How to be grateful in prison
Ni Sa Bula!
Well, Year 13 have now reached the half-way point of our Fiji mission. This brings mixed emotions - it's sad that our time in Fiji is passing so quickly but at the same time it's exciting that's it's only two weeks until we see our Australian friends and family again.
The team has spent the last eight days in Suva, taking part in a wide variety of ministries. We have run Youth Leadership Training Days, gone door-to-door in a squatters settlement and visited Homes of Hope, a refuge for vulnerable single mothers and their kids. We have spent time ministering in prisons, visited churches that, for many, were quite unlike their own in Australia and in amongst all this found time somewhere for a day off! As you can see, we have been busy.
One thing that has struck me about all these ministries is the amazing joy in the Lord that the Fijian people have. We have been spending time with some of the most disadvantaged groups in Fijian society and yet they are so full of praise to God for the comparatively little that they have. This was particularly apparent to me when we visited Suva Women's Prison. Most of the women there were victims of tragic circumstances, driven to crime by poverty or abusive family situations, yet they were so full of gratitude and absolute trust in God. This is something that I think we as Australians, can learn from our Fijian brothers and sisters; how to be so full of praise and thanksgiving that it just overflows out of us! In our society, that is so privileged in comparison to most of the places we have visited in Fiji, we don't seem to realise how much we have to thank God for, be that as important as an education or as simple as a hot shower.
Anyway, I am pleased to report that, to the best of my knowledge, the whole team is continuing to be happy and reasonably healthy. We have just left Suva and are on our way to various homestays (Namuaimunda, RakiRaki, Navua, Sigatoka and Naimalavou). Please pray that we will remain safe over the remaining two weeks of our trip, that our ministry will be effective and that we will be positively impacted by all our Fijian experiences. Thank you for your continued prayers and support!
Banner photo credit: miguel sancheese