Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 12

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
17 February 2013.

My day off today. Started with church, which was quite an experience. The people are so full of joy! When they sang, one person would start them off, then everyone would break into these incredible harmonies. It was a real joy to be amongst that.

I Facetimed Liesl, which was great – always good to see her and Ananbelle. Annabelle bumped her head at church this morning, and it came up with a bad bruise quickly. She was doing OK when I saw her, but I’m sure it hurt real bad. They had a play date with Daisy (daughter of famous neighbour) today, which went well.

Tonight, we had church with the Tamils and Persians. It was wonderful to share with them, particularly as I preached the message, getting them to focus on what they do have – Jesus Christ – and how they can give that to those around them.

Something that really struck me from both this and last week is their prayer points. They often are large and selfless – praying for peace in the whole world, as opposed to just themselves. They do focus on their own situation as well, but the need of the world are not lost on them either.

Mentally – great. A fantastic, renewing day.

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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