Australian Presbyterian World Mission
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An Update on Workpartners

Approximately 20 years ago, APWM commenced a programme to assist the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu with its need for the construction of new buildings and the maintenance of existing ones. The programme initially had two components — Tradesparters and Youthpartners — and was later simply known as ‘Workpartners’.

The building featured above, was opened in 2008 and is possibly the first building constructed in the programme. Its the library at the Talua Theological Training Institute, its formal name is the ‘Don Lewis Pacific Partnership Library’ named after Don Lewis, the lead builder for the project. Photos can’t convey the fact that it’s a rather large building. What makes this library so significant is that it houses the right number of theological books that Talua needs in order to qualify for external accreditation that enables Talua to award Bachelor degrees to its students. This is where partnership can make a significant difference.

At a recent meeting the APWM National Committee decided to conclude the Workpartners program in its present form. Instead, the Committee will, in consultation with the leadership at Talua, send small teams of qualified tradesmen and handymen to meet identified needs as required.

This means that even though travel restrictions have now eased, we won’t be returning to the previous pattern of sending teams of volunteers every six months or so to Talua or other locations in Vanuatu. The Committee’s intention is to continue supporting Talua as it manages maintenance and repairs with local workers, using funds provided by generous donors and (when specialist work is required) sending small teams of qualified workers from Australia.

APWM thanks those who led teams, participated in teams, and contributed to this ministry in prayer and finance. In this ministry’s new phase there are still ongoing financial needs, so any gifts to help with paying for materials and the people who carry out the work, would be very welcome!