Married Dorm Update

Within a few days the married dorm building may stop for a while as we have run out of funds. I wanted to show you what has happened recently and how much progress has been made. Students arrive for classes March 8th and we really want to have this finished for 3 married couples. We have no other campus housing for married students.

Avia plastering the back wallporch

All the interior and exterior walls are being plastered.

Room with private bathroom - right side

This is one of the studio rooms. Private bath through door on the left.


The sky was really this blue today!! Gorgeous! NEED MONEY FOR METAL ROOF!

Front of buildingrear of building

Photo (left) is the front porch of the building and on the right is the rearview.

Married dorm behind chapel

The married dorm sits behind the JBI Chapel. Pray with us that funds will come in to finish it quickly!

Thank you for making your tax deductible contribution here.

Construction Update

Well, tomorrow is the last day the guys are going to work (and hence myself) until after January 1st. The work is progressing nicely. This photo was taken a couple of days ago and all the rafters and purlings are in. The bonding beam around the verandah will be poured tomorrow. I think the married students better get their names on the waiting list…only three apartments available!


The Difference a Month Can Make

On November 5, 2012, Pastor Peter (‘07 JBI Grad) and David started working with me to make something useful out of a small half-finished room attached to a larger unfinished foundation. This building was started before we came to JBI in 2007 and had never been finished. The original purpose of the building had been debated but one thing was certain, it needed to be finished. The topsoil in the foundation area had even been used for a couple of years as a vegetable garden. I found this photo of Jeremy standing among the cabbages planted in the unfinished foundation in 2008!


One difficulty we have seen over and over again with our married JBI students, is a spouse having to come alone to Port Vila to study. This separation is especially hard on the wife and children left on outer islands having to subsist alone while the husband is away for 9 months at a time. But renting a room in the city or bunking in with relatives is rarely an option for our married students. On campus we provide dorms for both single men and women but no married accommodations.

A special offering of $5000 towards married housing earlier this year caused us to look for a solution and focus again on this unfinished building…the only one on campus. So recently a decision was made to finish this building and make 3 studio apartments for married couples before school starts again in 2013.

Start in Nov 2012walls Nov 2012

posts pouredbonding beam

So the past month has made an amazing difference in transforming an unfinished foundation into three studio apartments!

We have spent the $5000 gift and now need more funds to finish the rest. The next costly item will be the purchasing of metal roofing. Then we will need money for bathroom fixtures, 3 double beds, tables, chairs and closets for each apartment.

This building is a continuation of Project 5619 construction at Joy Bible Institute. If you would like to make a donation towards this project you may do so here. Thank you so much for your continued support of the school!

Married Students Housing Under Construction


A few years ago this unfinished building foundation was full of cabbages, peanuts and tomato plants. The guesthouse project started by our predecessor has remained unfinished for quite some time. We have desired to slightly alter the plans and make three studio apartments for married couples with it. Married couples’ accommodation is really what the school needs. Renting a room in town is rarely an option for our married students because they come to JBI without guaranteed funds. So often, wives have to remain back on home islands while husbands come to Bible school for three years of study.

Nov 5, 2012

This past Monday, November 5th, we hired a work crew and they cleaned out the weeds and cut down the papaya tree growing in the middle of the floor (photo above). Since then, the guys have continued working and I have been purchasing cement blocks, bags of cement, sand, coral and rebar. An unexpected offering has allowed us to begin the completion of this building but we have a long way to go.

Nov 9, 2012

As of today, Friday, November 9th, this photo shows our progress, plumbing pipes set, and additional foundation footings. Everything is ready for the floor to be poured on Monday! We are so excited to be on our way to providing rooms next year for three married couples. If you would like to help us with this building, please send all gifts to our account, labeled project 5619.

Campus Improvements

retaining wall JBI


Small projects around the new JBI classroom building have continued. On one side of the classroom building, a new retaining wall was built to stop erosion and flooding from the hillside above. Pastor Peter Avock ‘07 JBI Grad, returned for a few weeks to build it.

Fijian friendThe final coat of paint is now on the new classroom building. A team of young people from the country of Fiji have been on a mission trip to Vanuatu and surprised us with an offer to do some practical work. So they came for several mornings and painted for us! The stone retaining wall along the front was painstakingly built by the JBI students. And though there is some more landscaping to do, we are almost done!

2012 JBI Classroom

Bladiniere Church

It was a sunny but very windy Sunday morning when we visited a new church in the Bladiniere neighborhood. This church is pastored by Pastor Kiel, our own JBI Dean of Students. The open building was packed with an enthusiastic group of people for worship. They are currently meeting on borrowed land and would like to buy two nearby house lots for their future church building. Would you like to help them? During the week this church runs a free day school for underprivileged children with sixty-five children currently attending!

Bladiniere AGBladinierePastor Maurice

JBI New Classroom Building

On February 24, 2012, a small ceremony was held to mark the opening of the new JBI classroom building. The building has a teacher’s resource and conference room, two classrooms and public restrooms. JBI teachers and students gathered to witness this much anticipated event. AG Vanuatu Superintendent, Rev. Youen Atnelo, Pastor Randy Blankenship and JBI Principal, J. Gary Ellison cut the ribbon on the classroom door after a short service.

Cutting the ribbonDedicationRefreshment tableSinging

THANK YOU to Celebration Christian Center of Midland, MI for their generous offering towards the purchase of the new furniture for the building!

Teacher resource and conference roomNew classroom

A Great Local Team

It was a tremendous boost to our construction project to have two construction teams come from the USA in 2011. New Life Church of Kokomo, Indiana, and Life Church, Fishers, Indiana, laid all the block walls and then a few months later, Lafayette First from Lafayette, Indiana, put on the trusses, roof and inside ceilings. There have been many local people who worked on the building as well. Our contractor, Ben Saul and his workman, Morres, actually worked from start to finish with me. Other local skilled construction workers came and worked during different phases of the building project. As we neared the opening date, February 24, 2012, skilled JBI grads, teachers and current students all pitched in to get things done! Here are some photos of the final days of work.

MorresContractor Ben Saul

Photos above: Morres painting and Ben installing the louvre glass windows.

Photos below: Job, 2008 JBI grad plastering & Pastor Kiel, JBI teacher. They worked hard to plaster the remaining exterior walls. Even working on scaffolding through a rainstorm!

Job Dalili, 2008 JBI gradPastor Kiel Maimai, JBI teacherPastor Peter Avock, 2007 JBI grad and tile layerJBI students helping








Photos above: JBI students helping around the building site and (right) Pastor Peter Avock, 2007 JBI grad, laid all the ceramic tile on the floors and in the bathrooms.

Photos below: Workers unloading cement bags and carrying in the new classroom furniture.

Classroom furniture deliveryLocal workers

The Work Goes On…

P1100007We are gaining momentum once again after the Christmas and New Year’s slowdown. Tile is going up on the bathroom walls and floors right now and this is very exciting! Christmas sales were timely, as I was able to purchase all the ceramic tile, toilets and sinks at special sale prices.

There have been some unexpected helpers come our way and we are so grateful to each one of them…Jim and Carol, new friends all the way from Saskatchewan, Canada, for a resort holiday but took 2 days to do construction work! What a personal encouragement that was to me! Thanks so much guys! Then Pastor Peter Avock and friends came by and started plastering and pouring floors! So we are moving along though still needing a few more qualified hands! The whole time Ben has been toiling away every day with or without help! Thanks Ben! More reinforcements should be arriving today!

P1160011Looks like we have most of our supplies on hand except the glass for the windows which is out of stock…so pray that it will come in on the next boat!

Still a lot to do in the next month before the students arrive back at JBI! It’s going to be great to be teaching in a regular size classroom with a white board mounted on the wall!

Final Stage of Classroom Construction

Floor tile on hand!We are so thankful to have the funds to complete our new classroom building at JBI, thank you so much to ActioNow and everyone who sent in end-of-the-year donations! December was very hectic as we juggled the little money-on-hand, bought what we needed and took time to celebrate Christmas. In early December, we desperately needed cement and none was available in the country! This is one of the complications of living on an island and depending on imported goods. So construction stopped! Then right before Christmas, the very first load of cement to come off the docks was delivered to us! (Thank you Carpenter hardware!) This delay, unfortunately put us a couple of weeks behind schedule as the walls should have been plastered before Christmas and not after! At this point, we have scoured the few local hardware stores and have purchased all the plumbing and tiling supplies needed. The classroom chairs and desks have been ordered from Australia – the first shipment is already on its way by boat and the customs duty exemption paperwork in hand!

PlasteringBen plastering

Next, we need more skilled workers to come and join Ben and Morris in finishing the building…Christmas holidays can really be dragged out here and it is hard to regain momentum. Classes resume at JBI on February 14th and we plan to dedicate the building and move in! Thank for praying for Lori and the work crew as they finish this much-needed building!

Saama Village Visit

This morning we drove up to Saama village on the northern side of the island as Gary was invited to preach at Bethany Worship Center. This church is pastored by Rev. Jimmy Obas, who also serves on the National Executive for the Assemblies of God of Vanuatu. On the church property is a First Aid Post manned by Pastor Jimmy (the only health facility for the village) and a Christian school with just over 100 students.

Obas family singingBethany Worship Center, Saama, N. Efate New church building site

Pastor Jimmy Obas and congregation have broken ground and started the foundation work for a new sanctuary as they have outgrown their present building (blue building photo above). They plan to raise $100,000 over the next 3 years to complete the new sanctuary. They are currently harvesting mangoes and selling them at the Port Vila fruit market for the building fund. If you would like to give to their new building, please feel free to get in touch with us.

UPDATE: April 15, 2012, The foundation and floor have been poured for the new sanctuary at Saama. Funds needed for the next stage.

New foundation of Bethany Worship Center, Saama village, Efate

Lafayette Team

Rick the electricianSherry and Jonah in English class

ScottCarolyn and David in English class

The Lafayette team has been very busy doing the electrical wiring and ceiling work now that the roof is on! Today they also went to English class and gave the students some practice with conversational English! The students were quite nervous at first but quickly the room was buzzing with friendly conversation! Thanks everyone for your willingness to help out in other areas!

On Your Mark! Get Set! Go!

Walk For JoyPastors Randy Blankenship and Pete Campbell of New Life Church, Kokomo, Indiana (USA) are about to get started on a 400 mile (640 km) bicycle trip to raise money for our new classroom building!

Some of you may remember that Pastor Randy walked 250 miles a year ago to raise money for our project. Well, he is at it again and taking Pastor Pete along for the ride! They plan to start in Angola, Indiana, which is in the northeast corner of the state and ride all the way to Evansville, Indiana, in the southwest corner. Their FB page is called Ride For Joy.

They depart on their bicycle adventure today!!

I know they would really appreciate some pledges for their efforts so if you would like to encourage them and at the same time support our classroom building project, please contact them here.

UPDATE: Pastor Randy and Pastor Pete completed their 371 mile ride from Angola, Indiana to Evansville, Indiana, in just 8 days! They are still happy to take donations for their cycling efforts which in turn go to our new classroom building project.

Classroom Building Progress Report

Roofing material is ready!Since the New Life Church, Kokomo, IN and the Life Church, Fishers, IN construction team left in early July, we have continued work on the new JBI classroom building. Cement bonding beams, verandahs, and rafters were just some of the things done to prepare the building for the arrival of the next volunteer construction team.

A week ago, 12 people from Lafayette First Assembly, Lafayette, IN, arrived to finish the rafters and purlings and begin putting on the metal roofing. By Friday, half of the metal roofing was already on! So they have already made a big difference in the new building! Needless to say, we are all very excited to see the progress and looking forward to teaching in the new building very soon!

Pastor Todd, Scott and LynnThe Lafayette team has another week of work before they fly home so we plan to keep them busy until they get on the plane! We are so grateful to all of you who have supported this construction project. We have now spent all the money that has been raised. So we would appreciate your prayers and continued support. We need approximately $70,000 to finish!

Construction Team From USA

New Life team arriving

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.

Foundation awaiting the teams' arrivalNew Life team

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!

Pastor Randy BlankenshipPastor Daniel Peternel & Nathanael Sommers

Steve MaddenLarry Concus and Kyle Williams

Bob McCauleyPastor Pete Campbell & Steve Madden

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.

JBI chapel serviceSunday at Saama Assembly of God

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.

Blacksand Assembly of GodBlacksand AG

BlacksandKids at Blacksand

Blacksand audienceEmily and Joy doing tricks

Anna & RandyBalloon fun

It was a wonderful two weeks and we hated to see them leave!