Yandra Vinaka! (Good Morning)
A week has passed since I've arrived in Fiji. I feel at home. I've been able to accomplish a lot this week. I've become an expert Fijian driver. It's truly a test to be able to drive on the opposite side where there are bad roads with lots of curves and ups and downs. I traveled to Suva Thursday-Saturday to watch Pastor Nakiti's son Bill play rugby, the scenery was beautiful. During the trip, I was encouraged by Pastor Nakiti and Ima. They are always wanting to meet others' needs and give. Whenever we would run into someone they knew who they are close to, they would always without a doubt give them money or food. While in Suva, I also got to drink fresh cow's milk right from the farm. It had just been boiled, so it was hot and I drank it with sugar....I was hesitant at first, it was different...but good. Also in Suva, I was able to meet up with Tevita, a 23 year old who was part of the EE Intern Course I attended in Nadi last summer. It was so good to see him and catch up. God is continuing to do great things in Him as he attends Bible School and is a leader among the youth at his church. He truly is a Gospelcarrier. I am blessed by his perseverance in his faith.
I've also been able to see other friends from last summer. I'm hoping to begin a small group here at the training centre with several of my Fijian family (Panapasa, Sai, Sally, Joe). I'm praying that God would use me to reach out to them and guide them in their spiritual walks. I praise God for having Sai here, I know that if she wasn't here I would be lonely and antsy. God knew my need ahead of time, and I know He placed her here for that reason. Sai is selfless and works hard, she watches over me :) She is a really good cook. Her and I cooked a Filipino dish together the other night, yum.
I've been able to go into town to the open market where there are fresh fruits and vegetables. I've also bought more sulus to wear as I want to be part of their culture. I'm thinking of buying a sarisari as well whenever I visit Indian homes and churches. I'm learning more and more Fijian everyday and Sai has been teaching me Fijian worship songs.
On Sunday church was an all day event(We arrived at 10am and got back home around 5pm). All the church leaders and pastors gathered outside as the rest of the people went in the church for worship. Worship was amazing! Everyone jumping, dancing, lifting their hands and were out of their seats. Fijians love to worship. The church leaders welcomed me, and I was able to share my testimony about how I came to know the Lord, my walk with Christ, and why I believe God has brought me here to Fiji. I wish I was already fluent in Fijian, but Sai was patient enough to translate the sermon for me. After the service, the women prepared lunch. Church leaders and men eat first, then everyone else. In Fiji, you eat on the floor. They lay down mats and place the food in the middle. You don't drink anything til you are finished eating. After eating, you wash your hands in a bowl of water and wipe with a towel. I was able to get to know a few of the girls in the youth, Rusila and Amele. They invited me to come back to a youth gathering to speak and teach interpretive worship dance. The children there were precious, especially Navondre (see pic of boy in blue shirt and black sulu below).
I look forward to networking with church leaders and Implementation Field Workers (local EE staff here) in the coming weeks to visit churches and youth gatherings. Many doors are open, and I'm ready for every opportunity that comes! God is doing mighty things here.
Please be praying for the following:
*Adjusting to my new home and surroundings as I find my way around
*Continuing to learn the Fijian language
*Networking with local pastors and youth leaders
*Opportunities to share the Gospel and implement EE
*Opportunities to disciple and mentor the young people here
*Safety & Health as I travel around Fiji
Enjoy more pictures :)
Our dog Brownie has puppies!
Pastor Nakiti and Ima hanging out at Bill's school by the beach
Me and dearest Sally :)