Students inspired by the gift of service
The humility and reward of service for those less fortunate was a profound experience for Guyra district students Samuel Atkin, Tom Gellie and Toby Inglis who volunteered their time to work at Christopher’s Orphanage in Fiji during the school holidays.
The trio were among 23 Year 8 students and staff from The Armidale School who took part in the Christian service trip, the 21st year that TAS has made the pilgrimage to the orphanage.
“We did jobs like painting, cooking, cleaning and weeding some gardens – basically anything that the sisters who run it, needed for us to do,” said Tom.
During evenings there were prayers and communal singing, with the highlight for most, being the time they spent with their ‘buddies’, who ranged in age from four to 16 years.
“We found them very friendly and excited to meet us. Some were a little shy to start with but by the end of our visit beautiful connections had been made. They loved the outdoors, singing and dancing. All the children in the home were so grateful for what they had at St Christopher’s,” said Toby.
Together, the students and residents husked coconuts, swam in the Suva town pool learnt traditional Fijian dances and visited the New Zealand High Commissioner’s house where they watched a dress rehearsal for a fundraiser for a home for the boys from St Christopher’s who currently have to leave the home when they are 12.
“It opened my eyes as to what other kids live like, and how little they have yet how happy they are,” Samuel said.
“I came away realising how good it can be to not have so much technology in your life, and the satisfaction in serving your community – it was just a really great life experience.”