Emphasising the grace of God
After just beginning to settle in to Sabeto, we found ourselves on a bus to Nasikawa. The journey was filled with conversations of our time in Sabeto and nervous laughter as we approached our destination. Immediately upon arrival we would be teaching a scripture lesson on Mark 10:35-45, and I found myself going over the teaching points we had prepared. We have gradually become aware that many Fijian Christians believe that good works makes them right before God, and so we were anxious to emphasise how God’s grace is shown through Jesus and that he is all we need. Before we knew it, we were being welcomed by a crowd of smiling Fijian children, ready for another day of learning and fun.
My heart was racing the whole time, but our first lesson finished right on the bell and overall, it went quite well. As expected, the discussion groups trended towards serving in order to be right with God, and we had to work hard to show that the passage emphasises that Christ came to serve by giving His own life as a ransom to make us right with God: It's not about us and what we can offer God, it's all about Christ. We also discussed amongst ourselves how to highlight grace in every aspect of our future lessons.
Later that day we found ourselves at the front of the Nasikawa Vision College chapel. It was a massive white building with an absolutely beautiful interior. Year 13 students flooded the chapel as they encouraged each other, read their Bibles and prayed. In the back of minds was the thought of homestay. Tonight we would be partnered off with a Fijian student and would have to spend two nights at their home. Where would I end up!? Would I be in a Fijian mansion or a tin-foil cabin? Would I get a 3 course buffet tonight, or just a big chunk of kasava (kind of like a potato, but not)?
I discovered that we would stay with a lovely boy named Abdul and his family. His house was like nothing we had seen before – quite large, but divided into tight, almost claustrophobic spaces. Over an amazing dinner (Abdul’s mother is a chef), we were able to learn more about their family, including the fact that due to a mix-up of dates, they weren’t even expecting us that week! We were very grateful for their hospitality on such short notice.
Overall our time at Nasikawa was amazing. The people here are marked by their love and servant-hearts. Our following scripture lessons improved as God put on our hearts ways to refine our teaching. Leaving Abdul's family was a sad experience for us. We wish we could have spent more time building trust with the family in order to talk more about the gospel, but in prayer we leave that in God's hand. Our parting gift to the family was a delicious block of Cadbury chocolate, some Aussie souvenirs and a copy of The Search (Luke's gospel). Our prayer is that this amazing family may come to know Jesus as there Lord and Saviour.
Our destination is now Suva. Just as we had to let go of Sabeto, we now have to let go of Nasikawa and pray that God will continue to do His saving work here. Please pray for God to be the central focus of all that we do. Many of us are tired and weary, and we are in need of God's strength. Some of us are sick and missing home, and we are in need of God's healing hand and comfort. Please pray that God may grant us many more opportunities to share His Word. In all that we do and say, may we strive to glorify God with every measure of strength He provides. Most importantly, whatever happens, whether good or bad, may we praise and glorify our father in heaven and be reminded of His son, who paid the ransom to set us free from sin to new life in Him.