We have had the pleasure of receiving Drs. Weldyn and Barb Houger, of the Asia Pacific Education Office (APEO) at JBI this week. The faculty met with them to discuss education issues, course descriptions, syllabi and curriculum. They also spoke in our Tuesday and Thursday chapel services. From warm Vanuatu they head to cold Mongolia to teach, though we look forward to them coming again!
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.
The 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!
It is hard to believe that the first school term of 2012 is almost over and exams are looming! It has been busy! We had a wonderful start with Pastor Randy Blankenship flying in from the US to be our Spiritual Emphasis speaker for the week. At the same time we dedicated the new classroom building and everyone was excited to move in and use the new facilities. It was eleven months of hard work but now we wonder how we ever coped without it! Final coat of exterior paint has yet to be done as the cement still needs to cure. Thank you to everyone who supported and worked to make that new building a reality on our campus! Thank you to ActioNow partners who financed the last stage of the construction and permitted us to finish on time!
Pastor Peter Jones came from Australia to teach English and Study Skills to the first year students this term. He has been a blessing in so many ways, teaching, speaking in chapel and maintenance work. He put up all the finishing touches such as the bathroom mirrors, towel racks, curtain rods and doorstops in the new building. We have so appreciated his help and willingness to serve. Look forward to him coming again with his wife Brenda!
I have been teaching my favorite subject this term, Biblical Archaeology. I have come to the conclusion that there is way too much to explore in one term so I am hoping to be able to split the course into OT Archaeology and NT Archaeology in the future. Next challenge is finding adequate textbooks in non-technical English.
Gary has been busy teaching as well as leading the school as principal. His Expository Preaching students are being stretched and will all be preaching in chapel next term. Every Thursday Gary preaches in chapel and is currently preaching through Second Peter.
We so appreciate all the messages of encouragement and support! We could not be here without your partnership! Thank you!
The new school term at Joy Bible Institute started February 9th. It was so good to see upperclassmen return and the new freshmen students arrive on campus. Students have shared many wonderful testimonies of ministry opportunities back home during their “summer” break – yes, it is summer, very hot and humid on this side of the Pacific Ocean! We rejoice with them as they are excited about being able to share Christ in their villages and islands.
This second week of school is our Spiritual Emphasis week and we were so happy to welcome Missionary Steve Slater from Fiji as our special speaker. It was a wonderful way to start off the school year!
Please pray for some of our students who have financial needs and several married students have left families back on home islands.
On Friday the students took their final exam for the Genesis-Early Biblical History course. The 30 participants have thoroughly enjoyed their intensive course with Maurice Nicholson these last two weeks. One participant commented, “Every pastor in Vanuatu needs this course!” We were happy to have several non-JBI students, including five SIL Bible translators attending the course.
During this time, Margaret valiantly tackled our hundreds of un-catalogued library books. She worked every day, usually alone, sorting and cataloguing hundreds of books. I was planning to work with her and refresh my Dewey Decimal cataloguing skills, something I have not used since leaving Togo, West Africa in 1992. Unfortunately, Jeremy was not feeling very well and progressively got worse as the days went by. We thought he was fighting the flu, which is currently going around here, until his fever climbed dangerously to 105.7 one night. He has pneumonia and with antibiotics is now on the road to recovery. Thank you for praying for him as he has lost a lot of weight and is still weak.
The Nicholsons’ visit was such a benefit to the school and we certainly hope they will come again next year!
We just finished our Spiritual Emphasis week at JBI but it will not be soon forgotten. Rev. Jerry Jacob, from Fiji, was the Tuesday morning chapel speaker. He shared so many practical truths about the types of hands needed to serve the Lord and His church.
Then Tuesday through Friday night, Rev. Bryan Webb from Santo, spoke. He took us through Ephesians 6:10-20 each night bringing out a different aspect of the spiritual equipment needed for service; the sword of God’s Word, the shield of Faith, the breastplate of Righteousness, and the Power of the Holy Spirit. It was a wonderful week!
Fresh Wota (Water) is a heavily populated suburb of Port Vila. A couple of years ago, Rev. and Mrs. Raymond Clay, started a new outreach in Fresh Wota. We visited them for the first time today and how wonderful to see a wonderful group of believers and a partially completed building!
We were very happy to take Jerry and Karen Jacob to visit this church. Jerry preached and was interpreted into Bislama by Rev. Edgell Iolopua, JBI principal. Three JBI students (pictured above), Roy, Jack and Job are helping at Fresh Wota Assembly of God.
Our Area Directors, Jerry and Karen Jacob, arrived today from Fiji. We were so excited to see them and show them around Joy Bible Institute. They flew on the new Air Vanuatu plane which has a great paint job, an erupting volcano and ocean waves.
This afternoon, Jerry and Karen flew to the northern island of Santo to be with our missionary colleagues, Bryan and Renee Webb and Gary and Priscilla Ross. They will be back next week for a longer stay with us! Welcome to Vanuatu, Jerry and Karen!
The visit was really long overdue but it was hard to believe that it had actually been 30 years since we had last seen each other! Pastor Tony and Eunice Hallo, are dear family friends from Australia. What a wonderful surprise for them to cruise right in to Port Vila harbor on a big ship and spend the day with us! Their church had given them a lovely retirement trip and we are so glad they came our way.
Tony and Eunice were friends of Lori’s parents and supported their early missionary work in Vanuatu. Thirty years ago, Lori’s family last visited them and their church in Melbourne, Australia.