Birth of a new Adventist school

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Tanna Island, Vanuatu

A new Adventist school with no buildings and no trained teachers has commenced operations in the village of Enarawia on Vanuatu’s Tanna Island.

Four Adventist volunteers are teaching the 92 students in tents originally provided by the UN for emergency shelter after the devastation of Cyclone Pam in 2015. 

Edwin Kesel is the head teacher of another Adventist primary school about a day’s walk away. Although his own school has needs and challenges his heart was touched when he realised that the children of Enarawia, a village community that belongs to the John Frum cargo cult, had no school.

Mr Kesel was able to negotiate with the village leaders to start the school and organised for the volunteer teachers to begin work.

The staff accommodation is basic—a rough bush hut and a makeshift structure covered with tarpaulins. The Unicef tents that form the classrooms are hot, with poor ventilation, no electricity and limited school supplies.

The volunteer teachers have no tertiary training but are doing their best to pass on what they know from the high school education they have completed. Their teaching focus is on Jesus and His love; educating the children and their community for life here and eternity. Currently they are seeking a new school site on which they can build a permanent Adventist School. The hope is that this will be a foundation for a church plant later.