Saturday, August 18, 2007

Time to rest awhile...

Thank you for your continuing prayers. The annual lectures have now
finished and students are on a two week holiday. The lectures were very
helpful, addressing issues relating to how we do Christian ministry in
a changing cultural context. This was very helpful for the staff and
students in Vanuatu as the church struggles to work out what we must
hold tightly in order to be faithful, and what we need to let go of to
adapt to the changing situation in Vanuatu. Pray that the students and
staff would think deeply about what they have heard and let it affect
the way they do their ministry. Pray that God would keep the churches
in Vanuatu faithful and that they will resist the temptations to change
the Gospel or compromise with worldly things. Pray that as we do this
God would give us his perspective on the changes that are taking place
in society. Pray that he would enable us to change where necessary so
that the we can clearly proclaim Christ to the people of Vanuatu.

We will be having a rest over the next week! Pray that the staff and
students would have a good rest and come back both physically and
spiritually refreshed.

We also always appreciate your prayers for our own growth in holiness
and for us to trust fully in God as we live and work here.

Yours in Christ,
Glen, Rachael, Sophie, Bethany & Matthew

Friday, August 10, 2007

Anglican Church destroyed in Earthquake

There have been quite a lot of different things happening so we'll list
the main ones.

• We rejoice that there was not much damage from the earthquake on the
2nd August. We have only heard of serious damage to one building.
Unfortunately it was the brand new Anglican church in Luganville which
opened last year and had not quite finished being built. The walls
buckled making it unstable, so they had to dismantle the roof and knock
the walls down. It is now just a slab of concrete and some piles of
rubble... and there is no insurance here. Last week I spoke to the
minister there, a Talua graduate, and he was holding back tears as he
told me of the disappointment the congregation is feeling. He said he
is trying to give them hope through his preaching as they think about
rebuilding. Pray that God would give comfort and strength to the pastor
and congregation so that they will continue to preach the Gospel and
teach God's Word in Luganville. Pray also that God would provide them
with the emotional and spiritual strength and the resources they need
to begin rebuilding.

The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu has approved my ordination on 2nd
September. (This ordination will be recognised in Vanuatu but not
Australia.) Glen will meet with the Presbytery Clerk before the event
to discuss what this will involve, including the commitment required
and the doctrinal and political issues. Please pray for these

An APWM workparty carried out further work on the new library, and
several NZ teams have been building a house for staff accommodation.
These buildings are part of the preparations for a degree course next
year. Give thanks for the progress of this building work and for the
preparations for the degree course.

Next week the Talua annual lectures will be held on the topic of church
growth. All the staff and students attend, and this year there will be
several visiting lecturers from New Zealand. Pray that the lectures
will be biblical and thought provoking. Pray that staff and students
will think carefully and critically about what they are hearing, and
then put it into practice in their own ministry in the Vanuatu context.

• Glen's big joy from two weeks ago was seeing God give assurance of
salvation to a student (Ronald) while we were studying Revelation 20 in
class! The students have already studied Romans but that didn't give
him assurance. This term we studied Hebrews and looked at the
confidence we have to come before the throne of God through Christ our
High Priest. But that didn't do it either. Then we looked at the
judgment scene in Revelation. The books were opened and everyone great
and small was judged by the works written in the books. But then there
is another book, the book of life, and everyone whose name was written
in this book was not thrown into the lake of burning sulfur with the
others. All his life he had been in deep fear that on the last day God
would cast him into hell, but through this passage God gave him
confidence of his righteousness before God through Christ and deep joy.
He couldn't wipe the smile off his face! Give thanks for Ronald's
clearer understanding of what Christ has done for him and for the joy
that this has brought to his life, and pray that these things would
become deeper and stronger in his life.

• Pray for wisdom as we decide what commitments to take on for next

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

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Exam week - our situation is easy!

Talua is a lot quieter now as students are preparing to begin their
exams tomorrow. Please pray for the students as they do exams on
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Bethany and Matthew have a small cold. It is not serious at this stage,
but Matthew is having trouble sleeping and it has made us all very
tired. Pray that they would be well again quickly and that we would be
able to have good rest at night. Pray too that we will have more chance
to rest a little over the next few weeks and also to work on some of
the major projects we want to do which were put aside during term time.

The earthquake caused a little damage in Luganville, such as cracks in
the road, buildings and the main bridge and loss of power, but there
does not seem to have been any serious damage or injury. At Talua there
are a few cracks in buildings and the water was out for about three
days, but that is all. We also continue to have a lot of rain, although
not as much as before. It is easy to start to feel negative about these
things or to complain, but then we read the news about millions of
people homeless in Asia and we realise that our sovereign God is
dealing very gently with us at Talua. We have not even come close to a
situation which forces us to rely upon God and not ourselves. Please
continue to pray for those throughout the world who are suffering at
the moment. We know that God is in control even of these things, and we
pray that he would work for good through all these events so that
people may come to know him and he may be glorified in all the earth.

We have another mentoring night on Friday (Glen with the men) and
Saturday (Rachael with the women). Pray it would be a good time
reflecting on God's word together and on how the term has been for each

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


There was a fairly large earthquake (7.3) off the coast of Malekula,
Vanuatu early this morning. We thought we'd let you know we are okay in
case you hear about it and are concerned. It was the largest we have
experienced here, but there was no injury or damage at Talua that we
know of.

If you want to see more technical details have a look at:


There are many students and staff from Malekula. We will let you know
if we hear of any serious injury or damage that occurred there.