It has been a gorgeous few days here in Vanuatu with winter finally rolling in. We actually had to pull out our jackets several times recently as the weather dipped into the low 60s with lots of wind. There has been much less rain as well, allowing us to accomplish a lot. On Saturday, we embarked upon a two-hour hike up very steep, muddy mountain roads to present the gospel to one of the villages up there. We planned it early in the morning to make sure that we caught the men before they headed off to their gardens which they tend at an even higher altitude. Most of the village population was there, and we gave our program inside the primary meeting house in the center of the village. It was long and low, built with giant, rough hewn beams, complete with a thatched roof and woven bamboo exterior. It was an unforgettable experience. Everyone seemed very receptive, and we passed out Wordless Bracelets and Gospel Coins to all who attended. The people of Vanuatu have a unique tradition that anytime a foreigner attends a public meeting they want to make sure that everyone gets to shake hands with everyone. So they have us form a long line outside the front door as they come through one by one, children first, then women, then men, to shake our hands. At one church, we probably shook hands with three hundred people! Today, we walked to the health center to pour the slab at a primary school they are building on campus, only to find that the foreman was not going to be there until Tuesday. We are slowly adjusting to Vanuatu schedules and communication and have definitely been learning flexibility through the process! We managed to get some painting done, and then returned to Waterfall Village to install ceiling tiles in the Training Center. In the same vein, we have been waiting patiently for a ship to arrive with our highly anticipated meat order. Everyone is praying fervently for the coming hamburgers. Ashley Bartel led team devotions the other night and encouraged further team unity through the controlling of our tongues, and Ali Davis shared a heartfelt testimony in her evening devos the next night. Everything is coming along well, and we continue to enjoy God’s beautiful sunsets over the magnificent Pacific.
Isabelle Christensen – Lately my summer has been amazing. The Lord has provided in so many ways for me. My faith has grown so much. I feel a lot closer to God, and He has helped me through my toughest struggles. He taught me not to judge others.