Solomon Islands 2015

Our trip to the Solomon Islands was a life changing experience. I know everyone says this but it really is true! Shane, Bek and I arrived in Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, on Thursday 25th June. We spent our first week and a bit participating in the CRC International Youth Jamboree.

The theme of the Jamboree was ‘Rise Up To The Call’. This theme stemmed from the bible verse Isaiah 60:1: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” The overall message was rising up to the call of God in each of our lives.

The Jamboree was an amazing experience! People came from New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu to be part of the event. Most of the participants were obviously from the Solomon Islands. The opening night of the jamboree consisted of worship, dancing, items, sharing, speeches and of course a visit from the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.

The rest of the Jamboree consisted of morning sessions run by Ps Barry Silverback, Ps Mark Tobias and the occasional guest speaker, including Papa Fuwe from PNG. We had three morning sessions each day, although some sessions were cancelled due to the bad weather. After these sessions, we had lunch followed by free time and fellowship with each other. After dinner we had our night rallies. Night rallies were great fun! Worship was followed by preaching and items performed by people from different nations and provinces of the Solomon Islands.

During the Jamboree the weather turned bad. A cyclone brought with it heavy rain, wind, thunder, lightning and flooding. There was mud and puddles everywhere. The weather disrupted the plans for the Jamboree, but it definitely didn’t hold us back from having fun or experiencing God. A lot of us ended up enjoying all the mud and rain, especially those who played soccer and volleyball in the mud each day.

After the Jamboree we moved into Uncle John and Aunty Momi’s house. A lot of young people stayed in that house with us! During the days we went on all sorts of adventures. We went into town to visit the market, different shops, food places etc. We enjoyed riding in the back of trucks, spending time with all the young people, playing cards, seeing different sights and beaches, and so much more!

A highlight of our trip was spending a whole day swimming! This was by far one of the best days of our lives! There were about 20 of us all up – one car for girls and one car for guys. We began at a beach which had a lot of coral in the water. This beach looked beautiful but it was very difficult to swim in. We kept getting scratches and other injuries due to the sharpness of the coral. After recognising the difficulty everyone was having Uncle John decided we should move to another beach. This beach had a shipwreck from World War II. The water was rough but we all swam out to the shipwreck and had heaps of fun!

After swimming in the beach for a while we all walked to a river. The current in this river was very strong! Some of the young people suggested we walk up river and then float down with the current. Shane and Bek had to get dragged up the river by a couple of the young guys because they kept falling over. This was pretty funny to watch. After that river we went to one more river and everyone jumped in and swam around.  We didn’t stay there too long; Uncle John mainly took us there to freshen up.

On our last day in the Solomon Islands we spent the day out with a few of the young guys. We went to town to visit the market and a few other shops. We then went to the beach and ate lunch. It was a great day and an enjoyable end to an amazing trip!

I absolutely loved meeting new friends, experiencing Solomon Island culture, eating the food, riding in the back of trucks, playing brutal games of cards with the young people, and learning more about God and myself among many other things!

I learnt that there is so much more out there than we could ever imagine. Our own personal worlds are so small in comparison to everything else out there.

Missions trips are an amazing opportunity to gain a new perspective on things. My eyes were opened in a major way and  I am extremely thankful for all that I experienced. I am continually reminded that God’s plan is so much greater than anything we could ever imagine and that he will take us places we never thought possible.

Mikaela Groom