Port Vila, Vanuatu
In early 2014 God called us to join the Bible translation effort in the Pacific nation of Vanuatu. After completing linguistic and cross-cultural ministry training, we arrived on the field in 2015 to serve as Scripture engagement specialists. This unique area of ministry simply entails helping people engage with God’s Word in a way that leads them to mature faith in Christ. Driving our work is a great love for the Lord and a desire to help the Vanuatu people flourish in their spiritual growth. We praise God for how He has led the ministry forward in this country for the past seven years. He has graciously opened doors for nationwide outreach through radio programing and social media, and His Spirit is seen working in people’s hearts as He connects us with indigenous language groups desiring to hear God’s Word in their mother tongue. Our favorite moments are the simple conversions with individuals in the village who express interest in understanding the Bible and how it speaks to their island worldview.
With 110 languages and 83 islands, Vanuatu presents extensive logistical challenges for spreading the Gospel to rural areas. It has also been listed among the world’s least developed nations, and most disaster-prone nation. With earthquakes, tropical cyclones, volcano’s, landslides, and tsunami’s, we certainly agree with this statistic. Spiritual trials are no less prevalent. A multitude of animistic practices, cult religions, and biblical misunderstanding have created a syncretistic belief system that often turns salvation into a matter of works and taboos.
Aside from the challenges, there are many aspects of the island culture that are truly admirable from a Western perspective. If you ever visit the islands, you will soon witness the beauty of the Vanuatu people in their unabridged openness to God. At times it can be so robust that it brings tears to the eyes. Yet without knowing who God has revealed Himself to be through Scripture, mankind will always find themselves at odds with His plan for salvation. The enemy is relentless in misleading those who are new to the faith, and this battle takes place daily while a barrage of manmade religious ideas permeates the culture. We pray for this nation’s heartfelt awareness of God to be sustained by an understanding of His perfect love and plan of salvation through Christ Jesus.
At present we are taking a new step by transitioning into a model of ministry dating back to Paul’s time at Corinth. The tradition of “tentmaking” will enable us to stay closely involved with rural communities in their daily routines and expand our outreach to areas that lack formal ties to a church. We’re excited to see what the Lord will do in this next year as the plan progresses. The idea will involve turning seasonal fruit into products that last throughout the year, and it will be a great way to connect with people who wouldn’t normally request translated Scripture material. Please pray with us that new relationships would blossom from this program, and that it would result in more occasions for sharing the Gospel in rural areas. There is plenty of Bible study material and Gospel media that was developed during the past seven years of translation ministry, and even more that is nearing completion; now it’s time to share!
Thank you for your interest in this ministry and how the Lord has taken our family to an exciting new step. We are only able to continue through the generous giving of individuals and churches who recognize God’s calling to go out into the nations and witness for His Kingdom. The Lord has always provided in times when health, finances, and the overall mission seemed strained, and for this reason we encourage prayer to be the foremost asset in your partnership for the Gospel. If you choose to partner financially, there are options below for mail-in check or online giving. Generally recurring donations are helpful for budget planning, but all contributions are greatly appreciated and allow the work to continue.