Bathroom progress

The renovation work on the men’s bathroom is just looking great! Here is Gary inspecting the newly laid wall tile and sinks! Compare the before photos (previously posted campus renovations) with today’s … and you can see how much progress we are making. Thank you for your continued support to renovating the JBI campus!PC090007

Gary and Job (JBI student and talented renovator) posing in front of the men’s bathroom building. The front wall of this building had never been plastered so Job has plastered it and it will be painted too.

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See also Campus Renovations.

Shefa Province closing service

We live on the island of Efate, in the Shefa Province of Vanuatu. Throughout the year the Assemblies of God churches of the province get together for special Women’s Ministry, Men’s Fellowship and Youth services. At the end of the year, there is a combined closing service before the Christmas holidays. This year it was held at Bethany Church in the village of Saama, North Efate. Christians from around the island of Efate, gathered on Sunday afternoon, November 18th to worship the Lord together. The service is held outside and people sit on mats. After the service a meal is served.

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The day’s theme was “Go, Time Is Running Out” from Matthew 28:18,19. Gary preached from Matthew 24:14.

JBI Graduation

Sunday, November 4th was graduation day at Joy Bible Institute. Seven young men and one lady graduated after three years of study at Joy Bible Institute. The graduation service is held at Evangel Temple because the school chapel is too small to hold the crowd. This year Evangel Temple was full to overflowing with so many friends and family attending. Here are a few photos of the big day!

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JBI students line up to march in for graduation ceremonies.

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Gary, the Academic Dean, finishes last minute paperwork.

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Graduation service at Evangel Temple.

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Miss Olive Tau, senior class speaker. JBI Principal and National AG Superintendent, Rev. Edgell Iolopua, sits at far right.

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Academic Dean, J. Gary Ellison, congratulating Peter Avock.

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Moving the tassel!

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Praying for the graduates.

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Congratulations and a few goodbye tears!

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Roz and Lori after graduation. After all the planning, they are relieved that everything went so well! Roz, is the wife of JBI Principal Edgell Iolopua. She is the school office manager and accountant.

Pango Church Dedication

On September 11, 2007 we went out to Pango village to attend the dedication service of their new sanctuary. It is a lovely building and the prettiest Assembly of God church in the country! The photo on the left shows Gary posing with the pastors and important guests. Lori is posing with Rev. Tom Ierongen from Tanna and Rev. Berry Kalotrip of Pango AG. Pastor Tom was saved under Lori’s parent’s ministry in New Caledonia in the late 1960’s and she has known Pastor Berry’s family for many years too!

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Our car

After many weeks of walking and riding in buses, we were delighted to finally have our own vehicle. It is a used four-wheel drive Musso. We bought it from a Christian man and the license plate appropriately says “Jesus Loves You”.

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Shefa Conference

The 16th Shefa Province Assemblies of God Conference was held August 26-30, 2007 at the village of Eratap, on the island of Efate. The theme was “Be Doers of the Word” from James 1:22. The Conference started with the hundreds of delegates, pastors, and our family marching down road to the meeting site.

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Throughout the week, services and business meetings were held each day. Delegates had come in from several outer islands in the province for this event. We did not have our own car yet so we hitched a ride in the back of our school principal’s pick-up truck to the meetings.

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The Vanuatu welcoming ceremony is called Salusalu (corruption of the French greeting “Salut”) and consists of a flower lei being hung around your neck. The unique touch is that people will come around and also douse you with talcum powder and spray you with perfume. When you are well-scented you can return to your seat!

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It was while I was standing in this lineup waiting to be powdered that a very dear friend recognized me! Josiane and I had been best of friends when I was a teenager and had not seen each other since 1977!

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Gary preached for the closing service. You may be surprised to see him wearing a jacket but it was a windy night and cold by tropical standards! It was a wonderful conference!

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Classes start at JBI

Third term classes started at Joy Bible Institute on August 14, 2007. We had only been in the country a week and Lori was recovering from her bout with dengue fever but what a joy to be back in the classroom teaching young men and women! Lori started teaching in Bislama, a language she has not spoken in almost 30 years. Gary is teaching his classes in English. Vanuatu is a country of many languages. There are three official languages, Bislama, English and French. There are also 115 vernacular languages for a population of just over 200,000 people.

JBI fac and students

Here is the official photo of the JBI faculty and students. Seated on the front row, (left to right) J. Gary Ellison, Lori Ellison, Kay Rudd, Principal Edgell Iolopua, Agnes Fave, Emmanuel Fave and Philip Naias. Second row is the graduating class. Third row is the second year students and the back row is the first year students.