Fiji Missions Trip
A Year 10 trip has long been a part of life at Emmanuel Christian School, beginning with trips to central Australia with Calvin Christian School Year 10 students.
In 1991 Emmanuel students made their first trip to Fiji. They stayed at the Ywam base in Vuniyasi and visited a village on the island of Levuka. There they helped in the renovation of the village church, supplying paint and labour.
In 2001 again students stayed at the YWAM base and from there travelled to a village on Vanua Levu, the second largest island in Fiji. At this village they painted the pastors house and a guest house, along with some other community buildings.
For several years following this Emmanuel made some trips on their own and then again combined with Calvin to go to New Zealand. Whilst these trips were enjoyable and to an extent educational, they felt something was missing.
"Educating students for a life of service is an important goal for Emmanuel Christian School so, in light of this, staff decided that any Year 10 trip should not be solely about satisfying self, but of reaching out to others and serving them in some way, as we had done in Fiji earlier," commented Emmanuel Secondary Coordinator Mrs Sue Dishington. "To this end, we decided to run a ‘mission' style trip. We still had contact with our Fijian friends and so organised, in 2005, another trip to Fiji.
Since then students have travelled to Fiji every year. The aim of the trip is to serve a community in some way. Over the years they have visited villages and painted and renovated houses; they have built paths and painted buildings at the Nadi YWAM base, installed water tanks and built swings in Deuba and even constructed a septic tank at the Coral Coast Christian Camp.
It has not been all work and no play, however, and students have been allowed ample opportunity to shop for bargains, swim on the local beaches and participate in day trips as well as enjoy Fijian hospitality.
Students pay for the trip themselves and work to raise funds to pay for the projects they undertake.
"We are trying to serve the communities we visit and pay for and do the work of tasks the community nees, but cannot afford".
Unfortunately due to the political situation in Fiji, they have decided not to return there in 2010, despite having made some good friends along the way. Instead Emmanuel students are experiencing a new venture to Vanuatu. Vanuatu has a similar climate to Fiji and possibly even greater needs. Village life is still the predominant way of living.
"We hope that our students, who are participating this year, will gain a glimpse of what it is like to serve and bless another community, whilst also experiencing the excitement of an international holiday and all the fun that entails. We look forward to another wonderful experience".