A Travellerspoint blog

Alo Friends & Family from Vanuatu!!

sunny 30 °C

We have made it to the island of Espiritu Santo so far in our journey through Vanuatu. The path has been rough, but with many blessings and friends already made along the way. Dwaine and I arrived safely to Port Vila on Sunday only to have the airport shutting down behind us and no sign of anyone to meet us. The friendliness of the Ni-Van people emerged quickly as two different people asked if we needed to use their mobile phone to call our contact. We did indeed get a hold of someone….even though he wasn’t even on the same island as us! However, soon after a lady asked us if we were waiting for someone, and it turned out to be her! The Lord answered our prayers since the lady, named Leitare, didn’t know what plane we were coming in on and took a random guess as to what time we would arrive. The rest of the week we had the privilege of staying at Leitare’s house with about 7 other extended family members. We took the opportunity to explore Vila, get to know the culture a little bit, and even learned some Bislama (a pidgin type English with a French influence). The language is very interesting and it in many ways is English spoken exactly how the words look, instead of pronounced phonetically correct. Example:
Thank you ~ Tankyu
What is your name? ~ Wanem nem blong yu?
I like it very much ~ Mi likim tumas.
One day Dwaine and I treated ourselves to going to Hideway Island (a place recommended to us by someone we met on the plane from Sydney). It was a beautiful small island not very far from Vila. We took the day to relax in wonderful beach chairs, plus we snorkeled right off the beach with some amazing coral and tons of beautiful fish, including seeing Little Nemo poking out of a reef anemone and a very large and very bright blue starfish. We enjoyed our time with Leitare’s family even though the first few days we were missing the comforts of home terribly, such as air conditioning (or a good fan since we sweating as soon as we arrived), being able to drink water straight from the tap, and having the choice of how cold or hot the water temp should be for our shower (they only have one temp…cold!). However, we believe that whatever the Lord has for us here makes it worth leaving the comforts behind for a while. One of the girls even taught us how to open a coconut and grate out all the flesh so it could be squeezed to make coconut milk. Now that’s probably not something we could learn in Australia!
And now we are staying at Pastor Tensley’s house, which is also the Vanuatu Christian Church. We are also enjoying less noise than in Vila, since there were crazy dogs that barked seemingly all night! Instead the church in Santo is currently having a crusade every night this weekend, having the backyard filled with people here to glorify God. Dwaine & I arrived completely and utterly exhausted yesterday after a 12 hour boat ride from Port Vila to Santo. The waves were very rough and very big (like seeing only walls of blue around the boat) for a large part of the journey leaving everyone on board with stomachs in turmoil after only the first hour of our trip. We were thankful for the motion sickness patches we brought and the blessings of Dramamine to help us the rest of the way. Boy I have never taken so much Dramamine, but Dwaine & I didn’t end up ever getting sick, praise the Lord.
Please continue to pray for our health and safety, especially in regards to food and water (because hygiene standards are not what we are used to here for the most part) and mentally that the Lord would encourage us and help us find our purpose in being here. It has been difficult for us to not have a set plan or schedule…in our view it seems like wasting time, but here it is just normal life. We want to help, but we need God’s wisdom to know what to do. Pastor Eston (our main contact) is supposed to be coming on Monday, and maybe he will have a bit more direction for us. As for now we are doing our best to help those around us and show the love of Christ to them. Other prayer points for Vanutu are violence against women, since this is fairly prevalent in their culture, and for education, most people have stopped at year 6 because they can’t afford the school fees beyond this year. Thanks again for keeping us in your prayers and thoughts, and we will do our best to keep you informed as we continue along.

Posted by InHisHands 16:30 Archived in Vanuatu Tagged volunteer Comments (1)

Set to Go!

Just a brief update before we go to Vanuatu tomorrow morning. My thumb is doing well and the wire was taken out of it about a week and a half ago. Now its just a matter of me doing exercises with it to get it moving again, needless to say this has been rather painful!! But I am very thankful to even have my precious right thumb as the surgeon informed me on my final visit that alot of injuries like mine end in amputation. He told me twice that I was "lucky" to have it. I know that its more than luck, thank the Lord for His grace to me! And thank you to all those who prayed for me.

We are packed ready to hop on the plane for the first part of our adventure to the Pacific Islands of Vanuatu. Firstly we land in the capital city called Port Vila. We are meeting people here and then taking a boat ride to the island of Santo. From there its a short boat ride to the island of Ambae where we will be helping people with as many practical needs as we can. Thanks to the generosity of many people from our church it is going to be possible to buy materials needed to make these peoples lives just a little more comfortable. When I say comfortable, that means helping them with solar power since they pretty much have no electricity or running water. Please pray for us and that we will stay healthy. Please pray for the people of Vanuatu as well. We will do our best to keep you informed as we go along and share with you all the things the Lord is doing in our lives and the lives of the people we encounter in Vanuatu. God bless and take care. Love, D & R

Posted by InHisHands 02:46 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Preparation Time!!!

(and Dwaine's injury)

sunny 20 °C

Well hello friends and family,

We are now about to set off on a challenging and adventurous 6 months. It has been a crazy couple months, and now the pace continues to quicken! We, Lord willing, will be leaving for Vanuatu in two and a half weeks. Not too long ago it felt like we had plenty of time to get everything done before we headed out. Sure, we have to pack up all our belongings and move them to Dwaine's parents house (they are very gracious to us)....and sure, we have to get all the details and contacts and plans pretty much in order before leaving (including all of the normal everyday bills and whatnots here in Australia).....but I, Rachel, have done it before several times.....why would this be any more difficult???? Sometimes I do find the humor in the timing of silly circumstances, and sometimes I do know the Lord has "His" way of preparing us, which we might not find so comfortable. And so I must confess our lives recently speak clearly of "His" way of preparing, and absolutely not our own thoughts of getting ready.
A little over two weeks ago Dwaine and I went to our second to last Oztag game. For those not familiar with the game, it is supposedly a non-contact sport, something like flag football, with rugby-type rules. That particular game was probably one of our favorites since the rest of our team didn't show up and so we were playing for fun with the other team. After half-time we started playing again and soon I see Dwaine go charging after this guy to grab his tag. Dwaine dived and missed him by an inch and landing on the ground. A look of utter shock came over his face as he turned to me and yelled "I broke my thumb!" A series of thoughts slipped through my head as I ran over to meet him....oh yes, yes indeed....he did a wonderful job on his thumb! He had an open dislocation of the first joint of the thumb (closest to the end) and graphically speaking he showed his thumb bone to the world.
We drove to the emergency room and ended up later at another hospital where a plastic surgeon was gracious enough to put Dwaine's bone back in place (thankfully the bone was not actually broken) and silenced the outstanding pain Dwaine had been having the whole evening. And what we thought would be a day or two in the hospital ending up being a week ordeal. After literally an entire week, a full surgery to wash out the joint and repair ligaments, and enough antibiotics to really clean you out, Dwaine was able to come home. It was a very difficult week, but thankfully I was able to spend most of it with him in the hospital.
Suddenly we are two weeks closer to going away and it doesn't seem that we have the vast amount of time like we assumed we would before. However, through all the difficulties Dwaine and I are closer to Jesus than we have been in a while, and our hearts have been softened as a result of this whole mess. Who would have guessed that a simple freak accident would change this period of our lives so much. We are a bit apprehensive and very excited to see what the Lord has in store for us as we start on our journey around the world. We look forward to having you along for the ride, and we will do our best to keep you updated and informed. In the next blog we will tell you a little more about Vanuatu and what we might be doing there.....until then take care and God bless you.
~In His Hands, Dwaine & Rachel

Posted by InHisHands 17:22 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Our Trip Map

Posted by InHisHands 17:00 Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)


15 °C

Thanks for Joining Us on our journey round the world....stay tunned for all the exciting adventures!

Posted by InHisHands 02:24 Archived in Australia Tagged preparation Comments (0)

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