Letter of recommendation for Youth With a Mission, Mission Adventures.
In the July holidays this year I was part of a team of teachers and students who travelled to Fiji with YWAM’s Mission Adventures. In total 28 KingsWay School students and 4 staff took part in this short term mission. Once we arrived in Nadi we split into two teams, one going to Lautoka and one to Suva. We were hosted by staff from YWAM.
This mission was very successful, and for many students and staff it was a highlight of the year. I have copied below some of the highlights that we recorded from our experience:
- Our first taste of Fijian friendship and hospitality when we found that our hosts were going to cook for all 16 of us plus YWAM staff in their tiny home kitchen and let us take over their lounge for every meal.
- Travelling everywhere on public transport buses with no glass in the windows and reggae beats blasting. Getting to talk and pray with locals on the buses – because that is what you do in Fiji
- Putting up “free prayer” signs in the main square, downtown Suva and finding that locals really appreciated the chance to talk and pray.
- Helping out at a Christian preschool with everything from reading kids stories to doing a garden makeover. Seeing the way that kids in the preschool were learning about Jesus even if their parents were Hindu or Muslim.
- Going door to door in backstreet Suva to talk and pray with the neighbours close to where we were staying. Everyone wanted to invite us in and feed us whatever they had.
- Staying two nights in a local village and getting to hang with all the local kids and teenagers. This included a shared concert “thing” where we took turns doing items with the locals, some people made decisions to follow Jesus and we all played games and laughed into the wee small hours.
- Hearing Fijians sing! (lots!) and sharing wonderful food.
- Spending all afternoon learning how to make a Fijian lovo (like a Hangi) with the YWAM team.
- Getting to watch the Maori All Blacks play Fiji (live! – God is so good!)
- Visiting the local waterfalls on the last day and swinging on a huge rope swing.
- Coming home knowing that God had stretched us, used us for His glory and helped us to make friends that will last for a lifetime.
The YWAM team put a huge amount of work into ensuring that our mission trip was a success. This started with travelling to our school to assist with two training camps before we left. We were also supplied with comprehensive information on local culture and tips to ensure that could share the gospel message.
Once we were on the ground in Fiji, YWAM took care of all our daily needs including itinerary, all food, and transportation. There was also orientation into the area that we were working in and regular communication to ensure that students and staff were comfortable with the program undertaken. YWAM provided a really good mix of ministry opportunities and also down time to ensure that culture shock and fatigue was not an issue. We had a minimum of 3 YWAM staff with us on every activity that we undertook (often more) as well as local volunteers connected with the YWAM base. This made the trip possible from the school’s point of view and meant that staff returned to school after the time away refreshed and able to continue with work.
The YWAM team were also very open and transparent about how our trip fees were spent. They ensured that the budget was fully accounted for and when there was a small surplus at the end of our time together they invited our team to identify a worthy local cause that this money could be donated to.
As a result of our experience in Fiji, I have no hesitation recommending YWAM’s Mission Adventures to other organizations who are looking to take a team on a short term mission. I found their team to be very Godly people who were gracious in their work with my students and staff. They were fun loving, relevant to our young people, fully committed to the spread of the gospel and very wise in the way that they organised this first missionary experience for our group.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to ask any questions about this recommendation.
Head of Senior School.