Solomon Islands 2017
On Tuesday 11th of July 2017 Paolo, Ester, Mikaela, Alexis, Charlie and I flew out of Brisbane headed for Honiara. Our trip was full of fun and challenging times. We began our trip with our CRC family at Gateway Centre in Honiara. We ran a leadership seminar from Wednesday to Friday night and then held our last session the following Monday night. All of the team had the opportunity to share or perfrom items in our services at Gateway. Whilst in Honiara the team also had the opportunity to run a kids club where they played games and ran activities with the children from church and the surrounding area. All of the kids seemed to enjoy it! On Wednesday 19th of July we travelled by boat to Malaita where we visited our CRC family in Daudau village and Faugwari village. After a few mix ups with transport we ended up catching the slow boat which took 5 hours and caused a few of our team to experience sea sickness. Our time in the village was very special to our team and the people we visited. The team had a great time running children’s programs and participating in night meetings on Thursday and Friday night. On the Saturday we headed back to Honiara via fast boat and spent our last few days ministering in Honiara before heading home on Tuesday 25th of July. I was strongly encouraged by our team and their ability to stretch beyond their comfort zones during the trip.
Our trip to the Solomon Islands was a fun and challenging experience. For me the trip was a life changing experience because when I got back from the Solomons I felt like a different person. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s true. I learnt a lot of things such as remembering to be yourself and to be content with what you have now and to always be thankful. I saw a lot of kids there that don’t have many toys or gadgets to play with; I think they only have a soccer ball. I am mainly talking about the kids in Malaita that we visited. I really enjoyed spending time with the kids in Malaita and this is one of the main things that is encouraging me to go back there on another missions trip. I want to go on more missions trips to learn more things, not only in the Solomons but around the world, where I can help reach those people who need the most help. During my time in the Solomons I saw the differences between how people live in villages, in the province and other places, compared to how I live in Australia. I enjoyed a lot of things during my trip including playing with the kids, laughing together, riding in the back of trucks through mud, laughing when people fell over in the mud (it’s mean but it’s pretty funny haha), swimming in the river and riding on the terrible boat while watching people vomit haha. In Honiara I really enjoyed the way they worship with dancing which was my favourite part. In both places that we visited I really enjoyed making lots of new friends. John 13:34-35 says: ‘A new command I give you: love one another as I have loved you so, so you must love one another by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another’. Alexis Asilo
Going to the Solomon Islands was both challenging and enjoyable. Some of the fun things we did were four wheel driving through super muddy terrain, sitting at the back of trucks, running children’s programs, swimming in the river, making lots of new friends and seeing how having little does not determine happiness. Don’t get me wrong though, the trip was challenging too. At times we were taken out of our comfort zones. We were forced to interact and talk with those we may not have anything in common with, we needed to eat unfamiliar foods, we were asked to sing and present in front of others and we had to ride on two boats. These were uncomfortable times indeed but they added to the fun and experience! I definitely hope to go back next year and see what God will teach me next time. Ester Manego
It’s always a life changing experience going on a trip like this. There is nothing quite like venturing out of what is familiar and stepping into the unknown. One of the most unforgettable experiences was definitely the vibrant and energy filled worship. Wherever there was worship there was a kind of atmosphere where you could tell the voices really reflected the heart and it was beautiful! Also, seeing the work happening in the places we visited was such an encouragement. God is doing great things in Honiara and the villages in Malaita! There were lots of ups and downs on the trip, particularly on the main road to Dauaau village; there were potholes everywhere! But after arriving at the village and getting well acquainted with their fresh water shower (plumbed straight from the mountain), we quickly forgot about the discomforts that surround their transport systems. There are too many things to say about the trip but there is one thing I would like to say. Originally I thought going on this trip meant having to leave home, but then I came to the realisation that home is wherever there are people who love God. Paolo Manego
Although I have now been to the Solomon Islands five times each trip has been unique and very special to me. This trip in particular opened my eyes to new perspectives and allowed me to experience a number of new things. I thoroughly enjoyed travelling beyond Honiara and Guadalcanal province, something I had not done previously, to the province of Malaita where we visited two villages, Daudau and Faugwari. Village life was extremely different to my life back in Australia but I enjoyed it immensely. Despite the heat, I enjoyed interacting with new people and creating new friendships. I enjoyed experiencing a way of life that I am not used to and stepping outside my comfort zone into all the new things God wanted to show me. One of the biggest challenges for me was sharing at Gateway Centre’s Friday night youth meeting in Honiara. I was extremely nervous about sharing in front of people I have come to know very well but after delivering my message I gained a new sense of confidence and realised that God is always with us when we reach beyond our comfort zones and trust in him. Missions trips are an amazing opportunity to gain new perspectives, to learn more about ourselves, to create new friendships and to experience what it truly means to trust in God in every situation. I encourage every person, young and old, to go on at least one missions trip when the opportunity arises if you are able. Mikaela Groom