Fiji in all its flavours
As day nine of our time in Fiji draws to an end there are so many thoughts and emotions running through each of us. We've seen and done so much since being here, yet things are only really getting started " it's truly amazing!
The first phase of our trip was orientation in Sabeto. While there, we stayed at Sabeto Christian camp and what a true blessing that was to each of us! The staff at the centre are amazing Christian people who love and serve so wholeheartedly. The way that they constantly served us with all they had was incredible! They not only served us while we stayed with them, but they gave us part of their heart and allowed us into their lives. They organised all sorts of things for us from the visit to the village, a school presentation, a visit to a local orphanage, a traditional Fijian lovo and a trip to their home church on Sunday morning.
The five days that we spent in Sabeto were a great time of adjusting to the intense heat that is Fiji, getting used to the culture and having a taste of some of the many ministries that we'll be involved in while here.
Our trip to a local orphanage, "Treasure House' has definitely been a highlight so far. The house was home to 16 children aged 7 months to 16 years. They were being brought up in such a loving, Christian home and the joy that flowed out of them was so beautiful! Talking to the older girls about their dreams and ambitions, playing with the children and just watching the way our fellow Year-13ers interacted with the children and staff was amazing! It was a real blessing to each of us.
Thankfully we were also able to be a blessing to them. A big thank you to all our families and friends who donated money to be given to the orphanage. The money went to good use to buy essential items such as food, nappies and toothpaste that they said they needed. They were so overwhelmed when we presented it to them because that morning their cupboards had been empty. The way that God provides is amazing!
On Sunday we had our first taste of Fijian church and we were all pretty blown away by the experience. The worship and singing in particular was great! It was awesome to get alongside people in another country and worship the same big God in such a vibrant way. The different activities that the people within the church were partaking in in order to reach out to their local community and the way that they so lovingly welcomed us in was a great encouragement!
On the Monday morning we went to a local school. It was the one-year anniversary of the national drug campaign launch so we were asked to prepare a talk on drugs and the Bible! They asked us to prepare for the whole school and when we got there they would tell us if we were presenting in classes or to everyone as a whole (Sega Na Leqa). So we rocked up, prepared in our homestay groups to present to individual classes. After some negotiations between the school and Pete (Gunning), we were able to present to them in separate year groups. This was really positive! The way the groups were able to be flexible and work together and the children's respect for us and each other as well as their knowledge of drugs and the Bible was such an encouragement to all.
The next phase of our trip was three days in Lautoka. During this time we got to do a bit of shopping, see a Rugby game (Fiji vs British Lions. Fiji won 30-24, very exciting!) and we had our first shot at street evangelism. Street evangelism proved to be much easier in Fiji than in Australia, with people being open to the gospel and a chat (some for even an hour!). It was both joyful (as we encountered many local Christians who praised God for us being here in Fiji) and challenging (as we encountered many beggars, pushy market vendors and people from all walks of life) but it was well worthwhile, and was definitely an experience we all learnt from!
Today we headed down and around to the Coral Coast for phase three " The Youth Leadership Conference! We were unsure how many Fijian delegates to expect, but we trust that God has brought, and will continue to bring along, those that he wants to be here. Today 14 Fijians arrived and it has been really positive. They are all open to sharing, both their lives and their ministry. We look forward to continuing to learn from one another and from God's word as we study the book of 1 Thessalonians.
God is constantly blessing us in so many different ways and we are hugely thankful for the support of so many of you back home. Please keep on praying and remembering just how great our Heavenly Father is!
This blog was written by Year 13 student, Eliza Vesey. Check out the other Bula Blogs written from this year’s Year 13 mission here.