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I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.
2017 Vanuatu Missions Trip
Almost everyone I talk to agrees that a trip to the beautiful Pacific island archipelago of Vanuatu is on their bucket list. What an amazing life experience! Gasp in awe at the spectacular rugged highland views, relax on the golden beaches, explore the lagoons and hinterland on each island paradise and connect with local culture. What is even better, is being able to combine such a blessing with missionary work for God.
This year students from Faith Christian School of Distance Education did just that. Travelling to Vanuatu the students enjoyed snorkelling in the azure blue waters, walks in the forest hinterland, local food and culture.
However, there was a deeper purpose than ticking personal travel experiences off the bucket list. The purpose was furthering the love God has for all nations across the globe. The missionary team went to Vanuatu to do works of charity and give financial and physical support to the local communities and share the Good News of Christ Jesus.
It was great to see students getting involved in sharing and donating to the villages and needy communities. The team was able to bless each of the villages we visited with gifts, clothes and finances. Praise God!
The mission team performed over 14 concerts in 10 days! Whew! Great effort team! The students were so well received that we now have two additional invites to new areas, another island and an isolated mountain village in the highlands. God is great!
Additionally, the local leaders said that the impact on the local community, as the missions team sharing their faith, giving generously to families in need and witnessing with their amazing, fun and poignant messages through the concerts, was so profoundly heartfelt that the local villagers have been inspired to start a small church as well as support the local schools in whatever capacity they can.
We were very encouraged on this year’s missions’ trip to see many lives encouraged and souls saved, not just through this year’s work, but the work that has been happening in Vanuatu over the last 6 years through our students and mission leaders.
What an experience! Our students were amazing and worked together well as a team. I want to thank all the mission leaders and students; you were excellent ambassadors for the school and Christ. It was exciting to see each team member sharing such genuine heart felt devotional messages and testimonies. Tears of joy poured freely, and lifelong friendships were forged.
Parting is such sweet sorrow! It took all the students who shared this wonderful mission experience over an hour to hug, share tears and smiles and say their goodbyes.
The only difficult part of the trip (tongue in cheek), was at the very end, on our return to Brisbane Airport, where the students put on a great impromptu mini concert. They were so bold, I thought security might kick us out!
On this trip, I felt God encouraging the students to be encouraged in the knowledge that they are never alone. God is with us! This year we had a special bond of unity and prayer on the trip. The fruit of such a powerful foundation was a blessing (Psalm 133). The students grew very strong in confidence, as a team and individually, as they stepped out for God in faith, drama, song and testimony.
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!