We went to a little village church today. It was very encouraging. It was run by students from Talua college who were full of enthusiasm and passion for Jesus. People were listening intently to Dean’s sermon, and although I couldn’t understand most of it (it was in Bislama) I was reading Glen’s sermon notes as he wrote so I kind of followed along – it appeared that Dean preached a challenging and clear sermon from Romans 3:21-24 about human sin and our need to trust Jesus. Joel led the singing and after the service explained that the students came because they wanted to and because God brought them there, not because they had to. Vanuatu appears (from my limited observations) to have a strong culture of obligation and burden so it was great to hear Joel give that explanation at the end of Church.
It would be good to be praying for the students at Talua and the recent graduates as they minister in their churches. The biggest opposition to the gospel in Vanuatu appears to me to be the Churches and the pastors. People are keen and open to the gospel. The churches place a burden on people and pastors don’t seem to do much ministry. I don’t know where this comes from but the young pastors at Talua don’t seem to be infected by it. There are so many good opportunities for these young pastors to do good gospel ministry. My fear is that they will become disillusioned with the ‘church’ or bogged down with other non-ministry responsibilities. So pray for Pastors to be bible based and ministry minded, pray that they would be working with and discipling people, pray that they would seek God’s glory above the approval of others and make a stand for what they know to be right when the situation calls for it.