Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Delight yourself in the Lord!

Well my son pointed out that we have 4 weeks left in Suva.  Not long really.  Even though we have just had a visit from my parents I am starting to miss home.  Or rather notice the absence of friends and the things I am involved in.  As I have my quiet time and ponder this before the Lord I am forced to realise that at home I find much fulfilment in work, home, family, friends and my daily routine and even T.V.  The absence of these things has made me question where my true fulfilment lies.  Obviously I should find all fulfilment in Christ and Him alone but the reality is I turn, not consciously, but still I turn to many things everyday to fill my time and to make me feel needed, useful and purposeful.  As I do without these things I am brought to a place where I need to seek God to fulfil each of my needs as I am without my usual stimuli!  It is a great place to be, really, but not so easy.  Please pray for me.  That I would turn to Him and delight in Him in all aspects of daily living that I might find all fulfilment in Him and Him alone.

Today Jeremy told me that one of his students has broken her hip.  Their class is up a flight of stairs!  She managed her way up the stairs to tell them she couldn't make it today but that she would be back tomorrow. It is wonderful to see people so hungry.

Thursday, 25 July 2013


Yesterday, (Thursday) we travelled up the Coral Coast with my family to a place called Tambua Sands.  It is a lovely small beachside resort.  We have had a lovely relaxing time here and the weather has been really good.

We visited IKula National Park and got to hold some Iguana's and snakes.  Paige and I were very brave this year.  We also walked around the park seeing the native parrots to Fiji, bats up close and other wildlife. 

Tomorrow we will travel with mum and dad and Cameron to Nadi for a look around and then leave them at Denarau where they will continue on to Plantation Island.
Please pray that these few days will be restful for Jeremy and also for his health as he has been experiencing some stomach pain.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Visitors Arrive!

Monday was an exciting day.  My mum and dad were visiting.  They were due to arrive at 11.15am so that meant school would be shorter for the kids - double exciting!  We were going to leave for the airport at 10.10am but then received a text saying they were grounded in Auckland due to fog.  Then another text came and another.  Finally at 1.11pm they left Auckland.

We got to the airport in time to see the plane arrive.  We then waited for them to get off the plane.  I knew they were brining a surprise with them - the kids did not.  I videoed them as I wanted to see their faces when the surprise arrived.  The surprise was their cousin.  Watch the video below - it was worth the wait and funny stares from others at the airport!
They bought chocolate - thanks mum and dad! We have enjoyed looking around town and the kids have enjoyed showing Cameron what they get up to.

Sunday, 21 July 2013


Today we went to the Suva St Gospel Chapel where Jeremy was asked to preach.  It is a small chapel on a busy and noisy corner.  Dylan took Paige upstairs to the Sunday School where they spent most of their time.
Jeremy spoke on Prayer.  He was so good - so passionate.  It was his first time with an interpreter - not Fijian to English but rather into sign language.  The Suva St Gospel Chapel is the church where the School for the Deaf in Fiji come each Sunday.  It was lovely to fellowship with them.  We were a bit worried at first because by the first song there were only about 6 of us who were audible.  Church started at 10 and the elders arrived at 10.15 which is when we started the service - Fiji time!   We survived and had a great morning.

I have been struggling a bit lately.  It is funny how God uses new situations to bring home old truths.  I know that a persons 'success' is not based on wealth or looks or possessions or even education.  It is not measured by what we achieve but rather true success is measured by our obedience and devotion to the Lord.  It seems however that I have been measuring my success by other things.  I discovered this as I have felt very 'unsuccessful' lately. 

Apparently I measure my 'worth' or 'value' by how well my housework is up to date, how disciplined I have been with my exercise, how well I prepare food and how 'good' my homemaking abilities are.  Well here, according to that, I am not so successful!  I am good with my exercise but all our food and eating is different. Our last pizza was undercooked and the chips were soft (different oven), I burnt my choc slice and accidently used casserole meat in a stir fry!   

I have a sasa broom to sweep the floor (a bunch of sticks tied together!) and my homemaking seems lacking.  I feel like my whole world is upside down and I have to reassess what I offer in this world.  As I had my quiet time I was reminded that I should instead judge my success by my love for the Lord and my love for my neighbour.  I would appreciate your prayers as I try to readjust my thoughts to that of Scripture that I may continue to honour the Lord and not be so hard on myself in my 'living' in Fiji.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Bula Vinaka - from Jeremy

Bula Vinaka,
I hope all is well with you.  Everything is going really well here.  After some really hot days today was very cool in comparison.  Top temp was 24 but it feels like 19.

I was able to catch up with one of our past students from 2012.  He was able to tell me all the good things that the Lord has been able to do through him.  Since the SOE, he and his wife have planted a church due to the number of conversions they have been involved in.  A lot of the converts they are now discipling are from Hindu and Muslim backgrounds.  The power of the Gospel has been able reach into these families and bring a mighty change.

Today was the first day of the SOE.  It was a great but tiring day of lectures.  Unfortunately not all who have registered attended today but we are expecting a few more to arrive over the next few days.  At this stage we have about  20 students.  It is really encouraging seeing the Lord at work in this place.

One of the students who is aged 27 shared that for the last 10 years of his life he has been running away from God because he felt that due to certain repeated failures or issues in his life God would abandon him and would no longer forgive him or help him overcome his problems.  This caused him to struggle with his relationship with the Lord.  It wasn't until today, through the teaching of God's word, that he realised in his heart that God has forgiven him and there is no more condemnation in Christ.  Today he felt for the first time that he was free.  His guilt, that he had been hanging on to for a long time, was gone.  Now all he wants to do is pursue the Lord with his whole heart and serve him with everything he has.

Praise the Lord that He is the one that binds the broken hearted and can set captive people free!  Please continue to pray for me and the school.  Pray that the other registered students would arrive safely and that the Lord would continue to sustain me.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

What is Normal?

Well we have been here a little over a week now and are feeling somewhat settled.  It is a blessing to live in a real house this time.  I have not internet on my computer and are having trouble getting my emails so if you emailed me and I have not replied that is why.

This is our house.  We have a real kitchen, a dining table - where we do all our school work. There is also a table in the kitchen and another on our balcony. 
This is the view from our balcony.  We also have ocean views out the other side but my camera went flat!

We are developing a good routine with school and daily activities although I have to get used to doing housework etc outside of school hours.  The kids are not on 'holiday' yet as they will have some time off when my parents come to visit.  We will also have a week off when we venture up the coast and stay on Plantation Island.

Every time I visit a new country it isn't long before I feel a little lost and insecure.  At home in NZ I know how I fit in my society and in my culture.  But in a new country I am very out of place.  Here in Fiji I look different, sound different, not everyone understands what I am talking about, I don't think anyone gets my sense of humour, I have no idea what most things in the vege market are let alone what to do with them and I think I insulted the bus driver! 

Being so out of place has made me feel a little uneasy as I don't know how I fit.  As I pondered this last night I realised that at home I compare myself to the world around me to find how 'well I am doing'.  But that strategy is not right! I am reminded that my standard for functioning and how I behave needs to be judged against the standard of God's Word.  The kindness and compassion He calls for is necessary in all cultures.  The love for people is needed the world wide and my pursuit of holiness should be the world over.  Please pray for me that I would focus on what He desires from me not what the world or culture around me expects.

One other thing that makes me feel a little uneasy about Fiji is the Australian influence - even the Weetbix has been affected!

Jeremy has done some preparation for the SOE and is looking forward to starting it.  This year he is in a church with Air conditioning so that is quite exciting - although I am worried that the students will get cold.  It is his birthday on Wednesday - but no day off!  Pray that we would be able to make it special and that we would pick a restaurant with good food!

Monday, 8 July 2013

We have internet!

Well we have been in Fiji now for 4 days and already my tan is evident!  We arrived on Friday at lunch time and were eventually picked up from the airport by our dear friend Peter who is on the OAC Committee here. He takes good care of us helping us to get set up. 

He took us to a possible 'house' to look at.  It was the third floor down in a house that cascaded the hillside into a gully.  It was under construction a little bit and so was in need of a good clean.  It looked ok but the was no oven and the fridge was about 3 rooms from the kitchen.  The kids were no so keen.

We then travelled to another house that my dad found online with Harcourts. This is the one we choose.  It is a lovely 3 bedroom place with an office.  We are upstairs with others living below us.  It is bright and sunny.  We have running hot water, a new fridge, oven and washing machine to ourselves and it is clean and homey.  The kids preferred this one. We stayed with a lovely Fijian family for the weekend who treated us very well and have now settled in and are very happy. 

We went to Unity Baptist Church on Sunday where Robert Siakimotu and his wife were visiting.  We ended up having lunch with them and others from church which was really nice.  God has been good to us.  We also met an Australian family that has lived here for 8 years.  They gave Jem their details and so we will meet up with them at some stage. It is such a blessing to be in this place.

The School of Evangelism starts on Monday and so Jeremy will meet with the committee sometime this week.  At this stage they have over 30 ready to come but that could easily climb to 40.  Please pray for the students getting ready to begin the school and also for Jeremy and the last minute details that need to be sorted out.

Thanks for all your prayers.  We are all safe, happy and warm!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Time has come!

Well the time is here.  One more sleep in our home for a couple of months.  We head up to Auckland tomorrow lunch time and then fly out early Friday morning.  We have not heard yet where we will be staying but God does!  Please continue to pray for us over the next couple of days as we get the last minute things ready, try to close our bags and get settled in our new digs!