A picture is worth a thousand words.
Here are some before and after photos of the men’s bathroom.
Today we cleaned the new pretty blue tiled men’s bathroom and hung up the shower curtains. The students arrive on Monday for the new school year. Thank you to everyone who gave funds to make this renovation possible!
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!
In a week, classes will start again at Joy Bible Institute! We are excited to see the upperclassmen return and welcome the new young men and women who will be coming to start their studies. Until then, we are extremely busy getting everything ready for a new school year! Gary hung up the 2008 theme banner “Equipped to Serve” in the chapel today and stocked the new tract racks.
Pastor Philip, the kids and I unpacked the donated library books which have been in storage and we just had no idea HOW MANY books were in those boxes! I am afraid we are going to have to make more bookshelves before they all can be displayed in the new library! But that is a good problem! We are grateful to friends at Salt Lake Theological Seminary who sent us these used books!
Tomorrow, we will be back sorting through the books, stamping them and getting them ready to be moved up the hill to the library. The library room is not quite finished but we hope to move in on Friday! Nabang and Marcel spent the day putting the grout on the new tile floor. Tomorrow, Pastor Nixon is coming to build the bookshelves. So many hands have contributed to getting this library finished within a month!
Hurricane Gene did not come far enough north to cause damage here on Efate but it has caused great destruction on the small southern island of Futuna. We talked with Pastor Robert’s wife today and she told us that they had been in contact with family on Futuna yesterday. They are rejoicing that no one was killed but trees were uprooted and the crops devastated by high winds and torrential rains. The local houses did not withstand the winds either and only in a few areas were the houses spared. The Assemblies of God church is one of the buildings still standing.
We have heard that a ship may be headed to Futuna in a few days and we have asked for AG relief funds to buy rice and canned foods to send with it. Please pray for the people of Futuna as they begin to clean up after the terrible hurricane. Pray that our pastor and his congregation even during their own loss will be an example of compassion and encouragement to those around them.
Hurricane Gene is taking its time moving through the southern islands of Vanuatu. We live on the island of Efate, which is on the southern edge of the central islands and just off the hurricane’s path. We have gotten periodic downpours of rain and gusting winds but nothing severe. Small inter-island ships are to remain at port and the sea is very rough. We are getting reports that the southern Vanuatu islands of Futuna and Aneityum have been directly hit. Houses have been destroyed by high winds and there is much flooding. The storm has not completely left our area so we are not sure what the final damage report will be. Hurricane Gene is a category 3 storm and seven people died when it passed through the Fiji islands several days ago. Please pray for the people living in the path of this storm. We have Assemblies of God works on Futuna and Aneityum.
Twelve days ago, Hurricane Funa passed through the northern islands of Vanuatu, heading east towards Fiji. There was some damage in the northern islands but the government has not been able to fully assess all the damages due to limited communication with some of the villages. Assemblies of God Relief sent medical supplies right after the storm anticipating that there would be an increase of malaria and other sicknesses after so much rain.
Tomorrow, Hurricane Gene is arriving from Fiji and is currently heading towards the southern islands of Vanuatu. I guess that is only fair, since we recently sent them a storm, they are sending us one back. The water bottles are filled and we will take all the necessary precautions again. This storm has been upgraded to a category 3 Tropical cyclone so it could do much damage on the southern islands of Tanna and Aneityum, although here on Efate we will not be directly in its path. There is a map on our “About Vanuatu” page.
Normally in Vanuatu, the hurricane/cyclone season lasts from November to May. This storm season started in October 2007 and has been forecasted to stay active until October 2008! So we will have a full twelve month hurricane season, this due to weather pattern changes in the Pacific and global warming!
Here is a delightful photo of two little boys enjoying the last day of their summer vacation before school starts. Yes, on this side of the world it is summer and the weather is hot and humid. For kids anywhere , there is nothing like a leaky hose to create some fun!
I couldn’t help myself, just had to give you another update on the progress of the new library in what used to be called “the dungeon” downstairs of the old house. Well, it is just looking great and I get excited every day when I see it! Job, Nabang and Toto have been very busy tiling the floor and everything is coming together nicely. We are racing the calendar hoping to have everything ready for when the students arrive on February 11th. What a great surprise it will be for them!
We have ordered some simple wooden furniture to be made by a local carpenter, but we do not have the funds for these desks, bookshelves or chairs. Since the school has not had a library room for many years, there is not even old furniture to move into this new room!
We need funds and we appreciate your prayers about that but also for the workers who do not know Christ, that they will find Him during their time on our school campus.
This afternoon we were at the airport to say good-bye to Julie Atnelo and Ron Ayasali, two 2006 Joy Bible Institute graduates. They are on their way to the South Pacific Bible College (AG) in Fiji for a year in order to obtain their B.A. degrees in Bible. Gary and I served as interim directors of SPBC in 2002.
Pictured (left to right): Pastor Youen Atnelo, Ron, Julie, Mrs. Roz Iolopua and myself.
Julie Atnelo is the daughter of Rev. Youen and Rose Atnelo. Her parents pastor Evangel Temple AG church in Port Vila and her father serves as Assistant Superintendent for the Assemblies of God of Vanuatu. Julie’s father graduated from SPBC in Fiji some years ago, so Julie is following in his footsteps. Please pray for her that God will meet her financial needs and give her a wonderful year at SPBC! Pray for her parents too as they are missing her already!
Ron Ayasali is a member of Sarabetu Church of Christ. After completing three years of study at Joy Bible and graduating in 2006, he is also going to Fiji to complete his B.A. in Bible.
We are delighted to see two JBI grads pursuing their studies in Fiji and we extend our congratulations to them!
to all the churches that partnered with us in 2007. You are listed on our new PARTNERS page. Thank you for allowing us to serve with you in the great task of discipling the nations! We are also grateful to the many individuals who sacrificed to join us in this great mission. May God bless you all!
The final touches are being put on the renovated bathroom and laundry facilities. The guys were busy painting today now that the rain has stopped and the walls have had a couple of days to dry out. Everything is looking so good and we are getting excited to welcome the students back in a couple of weeks for the new school year.
The exterior of the bathroom building was painted today – this building which was built 27 years ago was left unfinished, the exterior was never plastered nor painted. Now the whole interior bathroom has been redone and the laundry facilities extended.
The above photo was taken today of Job and Junior (hidden under the counter) busy painting the new laundry facility. This was built on what used to be an old porch on the side of the bathroom building. Little Jojo and Johnny are watching. To the left, I have inserted the photo of Jeremy along that wall in the early phases of construction! What a difference!
It was a windy night with torrential rains but Hurricane Funa did not come south to Efate, the island we live on. The hurricane passed over the northern islands of Vanuatu, and continued in an easterly direction towards the islands of Fiji. By late afternoon today, the skies were clearing and we even had a pretty sunset! Thank you for praying for us.
There has been a tropical depression blowing north of here for several days. The distant storm has brought us torrential rains and welcomed cooler temperatures. This morning I ran into the grocery store and immediately I was struck by how quiet the store was, no blaring music and no customer chitchat. Suddenly, I realized that everyone was attentively listening to a man’s radio voice over the intercom giving the weather news – and then he said it, our province was under a hurricane warning and the full storm should hit us tonight. As Gary and I drove home, the signs of people preparing for a big storm became evident. One obvious sign was the small inter-island cargo ships had already left the wharf and were anchored in the shelter of Iriki island in the Vila bay.
At this point, all we can do is stock up on batteries for the radio, drinking water and canned foods. We do not have to put up any storm windows because our house has automatic roll-down storm blinds. Vanuatu is situated in “hurricane alley” and during this season, we can expect several hurricanes. We will keep you posted as Hurricane Funa is set to hit us this evening!
This past Sunday we got in a small motor boat and crossed the Port Vila harbor to Ifira Island. This small island is the home of some one thousand people. It is a quiet, clean, well-kept place with no cars, sitting in a busy harbor and only accessible by small motor boat. Pastor Karl was waiting for us at the beach to walk us up to the church because this was our first visit there.
It was a special Sunday morning as the new church board and various ministry department leaders were being installed. Gary was the guest speaker. I wish I had more photos to show you but I did not have the right memory chip in the digital camera and then the camera was not working right either! The church was packed out and we had a wonderful service. Afterwards, a delicious dinner was served. When I was a teenager, the Assemblies of God did not have a church on Ifira yet. The Ifira believers would boat over to a mainland point and have services. Pray for Pastor Karl and his wife as they reach out to the people of Ifira!
The last ten days have been both exciting and challenging! We have found a short-term solution for our school library while we await a new campus building! Half of the downstairs of the old mission house was gutted these past two days. By the time school starts in February, we hope to finally unpack the library books currently in storage and provide JBI students with study space too! We are just so excited about having permission to use this building for several very urgent campus needs! Eventually, the old mission house will have to undergo other repairs and the termite infected second floor will have to be demolished and rebuilt, but the ground floor is concrete and structurally sound.
YESTERDAY the downstairs space looked like this . . .
BY NOON, it looked like this . . .
AND TODAY . . .
Everybody on campus has been up to give a hand in clearing out the space! Everyone is just so excited at the thought of having a library again! We have some funds for this renovation but not enough to complete it nor to provide some basic library furnishings, like shelves, chairs and small study desks. On February 11, in exactly ONE month, school will start and this room needs to be a finished library! If you have considered helping us with one of the renovation projects, we would appreciate your financial help with this one! Click here to give online. Thanks so very much!