It’s just a short 4 hour flight from Auckland, but it really is another world away. I’m in Lenakel Village on Tanna Island in Vanuatu where not only is there no power or water, there are no formed roads and our 4×4 had to drive through farm paddocks to get here. Each family lives and cooks in a collection of small grass huts with thatched roofs and the women and children routinely spend hours each day collecting water. But this area is excited because ADRA is going to put in a water supply for their villages. I am here to consult with the people about their water system, and teach people about hygiene. And here I’ve met Yamey. She’s been enthusiastic about the training, voicing her opinion along with the men of the village. And despite our different language, culture, background and the vastly different opportunities we have both been blessed with in our lives – we have ‘clicked’. She’s noticed I’m vegetarian and makes sure there is a very full plate served especially for me. She sits with me at meal times and we talk in broken English and Bislama. She makes me a dress to wear which matches her own. She makes sure she is next to me in the group photo and protectively puts her hand on me. And one day she says to me, ‘You and I are sisters’. Within church family this isn’t a unique concept, but I sense that she has something more to say. ‘Because in heaven, you and I will drink from the same water source – it won’t be like it is here’. I’m very touched by her sentiment and I know that she is right. We will drink from the same water and I’m so glad that she’s looking forward to drinking good water here and in heaven. Maybe we just won’t be as thirsty in heaven.
Thank you, because of your support ADRA has been able to provide communities in remote villages throughout Vanuatu with clean water.
A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now. When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath