Setting up ministry in a new location is a challenge. It’s no secret. Building a movement is something that takes time to function at full capacity. It’s something that we understand might take even longer given the fact that at the moment we might only have two full-time campus staff to begin the new year. This is something we knew full well taking on this assignment.
However, from the get go our rhetoric has always been that we are here to help assist and equip students reach their campus for Christ. We want the students to take ownership of the movement. We want students to lead. We also want to build strong partnerships. It doesn’t matter whether you’re with Cru or YWAM, WEC, OM, or a small church, what matters is that God’s name is glorified.
And although, there hasn’t been much fruit to show for this past year in ministry. We believe that a seed has been planted in many people’s hearts and that the few that have shown interest, really understand the vision of building Christ-centred movements in the Pacific and beyond.
Here are a few things that happened this year:
Connecting with students
We were blessed to find on arriving to Namaka, a group of students that were keen on being part of the movement. Most of these students had either been involved in a Bible study that Nathan had been running on his visits to the West or encountered a project team.
The team organised an Easter Outreach where we were able to have a speaker share the gospel with around 280 students. Of the 98 comment cards that we got back, 55 indicated a strong desire to grow in their walk with God. 48 of the 55 – female students. This was definitely going to be a challenge with Judith soon to go on maternity leave and Nathan and I the only full-time staff on campus.
Leaders Training at Home
In April we had five student leaders attend a training at home. Nathan talked about quiet time and I spoke on the spirit filled life.
Other stats for those that like numbers:
|Life concept 1 – Confidence||52 students|
|Life concept 2 – Forgiveness||38 students|
|Life concept 3 – Empowered||32 students|
|Life concept 4 – Equipped||13 students|
|Life concept 5 – Maturity||8 students|
*Life concepts is very similar to Follow-up. You can download the resources here.
As the semester progressed, campus ministry often felt overwhelming and lonely with Nathan and I being the only staff in a new campus. Our student numbers at connexion started to dwindle and we lost contact with some key students. However, what we’ve been left with is a refined group of committed students.
Prayer Group with other Missionaries
God’s blessed us with great friends who serve with other ministries and organisations. We’ve found support and encouragement in our local church and amongst other missionaries in the area.
ELI – NZ
In June I had to travel to New Zealand to be part of the ELI training. It was tough leaving, Micah was only four weeks old. Fortunately, Judith’s parents had come over from Vanuatu to be with them while I was away.
Voyagers Conference 2018
Read about that here.
Nathan and Rebekah got married on the beach in Deuba. It was a beautiful wedding. I’m very proud of Nathan, he’s become someone I can really count on and Bekah adds a lot of much needed humour and spontaneity to the team.
The second semester was a challenge, with Nathan and Bekah focusing on support raising, I became the only staff on campus. A couple of times I had to run Bible studies with a group of 6-8 female students; as the semester progressed we picked up momentum but this was interrupted yet again with trips to Australia and Vanuatu.
September was a busy month for us. I had to leave Judith and Micah again for ELI, this time in Brisbane. A week after returning from Australia, we travelled as a family to Vanuatu. Jim (Judith’s brother) was getting married to Charlotte (a close friend).
It was also a good time for us to connect with family, friends and ministry partners and our church there.
We’re really thankful for being a part of a vibrant church community that has helped us settle well in our new location. One thing that really blew us away was when Judith had just given birth to Micah, families from church brought food over for an entire week.
Since then, I’ve been given opportunities to preach, putting into practice what we’ve learnt during IBS and also assisting with the church finance.
Tavakubu Community Church is a Brethren Church that is located about five minutes drive from home, comprising of about 12 families and many young people.