FIA in Vanuatu

Detailed Vanuatu Map courtesy of www.nationsonline.orgVanuatu 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.”


Get Involved

Learn About Vanuatu

Currently in Vanuatu, we are preparing to undertake a water project running 16 miles of gravity-fed piping down a mountain to bring clean water to over 30 villages (1,500 people) below. At this time, the villagers are walking at least an hour each way to bring unsanitary water to their homes. Their rain containment systems cannot provide enough water to last through the dry season. We have already secured the backing of local government agencies, and the tribal chiefs are excited to welcome us into their villages. The length and scope of the work requires the building of an operational base camp to house work teams and service machinery. The water project is an amazing opportunity for the Ni-Van people to hear about Jesus, as many of them hold to animistic beliefs and consult the local witch doctor for healing and guidance.
CLICK to see photos and read more about the project.
Friends In Action has been assisting the Ni-Van people in Vanuatu since 2011. FIA partnered with a local pastor and indigenous workers to construct a six kilometer road linking thirteen villages in the mountainous region to existing road systems on the island. The road spared countless lives as it connected the people to the hospital, a school, and easier access to supplies. Two hundred and forty people came to Christ during the project!
Our field leaders in Vanuatu are all about lending a helping hand to other missionaries and reaching the unreached tribal groups in the area through their investment in the Ni-Van people.

Levi & Jenn Pitman • More info & Contact

Flag of VanuatuThe Republic of Vanuatu is a string of 83 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean and is formerly known as the New Hebrides.

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.

Map of Vanuatu


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!

Official languages:
English (spoken by educated)
French (spoken by educated)
Bislama (spoken by over 75%)

Mother tongues:
Indigenous languages (more than 100): 63%
Bislama: 34%
English: 2%
French: 0.6%


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.

Presbyterian: 32%
Anglican: 13%
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%
Unspecified: 1.3%
None: 1%

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+):

Cigarettes: 24%
Alcohol: 10%
Kava: 30%

Education (People ages 15+):

None: 15%
At least Pre-school: 85%
At least Primary: 57%
At least 8th grade: 29%
High school: 13%
Bachelors: 4%


Formal job: 26.7%
Volunteer: 2.1%
Unpaid family work: 8.8%
Producing goods for sale: 10.6%
Producing goods for own consumption: 44.3%

Main Lighting:

Electricity: 28%
Own generator: 1.7%
Solar: 3.5%
Gas: 2.8%
Kerosene lamp: 48%
Coleman lamp: 7%
Candles: 4.6%
Other: 4.0%

Households with…

Motor vehicle: 7%
Motorbike: 1.7%
Boats: 2.6%
Canoe: 10%
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 (


Pray for Vanuatu

PrayPray 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!

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Give to Vanuatu

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.

Give a one-time or recurring gift to Friends in Action in Vanuatu.


Go to Vanuatu

You can volunteer and get engaged in the work that God is doing in Vanuatu. For more information and future dates, email Paul Brosey.

Visit our Short-Term Trips page.