Sunday, July 29, 2007

One week before exams...

This week is the last teaching week of term and things are beginning to
wind down. It is a great time for students to consolidate what they
have learnt, but it is easy for motivation to be dominated by the exam
rather than a desire for knowledge of God and obedience to him. Please
pray that the students would be disciplined and work hard during this
next week and during exams, and that they would keep focused on the
importance of what they are learning.

There was a public holiday last week and another one today, and these
have broken the continuity between lessons. It will be a challenge this
week to pick up the momentum and enthusiasm after the missed classes,
and then to finish the courses in a way that gives some sense of
completion. Please pray for all the staff as they teach this week.

Glen's lessons and goals during the week are as follows:
Certificate 1: Revelation 21-22 - This is a wonderful climax to the
course. Pray that the students would have a greater vision of the
wonderful things that God has in store for us, and that they will
desire to live now and carry out their ministry in a way that is
focused on God's glory both now and in the future.

Diploma 1, Knowledge of God - We will finish by looking at some of the
practical implications of God as Trinity. This is not as clear in my
thinking and I need to do a lot more thinking, reading and praying.
Please pray for me as I prepare this. I need lots of help!!!

Diploma 1, Pentateuch - We will finish the course with Deuteronomy,
which is a wonderful challenge about how we will respond to God. The
book calls for us to love God, trust him, fear him, obey him etc.
Moses knew the Israelites would fail because of their sinful hearts,
but the book also points us to Christ in many ways. It is fitting way
for us to end the course. Please pray that the message of Deuteronomy
would challenge and help us in our response to God.

The upcoming exams also bring stress for a lot of students, especially
those who find it hard to write in English. Please pray that God would
help these students with their study and comfort them in their fears.

Thank you again for your prayers. We know that God delights to answer
the prayers of his people!
Yours in Christ,
Glen, Rachael, Sophie, Bethany and Matthew Connor

Sunday, July 22, 2007

rain, Rain, RAIN!


We have seen the sun for a only a few hours in total over the whole
last 3 weeks, and very little during the 3 weeks before that. There has
been a great deal of rain, the wettest we have seen during our time
here. It is the first time we have seen the ground totally saturated so
that there are small lakes forming all around the campus. We rejoice
in the rain but please pray that we would be patient when it feels
inconvenient, especially as the cloud means that we have had almost no
solar power over the past 6 weeks. We are having to ration our
electricity fairly carefully.

Rachael taught her last class for the term this morning and next week
her students will each present a song which fits with part of the
course. Glen will teach this week and part of next week. The following
week is exams. There is not really a general culture of hard study at
Talua. Please pray that the students would value the time leading up to
exams and study hard, not just to pass their courses but to learn
things that will help them in their Christian life and ministry.

Rachael has finally been able to speak individually with the women she
is mentoring. Each is really really keen to meet up each week to read
the bible and pray together (Susan, Esther and Katiri). This is really
encouraging and a fabulous opportunity to be thinking about spiritual
matters together. She stills needs to talk with Julie and Deli.

We are all in good health. The students who had malaria seem to have
recovered. Leila Williamson is now sick, possibly with malaria. Joshua
next door has mumps. Some lecturers have also missed classes with
sickness. Please continue to pray for health and healing, for trust in
God through sickness, and that the sickness not interrupt teaching or
learning at Talua.

Next Monday is Independence Day, a very important time in Vanuatu.
Vanuatu is still a Christian nation, but many are commenting that God
has less place in politics now. There is a desire for the nation to
grow economically and become more like Western nations, but the
Christian basis can easily be overlooked. Please pray that during
Independence Day celebrations people would reflect on the place of God
in the lives of individuals and the nation, and that we would have
opportunities to discuss these issues with students.

Yours in Christ,
Glen and Rachael Connor

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Connor weekly prayer points 18th July 2007


Recently we have been reflecting on our need in a foreign context to pay more attention to our spiritual sustenance because we receive much less encouragement and teaching than we do in Australia. When you are experiencing isolation as a family from wider society, it is more important than ever that family relationships be strong and based on a deep relationship with God. Please uphold us in your prayers in this area.

The work party from APWM (mission partners) arrived at Talua on Tuesday morning and will stay for almost two weeks. Eight people will be working on the new library and two people will be involved in observing and helping with mission work in the bush and in Luganville. Glen may join in some of the mission trips, and we are hosting two members of the party.

Glen is continuing through the book of Revelation with his Certificate class and will begin looking at the Trinity soon with Diploma 1. He finds it very difficult to understand many of these things himself, and then difficult to work out the best way to teach and apply these things in an unfamiliar context. The plan with Diploma 1 is first to give a brief summary of the doctrine of the Trinity, but then to spend most of the time reading through the parts of John's Gospel which show us the relationship between the Father, Son and Spirit. Hopefully the students will find it easier to read what Jesus said and did to reveal his Father to us and so to understand who God is as Father, Son and Spirit, rather than discussing the ideas more abstractly or philosophically.

Rachael's course on women in the Old Testament is coming to an end. Yesterday we looked at the Exile, with particular reference to Ezekiel's wife and the temple and next week we'll be looking at the return to the land and how even though God's promises to his people have come true, sin is still spoiling everything. Each week we have looked at how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament and next week we'll look at how Jesus solves this problem.

We continue to appreciate your prayer, knowing that God delights in answering the prayers of his people, however weak or feeble they may
seem in our eyes,

With love from your brothers and sisters in Christ,Glen, Rachael, Sophie, Bethany and Matthew

PRAYER• Pray that we would enjoy many times of rich blessing with God as we read his word and pray, including privately, as a family and with the wider community. Pray that God would use us as a family to bring spiritual and emotional support to one another.

• Pray that God would give safety to the workers building the new library and the mission group traveling in the bush. Pray that equipment and supplies needed for building the library would all be available and that there be no major setbacks. Pray that those involved in the mission trip will be challenged in their own lives, and that God would bring more people in isolated parts of Vanuatu and Luganville to know himself through this mission work.

• Pray that God would gives us wisdom and understanding as we prepare our lessons. Pray that the students we teach would continue to grow both intellectually and spiritually. Pray especially for Glen and the students as we look together at Revelation and the Bible's teaching about who God is as Father, Son and Spirit.

• Pray for students who are sick with the flu and malaria and for Esther in the mission program who had an operation last weekend in the Luganville Hospital, that God would give them a quick and safe recovery and that they would continue to trust and glorify him through their sickness.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Talua is busy and tired!


It is still quite busy at Talua at the moment. During Open Day a work party of about 25 people from New Zealand arrived to help build a new staff house. They have been here for a week, hosted by staff and students, and most of the group left this morning. There is also a small group staying at Talua for a week and traveling into bush villages to study local languages which need Bible translation work. There are still quite a few other groups to come, and I think we will have people staying constantly until the middle of August. We also had a surprise visit by the Prime Minister and some MPs last Tuesday to Tata school (2km up the road). Talua were invited to attend and be part of the ceremonies and discussion. Preparations are beginning for Independence Day, a very significant celebration held at the end of July.

All of this activity has both positive and negative effects. The students and staff are all feeling quite tired from this activity and there is now some sickness starting to go around. Open Day was especially draining as many students stayed up through the night preparing food for all of the visitors. (There were a few hundred people who were staying at Talua, plus many others who came each day from their villages.) It is very difficult to keep students alert in class and we have also had to cancel quite a few mentoring times.

Overall, we rejoice at the many things that are happening. Talua is in a wonderful position to bring blessing to the surrounding area and to Vanuatu as a whole and we pray that God would work through these things which are happening.

• Praise God for the safety we have had over the past few weeks through Open Day and the work party visit.
• Pray that students would be able to find time for rest and would enjoy good health.
• Pray for all the groups which are visiting Talua. Pray that they would have safe travel, that Talua would continue to be welcoming despite our tiredness, that the visitors would be challenged and grow by their visit to Talua, and that the work they do would help Talua and the churches here in their work of proclaiming and teaching the message of Christ.
• That Talua would have wisdom to decide which groups to receive and a focus on the kingdom of God so that we will be willing to continue supporting activities which help the wider church in Vanuatu and not just Talua.
• Pray that students would continue to learn and grow, and that the business at Talua would not hinder their training or spiritual growth.
• Pray that our family would continue to have sufficient rest and enjoy good health.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Open Day

Hi Everyone.
It has been a very busy weekend with Open Day. Things started getting busy on Thursday night and only settled down Sunday night. Everyone is very tired today. Glen's mother returned home this morning. The next few days will be fairly quiet with classes and resting.

Thank you again for your prayers. Our phone is still not working so I cannot write more. I thought I would get this email out while I have the chance to send email.

Glen Connor