Small projects around the new JBI classroom building have continued. On one side of the classroom building, a new retaining wall was built to stop erosion and flooding from the hillside above. Pastor Peter Avock ‘07 JBI Grad, returned for a few weeks to build it.
The final coat of paint is now on the new classroom building. A team of young people from the country of Fiji have been on a mission trip to Vanuatu and surprised us with an offer to do some practical work. So they came for several mornings and painted for us! The stone retaining wall along the front was painstakingly built by the JBI students. And though there is some more landscaping to do, we are almost done!
On February 24, 2012, a small ceremony was held to mark the opening of the new JBI classroom building. The building has a teacher’s resource and conference room, two classrooms and public restrooms. JBI teachers and students gathered to witness this much anticipated event. AG Vanuatu Superintendent, Rev. Youen Atnelo, Pastor Randy Blankenship and JBI Principal, J. Gary Ellison cut the ribbon on the classroom door after a short service.
THANK YOU to Celebration Christian Center of Midland, MI for their generous offering towards the purchase of the new furniture for the building!
It was a tremendous boost to our construction project to have two construction teams come from the USA in 2011. New Life Church of Kokomo, Indiana, and Life Church, Fishers, Indiana, laid all the block walls and then a few months later, Lafayette First from Lafayette, Indiana, put on the trusses, roof and inside ceilings. There have been many local people who worked on the building as well. Our contractor, Ben Saul and his workman, Morres, actually worked from start to finish with me. Other local skilled construction workers came and worked during different phases of the building project. As we neared the opening date, February 24, 2012, skilled JBI grads, teachers and current students all pitched in to get things done! Here are some photos of the final days of work.
Photos above: Morres painting and Ben installing the louvre glass windows.
Photos below: Job, 2008 JBI grad plastering & Pastor Kiel, JBI teacher. They worked hard to plaster the remaining exterior walls. Even working on scaffolding through a rainstorm!
Photos above: JBI students helping around the building site and (right) Pastor Peter Avock, 2007 JBI grad, laid all the ceramic tile on the floors and in the bathrooms.
Photos below: Workers unloading cement bags and carrying in the new classroom furniture.
With the interruption of Cyclone Jasmine last week, we obviously got a couple more days behind in our construction schedule…it didn’t help that some of the bathroom fixtures did not fit properly and we are still trying to get them replaced or refunded. The locally-made hardwood doors did not get delivered and lots of other things! The electrical lights and ceiling fans are all in though and working! We will not be able to paint the concrete walls for another 6 months – time for the lime and concrete to rest. With classes starting tomorrow at JBI we will be squeezing classes into the school dining hall and library to start off and moving into the new building as soon as possible! Official dedication will still be on the 24th while Pastor Randy is visiting with us.
Getting calls from JBI students on outer islands still waiting for cargo ships to stop and pick them up. Shipping was totally disrupted by the cyclone as it created very high seas and kept all boats in port. One JBI student, called today from Tanna where he is rebuilding his family’s woven house damaged by the cyclone. He will try to get a ship on Friday – not easy to leave a wife and children behind when things at home are in disarray. So pray for the students and their families.
Otherwise, the new theme banner “Grow in Grace” is hanging in the chapel and we are ready and excited to welcome students on campus for another school year!
We are gaining momentum once again after the Christmas and New Year’s slowdown. Tile is going up on the bathroom walls and floors right now and this is very exciting! Christmas sales were timely, as I was able to purchase all the ceramic tile, toilets and sinks at special sale prices.
There have been some unexpected helpers come our way and we are so grateful to each one of them…Jim and Carol, new friends all the way from Saskatchewan, Canada, for a resort holiday but took 2 days to do construction work! What a personal encouragement that was to me! Thanks so much guys! Then Pastor Peter Avock and friends came by and started plastering and pouring floors! So we are moving along though still needing a few more qualified hands! The whole time Ben has been toiling away every day with or without help! Thanks Ben! More reinforcements should be arriving today!
Looks like we have most of our supplies on hand except the glass for the windows which is out of stock…so pray that it will come in on the next boat!
Still a lot to do in the next month before the students arrive back at JBI! It’s going to be great to be teaching in a regular size classroom with a white board mounted on the wall!
We are so thankful to have the funds to complete our new classroom building at JBI, thank you so much to ActioNow and everyone who sent in end-of-the-year donations! December was very hectic as we juggled the little money-on-hand, bought what we needed and took time to celebrate Christmas. In early December, we desperately needed cement and none was available in the country! This is one of the complications of living on an island and depending on imported goods. So construction stopped! Then right before Christmas, the very first load of cement to come off the docks was delivered to us! (Thank you Carpenter hardware!) This delay, unfortunately put us a couple of weeks behind schedule as the walls should have been plastered before Christmas and not after! At this point, we have scoured the few local hardware stores and have purchased all the plumbing and tiling supplies needed. The classroom chairs and desks have been ordered from Australia – the first shipment is already on its way by boat and the customs duty exemption paperwork in hand!
Next, we need more skilled workers to come and join Ben and Morris in finishing the building…Christmas holidays can really be dragged out here and it is hard to regain momentum. Classes resume at JBI on February 14th and we plan to dedicate the building and move in! Thank for praying for Lori and the work crew as they finish this much-needed building!
The construction of the new classroom building is underway! A 22-member team from Kokomo, Indiana, New Life Church is coming 28 June to 9 July to help with the project.
The team will also be conducting youth rallies, children’s meetings, and services in some of our churches. They will also be ministering at the JBI Chapel, 30 June, and 5 and 7 July at 10:30. Welcome to Pastors Blankenship, Campbell, Peternel, and New Life Church!