I left the States on July 10th and flew from Sacramento to LA to Nadi, Fiji then over to Labasa where I spent the night. Saturday, July 11th the rest of the team flew to Labasa; Pastor Nakiti, Ima, Sarah Abadines, the US team (Clark family, Sarah, Cindy K., Ivan, Jim, Cindy M., Jon, Georgie) where they met with me. We went to town to go food shopping and pick up anything else we needed for the week since Naduri was an hour away.
The chief of the village owns a bus company so we took one of his buses to the village. As we arrived the scenery was beautiful! The village was near the ocean and at the bottom of these huge mountains. Naduri village is bigger than most....about 1000 people. The chief, Ratu Peni, was also the pastor of the AGOFI church in Naduri. He walked with authority but also humbly. I learned a great deal from him just by observing the way he carried himself. The chief is an important person in Fiji as a counselor to the prime minister, parliamentary position holder, final authority for educational scholarships, and major business owner. We settled into a hall lined up with mattresses and prepared for the week's task.
Sunday was church in the morning. Pastor Nakiti gave a powerful message. After lunch our team met to prepare for the EE clinic. We planned out the schedule and teaching sessions. The rest of the day we just took time to get to know more people in the village.
The EE clinic was Monday - Friday from about 9am -4pm. Morning devotion was a wonderful time for the group to gather in fellowship and worship. Singing praise and worship was a blessing, hearing the Fijians pour out them hearts in song, lifting their hands.
36 trainees were involved in the clinic from different areas of Vanua Levu, the 2nd largest island of Fiji. Clinics always remind me of how powerful the Gospel is and how I continue to learn things about God's goodness. It was so nice getting to know people and fellowshipping together as well as learning more about the Fijian culture. It was a beautiful thing to see local Fijians from different denominations come together (something not often seen) for the cause of Christ. I was encouraged by the trainee’s excitement and passion to learn how to share the Gospel with others. Pastor Nakiti really did an awesome job leading, translating, and teaching in Fijian and English. God truly speaks through him. During the clinic we sat on the floor Fijian style which took the US team some time to get used to, not me of course. :)
I love being able to build relationships. During OJT (On the Job Training) where teams would go out to share the Gospel, we would visit different houses in the village. It was about getting to know the people you are visiting as well as sharing the Gospel. You could be at someone's house for over an hour visiting. My trainee and I spoke to 4 different women. Three of these women asked to pray with us to receive jesus into their hearts. One of them had just been thrown out of her home by her husband a few months earlier and was living from hut to hut with friends, the othe two were both un-wed mothers and my heart went out to them. Telling them the message of God's loving grace was the best part of the whole trip to me.
After OJT we had free time to fellowship, and most hung out with the children of the village who loved to sing, play games, and just talk. The afternoon session with the children was one of my favorite things. The children were precious. Sarah Abadines and Katie Clark taught them actions to worship songs and the hand motions for Kid's EE. I was encouraged by their receptiveness and response. Hearing them sing touched my heart, and hearing some of them pray in Fijian was such an encouragement. A few nights I was even able to tutor a few of the kids and young people in math which gave me great joy!
The people of Naduri were so giving and hospitable. They took such good care of us, it blew us away. Food in the village was amazing - fresh seafood like octopus, shark, clams, all kinds of fish, curry, noodles, cassava, and Fijian pastries. The water supply in Naduri came from up in the mountains. One afternoon some of us even climbed the mountain to a few beautiful waterfalls, the view from up top was amazing! And Friday afternoon a big group of us took 2 small boats to another island, the trip there was beautiful. The water was gorgeous. My trainee during the week was Pasematha. She truly loves the Lord and wants to share His love with others. She is the sister of the chief, Ratu Peni. Please be praying for her as she takes what she learned to her church, family, and friends.
US Team from CO, AZ, and CA came as EE teachers and trainers
36 trainees from different areas of Fiji
106 people heard the Gospel
21 recommitted their lives to Christ
71 people prayed to receive Christ!
AMEN!!! Praise the Lord!
I was moved by all the things that happened this week. We were able to raise a large sum of money to leave with Ratu Peni for the village and 2 suitcases filled with things like clothes, medications, and toiletries.
God is so good. I was so blessed to be part of this clinic where different kinds of people come together to proclaim Christ. It was bittersweet to leave the village. When we left the village Saturday morning, many tears were flowing. I will forever hold the children in the village in my heart.