WM Ladies Meet on Ifira Island

In November each year, Women’s Ministries ladies from the 23 AG churches on this island (Efate) meet for an end-of-the-year closing service.

Off to IfiraLast night we all gathered at the Port Vila harbor to catch small  taxi speedboats out to Ifira Island. Ifira is one of two islands sitting in the Port Vila bay. Over 1000 people live on the island and many of them commute by boat to Port Vila to work.

With 15 to 18 people snuggly fit in, the boats ferried us safely across the beautiful bay to the sandy shores of Ifira Island. The photo (above left) Robyn, Roz & Lorishows the passengers sitting at the front of the boat I was in. Total of 18 people

I was very happy to have Robyn, a visiting friend from Australia, with me. Robyn and her husband lived at JBI for three years and helped us so much. We were so sad to see them leave in 2010 for ministry back in Australia. They have been visiting with us this past week for graduation and it has Gift exchangebeen so good to be together again.

The first WM meeting that we attended together in 2008 was also at Ifira Island with Roz and Kay. So we took a souvenir photo last night (sadly Kay is no longer in Vanuatu either).

Gift exchange is a happy Widowspart of the WM closing service. Ladies line up in rows facing each other and exchange flower leis and gifts. Then someone passes around behind spraying cologne and sprinkling baby powder on heads and necks.

Widows are always honored too. They do not bring gifts to exchange but are given gifts and powdered.

Speedboat taxisAfter service, a lovely curry meal was served by the host church. The hot sweet tea was particularly nice as the evening had turned breezy and cool.

By 10 p.m. the visiting ladies were heading back to the beach where several speedboat taxis were waiting to take us back to the main island.

We will not meet again until 2013!

New Beginnings Assembly of God Ifira

Sailing to Santo

Twenty JBI students have headed to Santo today for a two week mission trip. Yesterday, they were all ready to set sail but a severe weather front kept the ship at port. This morning it was still very stormy but by afternoon the sun was shining as the “Santo Queen” left port with 18 happy students, spouses, six puppets, boxes of literature, and a whole lot of baggage!

roll call for boarding

Gino, David and DonaldThe students have been preparing all year for this trip. They raised all the money to cover their costs, fasted once a week as a student body, prepared a children’s program, and so much more. As graduation approached, the teary graduates have been happy to prolong their time with classmates by a couple more weeks of joint ministry and adventure…this kind of endeavor in Vanuatu is always a bit of an adventure. They are on the high seas tonight, 24 hours of travel time, stopping to unload passengers at several islands and then arriving on Santo later tomorrow afternoon. Once on the island of Santo they will start trekking to churches and villages in bush areas.

Santo Queen

Pastor Philip and ourselves will be flying to Santo shortly to join the students. Please pray for us all as we go, taking the Gospel to those who have yet to hear or understand that this Good News is for them.

2012 JBI Graduation

Sunday, November 4th, was a very special day for the JBI family as we celebrated the graduation of seven students.

2012 grads

2012 Graduates (left to right): Jack Jessie from Solomon Islands, Hosea Katipa from Tanna, Micknie Natu from Maewo, Maturine Kaltakel from Efate, Abel Rete from Santo, Gino Bule from Santo and Freddie Bani from Santo. The five students wearing red sashes were awarded diplomas and the two others received certificates.

some JBI students

JBI Graduation was held at Evangel Temple in the afternoon as the campus chapel is too small for such an event. Hundreds of people, friends and family, gathered for the service. AOG Vanuatu General Superintendent Rev. Youen Atnelo is the senior pastor at Evangel Temple and a long time supporter and former teacher of the school.

We were so blessed to have Pastor Russell and Robyn Harbour from Australia with us. The Harbours spent 3 years as AOG Australia missionaries in Vanuatu assisting with Royal Rangers and then teaching at JBI. We have missed them since they left in 2010 and enjoyed having them visit. The students were so excited to have “mom & dad” back on campus! Pastor Russell was our graduation speaker.

Rev. Mamali, Rev. Atnelo, Rev. HarbourHosea Katipa, class speaker

Another overseas guest was Rev. Kenneth Mamali, from Honiara, Solomon Islands, who came to witness Jack Jessie’s graduation. We have been privileged to have a small part in training students from the Solomon Islands in recent years. Jack was also surprised to have his sponsor, Norm, from Australia arrive in time for graduation weekend.

Hosea Katipa, (photo above left) was the class speaker. He served as Student Body President this year. Hosea is married with five children and is from SW Tanna.


What a special moment for Gary (Rev. J. Gary Ellison, JBI Principal), to present the graduates with their diplomas and certificates. We thank the Lord for a wonderful school year and the commitment of these young men and women. Pray for them as they return to their home islands for ministry.

JBI 2012 Banquet

It was a lovely moonlit evening as friends and family of the JBI graduates gathered for an outside banquet on campus. First and second year students are responsible for organizing the whole evening, from decorating to cooking the meal. All I can say is, they really did a wonderful job and it was a fun and delightful evening!

We had lots of laughs, a few tears, much gift giving and baby powder sprinkling…no Vanuatu party is complete without the special guests being generously sprinkled with baby powder which of course, glows nicely in the dark!

Here are some photo highlights:

Nicole & Vaily greeting grads with  leisGrads Hosea & Freddie powdered

Students Nicole and Vaily greeting and giving flower leis to the graduates as they arrive. Grads Hosea and Freddie already sprinkled with baby powder for the occasion!

Cake cutting

2012 Graduates: Micknie Natu, Hosea Katipa, Maturine Kaltakel, Freddie Bani, Abel Rete, Jask Jessie, Gino Bule, cutting the graduation cakes.


Photo above: Friends and family enjoying the evening’s food and program.

Jonah and Michel helping to serve with Faith MaimaiSerah Naias

Left photo above: 2nd year student, Jonah Ravo; Mrs. Faith Maimai, faculty spouse; and Michel Moli, first year student serving food. Right photo above: Mrs. Serah Naias, faculty spouse.

Kiel, Philip and RussellGino with Roger and Cindy Sutter

Left to right above: Kiel Maimai, JBI Dean of Students; Philip Naias, JBI faculty and Russell Harbour, former JBI faculty member. Decked out with gifts of shirts, material, baskets, mats and leis. Photo above right: Graduate Gino Bule presenting gifts of thanks to Roger and Cindy Sutter for their generous support to him while at JBI.

Rev. Kenneth Mamali, Solomon IslandsPastor Russell and RobynHosea & Pastor WD Saul

Left to right: Rev. Kenneth Mamali from Solomon Islands; former JBI faculty, Pastor Russell and Robyn Harbour from Australia; Hosea and his sponsor, Pastor Willie David Saul, (the rooster is alive).

Family from Sara, SantoClosing remarks

Three of our graduates are from the village of Sara, on the northern island of Espiritu Santo. Abel, Freddie and Gino posing with family.

And a wonderful time was had by all!

School Year Ending…

This week has been a flurry of activity…the students have been sitting final exams and teachers have been grading stacks of papers and exams. The school year at JBI is coming to an end. It has been a wonderful year and now we are ready to graduate seven students.

2012 grads

Front left to right: Gino, Jack, Maturine. Back row left to right: Abel, Hosea, Micknie and Freddie.

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



If anyone has 10-20 used Melodies of Praise hymnbooks they no longer use, our JBI Chapel would really appreciate receiving them. We currently do not enough to go around and even a few more copies would mean so much!

Just contact me for a mailing address. Thank you so much!

General Conference on Tanna

The President of Vanuatu opening speech

On Saturday August 25, we flew to the island of Tanna for the AG General Conference. The conference opened on Sunday with a parade of delegates and a brass band marching through the town of Lenakel. The week of services was held by the soccer field in the center of town. Different groups set up food stalls and served meals all day long for the attendees.

The President of Vanuatu, His Excellency Iolu Johnson Abbil, flew to Tanna to be at the Sunday opening service and presented Medals of General Service to senior pastors and lay church leaders who have faithfully served the Assemblies of God since its early years in Vanuatu. It was very moving to see so many old friends cross the platform to receive their medal.

Those honored:Rev. Situ

Chief Lava Niplaui

Rev. Tari Masanga

Rev. Tom Ierongen

Rev. Willie Naias

Rev. J. Kamanalagi

Rev. Nausien Iakopien

Rev. Bob Koapa

Rev. Am TuprikRev. Willie Naias

Rev. Raymond Clay

Rev. Hopkins Keith Sawon

Rev. Situ Meiri

Rev. David Willie Saul

Rev. Rene Meltetamath

Rev. Dick Joel Peter

Rev. Youen Atnelo

There were some potentially divisive issues expected at this conference and many of you had been praying. Our prayers were answered as the conference was a wonderful time of healing and encouragement. The guest speaker from Fiji, Rev. Moses Cakau, had a timely word from the Lord each morning and evening. The altars filled with people seeking more of God.

Women's morning meetingSupt. Y. Atnelo & Rev. M. Cakau

(left) The Conference women met together on Monday and Tuesday. Lori spoke at both meetings. (right) AG Vanuatu Supt. Rev. Youen Atnelo and guest speaker, Rev. Moses Cakau, from Fiji.

Altar timeB. Webb translating for M. Cakau

(left) Prayer time at altar. (right) Missionary Bryan Webb interpreting for speaker Rev. Moses Cakau.

Gary speakingdelegates at morning lectures

Thursday morning Gary spoke on “Discipleship” to an attentive group of pastors and delegates.

JBI boothOrdination of Alick Keith

(left) A shed served as the JBI booth at the conference. We sold Bibles, books and handed out applications to potential students. (right) JBI 2008 graduate, Pastor Alick Keith was ordained during conference and several JBI grads received credentials. Alick pastors on the island of Epi and ministers to secondary school students.


Flying home to Port Vila!

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

Baby Harry Dedicated

JBI Dean of Students, Pastor Kiel Maimai and his wife Faith, dedicated their firstborn child this afternoon in the JBI Chapel. Little Harry Joshua Iakota Maimai was born 6 weeks ago. Pastor Philip Naias dedicated our newest JBI campus baby and Maurice Nicholson preached on Biblical Parenting. After the lovely service, family and friends went to the Maimai’s home for a delicious meal prepared by the ladies of Global Mission Church.

His name is Harry Joshua Iakota MaimaiP6241649


Rev. Philip NaiasP6241653

M. NicholsonP6241659

Paternal grandparentsP6241668

Pastor Kiel, Faith & HarryP6241680


Youth Sports Day at JBI

What a great youth sports day we had today at JBI! Church teams rotated continuously on the volleyball court and soccer field from early morning until late afternoon. The kitchen crew prepared food all day to feed the hungry crowd! We must have had 200 visitors, way over our expectations! All the proceeds of the day go to financing the JBI student’s November mission trip to the island of Santo! Thank you to all the friends and families from so many churches who came and supported our sports day! We really appreciate your support!

DJ JackJob & David

VisitorsQuite a kick!

SpectatorsFottballPoint!Miss V


Unofficial game

Ladies Meet

Wednesday night was a cold, rainy, tropical winter night but inside the Fresh Wota church everything was warm and colorful! Women from many churches gathered together for a wonderful evening of worship and the Word.

Elizabeth Z leadingEkoftau Women's Choir

OfferingFresh Wota AG