Bula Blog begins

As Fiji Training Week began, there was an underlying nervousness among the student body. What exactly will we be doing in Fiji? How would we cope with cultural differences? What if we see or experience something and don’t know how to handle it? Thankfully, as the week unfolded the training we received answered many of our questions, and our fears slowly gave way to excitement and a great buzz took over the camp.

The week was designed to equip us for cross-cultural mission—from learning phrases in Fijian and Hindi, to Bible storytelling techniques, and growing in our historical and cultural knowledge of Fiji. There were countless coffee and late night Maccas runs to get us through, but every activity undertaken together seemed to contribute to this great time of learning and fellowship for the team.

My enthusiasm for the mission began to build when we split up into smaller teams to prepare ministry tools like songs, crafts, games, and dramas that we will be using in Fiji in school and church-based ministry. It is amazing (and scary!) to think that in a few short weeks we will be singing the song that we wrote together for hundreds of Fijians and using it to speak the truth of the gospel.

Later in the week each group had the opportunity to present their ministry tools to the team. It was inspiring to see the creativity that was unlocked through collaborating on these resources! It was this session that really changed my attitude toward the mission. After a slow start, full of uncertainty, we witnessed how sharing our ideas and God-given gifts created something useful, and we now have a wealth of activities to draw upon in Fiji.

On our last night all together before leaving for Fiji we had a special time singing and praying around the campfire. One of the students shared a Bible verse that I think perfectly summed up Fiji Training Week and commissioned us for our time ahead:

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:58

Despite our collective ‘fear of the unknown’, after Fiji Training Week my stream is feeling a lot better prepared. God really used the week to challenge me to hand over my remaining worries and hesitancies to him, as I know that he will be with us as we go.

Ultimately, we know this mission we are about to undertake is God’s work, and not our own. That thought definitely reassures me and helps take the pressure off my own performance!

I know I’m going to stuff up along the way: I might accidentally offend some Fijians, or run an average Scripture lesson…But by trusting that God will be working through me and using the experience to shape me, I’ve come to realise that my worries about what will happen in Fiji are nothing compared to the ways he can use me to spread the good news—what an incredibly transformative experience it will be!

As we begin to count down the days until we leave and rush to make our final preparations, I’m sure worries will begin to rise again. So, it is my prayer that this verse will be imprinted on our hearts and minds throughout:

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
- Hebrews 12:1-2

Amy Marzolla, Year 13 (pictured at right above)