Want to see pictures?

Hi everyone,

We wanted to send out a brief post to let you all know that we have officially kicked off Bible school! We have four couples and one single guy living on the property and also have two men from our local village Currently enrolled in school. If you would like to follow our picture highlights, pop over to our Instagram page, we use this platform to share photos. Last week they finished their first class, a course on marriage. We had 14 couples attend, some our local village and some from other villages nearby. It was such a blessing to see them desire to grow in their marriages. This is part one of a two-part series during this Bible school term. As always, thank you for following our journey and for your continual love, encouragement, and prayers for us and the ministry here amongst the Tiale people. Please continue to keep us, the students, the teachers, and our ongoing Bible studies in prayer.

Marriage Course

Your feet to the Tiale people and the country of Vanuatu,

~Seth & Nicole Stokes

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Check out what has been going on over here… God has been doing some amazing things! Read our newsletter below to hear more… also, stay tuned for some blog posts with more…

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Happy Resurrection!

Happy Resurrection! We hope that you all had a great weekend as we did.

On Good Friday we had a blessed time with the Tiale people, having encouraging conversations, talking about our Lord and Savior, got to attend a birthday party for one of the local kids, and we even got to help coach a friend to be able to lead someone to the Lord!

The birthday girl fell asleep after all the fun!

Sunday was a great day, talking about Jesus! The man who just got saved on Good Friday gave his testimony at church, confessing what God has done in his life. He said “the day Jesus died (Good Friday), I was granted eternal life”! What a blessing to see another dear brother added to the family of Christ!

Sunday school
Kids doing a special song & their teacher sharing a short message (one of the future church leaders in training)

-Your feet to the Tiale people & the country of Vanuatu,

~Seth & Nicole Stokes

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Stoking the Fires…

It is interesting that the phrase “stoking the fires” is our tagline and the name of our blog/website. We see one of our desires (Jeremiah 20:9 and checkout one of our first blog posts) is to ignite a “fire” in the Tiale people and the people of Vanuatu to both come to God and be passionate in their walks with Him. Our Tiale friends frequently discuss with us that our time away, because of lock-down, made them like “dry wood”, they did not progress, but they yearned for more teachings. Since we have been back, they keep using this phrase “you guys make the fire in us get stronger (for our faith).” As always, it is a humbling thing to be used by the Lord and so exciting to see how He is fanning into flame a hunger for Himself and His Word.  

A young girl Nicole has been discipling since 2017
Men’s Bible Study
Ladies Bible Studies

We cannot articulate all the glorious things that God is doing here in the jungle, but we will try to summarize them here:

-Many of the Christians have been growing in their faith, finding strength to walk in right relationship with God amidst the animism and shame culture.

-Many of the leaders are learning how to actually shepherd their flocks, while also being proactive in discipling their members.

-Many married couples are growing in their relationships with one another, some proactively desiring to model that Christ-like marriage in Ephesians 5.

-Many parents desiring to break the chains of traditions and pursue spouses for their children that align with their Christian values, not traditional values.

-Many are coming to the Lord; hearing a clear Gospel (many for the first time), and also hearing it in their own language.

We continue to live life on life with the Tiale people, we have been teaching them Chronologically (Firm Foundations 1-3) since 2016, and then trained several leaders in 2019 to be able to teach those materials in their own villages. It has been years of planting seeds, but now we are seeing some real harvest in people coming to the Lord (hearing a clear Gospel), while also seeing Christians rejoice in their freedom they have in walking by the Spirit and no longer being slaves to sin. One of the believers recently said, “we are starting to see people as firewood, we are testing it, when it rains will it still lite or not. Is it wet and dead or ready to make a big fire? Only strong, dry wood lites in the rain. We see a lot of wet wood here in our villages. We want to share the Word so people can become dry wood and lite a strong fire that warms everyone.”

Over the past few months, we have been diving deeper into parts of Romans with many of the Tiale people, and imparting unto the them the Truths of being controlled by the Spirit. This exposure has immediately shown fruit in the more mature believers, realizing that they can have a close relationship with God, enjoy it, and not be consumed by sin.

When we first got back, we immediately returned to having multiple studies with various groups, and early on we saw a disparity in many of them and also in their prayer lives. One Sunday night, an older believer in our village rang the bell (how they inform the community of a meeting), and thus began our weekly prayer meeting for the body of believers here. Through this special time, we have seen God answer many prayers; people who left the faith have come back to church, God restoring marriages, several people have given clear testimonies of changed lives, and much much more. God desires for all His children to unite in corporate prayer and we have been excited to see a new spark in these believers.

What does our weekly prayer service in Tiale land look like? Don’t forget your flashlights!

Lastly, as a result of prayer, one of the local leaders was stirred in his heart to take care of a dying church (he already pastors another church). On Sundays, he is now teaching in the morning in one village, and then hikes to teach at another village that night (about a 3-hour hike away). God is doing great things! Continue to pray for the Tiale people and for God to continue growing them according to His divine will.

-Your feet to the Tiale people and the country of Vanuatu,

Seth and Nicole Stokes.

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Huff and Puff and (try to) Blow Your House Down

Over the past few weeks, we have had many earthquakes, an underwater volcanoes erupt, a tropical storm, and two cyclones (hurricanes) this past week back to back. Through it all, the Lord was gracious in that no one (that we know of) was injured, just minor property damage, many fallen trees, and one very large and impassible river. Our capital of Port Vila and the southern most island(s) got hit much worse than we did; power outages, no water, planes damages, and all travel being grounded for nearly a week. Continue to pray for Vanuatu that God would grant a speedy recovery from these natural disasters.

Cyclone Kevin-2023
Mango tree down on road to village
Underwater volcano erupting
Bible Studies
Praying over church group leaders

Check out our latest newsletter below…

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Cyclones and earthquake, flooding and fellowship… none of the natural disasters slowed down the work God is doing here!  Over these past 5 months we have seen the greatest growth of both husbands and wives along with kids and parents; God’s Spirit is at work amongst the Tiale people! As always, we appreciate your prayers! Don’t forget to follow our journey (read our previous newsletter for that information). Your feet to the Tiale people & the country of Vanuatu, -Seth & Nicole

Check out our newsletter below to continue reading…

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Recap: New Year’s Day

Many of you have asked how we celebrate New Year’s here in Tiale land and what the day is like? I hope this video gives you a better idea…

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Lockdown… Again… but we are not shaken!

Many of us remember the phrase “2 weeks to stop the…” etc. Well, last week we had our first flooding of the year, and so for us, that means we are in “lockdown” in Tiale land for a minimum of 2 weeks, if not longer. So even if we wanted to leave for town (which we don’t really need to), we could not go (at least not with our truck), because one or both rivers are flooded. Last week, an elderly person in a nearby village was unable to go to the bathroom, so the men had to carry him to the first river, then lift him over head (because of how deep the water was) to the other side, get a truck to drive him to the other river, then make a raft to help pull him across the second river, only to load him up into another truck and then taken on the remaining 2-hour drive to town. This is the rigmarole that is needed if someone wants to leave our village and get to town at this current time…

Check out this short video to see what the river looks like: https://youtube.com/watch?v=oPszsBAJ0L8&feature=share

Over the past week, we have experienced over 15 earthquakes (and counting)! It all started last week with the first earthquake being listed around a 7.0 magnitude and then almost seconds after that first one there was a 7.2 following (which is the second strongest earthquake in our islands’ history). We spent a good bit of the next day picking up and cleaning up from many supplies and things being flung all over the place. Thankfully there were minimal items damaged and no physical damage to our house. Praise the Lord! Since then, we have had several earthquakes and various tremors each day. (There was even an earthquake as I wrote this update)! You could say that we are feeling a bit “shaken up” these days… Every time we feel one we are bracing ourselves for a big one.. Thankfully no one’s house was destroyed, no injuries, just some minor damage, and many scared kids. The people kept saying “I’ve never felt anything like this before”! With all the earthquakes coupled with the incoming rainy season, many of the Tiale people are trying to fix their houses and store up food and fire wood in case of emergencies. Vanuatu boasts of having the most natural disasters (hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis) over any other country in the world, and this past week we have definitely felt the effects…

Please pray for everyone’s continued safety and health, during this time. If someone were to need medical assistance, it is a rather arduous task to get them the help they need. In all of this, we know God is Sovereign, and we thank you for taking part in our journey.

Check out our Instagram to see more pictures and videos: https://instagram.com/stokingthefires?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Your feet to the Tiale people and the country of Vanuatu, Seth and Nicole Stokes

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We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are off to a happy new year… Below is our recent newsletter but stay tuned for more updates soon…

We try to post monthly newsletters, and semi-frequent blogs, as well as posts on Facebook (Seth Isaac Stokes), and Instagram (@stokingthefires) where we try to keep more recent up-to-date pictures and short stories of daily life. Please follow our journey! We try to post often as to keep you involved in our ministry as much as we can! We appreciate your prayers! 

Your feet to the Tiale people and the country of Vanuatu

-Seth & Nicole Stokes

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Traditional Holiday Food: Vanuatu 🇻🇺 Style

What types of food do you eat for special holidays? Mashed root foods are a must. This style with Taro is very common and everyone loves it. Better get some before it’s gone…

Mashed Taro with Coconut Cream & Nuts
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