Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Our last few days in Fiji

 We headed off early Monday morning for Denarau Port (plastic Fiji) and then on the Malolo Cat to Plantation Island.  We were so excited.  Our last night in Suva we ate the most gigantic Pizza ever while we waited for our landlady to return our bond.  Unfortunately we are still waiting for some of it.  We have only had two thirds returned.  Luckily we have Peter (OAC) trying to get the rest – please pray he is successful.

Our journey to Nadi and then Port Denerau was slow as the speed limit is 80 but he drove 60 and the pots holes are insane!  We finally arrived at Denerau and it is not like the rest of Fiji at all.  Very flash and filled with loud Australians!

We are at Plantation island and what a picture perfect paradise.  Just like the postcards.  It is such a treat to have clean dry towels and no mould.  The drawers don’t smell and the couch is comfortable!  Our bed has a real mattress and the springs have not sprung!  What a treat.  And then there is the pool and the kids club and the beach and the sun – yes sun.  Although one night we had a wicked thunder storm.  The lightening lit up our room numerous times even though the shutters are all closed.  The grounds were a bit flooded in the morning but our room was not affected – praise God.


Yesterday was our wedding anniversary – 14 years.  Apart from being sick with a cold we had a wonderful day.  We went out for dinner by ourselves at a quieter restaurant (apart from the loud Aussie’s that turned up) next door.  It was a great night.  What a wonderful husband I have.  I am so proud of him and the work that he has done and all that he has accomplished here in Fiji.  He has worked so hard and pushed to get things up and running here and the Lord has used him for start something big here in Fiji.  Bless you my darling!

Only 2 more sleeps before we return to NZ.  We are all excited about that very much!  A bit nervous about how cold it will be though.  Look forward to seeing you all soon.  God Bless.

A Final Note on the SOE

Truly inspiring!  As I think back over the last few weeks and reflect on the School of Evangelism I’m so humbled by everything.  First, the support and prayers of all of you who have been praying and encouraging us has been fantastic.  When you are in a different country and away from everything familiar every comment and every skype message and letters from home are like oxygen for the soul.

Secondly, the staff of OAC Fiji.  Without them and their commitment and servant hearts to the Lord we would not have had an SOE (or a place to stay).  They have made all of this possible.  Bless this team!

Thirdly, the students on the SOE.  They have been such a blessing in OAC.  We look for F.A.T. people (Faithful, Available and Teachable).  All the students at different times have had their challenges but all have shown that they are F.A.T.  A number of students are seeking to do internships with OAC over the next few months.

Fourthly, the potential opportunities.  The Lord has been so good.  The Methodist church in Fiji is by far the biggest denomination in the country.  Between 50-80% of Christians are Methodist.  They call the Methodist the ‘sleeping giant of Fiji, and if she would awake revival shall sweep through this land.  Through the SOE we have started to develop good connections with some of the leaders with the Methodist church and God willing that would continue so that we might have the privilege of the SOE at being part of their training process for their ministers in training.  Please pray for this to become a reality.

Fifthly, the Lords blessing – without Him we can do nothing, but with Him nothing is impossible!  Over this time the Lords provision guidance and answers to prayer have been mind blowing.  We were stopped by the government so we couldn’t do open airs but through prayer God overruled!  We were stopped by the government to go into schools- again God overruled.  The weather threatened an outreach but again God over ruled and in that hour (the only hour that day) there was no rain which meant we could hold the outreach and hundreds got to hear the gospel.  The Lord is good and great is his power.
Our next SOE in Fiji is planned in July 15th 2013.  Please will you commit to praying for us and this SOE, Fiji.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Standing out in a crowd!

Well for the last 3 days I have had a very sore eye.  I get a bit of hayfever and it makes my eyes itch.  And of course I scratch!  Well ifthis happens to you don't rub them!  I have scratches on my eye and they really hurt.  I went to the optometrist to get it checked out and came out looking like this! Overkill!

I have to wear this lovely patch for 24 hours - praise God it is only that long.  Dylan thought they took my eye out - although he didn't seem too concerned about it!

It feels much better but Jem won't let me take this silly thing off.  I know have hayfever meds and eye drops.  I was just getting used to standing out in a crowd because I am white but now they all have a new reason to stare!

Monday, 17 September 2012

SOE is over!

Well the very first ever School of Evangelism for Fiji is over and we have had graduation.  What a great day.  It was a great celebration as we had the privilege of acknowledging the hard work of 26 students.  Jeremy spoke, some of the students shared and each received a certificate.  It was an emotional day as the group remembered the experience they have all shared over the past 5 weeks.  Over 100 lives were surrendered to Christ; 26 men and women were equipped with the knowlege, experience and passion to effectively share with the people in their community; and the School of Evangelism was officially introduced to Fiji.  What a wonderful God we serve.

It was also a humbling day for us as a family.  Jeremy's hard work and skill in teaching was acknowleged and the children and I were also thanked for our sacrifice in making the school possible.  We were all given gifts and thanked and had many photo requests.  All that we have done has been by the grace of God and all glory is to him.

I couldn't be prouder of our children.  They have survived without T.V. (it is actually possible - who knew!), they even survived without toys! They have met many new friends however I have been their only constanat friend and school teacher (not as much fun as they thought!)  They have had to walk almost everywhere and after the first week did so without complaining.  They have had to go grocery shopping with me each week.  That means the enormous vege market with many people and many smells and then the supermarket with it's narrow aisles and wonky trolleys.  They have even had to listen to daddy preach for hours on end (just kidding)!  Well done to my darling children.  I am so proud to be a part of your lives.

We went to church this morning where Jeremy briefly shared (as brief as an evangelist can be) and we were blessed with lunch, great conversation with others whose heart is to reach the lost for Christ.  God is great!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Kid's Week

 The last week of our first School of Evangelism has gone fast and has been full of difficulties, triumphs and a realisation of how little children can know even though they are surrounded by Christian teaching.
Class was going very well but the difficulties came when the government stepped in again.  At first they said just get permission from the head teachers at the schools – that would be all we would need.  Then when we got that they changed their minds saying we had to go to the government to get approval.  We almost had no opportunities to share the gospel with kids.  Then God stepped in everything worked out and by the first day of scheduled programs all was ready.
We then had a problem with the school.  They said we could only do the program for 2 days instead of 4 and rather than breaking into 3 groups and giving the students more opportunities we had to do one program to the 320 students.  The team did so well.  Using what they had learnt in the SOE they were able to maintain good discipline and communicate the gospel with great energy and effectiveness. 
On day 2 the weather was terrible.  It was raining hard and the assembly is in an open hall (no walls) with a tin roof.  Dylan spoke to Vicki-Lee about how difficult it would be to hear with the rain so they prayed for the weather and the program.  The rain stopped just in time for the program and it was great.  The program was even better than day one as the students grew in confidence.
On Thursday we were able to find another school to program to.  This time we had 3 groups of about 30-40 students.  The program went really well.  In the times of debrief the students were amazed at the kids.  They knew the Scriptures really well, knew a lot of Bible stories but had no understanding of how to become a Christian or how the Bible applies to their life.  These schools we went to were both Christian Schools.  It reminds me of the story with the Ethiopian eunuch and Philip.  Philip asks if he understands what he is reading and the Ethiopian answers “How can I unless someone explains it to me?” Then Phillip does and it all makes sense.  These children could sing about Jesus, quote many verse based on the gospel but fail to understand how those things relate to their life and how they are to be saved and become part of the family of God.

Friday, 14 September 2012

SOE Update

We had prepared this update a few days ago however we have been without internet due to a faulty SIM.  That has been sorted out so here is Jeremy's update.

People coming to Jesus, people equipped for evangelism and a desire to never be the same again.
Over the last couple of weeks it has been an intense but fruitful time.  We’ve had 8 times of outreach doing personal evangelism, 8 times of outreach doing door to door evangelism (1 time = 1 ½ hr a day)
Through these outreaches about 25 students have shared the gospel with about 400 people and approximately 30 people have received Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

We have completed the Open Air and Preaching and Communication parts of the SOE.  The students have been so inspired by this.  We have had 3 days of Open Air Evangelism, approx.. 10 hours of preaching in the open air all up over these 3 days.  Each of the students preached at least twice.  We saw many people respond to the Lord through the preaching of the Gospel.  We had many Indian Fijian people listening to the gospel as well which was a real encouragement to the team as the Gospel rarely gets to these folk in Fiji. 

All the students were able to build and draw a good size crowd.  One student in my team (we had 4 teams in different areas in Suva) preached his message and was then talking to an older Fijian man.  He said “you were preaching about me.  I’m trying to avoid hell by going to church!”  that afternoon he placed his trust in Jesus to save him for the first time in his life.  In the open air we saw many respond and trust in Jesus alone to save them.  I preached twice and all up I had the privilege of seeing about 14 people respond to Christ.  All the other groups saw people respond as well and others in my team were also able to lead people to Jesus.  The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.

While we have been here I have been invited to preach and train in a number of churches.  Last Sunday evening I spoke at an evening church service focused on youth.  This was a great encouragement.  About 6 people confessed their hearts desire was more for the world than to love and live for the Lord.  They made a commitment to no longer live for other things or people but for Jesus.

We are now in our final week of the school.  Over the next few days we will be reaching approx. 320 kids with the gospel.  The students of the SOE as so excited about all that the Lord has done in and through them and many are now realising that this is a neglected area of evangelistic ministry that really demands attention if we are serious about trying to reach our communities with the Gospel.  Over 50% of the world’s population is under 18.  Who will reach them?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

A break from Suva!

On Wednesday mum, dad, Jem the kids and I headed off up the coast to Sigatoka to a lovely little place called Bedarra Beach Inn.  We decided it would be nice to show mum and dad some nicer areas of Fiji. 

Unfortunately on Tuesday afternoon the rain started.  It rained all night and was still raining when we woke at 6am to catch our coach.  It rained all the way there and for the rest of the day.  We went into Sigatoka town to look around.  It was nice apart from all the Aussie’s!  The weather was awful and surprisingly cold.

On Thursday the weather improved so Jem took the kids snorkelling and mum and I went for a walk along the beach.  We got to swim in the pool and in the afternoon we went to Kula Rainforest Park.  What a great experience.  We got to hold small snakes and larger Iguana’s.  We walked through enclosures with big parrots and got to see bats up close!  Dad also spotted a giant spider hanging from the power lines.  He saw it from the ground so you can imagine how big it was.  I had a quick look!


The best part of the whole trip was the comfy bed.  I haven’t had a good sleep since I got here.  Still really tired but it was soooooo good – and a hot shower!

We arrived back in Suva today and said goodbye to mum and dad and headed home.  We will be seeing Dad again very soon – as he lost is passport and is heading back here now!

Check out the Fijian clock!