Christian College students return from Vanuatu mission
NINE Chinchilla Christian College students have spent their school holidays in Port Villa in Vanuatu visiting schools and hospitals to help those who need it most.
Brianna Welsby, who was the group leader, said the opportunity was so the kids can strengthen themselves physically and emotionally.
"It was obviously a challenging situation being over in another culture. But it was an opportunity for them to learn about God and how we can all love God and show that love to others," she said.
"It was an opportunity we wanted to create for the students to do cross culturally."
Spending just over a week there from September 23 to October 2, the students spent their time handing out care packages to people, visiting hospitals and schools, teaching and playing with kids, learning to speak the language, running youth groups and kids programs after church and learning about other organisations that were also there to help the locals.
Many of them had not participated in a mission trip before and did take some convincing to come along.
"I wasn't going to go at the start and then Brianna started to talking to me about it and I thought it would be good to go over there and help the people," participant Olivia Wales said.
"I thought it would be a good experience to go over to another country and show God's love over there."
Nervous to attend at the start, they have all come back gaining a fresh understanding of how lucky they are to live in Australia.
"The hospital visit was very confronting," participant Izaak Feldhahn said.
"It was emotionally difficult to see them in their poor state and in this hospital that is much smaller than ours, is dirty, moulding, hot, uncomfortable and falling apart.
"I really need to stop taking things for granted and getting upset over small things such as McDonald's."
When trying to teach a measuring lesson in the school, they were expected them to work in groups with rulers, however they only had two rulers for the whole class so they couldn't do the activity.
"It was very challenging to know that they have so little there," Olivia said.
Making a difference in the life of those who need it most, Izaak and Olivia came back feeling good knowing they have helped people.
Izzak in particular was nervous to begin with but said he came back feeling accomplished and like his eyes have been opened.
"I was nervous about airports and I was also nervous about what my reaction would be seeing people in poverty but I think it just drove me to care."
"At first it was pretty hard but then I realised that they are very happy with the little that they have so it was also super encouraging to see them happy and living life to our standards with nothing," he said.
"God can do incredible things in peoples lives even if they have to little, you just have to trust him," Olivia said.