Saturday, May 26, 2007

Our classes this term


Things continue to go well for us and we are finding everything much more manageable than last year. Glen has still not had to attend any meetings, which is totally different to last year and gives a lot more time for other things. The girls both had a cold this week and woke up a lot in the night with coughing and blocked noses, but we found it okay because we aren't stressed and tired. Overall, we have a lot to give thanks for in our new situation.

Some things to pray for over the next week:

• Friday 25th May we meet (met) with the six students we will be pastorally responsible for. Glen would then like to meet with each of them individually next week to get to know them a little better and to organise what they will do together through the term. Please pray that this would all happen with no hindrances and that Glen would be able to discuss with each student what would be helpful to do together through the term. (Glen has plans and ideas, but would like to discuss it with the students and work out what is most helpful for each because they will all be from different backgrounds and at different stages in their Christian lives.)

• Glen is teaching Knowledge of God and Pentateuch to Diploma 1 students and so he has 8 hours each week of face to face time. It gives time for a lot of very good discussion. One issue which came up last week was whether we can be saved through looking at creation alone, or whether we need Christ to be saved. This is a difficult issue because the students' recent ancestors are in this situation, and maybe even their own village or nearby villages. We had some really helpful discussion about the Bible's teaching. Please pray that the students will think through the implications of the seriousness of human sin and what it means for salvation to come only through Christ, and that this would give them a zeal to take the good news of Jesus Christ to those in Vanuatu who have still never heard.

• Over the next two weeks in Knowledge of God we will be looking at why we believe the Bible is God's Word and what this means. Please pray that the students would have a trust in God's Word such that they want to read it and base their lives on it.

• Next Monday in her "Women in the Old Testament (OT overview)" course, Rachael will be teaching the women about Eve. Pray that they would have a good discussion about womanhood and about the nature of sin. Please also pray that Rachael would communicate effectively, especially with women who have had a very low level of education.

Thank you again for your prayers,
Glen and Rachael

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ready for start of term

We are all ready for the start of term tomorrow morning. Please pray for us both as we teach, particularly Rachael who will be teaching in Bislama. Glen is really looking forward to his classes this term. For the first few weeks he will be teaching Genesis to Diploma 1, the authority of the Bible to diploma 1, and the book of Hebrews to Certificate 2.

The girls have both had quite bad flu this week and Sophie has a painful ear infection. Please pray that they would recover quickly and that they would sleep well despite being sick.

We are very thankful that Matthew has been sleeping very well. The heat and humidity do not seem to be causing him any discomfort.

Jon Parkes returned today and his tropical ulcer has begun to heal. It will take a long time, but the doctors are happy that healing has begun and it is heading in the right direction.

Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers,
Yours in Christ,
Glen, Rachael, Sophie, Bethany and Matthew Connor

P.S. A short word of explanation...
While back in Australia we were encouraged and challenged that many people have been praying for us every week. We decided that we should make more effort to send weekly prayer points to help people in their prayers and so that people can see how God is answering their prayer. We will explain this in the next toktok, but we decided to start the weekly prayer points straight away and send them to family and friends we know have been praying for us regularly.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Arrived Safely

Hello everyone,

We have arrived safely at Talua and are settling in well so far. The house is set up now, and we have a small solar panel and battery which gives us a little power during the day. We are very content in our new place. We are also both glad that our Bislama (language) is not too bad after the four months away.

This week will be a mixture of preparing classes for the start of term next monday, talking with students and staff, and a little more work on the house such as fixing the 12V lights, repairing flyscreens to keep out the mosquitoes, and setting up the vegetable garden.

Our health has been fine so far, but I guess one week is not very long! Sophie and Bethany have minor heat rash, which has sores from where they have scratched it. Bethany also has worms. But you expect things like these and they are very minor really. Matthew has started to settle into his new situation and is now sleeping a lot better than when we first arrived. We give thanks to God for this because it makes a big difference to how we feel about life generally. Tiredness has a very big impact on emotional levels!

Jon Parkes, the English teacher and bursar from NZ, has a tropical ulcer on his foot which is quite serious. He is in NZ for three weeks to get it checked and help it to recover. The healing process will probably take months. His return to NZ is also difficult for his family who are still at Talua. Jon has been very busy and now, when they have finally reached the holidays, he has had to spend the time away from his family.
A diploma 2 student named Sheila has had serious stomach pains and has gone to hospital in Vila.
We would appreciate prayer for these two people.

We will try to email weekly but it will be a little uncertain until the phone is connected probably late in May or early in June.

Thank you for your ongoing thoughts and prayers,
Yours in Christ,
Glen and Rachael Connor

Summary of prayer points:
• Give thanks that we arrived safely and that setting up went well.
• Give thanks that our language is going well, and pray that we will continue to improve in our grasp of the language and culture so that we will be better able to help and encourage people here.
• Continue to pray for Glen as he prepares to teach Pentateuch, Hebrews-Revelation, and a doctrine course on the knowledge of God.
• Continue to pray for Rachael as she prepares to teach an Old Testament overview in the Women's Program beginning next week.
• Give thanks for our good health, and pray that this would continue.
• Pray for healing for Jon Parkes and for Sheila. Pray for Jon's wife Vivienne and the children who are at Talua for three weeks without Jon.