Go E.P.S! E.P.S. is what the children from Eratap, Vanuatu, call their primary school for short. You can always tell the impact a team has on a community by the farewell they receive. Farewells in the Pacific Islands are often bid with tears, stories with laughter and a big feast at the end. One recent team were gifted a live pig that happened to get bludgeoned to death right before we took it home!
Although goodbyes are often sad, it seems to be a good way to judge the friendships made. The disciples seemed to be a bit despondent when Jesus left them. There is the obvious hole left in the group where their leader should have been, but there would have also been heavy hearts – Jesus after all was a friend they had journeyed with for a couple of years. Our friend (and design guru) Dave Laird likes to preach on how the disciples would have known what Jesus farts smelt like… I’m not so sure myself though. The sadness didn’t last too long for the disciples, read Acts 1, to see how Jesus came through for them.
After spending two weeks in a foreign culture saying good bye means different things to different people. For some it’s a bye to crazy people, for others it’s a goodbye to friends, yet to others it is good bye to something deeper – and that’s from the local’s perspective! We should always seek to leave something lasting behind on our outreaches, after all that’s why we go right?!
Check out this short video clip of the Eratap farewell that the Anchor youth received last year.