Sunday, November 25, 2007

Feasting Time


This prayer email is a little longer, but after this the emails will
become a little less regular as things wind down a lot and we have a
holiday over Christmas. If you just want prayer points, look at the
bold parts.

We are now in the season of FEASTING!

Last Wednesday we had a our final mentoring get together and feast.
This involved all the students Glen mentors and their families (Peter,
Songie, Kasai, Jilifi, John and Kalangai). The night went well and was
an encouraging time together. Because it was the final night there were
a lot of formalities and speeches. Glen explained the importance of
what we have done in mentoring and of faithfully teaching people about
Christ whenever we can, especially as the students go on field
experience next year.

Please pray for these students and the other 2nd year diploma students
going on field experience for one year. They will face many pressures
next year and will find it hard to be faithful in their own personal
godliness and in their pastoral work. Many students in the past have
fallen into serious sin during their time on field and have been
suspended. Pray especially for the single students going on field
(Thomas, Martin, Sheila) and for the married students and staff who
have come to Talua without their families. These students face
especially strong temptations.

So please pray that God would strengthen these students and their
families as they go for field experience, that he would help them to
keep focused on their task of proclaiming Christ, and that he would
work to produce holiness in their lives.

On Thursday we had a feast for the families living in our corner of
Talua and said farewell to the Parkes family who are leaving at the end
of this year. Friday was the Talua community feast and farewell to
graduating students. Saturday was a community feast for the end of
"Kids Prayer Warriors", a program for the children to encourage them in
their prayer. Sunday was a final feast with our Presbyteries. Tonight
(Monday) is the single students feast. Wednesday is the final
graduation feast, which is by far the largest as it also includes many

Thank you for your prayers for the graduating students retreat. The
students participated in the seminar very enthusiastically and asked a
lot of good questions. The main purpose of the seminar was to
encourage students to reflect deeply on Scripture and on God and his
works and they responded positively to this message. God is working in
their lives and we ask that he will continue to do so!
Also, please pray for Jon Parkes as he speaks at graduation on
Wednesday, and for the graduating students as they begin their work in
local churches.

A lot of changes are happening in 2008 at Talua and in our lives. We
will list some here to give the bigger picture and help your prayers,
but we will not give individual prayer points:

• Regarding courses, there will be no certificate intake as this course
is being cancelled, there may be no diploma intake as the applicants
were not suitable, and the degree course has been postponed until 2009.
• The Santo Presbytery is trying to begin a lay training course based
at the farm up the road, with help from Talua staff.
• Glen will be helping with the College accounts in 2008, doing the
books but not the other jobs that normally go along with this.
• The 'Bookroom' has grown substantially. Next year it will probably be
officially licensed and begin operating as an online bookstore to
supply Vanuatu and other South Pacific islands (and Australia if people
want cheap books!).
• Sophie will begin school next year. Rachael will home school and not
do any official Talua teaching.
• One of Glen's main goals for next year is to be more involved in
ministry in surrounding villages. We have spoken about ministry a lot
in classes and mentoring, but it would be good to go out and teach and
preach and encourage people around us. The plan is for this to link
with mentoring, so we train and encourage our students by working with
them to teach and pastor in surrounding villages. This has not been
possible so far because of class preparation time and language
barriers, but after three years we pray that God will enable us now to
take this step.

Please pray for God's guidance and provision during these changes for
next year.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Feast, feasts and more feasts

Exams are now all finished. Thank you for your prayers for us and the

There are now two weeks before graduation, which takes place on
Wednesday 28th November. During this time preparations will be made for
graduation, but there are also a lot of feasts to celebrate the closing
of different College groups or activities, sort of like our end of year
Christmas parties. On Thursday night Glen went to the mission
students' feast, last night was a feast with our Presbytery group etc.
Each feast takes a lot of preparation so everyone is still busy, but in
a social way as people enjoy working together at a gentle pace getting
things ready.

This is also a good time for reflection. We have grown a lot through
the year and have seen new areas that we need to work at. We have also
been able to see growth in the students, both academically and
spiritually. This real growth is an answer to prayer and we give thanks
for the many good things we have seen God do through the year. We are
also thankful for his continuing protection and care.

Next week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is the final year students
retreat. They will remain on the College site, but spend a lot of time
together reflecting on their time at College and preparing to leave. On
Wednesday Glen will lead the devotions and a time together on
"meditation". Please pray for this time together and that all the
discussion times will be helpful for the students.

Glen will also hold his final night with his mentoring students next
week. He was sick on the official night and so postponed it. This is a
highlight that he is really looking forward to, but please pray that a
time to meet can be found and that there be no interuptions.

There are many issues for prayer regarding next year as a lot of
changes will take place and many decisions are being made about what
will happen at Talua. We will list some of these next week and would
appreciate your prayer.