March 29, 2016

We are delighted to have our 2 girls from Samoa here with us in Christchurch on our 3 month Samoa Alofa Homestay Programme. Shelley arrived home from Samoa with the girls 2 weeks ago. We have been so impressed at the way both girls have settled in considering they have been institutionalized for such a long time. Travelling with them was an experience for Shelley! Everything was so new & overwhelming and the things we take for granted were completely foreign!

They have been very busy in their short time here. Their first week was spent getting to know their host families who are thoroughly enjoying having them as part of their aiga/family. They had fun shopping for new clothes (as they literally arrived with just the clothes on their backs). We are grateful for “Make Me New Opshop” for all their new gears!

Last Sunday the girls completed Christchurch’s City2Surf fun run where they joined Shelley and I along with their host families to walk 6kms around Christchurch. They joined in the fun and made the most of the experience – even though they were exhausted at the end of it!

Over the Easter weekend, we accompanied them to Easter Camp here in Christchurch. The girls were in awe of the amount of young people, but really enjoyed being part of it and meeting and making new friends.

After Easter the girls will settle in to a routine, which will
include helping and serving in community projects run by Northcity, join in with Youth Group and connect with different people from our Church Community.

We don’t underestimate the privilege of having these 2 treasures with us. By no fault of their own they became victims. Things that should never happen to any child happened to them. They were rejected and abandoned. They look to us as their heroes by bringing them here, but to us they are our heroes. To come to a foreign land with funny looking people that speak in a strange language is pretty heroic! Our roll as believers in their journey here in Aotearoa is to be extravagant with our alofa/love, time, finance and prayers!

Alofa atu, manuia fa’afetai

Jeremy and Shelley