The following is a daily diary from our recent short-term mission trip to support the work that Matt & Lydia Meads are doing in the Karia Community on Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu.
Jono Meads [Team Leader] Ross Fountain Gillian McIntyre Emily Birkin Maria Lucia Camargo Afonso Bower Joel Lauder Kerry Rickard
THE AIMS OF THE TRIP… Support the mission work in Vanuatu. Run medical clinic’s Undertake building projects as required Support the already established church plant. Identify ways we can support Matt & Lydia longer term. Establish regular short-term mission trip for the future.
Wednesday 9 Nov 2016
A full day of travel today. We left Palmerston North at 8:30am to fly to Auckland. After a couple of hours waiting we flew from Auckland to Port Villa. Our first experience of the heat we will be facing as we had a couple of hours stop over in Port Villa. We were blessed to be visited at the airport by Rob Early who gave us a greater insight into the Bible translation work happening on Vanuatu. The final leg of our trip, Port Villa to Luganville saw meet by Matt, Lydia and Rachel at the airport at 7pm. After a wonderful meat and time to settle in, it was an early night for everyone. Praise God, we are here!
Thursday 10 Nov 2016
With an early sunrise (5am) it was an early start. We visited Camp Shining Light in the first part of the morning, where a number of missionaries who Matt & Lydia partner with are situated.
After the visit, the Medical Team joined Rachel in attending a local clinic while the construction team started a days work on the Mead's guest house which required some internal walls erected, jibbing and plastering.
After lunch the Medical Team were engaged in a second clinic for the day.
A full and profitable first day of serving.
Friday 11 Nov 2016
As the temperature and humidity continues to rise, day two saw our medical team involved in another 2 clinics which involved a range of bumps, abrasions and growths to deal with. The construction team continued with their work on the guest house as well as a start was made to painting the outside of the Mead's residence. We were blessed to have a break and lunch at the local "Blue Lagoon" a lovely swimming hole. In the evening, Joel and Jono were invited to join in the Youth Progamme at Luganville Baptist Church. Joel spoke and they both enjoyed a chance to catch up with past friends.
Saturday 12 Nov 2016
After a quick trip into downtown Luganville we leave, Vanuatu style, by truck 3 hours South-East to the Karia community. The road progressed from sealed (sort of) to dirt and after fording 4 creeks we then turned off onto a fwd track and continued deeper and deeper into the jungle. There are numerous small villages around but we are staying in the communities "centre" where there is a schoolhouse, cookhouse, church building and Matt and Lydias house. We all have a small tent each. We were warmly welcomed and are excited to serve! All in bed by about 7:30pm.
Sunday 13 Nov 2016
We had heavy rain overnight, but only Jono evacuated for the cook house! This morning it was light by about 4:30am! We were blessed to share in a church service at 9:30am at Karia Baptist Church. Ross spoke on talking to God and getting to know Him through the word.
This afternoon took a walk up to the gardens of Karia (all of us in jandals!). Then the medics went down a long hill (in boots this time) to a village called Charakouru where we saw several patients, one poor lady probably with advanced breast cancer. We were able to pray with her which really was the best medicine we could offer. It was a long hot trek back up the hill again!
Everyone delighted tonight as they set us up a screen to have a bucket wash! The rivers are too low to swim. Great to wash off 2 days of sweat sunblock and insect repellent!
Tonight after dinner we sat around in front of the cookhouse (our usual meeting place) and sang praises to God. So it was a late night to bed.... about 8:30pm!!
Monday 14 Nov 2016
Up with the sun again his morning and by 6:30am it was hot and clear blue sky. We set up clinic today at the church. Plenty of wounds, scabies, ringworm and impetigo. Maria, Emily, Lydia and I held the fort ( Rachel is sick) while all the boys worked on the church - they are all extremely tired tonight!
This afternoon the girls were asked to join some of the ladies making mats and baskets - they are an art and so cleverly done. Its a bit beyond us!
Tuesday 15 Nov 2016
Today was a slow day at the clinic- a boil to lance a couple of dressings and a lady with a sore wisdom tooth.
Meanwhile the boys finished leveling the church floor and while waiting for the truck with the netting etc to arrive, they made 6 double desks for the school. The truck still hasn't arrived!
At about 4:00pm the heavens opened and the rain thundered down, coming in waves. Thankfully they had put up a tarpaulin for shade yesterday and so we all sheltered underneath it. It's now 7pm and has stopped for now. Who knows for how long though!