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“I first visited Vanuatu as a 21-year-old tourist, enjoying the culture and countryside of the island of Efate. Something precious has remained in my heart since that time,” she said.
Kate had long wanted to go back to the island nation and has thought a lot about short-term mission opportunities, “but it was difficult due to family commitments,” she said.
Last year, Kate and her husband Ian were presented the opportunity to volunteer with Churches of Christ Medical Santo after plans for their family holiday changed. Within a fortnight the trip had been planned and they were on the flight to Espiritu Santo.
At Medical Santo the pair provided valuable support helping with maintenance around the building.
“Ian was doing hard yakka in the hot sun, and as he continued his labour of love with concrete and timber I had the joy of making curtains while being cooled by the overhead fan,” Kate said.
The couple spoke to Vicki Marney from Global Mission Partners prior to travelling to Vanuatu as Vicki had just returned from a trip there. On her way to the airport, the Secretary General for Churches of Christ Conference Vanuatu, Esline Toamavute, took Vicki to visit Bombua School, just outside of Luganville.
“The school had many needs. In preparing to go to Vanuatu, Vicki asked if we could visit the school,” Kate said.
“What particularly touched my heart was spending time with the teachers and students at the school. Esline, Ian and I spent the morning with them, discussing their needs. I was then able to spend more time at the school.”
Kate enjoyed watching as the students began their day with worship to the Lord and as a student said a prayer at the end of each class.
“I am so glad that God interrupted my plans and gave us a glimpse of his plans for helping others in need. We are looking forward to the journey of seeing his plans unfold for Medical Santo and Bombua School and the part he has for us in those plans.
“Gud day blong yu (Have a good day)”
Over 15-16 December 2016, Churches of Christ Medical Santo volunteer Ruth provided medical assistance at Vanuatu’s National Provincial Games held in Luganville.
The games, held every four years, bring together competitors from across Vanuatu’s provinces in eight teams to compete in a range of sports, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, pétanque, netball, boxing, karate, athletics and futsal.
Working with the National Provincial Hospital, Ruth helped participants in the games who presented to the clinic with minor sports injuries, such as sprains and lacerations, and also a couple of boxing opponents with concussion and dehydration.
“It was a great opportunity to see the team spirit amongst Vanuatu’s athletes and also work alongside hospital staff in the community,” Ruth said.
This is another example of how Churches of Christ Medical Santo provides care and outreach to the local Vanuatu community.
Medical Santo urgently needs adequately experienced and qualified doctors, nurses and other medical volunteers for short, medium and long-term appointments.
If you are interested in volunteering, or you know someone who could provide help in these vital positions, please contact Libby Scheinpflug on 0457 204 669 or email.
For more about Medical Santo visit www.Medicalsanto.com
Read more stories like this in the latest edition of Networking.