Sport is one love of Billy’s. Food is another. Moving on, Billy visited a canteen set up to provide meals to some of the 1.6 million Venzuelan refugees who have made their home in Colombia, fleeing the political and humanitarian crisis in their own country.
‘I learnt a lot about being grateful,’ says Billy. ‘It’s truly humbling to see this situation and hear about how they have to try to make ends meet...We’re so used to everything being done the way we like it – we’re used to different luxuries that we probably aren’t grateful for and these guys just make it work. You saw the kids just playing and having fun and it just puts a different perspective on things.’
Something that left a lasting impression on the rugby player was that strength he saw in the people he met and the respectful and uplifting response from the partner staff he encountered. ‘You’re empowering them – not spoon feeding,’ he said of Tearfund’s work. ‘I think they appreciate that more than just getting handouts because they’re strong people. From what I’ve seen, they’re proud people and they want to help their families. And that’s what Tearfund are doing – helping and empowering people.’
Billy’s visit was undoubtedly an encouragement to the people he met but, in a world where Billy Vunipola is right at the top of his game, he says, ‘I think [I’ve] taken far more from these kids than they will from me.’
Thank you for for the people and projects Billy was able to visit. We pray that you will bless them and provide for them. Please also protect and encourage each of our partners as they work. Amen.