FIA in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is comprised of 83 tiny islands covered by countless hidden and remote mountain villages. It’s on the island of Espiritu Santo that Friends in Action (FIA) is endeavoring to demonstrate God’s love. Through construction projects, we bring the Truth of the Gospel to free the Ni-Van people from the bondages of witchcraft and animistic beliefs. FIA is assisting national pastors and bush missionaries with Bible training, so they are better equipped to share the God’s Word in their homes, with their relatives and in their neighboring villages. We look forward to seeing all the Ni-Van villages fulfill the words of Isaiah 42:12, “Let them give praise unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the islands.”
Learn About Vanuatu
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Until the 1980’s the natives were still cannibalistic. Today, they are a very peaceful nation, still living simple lives that have changed little over the last two hundred years. In some villages, the people still wear leaves rather than clothes and witchdoctors hold great power.
Every day another Ni-Vanuatu person dies without Christ and so many of them have never once heard His salvation message.
South Pacific Ocean, near Solomon Islands, Fiji,
and New Caledonia
3,200 mi NE of Australia
1,280 mi E of Fiji
Number of Islands
Espiritu Santo is the largest island in the country with an area of 1,527 square miles and a population of over 50,000.
83 islands total
64 islands are inhabited
4,707 sq mi – just smaller than Connecticut, just
larger than Puerto Rico
Area of Santo: 1,527 sq mi
264,652 (2013, National Statistics)
Vanuatu is a country with the highest density of languages per capita in the world boasting 112 languages on 88 islands!
English (spoken by educated)
French (spoken by educated)
Bislama (spoken by over 75%)
Indigenous languages (more than 100): 63%
Most of the people of Vanuatu ascribe to a religion, but they do not understand a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There is a great need for good discipleship as the people have not understood faith in Jesus Christ.
Roman Catholic: 13%
Seventh Day Adventist: 11%
Other “Christian” (including Apostolic, NTM, AOG,
and Church of Christ): 14%
Indigenous beliefs (including John Frum Movement): 5.6%
Other (including JW, LDS, Buddhism and Islam): 9.6%
The local people make their living by working in the tourist trade and by cash-crop farming copra (coconut meat) cocoa nuts, (chocolate) or raising cattle and fishing. Although the villages are poor they are mostly self-sufficient with their own vegetable gardens, chickens and pigs. While the people have enough physical food to eat, they are starving for good spiritual food.
Vices (People ages 15+):
Education (People ages 15+):
At least Pre-school: 85%
At least Primary: 57%
At least 8th grade: 29%
High school: 13%
Formal job: 26.7%
Unpaid family work: 8.8%
Producing goods for sale: 10.6%
Producing goods for own consumption: 44.3%
Own generator: 1.7%
Kerosene lamp: 48%
Coleman lamp: 7%
Motor vehicle: 7%
Mobile phone: 76%
Sources: 2009 National Population and Housing Census conducted by the Vanuatu government (A copy of all data from this census can be found at 2009_Census_Basic_Tables_Report_-_Vol1.pdf), Vanuatu National Statistics Office (http://www.vnso.gov.vu/)
Pray for wisdom as we seek to demonstrate God’s love to these hidden places and also that the Lord will raise up more missionaries to take the Word of God to Vanuatu, a hidden paradise without the Gospel!
FRIENDS IN ACTION INTL-USA (FIA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization firmly committed to good stewardship. Our work is supported by and dependent on the continued faithfulness of God’s people. Tax-deductible donations can be made using this secure site.
You can volunteer and get engaged in the work that God is doing in Vanuatu. For more information and future dates, email Paul Brosey.