Loud singing and infectious laughter from hundreds of children is what keeps us coming back to the Junior Bible Camp at the Kapalpal Christadelphian School on Tanna. Lessons from the Judges was our theme as we acted out Gideon and Samson stories. We catered for 160 children however we quickly learnt to improvise when 250 children poured in on the first day of camp. In fact, this trip we saw, first hand, God providing abundantly, and we would just look at each other and say, ‘the oils overflowing’. Other highlights were the re-enactment of the Passover and jumping in 4 utes to head to the beach with the ecclesia over the Easter weekend.
Amy Sawell and Declan Brewer, 2 young people that joined us, experienced Tanna for the first time. These are their stories….be sure to read the continuing power of God’s abundance when we returned at the end of Declan’s story.
Mike & Jess, , Jimmy & Abi and both their families.
I have wanted to go to Tanna since my cousins shared their past experiences with us. In April this year I decided it was time to experience it for myself! Being a 21-year old, I packed in as many coffee sachets as I could and off we went! 13 of us from Adelaide, to Port Vila, to Tanna. From the minute we flew into Tanna I knew I was going to love every minute of it. We piled our luggage and bodies into the back of two trucks and headed to Kapalpal Christadelphian School . It is a whole different world over there. Everyone smiled and waved as we drove past in the pouring rain. The Junior Camp began on Monday and ran for three days. The students’ energy and singing voices every morning brought me to tears and their laughter was infectious.
We taught Bible lessons, helped children to write letters to sponsors, painted the teacher’s house’s roof and a classroom roof. This was an adventure….a high roof, thongs and slippery paint is an interesting mix , especially when you add constant ‘Ash eye’ along with an audience of children laughing. One of the most rewarding things for me was attending a cultural funeral ceremony, as well as sharing a memorial meeting with the brothers and sisters.
The greenery, the waterfall down the hill, the meals together, the bonding, joining in with the soccer games and the amazing beaches are all impossible to put into words! My absolute favourite thing was to watch the sunsets over ridge or cuddle a precious baby. We ate like kings and slept like babies every night in the field worker’s hut.
The Volcano (Mt Yasur) was the most surreal thing to witness. I almost fell forward when it erupted the first time! I came back with a greater appreciation for our Hope and the Bible which creates a common connection for us all, plus a deep love for Tanna and the people and children who live there. To possess so little, but still have so much joy and love is such a different outlook compared to Australia and it makes you remember and appreciate the small things in life. I cannot wait to go back next year! Amy, SA
During the month of April, a group of us travelled to Tanna. I’m Declan. 17 years old and I went along to this amazing place.
We stayed at the Kapalpal Christadelphian school in what would be considered by most Westerners as basic accommodation but to the locals we were living like kings.
Each day was filled with fun and new experiences. During our time, we held a Sunday school camp catering for over 250 kids (there was supposed to only be 160 but the numbers just kept swelling) This camp went for 3 days and the children (and us) loved it.
When camp ended, we would wake at 7.30am to a breakfast of weetbix with powdered milk. If the sun was out we headed to the school to prepare and paint the roof with ‘ash proof’ paint. I can vouch that it is definitely ash proof, as whilst working on the roof we only wore thongs and one month later, I still have the paint on my toes. We needed this paint because close by is an active volcano called Mt Yasur that pours ash over everything (you MUST visit this volcano if you’re going to Tanna). We did not eat any meat whilst over there and all water was boiled before drinking.
Whenever the children came out of their school lessons for a break, a game of soccer or volleyball would start up. Each night before going to bed everyone checked themselves over for sores or scratches and if any were found they were bathed and covered so that they didn’t become infected. There were many cultural experiences and the whole trip really opened my eyes to just how much we have here in Australia. Since coming back from Tanna I have started first principles as this trip really opened my eyes to what’s important in my life. These people had hardly any material possessions but with God they are happy.