has greatly changed since I was a child. Except for fourth grade Spanish television lessons with Senorita Conchita, and high school French with Madame Gaffie, I’m not sure that I ever heard anyone speaking another language (except at church!). Today, everywhere we go, we hear many languages: Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, Romanian, and many more.

I (Gary) am currently in the States for a couple of weeks to help our daughter Jasmine with some health issues. Our flight to Indianapolis was canceled due to weather, leaving us stuck for the night in Dallas-Fort Worth. We stayed overnight at the Clarion Hotel near the airport.

The next morning, as we were waiting in the lobby for the shuttle, I saw a man who was obviously not American. So I asked him, “Where are you from, brother?” “Côte d’Ivoire,” he responded. That’s Ivory Coast (West Africa) for those who’ve not yet updated their geography. Lori and I spent three years (1984-1986) in Daloa, Côte d’Ivoire, helping to train local pastors. Thirty-three years later, many of them are still pastoring churches or serving as missionaries to other African countries.

Imagine this man’s surprise and mine! He was amazed to find an American who had lived in his home country. I was amazed to find an Ivoirien in Texas. My new friend has been in the States for 19 years and works with the hotel and airport shuttles.

We immediately switched into French. Adding to our surprise, he too had lived in Daloa as his father had been a teacher at a school there. When I spread my arms and said, “Atoooo,” an Ivoirien greeting for old friends who had not seen each other for a long time, he came up and gave me a big hug! He was laughing through the whole conversation. We blessed each other in the name of the Lord.

There are many new faces and voices all around us, some just needing to be recognized and loved as fellow bearers of God’s image and told of the love of Christ who commanded us to make disciples of all “nations” (Greek: ethne, ethnic groups). Today many of those “nations” are in our airports, our superstores, and our neighborhoods, many just waiting for a friendly word and blessing.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for wisdom and God’s direction as we seek to help Jasmine so that the Lord would accomplish His purposes in and through her life.
  • Pray for Lori and our national pastors, Philip and Kiel, as they try to carry my load at Joy Bible Institute during these weeks of my absence.
  • Pray for Jeremy as he finishes high school in Vanuatu with us.
  • Pray that the Lord would send us a young missionary couple trained in Bible and theology.
  • Pray that the Lord would call more national workers in Vanuatu.
  • Pray and consider increasing your monthly support. We are about $2,000 short of our monthly expenses.

Thank you for your partnership in this Great Commission ministry!

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Gary and Lori Ellison have been serving as Assemblies of God missionaries since 1982, training pastors in Africa, Europe, and the South Pacific. Gary serves as the principal of Joy Bible Institute of Vanuatu. In addition to teaching and coordinating various projects, Lori translates Christian literature into Bislama.
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First 2019 JBI School Term Finished!


One Down and Two to Go!

We have just finished the first school term at Joy Bible Institute where we are training the next generation of pastors for Vanuatu and beyond. One down and two to go for 2019!

It is interesting that we now have some older men who have enrolled in the three-year pastors training program. They want to make the rest of their lives count for Christ. One was a teacher, two were police officers from different parts of the country, another a business man, and another a leader in his village.

Of course, most of our students are younger. One of our students graduated early and returned last week to his home island of Ambrym to work with Wycliffe Bible translators (SIL) to help translate the Bible into his language.

Sande Skul Seminar: Team-Teaching with Students

After Lori translated and published “Sunday School Lessons in Bislama – Book Two,” a local church asked her to conduct a seminar for their Sunday School teachers. Within a week, three more churches asked for her help. So she decided to team up with five of her Christian Education students to teach the seminar for all the churches. Over 60 people attended and all five future pastors did an excellent job.

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“Preach the Word”


Whether it’s in a local church (as in this photo) or in a series on the Book of Revelation at Joy Bible Institute, I am always grateful for the privilege of opening the Word of God. Our mission is to train up a generation of pastors who will faithfully open the Scriptures to strengthen the church


So why do they call it “Green Hill”?

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In 2015, category 5 Cyclone Pam destroyed Green Hill Elementary school (which is located in a very remote area on top of a very green hill where all the students wear… green).

The school was started by our 1998 Joy Bible Institute graduate Pastor Charley Job. After graduating, he and his wife felt called to go to the remote subsistence farming community of Green Hill to start a church. About 12 years ago, when their young boys became school age, Charley and his wife saw the need for their education and a Christian school. So they started one! Today some 140 children attend Green Hill Primary School, many of them walking long distances to get an education. Just like in the “good old days.”

Since March 2015, Lori has been raising funds to rebuild the school after its destruction by Cyclone Pam. A third building, funded almost entirely by BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge), is nearing completion.


In May we were blessed to have a wonderful team from Southeastern University (Assemblies of God). The 12 member team ministered in our churches, at youth rallies, in all three Port Vila prisons, and to “top it off” on Green Hill.

So what to pray for?

  • Pray that the Lord would send us a young missionary couple trained in Bible and theology.
  • Pray that the Lord would call more national workers here in Vanuatu.
  • A Creation ministries team arrives June 10. They will speak in public schools and distribute 8,000 copies of the Christian devotional Explore the World. Pray that the Lord will use the team to strengthen the faith of believers and open the eyes of teachers and students who have not yet come to faith.
  • Pray for the next 11 week term at Joy Bible Institute beginning June 3.
  • Pray and consider increasing your monthly support. We are about $2,000 short of our monthly expenses.
  • Pray for our daughter that the Lord will accomplish His purposes in and through her life.
  • Pray for Jeremy as he finishes high school here with us.

Thank you for your partnership in this Great Commission ministry!

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Gary and Lori Ellison have been serving as Assemblies of God missionaries since 1982, training pastors in Africa, Europe, and the South Pacific. Gary serves as the principal of Joy Bible Institute of Vanuatu. In addition to teaching and coordinating various projects, Lori translates Christian literature into Bislama.
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Make A Path And Open The Door!

Many of you may not know that Lori has served on the AG Vanuatu National Disaster Committee since its founding in 2015 after Cyclone Pam. She is the committee treasurer and has spearheaded much of the fundraising to help each of the 60 Assemblies of God churches affected by that natural disaster. Here is the story of her recent trip to the island of Paama for a church dedication.

Lulep village, Lopevi volcano


A week ago Sunday, we were at the Port Vila airport waiting to board a small charter plane to Paama Island. A dozen of us were going there to celebrate the opening of two newly rebuilt churches destroyed by Cyclone Pam in 2015. The weather conditions were not good with strong gusty winds and rain. The grass airstrip on Paama has a short one way landing and take-off over an ocean cliff. Crosswinds are often challenging on small islands but the current conditions were especially unsafe and our flight was cancelled. We went to the airport the next three mornings in a row but the national airline was not intending to fly to Paama anytime soon.

On Monday, the Tavie village church had their dedication service without us. We were very disappointed not to have been there. Gary was to be the guest speaker and Lori had been asked to unveil the new church sign. We heard that a small plane from a charter company had landed at Tavie on Monday without mishap so why could we not go too?

The second church at Lulep village was to be dedicated on Tuesday but they had postponed the service in hopes that the group could get there. Lori had promised the people at Lulep two years ago, that when they rebuilt their church she would be there. So even though no one else could go with her, she booked a seat with a one-plane charter company.

Tavie airport, Paama

Finally, on Wednesday morning, bright and early, Lori flew out on an 8 passenger plane to Paama. An excited welcoming party was waiting for her at the Tavie airport. The only vehicle on the island, a four wheel drive truck, was coming to take her up over the mountain to Lulep on the east side of the island. The Lulep church had already butchered a cow and were cooking a feast. The church dedication would start as soon as she got there.

Before the truck arrived, a text message came stating that Pastor Jimmy Obas was in the air and on his way to Paama. Miraculously, he had convinced the pilot of an even smaller plane flying north to drop him off on Paama Island. Rev. Jimmy Obas and Lori, are colleagues on the AG Vanuatu Disaster Committee which spearheaded the fundraising and assistance to the 60 AG churches affected by Cyclone Pam.

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Within the hour, the truck was loaded with supplies, a keyboard, pastors, and Christian friends ready to accompany us to Lulep. With only one truck driving along the bush track, you can imagine that there really wasn’t much of a visible road in many places. We twisted and turned through gullies, drove straight up the sides of hills and slowly climbed to a mountain top before glimpsing a large volcano and then nosediving back down through the rainforest. Before noon, we were safely in Lulep, shaking hands and meeting Pastor Avock and the congregation. That is when Lori found out she would be cutting the ribbon and preaching the dedication message.


School children, church members and villagers gathered on the village green and marched to the new church building singing “We’re Marching to Zion.” The church sign and gate were obstructed by all kinds of branches and foliage. Brother Aison came forward with a machete and began to cut at the foliage and make a path for us all to enter the property. This was a symbolic gesture of making a path to God’s house.

AG Church, Lulep, Paama

 Moulien Tahos AG Church, Lulep. Paama Ribbon cutting, AG Church. Lulep, Paama

The church sign was unveiled by the grandmother who had donated the land and we all marched to the church entrance. Again the church door was completely obstructed by banana trees and branches and again Aison came and cut a path. Lori was then able to approach the church door and cut away the ribbon and fabric. A quartet of ladies sang “Open the Door” and Lori handed the keys to Pastor Avock and he stepped inside first and everyone followed. The church interior was completely finished, the cement walls nicely plastered and painted. Pastor Jimmy Obas led the congregation in singing and then Lori preached from Colossians 2:2-7, on The Marks of a Faithful Church.

Lori at Lulep, PaamaFollowing the service, we went to an open area and sat on the grass and enjoyed a wonderful lunch. Lori spent the night in the home of one of the church ladies before crossing back over the mountain and staying two more days in Tavie village.


Thank you for your support which allows us to be in Vanuatu training young men and women for ministry at Joy Bible Institute. Pray that we will continue to be instrumental in making a path and stepping through open doors for the sharing of the Gospel on small islands and remote villages all across Vanuatu.

· Two other AG churches on Paama, in the villages of Tahi and Luli, need help to rebuild their churches. $5000 would greatly help their rebuilding.

· Our own monthly support also needs strengthening. Would you consider partnering with us?

Baptism, Blast from the Past

At the Thanksgiving table, a cousin asked me about baptizing new converts in our ministry. As missionaries, we follow the example of the Apostle Paul who rarely baptized converts himself (see 1 Corinthians 1:14-16). We want local pastors to baptize new converts so that these new disciples will be grafted into the local body of believers.

My cousin’s question reminded me about the largest baptism that we ever participated in, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (West Africa) in 1986. The churches of the greater Abidjan area gathered together at the river with eight pastors to baptize 477 new disciples!

A lot of local people were in the river that day washing their clothes:1986-07 (July)2 a.jpg

Hundreds of others were joyfully celebrating that their sins had been washed away!

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I had the privilege of preaching to that great crowd of Christian brothers and sisters along with one of our dynamic local evangelists, Pastor Apollinaire.

Water baptism is a first step in following Jesus Christ and a commitment to a lifetime of continual obedience to Him as Lord, as He commanded us: “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” And as we make disciples of all peoples everywhere, we have His promise, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Let’s do it!

Happy Thanksgiving!




“…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

Dear Friends,

The Spirit-filled life is one of continual thanksgiving to our heavenly Father for everything through Jesus Christ our Lord. We have much to give thanks for at this season of our lives.

  • Gary was unexpectedly diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer after a routine medical checkup in June. After many tests, he underwent surgery on September 13th. He is doing very well and his doctor has given him clearance to return to Vanuatu. We give thanks!
  • We have been able to visit so many friends and speak in many churches this past year of itineration. We are so thankful for the continued support of long-term partners and the new partners who have joined us. We have raised our budget and have been granted clearance by AG World Mission to return to Vanuatu. We give thanks!
  • Logistically it has been difficult to be away from Joy Bible Institute (JBI) for 4 school terms. We left without a replacement couple to teach in our place. It was most often at the last minute but we give thanks to Jack Kay and Rudd, Ray and Becki Sparre, Maurice Nicholson and most recently Sam and Lisa Paris, who dropped everything and went to JBI to teach our wonderful students for us. We are so thankful for each one of them!
  • We are thankful for pastors Kiel Maimai and Philip Naias, our permanent JBI teaching staff who have faithfully continued to train and mentor young men and women at JBI in our absence.
  • We are thankful for Mrs. Shannon Kombe who has been working as our JBI office assistant since February.

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  • Joy Bible Institute graduation takes place on November 26th. Our 2017 graduates have finished three years of pastoral training and are ready to go to those who haven’t yet heard the Good News.
  • We are thankful for you, your prayers, and your partnership in the gospel. Keep us in your prayers.

Gary, Lori, Jeremy and Jasmine Ellison
Assemblies of God Missionaries to Vanuatu

Financial support for account 236425
Assemblies of God World Mission
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802-1894

Email: • Joy Bible Institute • P. O. Box 808 • Port Vila, Vanuatu • South Pacific

GiveWay App – A new way to partner with us!

Some friends have written a cool new app called GiveWay to help you financially support missionaries with your “loose change.” When you make a purchase, the amount is rounded up to the next dollar and the difference is given to the missionaries or missions agency that you have designated. You set the parameters and the limits. Plus, it works with Android and iPhone.

1. Choose one of five AG ministries.

2. If you chose AGWM, you can add a missionary.

3. Click +Add Missionary

4. Type the missionary’s name, like Ellison!

5. You can add another missionary or organization, or just click Submit.

6. This explain the next step: Credit/Debit Card Registration

7. Select your bank.

8. Enter your details.

That’s it! That’s just one more way that you can partner with us or other Assemblies of God missionaries or Assemblies of God missions agencies. Thank you!

The Sparre Family Headed to JBI for 3 Months

We are currently in the USA raising our budget to return to Vanuatu in August of 2017. Just because we are away from Joy Bible Institute doesn’t mean the ministry is put on hold, but rather replacement teachers are needed so classes and ministries can continue.

We are so pleased to let you know that Ray and Becki Sparre, along with their son Thano, have been approved by MAPS to go to Vanuatu for 3 months and teach at Joy Bible Institute. The Sparre family spent many years as AGWM missionaries in both the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. This is wonderful news not only to us but also to our JBI teachers, Pastor Philip Naias and Pastor Kiel Maimai, who have been carrying a heavy workload in our absence.

The Sparres will leave for Vanuatu in a few short weeks and urgently need financial support for airplane tickets and living expenses. If you would like to support them, I know it would be appreciated. Please read the following to know more about these wonderful people and how to help them.


When Ray and Becki told me what they had decided to do a few weeks ago, I felt moved to get involved in the process of supporting their venture.  Ray and Becki spent 28 years as missionaries in the Islands of the Pacific. They were just finishing a four year term of service in Vanuatu in 2001 when they received word that their two sons were involved in a serious motorcycle accident stateside. Their youngest son, Thano, suffered permanent brain damage in that accident, which brought an end to the Sparres island missionary work.

Shortly after they returned to Oregon, the Sparres moved to acreage near Molalla where Ray proceeded to set up his own portable saw milling business. He has used his hands and artistic talents to provide for his family through milling, construction and sign painting.


Just a few weeks ago they received a call asking them to consider a three month mission trip to fill a vacancy in the Bible School on Vanuatu for the Spring semester.  Even though this would be a completely voluntary service with no financial compensation, Ray and Becki felt moved in their spirits that it was of God.  They made the decision to go, with only a few weeks to prepare.


  • Ray will have to continue to work and fulfill his business commitments right up until their departure at the end of February. This leaves them with virtually no time to itinerate and raise funds for the mission.
  • Income from Ray’s work will stop completely for March, April & May while they are abroad.
  • Their mortgage payment and other monthly obligations will continue stateside.
  • They will have to raise over $5,000 for round trip airfare for Ray, Becki and Thano.
  • Insurance required by the Missions Department amounts to nearly $1200.
  • While serving in Vanuatu they will be provided a house and vehicle, but will be responsible for their own food, gas and other miscellaneous personal expenses.

Ray estimates that the total budget for the 3 month mission will be about $15,000.

Ray and Becki have received official approval through the Assemblies of God Missions Department for this short term mission.  MAPS will issue tax deductible receipts for contributions, but will not be processing or disbursing funds.


  • A separate bank account has been set up for this missions trip
  • Checks for this mission should be made payable to: “Ray Sparre / Vanuatu Mission
  • Contributions should be mailed to:

Elvin Huston

20 Brophy Way #18

Shady Cove, OR 97539

  • Hustons will deposit all checks into Sparre’s Vanuatu Mission account
  • A record of each contribution will be forwarded to the A/G Missions Department
  • The A/G Missions Department will issue tax deductible receipts for each donation
  • Ray and Becki will be able to access funds as needed via a bank card while on the field

This letter is not intended to convey an expectation or to produce a feeling of obligation on anyone. Our purpose is to make you aware of what the Sparre’s feel called to do, and let you know how you can participate financially if you feel the Lord’s prompting to do so.

Eunice and I have purposed to make a one time gift to help with the initial cost in getting to the field, followed by a monthly contribution for March, April and May. I am also hoping to create a place on our website where you can see pictures and reports from the Sparre’s while they are on their mission.  There may also be some reports and pictures postings on facebook for those who are facebook friends.

Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy email. Please feel free to email us if you have any questions.

Laborers together,

Elvin & Eunice Huston

2016-2017 Special Projects

Just wanted to update the information on our current projects. All financial gifts may be sent to our Assemblies of God World Mission account, and please be sure to designate with the project name and number.

Married Student Housing at Joy Bible Institute – Project #5764 – $15,000 each house


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We have completed the first student house on the new property and a student and his family have moved in! We plan to build 7 more small houses on this property.  Our students are often from distant islands and they need to bring their families to Bible school with them. Will you help us?

About $15,000 will build a small one bedroom house for a student family.

CYCLONE PAM REBUILD – Green Hill Elementary School – Project #5778 – $45,000 School Building



One hundred forty-three children were left without classrooms to study in when Cyclone Pam completely blew away their school in March 2015. Green Hill Primary School was started by Joy Bible Institute graduate, Pastor Charley Job, and is the only school in that remote farming community. We have been partnering with them to rebuild their school and need your help to complete the job.

We are currently raising $45,000 to build a simple three room classroom building for grades 4 to 6.

CYCLONE PAM – Small Village Church Rebuilding Assistance – $5000 each



Pastor John Yalsi and his wife stand in front of the ruins of their small Assembly of God church. They pastor in a small farming community in the hills of Teouma. Pastor Yalsi and his wife grow vegetables and sell them in the market in Port Vila to support themselves.

Cyclone Pam completely destroyed their church, village and gardens. The cost of replacing this partial concrete building is beyond their means. Would you join with us to help rebuild this church and several others?

60 AG churches were either totally destroyed or damaged from Cyclone Pam on March 13, 2015.

Joy Bible Institute AGWM Acct # 541772 – Cyclone Repairs



The Joy Bible Institute had many buildings damaged and roofs blown off from Cyclone Pam. Much of the campus has been repaired but not everything. Funds have run out and we still need to repair the school chapel and the pile of rubble in the foreground of the photo above was a storage building and carport. We need funds in order to repair and replace the facilities we have lost.

Any offering to the Joy Bible Account AGWM #541772 would help us to continue repairing the cyclone damaged buildings on the Bible school campus.

First JBI Pastor’s Seminar of 2016


This year JBI has planned to host three overnight Pastor’s Seminars on campus. The first one was held April 8 to 9th. The theme was EVANGELISM.

Many pastors arrived early on Friday afternoon and had supper in the student cafeteria before the first session at 7:00 p. m. The chapel was very full from the beginning. JBI teacher Philip Naias was the Friday night speaker.


The next morning, J. Gary Ellison and Kiel Maimai took the next sessions. At the end of the morning, so many expressed how they were challenged to be more active in reaching out to the people in their communities.


JBI students were busy cooking and hosting the visiting pastors.


Lunch was served outside under the mango tree on Saturday and everyone lingered and talked for a couple of hours before going home.

We were so pleased to hear that our provincial church leaders are actively pursuing plans to have some joint evangelism events across the city as a direct response to the seminar. Two churches have already gotten together and had a evangelism outreach since the seminar.

Another Visit to Rangorango

IMG_7780 I was very excited when we received a call asking if we would go back to Rangorango and celebrate the opening of their church kindergarten.

On a Sunday in late November 2015, we had visited the church in that rural farming community. Gary had preached and I was asked at the close of the morning service to give a pep-talk to the church people about launching their own kindergarten. There is no school of any kind for miles around so all children must leave home and live with relatives elsewhere if they want to start their education. I do not normally give such pep-talks but in light of the lack of education for the children, it was not difficult to underscore the need and their ability to do something for their children. The church itself had 50 children in attendance that morning!

So to be asked just five months later to come and attend the opening of the first kindergarten was awesome!

JBI Dean of students, Pastor Kiel Maimai and a group of JBI students accompanied me and Jasmine. Pastor Kiel and the students were to speak in the Sunday morning service which would follow the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the kindergarten.


Welcome speeches were given by Pastor Charley Job and the community leaders. The chief announced the name of the school as LoriNafeNaka Kindergarten and it was unexpected to be thus honored. The next day was my birthday so it was a very special gift. The other parts of the name identify the two language groups the school will serve.


The kindergarten was made of local materials by the community and sits on the church property. I was asked to cut the vine across the door with a machete knife and then we went inside to look at the lovely schoolroom.



Group photo above: myself, Mrs. Charley Job, Pastor Charley Job from Green Hill, JBI students, Pastor Kiel Maimai, and local Pastor David Willie. Pastor David Willie (photo below) is a 2013 JBI graduate and became the pastor of the church after graduating. Rangorango began as an outreach of Green Hill church and many people have come to Christ.



Sunday morning services are held under blue plastic tarps as the former building was destroyed by Cyclone Pam last year. This community depends on market gardening for income and was very hard hit by last year’s cyclone and the drought which followed. The JBI students led the morning service, shared testimonies and song, and then Pastor Kiel preached. We had a wonderful service and a potluck dinner followed.



Please pray for Pastor David Willie and his family as they minister among the people of Rangorango. Please pray for the kindergarten teacher and the little ones being taught each day. If you would like to help provide a more permanent church roof for this congregation or school supplies, please contact us.

Green Hill School Dedication

On March 11, 2016, just a few days before the one year anniversary of Cyclone Pam which totally destroyed the Green Hill Primary School and much of the community, we gathered to officially open two new school buildings and start the new school year.

It was a rainy day and the road was a bit more treacherous than normal, but the four-wheel drive pickup was packed with church leaders and missionary friends eager to celebrate the event with the Green Hill community.











Pictured above: Back row – Jasmine Ellison, Rev. Dave Wood, Julie Wood. Front row: Green Hill AG Pastor Charley Job, Shefa Province AG Presbyter Rev. Berry Kalotrip, Shefa Province AG Treasurer Rev. Joshua Malakai and Lori Ellison.


The Green Hill school children waiting to greet the visitors and accompany us into the school property.


The school children led the way in song.

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Flag raising and singing the Vanuatu national anthem.

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Clockwise from left: Listening to speeches, singing, praying, and a kid’s sermon.

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The traditional giving and receiving of gifts.


Rev. Berry Kalotrip cutting the ribbon on the door of the first classroom. The main school building consists of three classrooms. The main donor was ACCI Relief of Australia. They gave AU$41,800 to rebuild this building. Mrs. Lori Ellison was the project manager, receiving the funds, purchasing all the building materials, and overseeing the actual construction. To fully complete the building, US$10,000 was also given by AGWM-USA.

We are so grateful to all who gave to rebuild this school. A special thank you to Katie Blok of ACCI for reading my first email and then her amazing support for the project.

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Above: Accepting gifts of garden produce from the Green Hill community.

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Above on the left: Pastor Charley Job, (JBI grad) is the man who carved this mission work and school literally out of the bush, high on a plateau above the Teouma River Valley. He built a church and a school over the years and Cyclone Pam took it all away in one night, March 15, 2015. At the reopening of the school, 146 children, grades K-6 were enrolled.

Until more funds are available for more classrooms, six grades will be squeezing into three classrooms.

Above on the right: Green Hill school headmaster, Joseph Kalo. He kept the school functioning after the disaster and loss of buildings and books. For months, teachers and students, huddled under tarps and sat on the grass for class.


We are also very grateful to PAOC partners, Dave and Julie Wood, who before they had even moved to Vanuatu, were raising funds and awareness in Canada to rebuild a kindergarten building for Green Hill Primary School. A special thank you to Rev Murray Cornelius who responded favorably to my email to asking for help from the PAOC. Very grateful that ERDO Canada agreed to sponsor the new kindergarten and many friends and family who donated money to ERDO. Thirty-six little ones are now attending kindergarten under the care of head teacher Ruth and her helper.

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Above: The new kindergarten built by PAOC and ERDO partners in CANADA. DSC_0145 DSC_0276

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The rebuilding of this school was a logistic challenge from day one, so many amazing things happened to bring us to this day of dedicating the new school buildings. I am so thrilled that church friends in Australia, Canada and the United States came together and showed such compassion to the families in a little-known farming community of Green Hill which had been almost blown off the map by Cyclone Pam! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!

JBI New School Year Starts


Students registered for the new school year on February 29 and classes started the next day. The freshmen class was smaller than expected but they have all expressed a strong call of God for ministry.

One young man, has known for 10 years he should be at JBI but he has honored his parents and helped in family obligations until they gave their consent. Another is a new member of a Bible translation team and needs a good Biblical foundation. Another has come to prepare to go back to his village as the first trained pastor for his church. We feel so privileged to be in a position to help prepare them for God’s call on their lives.

Thank you for your support which enables us to be here at Joy Bible Institute, training the next generation of pastors for Vanuatu.

The JBI Village


On the 18th of January, we started clearing the JBI off-campus property where we plan to build some small houses to accommodate married JBI students and their families.

Most of our married students come to JBI from outer islands. Until we built the three small apartments on campus in 2013, husbands left their families behind to come to Bible School for 9 months at a time. You can imagine the sacrifice and difficulty in doing so. But rented rooms in Port Vila are way beyond the budget of our students.

Providing simple housing for married JBI students has been on our priority list ever since we came to JBI in 2007.

We have some money for this project and planned to start building last year. That was before Cyclone Pam hit us and left widespread destruction! Major repairs to the JBI main campus buildings started last March, required our immediate attention, and are now ongoing as funds permit. But “Our Village” needed to be started!

Notice the trees in the photo above, they survived the cyclone but are forever bent from the high winds. Most of the trees on this property were lost.

This week has been spent clearing the 2500m2 property which is actually in a newer subdivision called Beverly Hills, just a 10 minute walk from the JBI main campus. We had never seen the land totally cleared, so we were excited to find the boundary stones and see visually just how big it is! In the photo below I am standing (white speck in red circle) at the end of the fence, all the land to the right of the fence is JBI’s!

Our long term goal for this property is to have at least eight small student houses, a communal kitchen, and a daycare to serve the JBI families and as an outreach to the community.

THANK YOU again to those who helped us buy the property in 2014 and finance the building of the first two houses!

Joy Bible Institute – Married Student Housing Project #5764


Green Hill Primary School: Help Needed


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I was so very excited to see the progress on the Green Hill Teouma Primary School today! It is looking wonderful!

The new school year starts in February in Vanuatu and we want the building to be completed for the teachers and children, who lost their school building to Cyclone Pam 10 months ago.

On the downside, work on the school stopped today because we ran out of money. We still need louvre windows, paint, ceilings and worker’s wages. All US donations can be sent to: AGWM, 1445 Boonville Ave, Springfield, MO. 65802 USA. The project #5778 Green Hill Teouma Rebuilding. Thank you!