Adventist youth travel 20 days in canoe

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Three young Adventist men traveled from Choiseul Province to Honiara, in the Solomon Islands in a dugout canoe.

Choiseul province is one of the nine provinces of the Solomon Islands. It lies between the island of Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) and Santa Isabel in the West of the Solomon Islands.

“It was my idea to take on the challenge,” says Linden Vatora, who serves as youth leader in Choiseul. “I saw this as an ‘Island Hopping’ expedition.

The three youth Linton Vatora (24), Jugha Japson (25), and Nipla Thomson (17), paddled through 400 km of intimidating seas in their canoe to attend the inaugural Adventist Students Association (ASA) Ambassador Congress.

The ASA Ambassador Congress was organised by the Solomon Islands Mission, for young Adventist students. The journey started on June 3 and finished when they arrived in Honiara on June 23 for the Congress.

“It was my idea to take on the challenge,” says Linden Vatora, who serves as youth leader in Choiseul. “I saw this as an ‘Island Hopping’ expedition.

With very limited finance, the trio decided to give it a try by paddling for 20 days after an aunty in Honiara wanted her dugout canoe delivered. The other reason was to try and experience the old way of transportation between the islands in a dugout canoe.

“In the past our great grand fathers travelled between islands in dugout and war canoes when there were no outboard motor and fast crafts, says Mr Vatora. “So with this opportunity coming up, I decided with my two nephews to go on a similar journey.”

Leaving Posarae-Choiseul they paddled to more than 15 islands enjoying the hospitality of relatives and people they’d never met before. This was accomplished without a compass. The young team used the landscape during the days to

“Although we enjoyed the expedition we encountered challenges that are related to the heat of sun, rainy weather, rough seas, strong wind, thirst and hunger, says Mr Vatora.

“Sometimes, we think of giving up but in our hearts, we remained strong that we must reach our destination,” he said.

Prayer was a constant. This gave them the courage to persevere and endure the entire trip. “We never stopped praying to God throughout the trip and it paid off, which is a living testimony for us as youth,” he said.

Apart from their luggage they also took a cooking pot, knife, medicine, matches and containers of water.

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