Relaunching student ministry in Vanuatu
Posted on: 26th March 2021
CMS missionaries Joel and Tiffanie Atwood are working with university students in Vanuatu. They share how God is at work despite a tumultuous start to the year.
It’s been a wild month for us here in Vanuatu. We haven’t had to face the anxieties of lockdowns or spikes in case numbers, but we have had about 15 earthquakes, 2 tropical cyclones, and a tsunami all in the space of a month.
Thankfully, most parts of the country escaped anything more than minor damage to temporary structures and some loss of crops. It did add a little spice to our leaders’ retreat when we finished reading Acts 16 and got our very own earthquake!
We’re now three weeks into campus ministry at the University of the South Pacific (USP). Our local student relaunch (called EKF) had a great start with 90 new student sign ups at orientation day… but only four students showed up to our first week.
Some fine-tuning of location made a big difference, and at our next meeting we had 14 Ni-Vanuatu first year students come. It can be hard to get a new community to work well together, so please pray that we’ll develop a consistent core to this group, and potential leaders would make themselves obvious.
Energised for ministry
Our regional student group (ECF, in English) has had an injection of life with our three new leaders who are super excited to take a big step in their faith and learn to lead others towards Jesus.
As well as getting their heads and hearts around leading our weekly time in the Bible, they’re charging ahead with plans for outreach at Easter. They are also preparing for an inter-island trip in the mid-year break to serve isolated communities with practical legal help and some basic Bible teaching. Now we just need to keep up with them.
There are still more opportunities than we know what to do with at the universities and beyond. We’re exploring starting a small group among faculty of the Law school, a new ministry in the expanding national university, and lots of possibilities for preaching training and Bible teaching around Vanuatu.
Please pray for the growth, stability, and longevity of the student group at USP, that we might reach more students for Christ. Praise God for the many opportunities he is giving us and ask for wisdom to know which ones to pursue.