Well, we have arrived in Port Vila!!
The weather is warm and sunny but not stifling at present.
The leadership team from the college (where I am studying in NZ) have let us “settle in” since coming from the airport.
The motel is very basic!
There are bugs everywhere but I am grateful to be in a place that has fans & is dry – as the local’s houses are mostly what Western Society would call “shacks”.
We had a time of prayer, in preparation for the forthcoming days, with the whole team. It will be interesting to see how people cope as we have a lot of strong characters but I am looking forward to seeing God move.
We went to the “Fathers House” church for a Youth night. The original church was blown down by Cyclone Pam.
The church is in Freshwater 5 District & the Hibiscus Vila Motel is in Freshwater 6 District – so we have about a ten minute “bus” (their minivans) journey.
The new church has bare walls and floors so there is concrete dust everywhere. The entire roof is corrugated iron with all of the support structure still exposed. I think the building team are helping to sort some of the church out over the week.
The toilets are outside. Full of bugs and not what we would call very hygienic but at least there is toilet paper!! Thank God for hand sanitizer!
It was the first time that I had ever-heard worship music played reggae style!! “How Great is our God” was amazing. The Holy Spirit was there and was pulsing through me – praise God!
They did an altar call. Which initially I didn’t have an issue with, but I was unsure why they felt they had to ask three times for the people to come up. I want to say it was a cultural / language barrier but to be honest – in my spirit – it seemed forced.
The showers are freezing cold “lean to” with plaster board that has just been left unfinished, so has swelled – lots of holes everywhere but at least the bugs have easy access!! Lol
I am “surviving” without the Western World!! So many people are convinced that I will crumble. I guess that is the clear difference with the ones that actually know the real me.
Washing up is with cold water.
You can’t drink the water either so I need to remember my water bottle to brush my teeth etc.
Food is basic but fine. The college is giving us lots of carbs. We knew that our diet would be simple, as we are there to “serve Christ”, not to eat like we were at the Ritz.
Beds are like rocks, but I love that!!
The bugs are ok – bearable, but Spiders are huge!! They are everywhere – literally. Cockroaches are big and I have never seen cream-coloured ants, so that’s a first!
People are very friendly over here but no-one goes anywhere alone, not even the guys from the group. This is the first time the College has come to this Island. Usually going to Tonga or Samoa etc. so exciting times ahead.
I walked around the motel today – definitely not “clean” as the dust gets everywhere and there’s a lot of traffic. It poured with rain and I am actually cold. Why did I not bring at least one jumper?
The houses are very humbling here…most have sheets as roofs and galvanised sheets as walls. Some with no water or electricity.
Yet the people are so happy. It doesn’t change the way I look at life, but how I appreciate more how “blessed” we are in Western society.
I spent the day with the Youth Team today. Initially I needed grace as I wanted to be with the Prophetic Team but I reminded myself why I was there – to serve. Actually, looking back – I had fun. I ended up being asked to share my testimony, which was great.
During ministry time – I got a vision for one of the girls – Grace.
I saw her so angry with her family. When I asked her she broke down.
The Pastor’s wife from a different church, said that Grace’s father is abusive to Grace’s mum and herself so Grace has a lot of anger towards him.
When we talked – I asked Grace if she was ready to be set free. So I led her in a prayer of forgiveness and then asked the Holy Spirit to come to her.Afterwards I watched her and she looked like a different child!
My first experience of deliverance was pretty amazing.
Tonight in our room we chatted together…
I am the “House Mum” for the youth team girls, plus a couple of others nearer my age. I love all the girls here. We seem to be building bonds already. This type of environment certainly brings out that intensity.
So far – the mission trip has been surprisingly good. Although I wish I had more time to prepare – I have just been told I am preaching tomorrow!!!!!
When I prayed – I have felt God say to share my Testimony and He also showed me people that need healing within the church.
I made a deal with God that if I saw them, then I would step out in faith and ask the team to heal them…now I am expectant.
This isn’t the first time I have received “words of knowledge”, but it will certainly be the first time that I speak it out.
The team went to Teouma Community Church – although I was happy, I kept thinking that I should have prepared something more…but God asked me to trust Him with my testimony.
When I woke up this morning, God told me to use “Romans 8” as my basis, and it seemed apt for my testimony with sinful nature vs faith and trusting in God.
When we arrived at the entrance of the Village, it was down this narrow dirt track that the van could hardly fit through. At the end was a beautiful purpose-built brick church. It still had a lot of work to be done, but they had dressed the church with linen and the most beautiful flowers. They had driftwood made as pews and a wood-effect lino on top of the stage. It was beautiful in its simplicity.
Outside they had one communal toilet – which was basically a hole in the ground with a toilet seat. The walls were corrugated iron, and the door was a cotton sheet that blew open all the time. It smelt (obviously) the heat of the day would have intensified everything, but it made me smile that they had gone to the effort of putting fresh flowers in there.
All of the houses were made of corrugated iron sheets. Ventilation was poor due to having no windows and therefore most people breathe in a lot of the smoke when cooking. People seemed to prepare the food outside; with the washing up bowl having stale water, that was used continuously throughout the day.
I loved that they had given everything to God with building the church, whilst they lived a humble life.
There were fruit trees and plants everywhere – they were self-sufficient. However, Cyclone Pam had destroyed most of their produce and they talked about how it would take years to get back to the way things were.
The downside to this Village, was the hygiene was poor.
People had open sores that oozed and some of their teeth were black from decay. Yet, again, they talked about their blessings.
The Church service was amazing!!!
I shared my whole testimony but referring back to Romans 8.
Then I saw the people God had said needed healing.
I started arguing with God (in my head) as I was losing my nerve to trust in Him. Until I practically felt Him shout at me to speak and call them forth…
So, I took a deep breath and began to speak the words of knowledge.
When I stopped calling people up the whole church went into a time of worship. The Holy Spirit swept through, and you felt the whole persona change.
The Pastor was so excited as he said they had NEVER worshipped as they did today and thanked us over and over. He said that over half the church had received healing.
We then had a traditional lunch with the Teouma Community. Some stuff I enjoyed, like the pumpkin with coconut milk and beef with ginger and cabbage. But other stuff like the tapioca was, in my opinion not very nice, but I tried to be culturally respectful.
When we got back to the Motel, I was spiritually exhausted, but we had to help prepare dinner as the leadership team had invited the main Pastor from the Fathers House and some other people from church over.
This was held in our motel room lounge for forty-one people – so by the end of the night I was exhausted!!
One of “my girls” has been under spiritual attack since being here, so she woke me up in the early hours of this morning to pray for her…I am definitely not getting very much sleep as there is also a Cockerel who starts crowing at 4am and some people are getting up at 4.30am to pray and worship God…very loudly!! I thought this is supposed to be a “quiet time”?
This morning we went to hand out the DVD’s around the community in preparation for evangelism on Wednesday.
I was paired with a guy who I get on with. Due to all of the people we spoke to being women, I spoke to them…we handed out all of the DVD’s after being led by God as to where to go.
Now I need to pray into those people, that they will find Jesus and come into a relationship with Christ and/or God will bless them.
Afterwards – we went to the local Hospital. We headed off to different departments in groups of three.
There was an elderly lady whose leg was healed by my group.
There was one little boy who had been badly burnt. It was heart-breaking (as I imagined what it must have been like with Kieren – my husband, when he got burnt as a child)
As I prayed, I pleaded with God to heal this little boy and restore his skin but nothing happened. This disappointed me, but apparently some healings happen days afterwards and people have the faith that this will be. His Mum and Uncle were so happy that we prayed for him.
I will never forget the smell of his flesh.
The Hospitals are clean by their standards (I guess), but it is so basic. The care given must be so different to what the western world is used to.
My other team members prayed for a baby who was part of a Mormon family. We then left, but I felt God say – “go back to them…do not walk away” I walked off, worried what I’d say to them as they spoke little English. The youth pastor from “Fathers House” was with us and was translating.
We went into the next department, but God was saying the same thing over and over. I then asked the youth pastor to come back with me.
I explained the “steps to peace” to him and he said that he would translate, but the moment I spoke God opened their ears and they understood me perfectly! I asked them to repent and then led them both to Christ. Praise God
I then prayed and asked God to heal their son who has whooping cough.
Two salvations…God is good!!
This evening we had a movie night called “Son of God” at the Fathers House…All of the community were invited – there were five salvations in total.
Sad to say but my heart wasn’t in it tonight – I am very tired, so I was outside asking people walking by to come in to watch the movie. It was nice to also get to know some of the other people on the Mission Trip with me from the different teams.
I need time for prayer and to renew my spirit…tomorrow is another busy day.
Today has become more relaxed than first mentioned but it seems like we have had lot of meetings before the Healing meeting tonight.
We had a time of praise and worship – the Holy Spirit came upon me and I couldn’t stop shaking. I then began to speak words of knowledge…
We went out to hand out the healing leaflets in the community. I came across a woman who God told me to pray for. Vanuatu is so open to prayer – people welcome it!
She had one completely red bloodshot eye with partial cataracts but I asked her what her needs were…she said provision for her family. I prayed but when she opened her eyes – her eye was back to normal.
She thanked me but I didn’t mention the eye, as she hadn’t asked for that to be healed!! God is good.
It was the first time I broke down crying today. I miss Kieren and my daughter, Sarai. I feel helpless that I am not there to help them. I know I am where God wants me to be and He will honour that, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
I am so tired as well, which isn’t helping.
The healing night was absolutely crazy!!
A man named “Paul” hobbled past the church tonight with crutches and wouldn’t stop when asked to come in. God told me he needed to come to the healing meeting. I asked a couple of people to go ask him personally as I had been summoned into the church. I also asked one of the pastors from New Zealand to make sure that he came in. So all of them went to pursue him to come.
When the preacher did the alter call, Paul actually came up. It took him about two minutes to get to me and they had to put a chair behind him for him to sit down, as he could hardly stand.
Paul told me that he had been “crippled” for seventeen years. He had kidney pain for the last twelve years and a headache that wouldn’t budge…tonight he was healed completely!!!!!
He stood up and said, “well I don’t need this anymore,” and held his crutch up in the air. He then gave his testimony to the church.
A guy from the team, who stood behind Paul when I prayed, said afterwards that he literally felt the heat and the pulse from the Holy Spirit going through Paul’s body.
Then I prayed for a lady who has gastro issues. She has had pain for a long time…she was also healed!!
God is flippin’ amazing!!!!!!!!!!
I spoke to Kieren tonight on the phone. I miss him so much. I wish he were here to see God at work. It would make this trip so much easier, with him by my side
Today I went out with to do the DVD collection. We only had an hour to do as many collections as possible but we only ended up making it to two “houses”.
At each house there was a salvation but at the second house the man, John, said that he feels demonic presences so we anointed his land and home, once I had led him through a salvation prayer.
A man called Joseph came to see me today at the Fathers House church. He’s from the next village to the one I preached at on Sunday. He told the Pastor from Fathers House that he would only speak to me after the village where I preached had been talking about their encounter with the Holy Spirit.
A good friend who was the “lead” in the Prophetic team stayed in the room with me, whilst the rest of the team waited in the actual church.
Joseph comes from a poor family and was awarded a scholarship to study, but found out it was an Islamic School. He did not convert as he loves Jesus, but no one will employ him. This has left him unable to take care of his partner and children.
He wanted to know more about the Holy Spirit. He didn’t understand where faith comes from to receive the Spirit, so I went through Scripture with him and talked through what it meant in terms for him.
Joseph was really happy at the thought of receiving the Holy Spirit once he realised what it meant, but when I was praying for him God spoke to me and said; “he has unforgiveness on his heart”.
I stopped praying and asked Joseph about it. He revealed that he had issues with his ex-partner who cheated on him with his friend, but left their child with him.
As soon as he spoke God said to me that he was also angry from “generational sin” that had been passed to him.
Joseph went on to say that his “Tribe” was very aggressive, and therefore, we broke off all the strongholds. Then Joseph asked for forgiveness.
We then prayed for the Holy Spirit…Joseph nearly collapsed from the power and he instantly began speaking in tongues.
When he opened his eyes, he said that all his life he had lived with tunnel vision that was black and white, but now he had full vision with bright colours.
I began to give him words of knowledge that he will prophesy to people and that he would be a testament to God.
Immediately, he said he had a picture of a village that he did not know when we were praying for him, and asked what that meant
Joseph thanked us and said that he felt free and weightless for the first time in his life.
Tonight, we had “discipleship” night. Men, Woman and Children went into groups so that we could share more about the Holy Spirit and then they could encourage one another.
The lady that I ended up praying for again wanted the Holy Spirit but when I prayed for her, I felt God say “unforgiveness” initially she denied it but God confirmed it was against a woman. She held her head in shame and confessed it was her sister in law. I went through unforgiveness with her and why we need to forgive, but at the end of the conversation she said that she could not let go of the pain she had caused. Therefore, I advised that I would not pray for the Holy Spirit as I felt God say not to, and I didn’t feel right just praying for the sake of it. So I prayed for her husband and sons, as well as their finances, as requested.
She said that she hopes to come tomorrow for the next DVD night – so I will keep her in my prayers that God will soften her heart.
We went Treasure hunting this morning! First time ever I had been brave enough to do this…
My list comprised of
I felt God tell me that we should start looking straight away and not wait to get to the market.
The team leader felt that we should take a left down one of the streets, and immediately a mum and daughter walked out of the shop – she was wearing a yellow with purple and red flower dress, and pink shoes (another person’s list) we asked if we could pray for her. The Mum said the little girl had the flu. The mum was also suffering with chest pain. I prayed for both of them and they were healed.
I then sensed we should walk down the hill, and immediately I saw a man with light coloured sandals and a blue top (this was on someone else’s list) I asked if we could pray for him and he told us that he had a brain tumour. I started asking him questions and he revealed he wasn’t a Christian, so I led him to salvation right there in the street. I then gave him a Bible and some literature, which he thanked us for.
We then sensed we needed to go back onto the main street and we came to the off-license. I looked to my left and there was the blue car with a man sitting on the pavement with his hands on his head – he was wearing jeans. He was a Chief of one of the smaller islands and he felt burdened with all of the needs of his people (around 2,000-3,000) Therefore, we prayed for him.
Next was a lady; one of the team had on their list a “water pipe,” and another team member had a “watermelon stand.” This lady was by the stand just past the pipe, she had arthritis in her hand and knee. She was healed after one of the Team prayed for her.
She then called to a man who was wearing a hat. When he introduced himself, he took it off to reveal his pigtails hairstyle. It did make me smile! He had hip pain – I prayed for him and he too was healed.
We met an elder at one of the local churches and he asked for prayer. He mentioned that his son had died, and he was struggling to provide for not only his family but for his son’s as well. God told me it was through suicide so we prayed for peace and provision for him. He took my email address, as he said he might contact in the future.
My head immediately started to hurt, so I asked him if he had a headache – which he denied. We then said our goodbyes and a lady sat nearby waved me over. She said she had a headache – so I prayed for her and she was healed. She then said she had backache and stomach pain – again both healed. WOW!!
A man next to her asked for prayer regarding his business, as it wasn’t doing too well. So one of the Team members prayed for him. He then asked me to pray for his eye, which had been blinded as a child. After prayer, it had got better but wasn’t completely healed. God showed me he had anger. When I asked him, he was completely honest that he had anger issues and needed forgiveness – so I led him through a prayer after cutting the spirit of anger off…I then prayed for his eye again which was then completely healed…full sight…praise Jesus!!
The man the summoned one of his family members over, as she had pain in her foot…again she was completely healed through prayer.
I was left astounded!
Tonight, we had our second DVD night, it was a full-house at Fathers House Church. I stayed outside and ended up chatting with a group of youths with a Team Member. The youths were talking about not wanting to eat bacon, as they were afraid that God would think they sinned.
Therefore, we showed them Mark 7:19 and then talked through Romans 8. I literally saw the burdens drop off their shoulders! It was an amazing time with questions being asked.
God is so good.
This morning our team helped with the building project. It’s so humbling to see how Pastor and his wife live. Our team over the last week have totally transformed their home. What was bare floors and dark rooms have been replaced with tiled floors, a fully tiled functioning bathroom, and painted rooms. I helped with the clean-up…they use mud as grout but I was trying to get it off the walls and floor before it dried hard.
The Pastor’s wife asked if I could pray for her as she had bad stomach cramps. I said that she was obviously doing what God wanted her to and should be encouraged that the devil was trying to stop her from being at the Church celebrations tonight – she is leading worship. I prayed for her and was she too was healed.
We then went and collected the rest of the DVD’s. There was a lady who was pregnant and worried about the baby, as she has been getting bad stomach pains…I prayed for her…healed…no pain and she had just pure joy in her eyes…praise Jesus!!
It seems so simple – to heal people. I’m not sure if it’s because I know God will heal them or because of the faith of the people, lol.
God is so good!
The rest of the DVD collections were such a blessing because we prayed with so many families. They are such an amazing culture. Vanuatu is called the happiest place on Earth and I can honestly see why!
They are desperate for anything that they can read or watch with reference to God. We really wanted to bless them by leaving the DVD’s but the college hadn’t got permission and therefore we needed to collect as much back as possible.
I really want to try and raise money for the Teouma Community. They are in a poorer area, from the one we had based ourselves in – Teouma, was where I preached.
I would love to take Kieren and Sarai there to meet the Pastors and the community. Hopefully one day we can bless them.
Grace was walking home from school when we were walking back to the church. She came running up to me and gave me a big hug. It’s an amazing transformation to see her so free after she was released from the spirit of anger.
She has now moved to Port Vila and is living with a “foster family” as she has moved away from her abusive Dad. I have really developed a soft spot for her. She has such a beautiful spirit. I gave her my address and said if she ever wanted to write to me, that I would welcome her letter.
We went back into town for lunch and ice-cream. It has been the hottest day to date. My shoes are literally swimming with sweat – gross I know, lol. We decided to do more Treasure hunting on the walk home…
My treasure list was:
We set off and immediately we spotted a gentleman with a yellow hat (that was on another person’s list). He also had a bag with the number 24 on it. He asked to be blessed with his finances and if we could pray for his daughter who was studying.
As we walked down the street we saw a man with a white top outside of a blue shop. He too was studying but felt like he was failing, so we prayed for him as well.
I was walking up the last hill before we reached our motel and I was praying to God. I was unhappy that we had only found two people (harsh I know considering all of the things I had witnessed over the past week, but I had become expectant!) God said to me “look up”…I then saw a lady with an orange and blue dress, wearing blue shoes! She said that she was struggling to support her family and needed prayer for finances.
After that – to be honest. I was done in. I was so exhausted and the team walked back to the motel in silence.
Tonight was the 16th Anniversary for “Fathers House” The Pastor’s Wife came up to me and said that her stomach pains were definitely no more and she felt great. She led the worship amazingly.
I still love how differently the Vanuatu people sing the same worship songs as us. I would love to be next to God sitting in heaven, listening on a Sunday morning to the praise songs all around the world…wow!!
They had prepared a huge amount of food for everyone, they are so generous with the little they have. They have strict cultural customs that “guests” eat first, then men, then children and last the women. I struggled with this, as I went with a servant heart, and yet I felt that I was being treated like royalty by them.
This was our “relax day” – we spent it at the Erakor Island Resort. We had to take a boat to get to the Island and it was a little bit of paradise. It was bitter-sweet for me. I lay on the beach chair thinking of Kieren and Sarai and how much I have missed them both on this trip – for completely different reasons obviously!
I also looked at Port Vila Island that was directly in front of Erakor, and thought of how the struggles of the people there were so oblivious to the tourists on this Island that I currently sat upon.
As I look back on the whole trip…
I am exhausted due to the lack of sleep and long days but I wouldn’t change a thing, and I know the memories I have will last a lifetime.
God has not disappointed me. I came expectant and He blew my mind!
It breaks my heart to see so many people living in “poverty,” but I guess I am looking at it from a Western culture point of view. The people here are so happy and content with “what God has given them.” I don’t think it has changed my opinion on how I will view my life back home, but as I mentioned previously, it certainly has reconfirmed how blessed I am in my day to day life.
It reconfirms to me that no matter what your circumstances are, or the situation that you may face, God blesses those who love Him and we receive a peace and joy that no-one can take away. It is not for me to judge another by my standards but to love everyone, the way that God loves me.
I hope and pray that one day I can share a similar experience with Kieren and Sarai – to show them how I have fallen in love with the people of Vanuatu.