Vatu? What? How?

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During May we’re focusing on seeking God’s wisdom. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month.

By Jill Riepe

I had a great opportunity to go teach in Vanuatu for a new project that was just starting, but I had just heard that I would need to get Vatu, Vanuatu currency, before I arrived in Vanuatu. My flight arrived around midnight and the money exchange counter would be closed. I needed money for a taxi and for the hotel. They don’t accept credit cards. If I were in America, this would be no big deal. I’d go to my bank and request the foreign currency. I’m in Papua New Guinea. The place where I live does not have a bank. It’s a mission center. There is a finance office, but it only has Papua New Guinean Kina, American dollars, and Australian dollars.

I tried putting a request on the Wanted boards. This forum allows people to put out requests for all sorts of things, from certain currencies to blenders and washing machines. Many times I’ve been able to find what I’ve needed through the Wanted boards. This time, there was no response. No one had Vatu in Ukarumpa.IMG_2863

Right about this time, a friend of mine from Australia came to visit her family here in Ukarumpa. I mentioned that I needed to get Vatu to be able to pay for the taxi and hotel in Vanuatu. We worked out an elaborate scheme. She would return with her family to Australia and get the Vatu. Her family that serves here in Papua New Guinea would return with the Vatu and I would pay her back through their account here at the center. A month later I had the money and I was ready to travel to Vanuatu. Sometimes simple things can be quite complicated. I’m glad that God is in the details and arranges opportunities and chance encounters.

Jill serves as a Bible translator.

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