Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas in Fiji

Monday we were supposed to go to Sigatoka again, but just for the day.
But we got the call that they still didn't have electricity or water.
Later in the day it finally came on and we started making plans to go
there for two days instead of only one. The rest of the day was spent
preparing for the ministry (kid's programs mostly) we would be doing and
packing for the couple of days we'd be gone.

Tuesday we headed
to Sigatoka. We arrived there about noon and had lunch. We stayed at
what they call a backpacker “resort”, which is set up with lots of bunks
and not as glamorous as what you'd expect a resort to be. It turned out
that the place we were staying still didn't have electricity, but it
had water so we were able to stay and accomplish the things we needed
to. Right after lunch the neighborhood kids from around the resort came
and we put on a program for them. We had the clowns and puppets and a
few little skits and ended by playing some games with them. After the
program we had some time to play in the ocean and see a lot of
interesting wildlife. There was a lot of debris on the beach from the
big storm from last week, so after supper we had a huge bonfire on the
beach. Pastor Gabbie filled us in on the history of the village we would
be visiting the next day as well as some history of Fiji. Bill hope to
have him come to future classes and teach them about what he spoke to us

Wednesday we went to Dicuvu's (pronounced Deethuvu)
village. Dicuvu is Pastor Gabbie's wife. Her father is the chief of the
village and the high chief of 110 villages on the western side of the
island. He is a born again Christian and has been working on his
brother, the next in line to for leadership and vice president of the
Methodist church of Fiji, to stop the kava drinking in the Methodist
church. Dicuvu's dad was away that day so the brother was overseeing our
visit. We were brought to the meeting house in the village and had a
short ceremony where we presented the chief with some gifts of flour and
sugar. Traditionally we would present the chief with some of the root
that they grind for the kava, but since we couldn't have any part of
that we were able bring the other things instead. After the gift
ceremony they immediately started mixing up a bowl of kava for the men
to drink while we did the kid's program. It's really sad to see. It used
to be that only the chiefs would drink the kava, and then only one bowl
and they would be done, but it has exploded over the island and young
people and women have started drinking it. We started the kid's program
and did the gambit of clowns and skits. The DTS team from Chico joined
us there and they also did some things with the kids. We all went
outside to play a few games. We returned to the meeting house and asked
if we could pray with the children, and were given permission. Then we
asked if we could pray over the women and men that were there drinking
the kava and watching with their children. Again we were given
permission. One of the DTS girls prayed over the chief's wife for her
knee which was causing her some pain. Then we asked if we could pray
over the chief and lay our hands on him. He gave us permission and a few
of our group gathered around him and prayed. We didn't have any clue at
the time how big a deal all of these things were. Later Lynda was
talking to Dicuvu about it, and there had never been any public prayer
spoken in that meeting house. It had only been used for tribal
ceremonies. Dicuvu had come to the village about 20 minutes after we
left and the chief's wife knee was completely healed by the time she
arrived. Because of that and the other things that had happened, Dicuvu
told us that YWAM teams would be invited to that village to speak and
pray over the people there for healing and hopefully have an impact on
the kava issue that is gripping the people there. What an incredible
blessing to be a part of something so huge. Thank you God for the
opportunity! We returned to the Sandalwood later that day.

Christmas Eve, was a day for packing up and preparing for the move to
Lautoka. Later in the evening the DTS came and we celebrated Christmas
together. We had a fun time of sharing our stories together.

was Christmas and we worshiped with our church family at EWC.
Afterwards we were treated to a Christmas lovo that they provided for us
and members of their congregation that weren't returning home to their
families. What a great time of fellowship and fun.

Saturday was
final packing and moving to Lautoka. Bill went ahead with all the
luggage, and the rest of the team followed on the bus. We are staying at
the Personal Transformation Center (PTC) which is a YWAM base. We met
all the staff and enjoyed a nice dinner with them. After dinner we had a
meeting to tell us the things we would be doing while here.

we went to a local Methodist church that was all in Fijian. The rest of
the day we had off and were able to relax before a really busy week of
ministering to the people here.

We are glad for God's protection
during the move and for the few staff members that are here during the
Christmas break to help us. They are truly a blessing to us.

now have pictures up on the blog, just look to the left of this post and
take a look at them.

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