A service trip by Year 11 students from Wahroonga Adventist School (Sydney, Australia) to Vatuvonu Adventist High School (Vanua Levu, Fiji) has transformed young lives.
For eight days, Wahroonga students, accompanied by six staff members, engaged in maintenance and repair projects at Vatuvonu. The tasks included painting the girls’ dormitory, and cleaning and repairing bathrooms.
The students found themselves immersed in a world starkly different from their own, accentuated by the absence of the internet, electricity, mobile phones and modern transportation.
“The trip was a resounding success, achieving every goal we had set out to accomplish,” said Pastor Nicholas Kross, lead chaplain and service learning coordinator. “We witnessed our students’ personal growth and their eagerness to form lasting partnerships with the local community.”
According to Pastor Kross, an unforgettable experience was listening to the powerful and harmonious voices of the local students during worship, singing without musical instruments. “By the end of the visit our students were lifting their voices to match the heartfelt presence put forward by the local students,” he said.
The communal spirit of Vatuvonu has inspired the Wahroonga students to cultivate a similar sense of community within their school. “They are committed to breaking down barriers across grades and fostering a strengthened school spirit,” Pastor Kross said. “It is this dedication that will remind us of the lasting impact of their service trip.
“Throughout this adventure, we felt the presence of a guiding hand. We believe that God was with us every step of the way, providing us with the strength and resources to accomplish our mission. The journey to Fiji has not only expanded our horizons, but also deepened our faith and understanding of the power of service and community.”
Encouraged by the success of the inaugural trip, Wahroonga Adventist School plans to make this service program an annual tradition for Year 11 students.