Article Index

2013 Vanuatu Missions Trip

The most encouraging thing this term has been to see lives transformed and many making commitments to Christ while away for eleven days on our Missions trip to Vanuatu. We had 27 from the school head over and it was clear from the start that God was opening the doors and touching lives. I could write a book of testimonies but have only time to list a few of the experiences. We took in about 8 large bags of lovely clothes to many poor villages where mothers were so grateful. We gave away a PA system, several laptops, a projector, four guitars, medical supplies… great work students. Our students had amazing opportunities everywhere we went. In villages, schools, churches and even in the main central markets. In the evening we were asked to perform dramas, give testimonies, preach the Good News and sing. Students worked very hard the whole time visiting the hospital and running object lessons and book sharing activities with small groups every day.

I taught some of the parents and pastors last year, about how they could work together as a church community to help thier own children to read and get the basics as they were concerned about this. This year two pastors are planning to build schools starting with preps and later Christian schools. It is planned that the parents and teachers will work together in homes and community rooms.

One couple, Loi and Julie, said they had heard me talking about teaching the young ones last year and they had felt that God wanted them to go home to their village in the mountains on Nguna Island to start a preschool that involves the mothers. Now they have 22 students and had just been praying and fasting for three days for God to send someone to help them. That’s when we found out we were going to Nguna Island for three nights. Twenty seven of us tramped on foot up into the mountains to a village. When we arrived we were told that they had only ever had two white people visit -ever. God used us to encourage many and I was so proud of our students and their excellent behaviour and witness. This Picture shows, Principal Lio with his school car.

Every place we went was an adventure and the students united in prayer and really worked hard. We still had some time for snorkelling and some swam with turtles. At Sama, Jack got to swim beside a dugong for ten minutes.

We had a wonderful team of students and leaders with so many talents and gifts to share. Many doors have opened and I believe that our work will continue on as many students were asking what can we do to make a difference –not just while we are there? We have been invited into the Prisons next time to perform and share testimonies and several smaller isolated Islands also want us to visit next year.

This trip we saw many elders and community leaders reduced to tears when given Bibles and support or following a message. God also used us to bring unity in one village and one elder travelled over 80 km to see us off at the Airport. We also met with the Minister for Labour who I have worked with for three years and it is good to see he is going strong for God.

I must admit it was hard getting home to the paper work but wonderful to see the rest of my family. I want to give a special thanks to our leaders Glen Matthews, Sue Kirby, Sue Hill, Diane Fuller and Miriam Rivers (an additional helper with local experience). I was very impressed with the effort and energy these adult leaders put in to ensure things flowed smoothly.

We worked the students hard and on the last day I could only persuade four students and Sue Hill to join me for a 5:30 am snorkel.

Praise God for his provision!

Jason Caldwell