How God worked in Fiji
Tim McDonald, Year 13 Fiji mission team.
Bula! Or now that we are back safe and sound in Australia, G’day! That’s something we can thank God for; that we all got back safe and able to continue His mission in Australia.
In Lautoka we were able to visit the Methodist school and teach the kids that if they trust in Jesus there is nothing that they should fear. It was really cool to see how God used all the different gifts he has given the team (e.g. musical gifts, acting, enthusiasm, etc.) to convey his message in so many different and engaging ways.
We also ran a youth leaders training conference in Lautoka, just like the one we ran in Suva. I think it was effective first and foremost because God was in control. Secondly, because we stuck to the basics of who God is, what He has done for us, and how we fit into His plan. We stuck to the Bible and let that shape our teaching. I pray that we might have set a good example to some of the youth leaders in Fiji as they can get some things pretty wrong. One thing we noticed is that the importance of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus' death on the cross can be forgotten, in favour of things like physical healing.
Towards the end of our time in Fiji we were able to debrief and share our experiences, as well as what we had seen God doing through us. This was a great time of encouragement, prayer and celebration of what God had done over that past month.
Re-entry training was so useful to remind us that we are all just the tools God uses on His mission to save His people. We aren’t extra special Christians because we have done some overseas mission work, we aren’t even extra special humans, we are just beggars telling other beggars where to find bread. It was also a reminder that our mission work should by no means stop when we come back home. We should always be trying to tell our fellow beggars where they can find bread.
Now I’m back in Australia how is it? You know how people say that Australia is ‘The lucky country’? I have been pondering that. I don’t think that living in a high-rise apartment in Sydney, living on acreage or a farm in the country is any better than living in an almost poverty stricken village or settlement in Fiji. Here is why. We live in a self-serving, sex-saturated, materialistic, individualistic culture in Australia. All these things, I know for myself at least, distract me from God. And because I know that I will have enough money to buy way more food than I need, pay the doctor to make me well again if I’m sick and live a very comfortable life, it can sometimes leave me thinking that I am in control and that I don’t need to rely on my Heavenly Father for everything.
Don’t get me wrong the Fijian culture has its fair share of problems that we need to be praying for. But while we live here in this fallen culture, in this fallen world, we have a huge mission field to work in. We need to be different to the world around us and shine out our Lord's self-sacrificing love to our communities.
Thanks for all your prayer support throughout our time in Fiji, and thank you for your ongoing prayers for Fiji.
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