THE LAND THAT HAS ALWAYS EXISTED
"The land that has always existed"...that's the meaning of the name Vanuatu. In July 1980, when this chain of 83 tropical island jewels in the South Pacific chose this name, it became an independent nation after 74 years of colonial rule. In spite of a growing tourist industry and many budding entrepreneurial endeavors, today Vanuatu is still finding its feet with infrastructure and services to its scattered islands a slow process in the making. Foreign governments and aid agencies assist this nation of 230,000 inhabitants in many sectors of public and commercial life. The friendly ni-Vanuatu are a people in flux, undergoing the challenges of technological advancement while clinging to traditional Melanesian values.
FAITH AND FEARS
Christianity arrived in Vanuatu in the m id-1800s splashed with the blood of cannibalized missionaries. Eventually the Christian message was spread throughout the archipelago by mostly Presbyterians and Anglicans. Denominational choices are much broader in 21st century Vanuatu, and almost any person in Vanuatu will be glad to tell you his church affiliation. It's almost as much a part of his identity as where he was born. But many ni-Vanuatu are Christians in name only; the reality of the Gospel has never penetrated their hearts and worldview. Behind the smiling brown faces are fears of the "clever" medicine man - who can cause sickness or even death with his black magic - or worry about bad omens when a certain bird flies overhead.
Outside the two major towns of Port Vila and Luganville, most of the population live as subsistence farmers and fishermen. Without electricity, running water, decent roads and proper medical care, life is hard. Churches still meet in almost every village, but both church leaders and congregation are in great need of the Gospel and grounding in the Scriptures. In many places churches are without any pastor, trained or otherwise.
BMW Vanuatu is prayerfully pursuing the means to address the deep spiritual needs of the people of Vanuatu. Adopting a multi-pronged approach to reach both the urban and rural sectors and using both the trade and indigenous languages, some team members are based in the capital and others are seeking opportunities in the more remote islands. The overall vision includes, but is not limited to, careful evangelism and discipleship, Bible translation, and leadership training.
BMW Vanuatu is seeking team members committed to life-long learning and servant-hearted spiritual labor. Flexibility and creativity will be valuable assets to any team member. People well-grounded in the Scriptures and solid doctrine are needed to counter the great religious confusion in this country. Possible ministry opportunities include: