Article submitted by Harry Wilson, MVAustralia Short-Term Team Member
My name is Harry Wilson. I am from Plenty Valley Christian College, and recently I had an incredible opportunity to serve God over in the beautiful country of Vanuatu. Our plane left Australia and we began the most amazing journey of our life. Our team was thrilled when we arrived there and my first impression was just pure amazement. It was sure to be a unique two weeks.
Our journey throughout Vanuatu was incredible. In terms of of recreation, we traveled to some gorgeous waterfalls called the Cascades, went snorkeling and went shopping in Port Vila. While this was an unbelievable amount of fun, it was also a time of bonding with the rest of the team which made us very strong in the times where we faced some challenges.
While we were there, I think the whole team had a bit of trouble with the fact we weren’t doing much in terms of construction and other physical work. We almost felt like we were there for nothing. I am thankful our team team leader, Phil Plowman, and the teachers picked up on this. They taught us an extremely important lesson. Missions isn’t always about constantly doing stuff. Sometimes it’s about just simply being there – talking and playing with kids – that’s what means the most.
One of my biggest challenges was visiting the Blacksand Slum community. It felt so wrong that I had so much stuff in my backpack that meant nothing to me, but has a massive value to the people who live there. I actually felt badly I was wearing shoes and socks, even a shirt. Even now, while I am writing this, I look around my room and I see an iPod, books, a guitar and a proper bed. The people in Blacksands would benefit just from having a little bit of electricity in the community while I use a laptopl and iPod every day.
But even though it was heartbreaking, it was wonderful just being with the kids and playing numerous games of soccer and chase. I think I may have played about six hours of soccer on one of the days! It almost killed me, but I was so happy I was able to spend time with these amazing people.
I know it’s a cliche, but I am so grateful for every single thing I own after this experience. I have come away learning so much more than I expected to and I love talking to friends and family about my experience in Vanuatu. I think I have become a happier person just being around the Nevan people.
Lastly, I would like to thank Missionary Ventures for this amazing experience. Everyone loved the trip so much and we all want to go back to Vanuatu to help in whatever way possible. I would also like to thank our team leader Phil Plowman for his awesome enthusiasm and also for what he taught us about missions. It was an unforgettable experience and there is no doubt I will be back in Vanuatu as soon as possible.