It is great to be back for Term 3 even though the days are still cold and daylight hours short. The winter break was thoroughly enjoyable but also a busy one for me. I attended the Australian Conference on Lutheran Education (ACLE) in the first week of the break with 1,000 others and heard from some fascinating speakers and spent time networking with professionals from other Lutheran schools across Australia.
On Friday 7 July, I flew back from Adelaide to meet up with my wife Libby at the airport, just in time to board the plane for Port Vila, Vanuatu and meet up with the group of 12 senior students and four staff members from GLC. These students were the inaugural group participating in the Vanuatu Cultural Adventure Tour; a dream I have held since the College opened in 2009.
On the Saturday morning, Libby and I met up with the students at the Vila Central Hospital for a brief tour. We then negotiated the ‘rustic’ path from the hospital and congregated in the Melanie Jewson Memorial Chapel. We had prepared a photo story book of the chapel journey and presented a short devotion based on John 9 about Jesus healing the man born blind. This devotion helped us to reflect on the differences between our two countries and how we deal with bad things, when they happen to us as individuals and as a whole country.
That evening, we met up with the staff and students for dinner and were privileged to listen to the students’ description from each day of their trip. More profoundly though, was each student’s summary of the impact the trip had on them. It was an honour to sit around the table, sharing and listening to these impressive young adults. It is an experience, my wife Libby and I will always treasure.
Libby and I stayed on in Vanuatu until Wednesday 12 July to meet with various groups and individuals at the Hospital and schools, ensuring the work of the Melanie Jewson Foundation responds effectively to the needs and requirements of the people of Vanuatu.