Theme

“Build on a Strong Foundation”

Country

Vanuatu

Artist

Juliette Pita

World Day of Prayer 2021

The World Day of Prayer 2021 host country is Vanuatu and the theme is “Build on a Strong Foundation”.

Program written by the ​World Day of Prayer Committee of Vanuatu for WDP 2021

Matthew 7:24-17 New International Version (NIV)

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Through the worship service we hear the voices of the Vanuatu women, whom invite us to focus on the Bible story in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus tells a story about the kingdom of heaven using the image of a house and the land on which the house is built. Choosing the land on which to build the house is an important decision for people in Vanuatu. The combination of considering the terrain and the climate is crucial in a tropical archipelago located in the South Pacific Ocean prone to earthquakes, cyclones, volcanic eruptions and rising sea levels. ​On April 6th, 2020, Vanuatu was hit by Cyclone Harold, which had made its way across the Pacific destroying many islands in its wake.

Vanuatu’s susceptibility to cyclones is highlighted in the painting chosen to represent WDP 2021, titled “Cyclone Pam II: 13th of March, 2015”. It shows a mother bending and praying over her child. The waves crash over her but a palm tree bends protectively over them. The woman’s skirt is modeled after the traditional clothing on Erromango. On the horizon you can see small crosses representing the lives taken by cyclone Pam in 2015.

The artist, Juliette Pita, born in 1964 on Erromango Island, is currently the most well-known artist in Vanuatu. Her talent was discovered early on. At school she was always the best in art classes. She was the first woman to graduate from the Institut National de Technologie du Vanuatu (INTV). Juliette never imagined making money from her art but she believed God had plans for her. She gives all the money she earns to anyone who needs help.

Listen to the “Greeting Song” composed at the WDP Preparatory Workshop by members of the WDP National Vanuatu Committee for the 2021 program.

Greetings to you,
Greetings to you,
Greetings to you everyone
God will bless us in our worship
He will guide us
He will bless us
We are here in His presence
We are one in God’s love
Greetings to you,
Greetings to you,
Greetings to you everyone


Copyright (c) 2021 World Day of Prayer International Committee Inc (WDPIC). Used with permission.

The WDP Vanuatu Writing Committee

The Writer Committee Workshop for the 2021 WDP annual celebration was held in Port-Vila, Vanuatu, from April 9-13, 2018. The workshop officially started the writing process and the world will discover the global result on March 5, 2021. ​For many participants, this had been their first opportunity to represent and lead their denomination. As friendships where established, it was wonderful to see the denominational barriers broken down. To hear the voice of Vanuatu women, their joys, their hopes and their struggles. God has chosen this group of women to be heard across the world in 2021.

The history of World Day of Prayer in Vanuatu was pieced together through conversations and research by the current committee. The first World Day of Prayer service was reportedly held on March 8, 1946, in the Presbyterian Paton Memorial Church in Port Vila. World Day of Prayer was introduced by Canadian missionaries, Mrs. Amy Skinner and Mrs. Catherine Ritchie.

On the invitation of the Presbyterians, Anglicans and Catholics joined in 1981. Women from Apostolic and Church of Christ congregations remember joining together as young women in the 1980’s on the islands of Ambae and Pentecost. In later years, other women from different churches across the islands joined World Day of Prayer.​

With the creation of the Women’s Desk of the Vanuatu Christian Council, in the early 2000s, collaborations with WDP groups already in existence were developed. The World Day of Prayer International Committee held a workshop in Vanuatu in 2011 to strengthen the connection between those groups.

​The Writer Committee Workshop for the 2021 WDP service was held at the Presbyterian Church, which was carefully set up for the meetings and included the traditional lap lap to celebrate WDP. The participants brought gifts to beautifully prepare the altar table. It was decorated with flowers from their gardens, the Bislama Bible, garland necklaces, and palm weaved baskets and fans.

Those moments lived together are now extended to WDP around the world. The photo on the left represents a gesture of care from Vanuatu women to the WDP theme preparatory process. It symbolizes the Vanuatu communities, it reflects God’s creation, and it shows the connection with the land and the beauty of a life by faith.

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3)