Thursday nights in the Nakamal at the FCC continue to feature a crackling fire and a group of men enjoying each other’s fellowship. Lately, group chess lessons afford a chance to gain valuable skills of patience and focused concentration.
An initiative Patick Johnny launched over a year ago, the FCC’s Mat Time, has developed into an opportunity to minister to and disciple men of Teouma Valley. Patick and other men utilize this weekly time to initiate conversations about real-life issues within the community, address gender identity and social issues in NiVan culture, build friendships, and most importantly, share about Jesus Christ.
In the last several months, two additional Mat Times in nearby villages were launched. The FCC hosted several two-day Men’s Events for the Mat Time participants, with open invitations to nearby villages. These events drew men from these villages, and God has used the connections to open a door for Patick to begin meeting weekly with the men of those communities.
The Port Vila area has also heard of and taken an interest in Mat Time. Local businesses have played a role in sponsoring different aspects of Mat Time: a local bakery has been contributing bread each week for months, recently an outpouring of generosity from the Port Vila community allowed 14 young men to go to the local golf course for a beginner’s lesson, and Cricket Vanuatu orchestrated time every Friday afternoon for Mat Time participants to join the national cricket team for training sessions.
Patick shared, “After the success of Teouma Valley Mat Times and observing the need in so many surrounding villages; it was only natural to want to replicate this program to impact and to reach into more villages. We have seen great changes in the lives of men as they are challenged to assess the way they think, act, and relate with their families and community.”
It is incredible to see how God has prompted creative ways to open doors into the hearts and lives of these NiVan men. Would you please pray this opportunity bears significant, eternal fruit?