Cooloola Christian College
Solomon Islands Ministry Trip 2016
“….short term missions take us to places where risks for the gospel are rewarded with
opportunities to build the kingdom – a world where those small risky steps of faith in
God’s hands become giant leaps of learning, growth and glory to God.” J.Mack, 2000
Our College is very aware that a faith in God without action results in a failure to fulfil Gods purpose for our lives. He expects us not only to learn about Him through studying His word, but to apply what we learn in practical ways – we are to be His hands and His feet.
In September 2006 we sent a team of 12 students and 3 leaders to Gizo and Marivari for a 14 day Ministry Trip. This was a wonderful time of learning, sharing and celebrating in our unity with our Solomon brothers and sisters in Christ. However this was intended to be only the beginning of an ongoing connection between CCC and the people of the Solomons. Since then we have run manu more trips including our most recent trip in 2014 where we helped in the early stages of setting up a new Bible College in Noro.
Our next Ministry Trip, planned for September 2016, will give students and staff an opportunity to apply faith in an exciting, challenging and worthwhile ministry. Notice that this is not called
a mission trip. This is because we are going to the Solomons to “minister” to the local church and wider community. Although our program will undoubtedly draw children, youth and adults that don’t yet know our Lord Jesus, our primary focus is to work with schools and churches, providing practical support, activities and fellowship that will be a blessing to both our team and the people we meet.
Obviously, visiting people whose culture is so different from ours will bring challenges that will develop cultural understanding, an expanded world view and a unique experience of God’s extended “Family”.
Todd Vogler (Secondary Teacher) will head up a team of teacher/leaders and around 15 students
“The place God wants us to start in mission (ministry)
work is not to get a passport, buy a plane ticket or develop vacation
Bible school curriculum. The place to start is by recognising that you must
trust God’s plan and not your own. The short term
ministry trip is an instrument God uses to help Christians learn to trust Him in deeper and profound ways.” (J.Mack and Leeann Stiles, 2000)
this ministry. Although it will be an exciting and possibly life changing experience, it is not a holiday. There will be a cost – financial and personal. Our team needs an attitude of service, coming not because of what we can get out of the experience, but because God has called us to give.
Where in the World is the Solomon Islands?
Forming a scattered archipelago of mountainous islands and low-lying coral atolls, the Solomon Islands stretch about 900 miles in a south-easterly direction from the Shortland Islands to the Santa Cruz Islands. There are six major and approximately 992 smaller islands, atolls and reefs. The archipelago covers are area of about 249,000 square nautical miles while the land area is 28,446 sq. km. The six biggest islands are Choiseul, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, Guadalcanal, Malaita and Makira. They are characterized by thickly-forested mountain ranges intersected by deep, narrow valleys.
The climate is tropical, though temperatures are rarely extreme due to cooling winds blowing off the surrounding seas.
Gizo is the second largest town in the Solomon Islands, and serves as the provincial centre to the Western Provence. It is situated on the island of Ghizo (different spelling, same pronunciation). With the appearance of a shanty town, the main street runs along the waterfront lined with small stores and an open air market. Views in most directions show palm tree studded islands ringed by coral reef and clear waters.
The cost of this trip is expected to be about $2300
return airfares to Honiara and connection to Gizo or Munda
all meals and accommodation
all transport (taxi, boat, truck etc)
donations to offset cost to local church
purchase of resources for all programs
accommodation and meals whilst in Honiara
travel insurance Does not include:
passports (approx. $119 for new passport – under 18 years old)
travel medications and injections (approx. $110)
personal spending money (souvenirs, drinks and snacks)
phone card to call home (purchase in Solomon Islands)
As you would be aware, the main focus of our visit is to minister and outreach to the local community.
We will run a program for the local children at a number of the primary schools. The format for this would be similar to Aussie kid’s clubs or holiday activities for children. It may include storytelling, drama, puppets, Bible teaching, games, singing, art and craft and morning tea. There will be a theme for the week and activities will focus on the theme, building a complete message by the end of the program.
Youth and Adults Programs
We will invite the youth to participate in a more active “Youth group” style program. This will probably involve sports, games, music, Bible studies, food, Bible teaching,
personal sharing and testimonies. There will be opportunities to join with the local churches for general activities as well.
We have a plan to visit a small island community in the Western Provence, where we will be hosted by the local church. We also hope to visit our sister school in Marivari. These villages are very traditional and we will experience much of their unique cultures.
As yet our key project has not been finalised, but it will likely involve some kind of building or maintenance project in a local village or work at the Noro Bible College. This will be confirmed early in 2016.
Because this trip is about serving the people of the Solomon Islands we will be looking for support from the Christian community back here in Gympie. Our team will be encouraged to raise awareness of this trip in their church and wider Christian family, seeking prayer and financial support. Our team will also undertake a number of fund raising projects which will offset the cost of the trip. We envisage that, with effort, we could raise up to $500 per person which will reduce the burden on students quite dramatically.
We have already mentioned that there needs to be a serious commitment level from students and this financial commitment is very real. If students can find part time work or do odd jobs to raise the money, this will help them appreciate and value the whole experience.
There are risks associated with any travel. Travelling to the Solomon Islands is no different. Being aware of the specific risks associated with this type of travel and taking steps to minimise them is important. Having said this, we cannot overestimate the power of prayer.
Illnesses and Diseases There are a number of precautions that must be taken to
Travel When in Gizo and Honiara we may be travelling in taxis, trucks, utes. When travelling between islands we will be in small boats. Obviously there is the possibility of an accident while travelling.
Civil Unrest There has been civil unrest in the capital, Honiara in recent years, however the risk to Australians travelling to the Solomons is quite low. We will be guided by the Australian Travel Advisory.
Risk Management Plan We have a detailed risk management and incident
response plan and will implement controls where possible to reduce risk to our team members.
Training and Debriefing Sessions
Team members will be required to attend a number of regular training and information sessions in the months leading up to departure. These sessions will focus on team building, developing skills, program planning, cultural awareness, growing our faith, communication skills and general information sharing.
Our team must be mindful of the fact that we will be living and sharing with people who have a very different culture and life style to ours. We will need to be very aware of how we dress, speak and act to avoid causing offence or sending confused messages. Although most younger-generation Islanders speak English the most common language is Pigeon English so there may be some language barriers. It is vital that we don’t impose our western, consumer based culture, so even our use of money and giving of gifts needs to done with sensitivity.
10. Accommodation – Our Home Away From Home!
Our accommodation in Gizo will likely be at Paradise Lodge. This is similar to a backpackers lodge and is owned and operated by a local Church family. It is very basic, but does have running water and includes all meals. Whilst in the villages, we will most likely stay in simple guest houses provided by the host church.
11. Food and Water
We are careful with food and water to reduce the chance of sickness. In the past we have treated water where concerned. Local foods include fish and chicken, coconut, sweet potatoes, rice, taro, tapioca, tropical fruit, and home cooked buns. Soft drinks and other snacks can be purchased in bigger centres.
12. Travel Dates
The exact dates for the trip are not yet confirmed, however we expect to depart Brisbane on Sat 9th September and return around the 24th September. These dates will be subject to flight