Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This was another busy, but rewarding week, including visits to two local schools and a street fair in Nadi town centre, as well as continuing some of our on-going ministries with the local church.

Highlights of the week:

(1) On Thursday and Friday, we were invited into two local primary schools and so we put together a one-hour programme, including a puppet show, the children's worship band, skits, testimonies and a short presentation of the gospel message. The children responded very enthustiastically, especially to the puppets - we later discovered that this is very new here in Fiji, so we are making the most of this. The children at the second school swarmed us at the end for our autographs(!) and many wanted to be hear more about Jesus. We just wished we had had more time there.

(2) On Saturday, we hired an open-air stage in Nadi town centre and organised a small street fair and put on our complete programme of skits, etc. The animal balloons, in particular, were very popular with the children. Around 40 people came to watch and we were able to talk with many of them afterwards, including a Fijian woman who was afraid of her alcoholic husband and wanted to re-commit her life to Jesus. It's amazing how God keeps on setting up these divine appointments.

(3) Some of our group attended a small group study group at a local indian women's shelter in Navakai. They had just had a heated meeting before we turned up and without realising this our group led a discussion on the need for forgiveness and to let go of any bitterness towards others. Their first question afterwards was "How did they know?" We were able to minister to many of the individuals there and two of the children gave their lives to to the Lord. At the end of this study group, one of our members presented her idea for making and selling traditional Fijian dolls; she is currently preparing some sample dolls and will be teaching the women how to make them. Please pray that this vision will become a reality for these women as they would really benefit from this additional source of income.

(4) Another of our team has been running a course at the church for the childrens' leaders on children's work and parenting/ communication skills, using her prior expertise in this field. She has also been asked to do a series of training seminars on commincation and conflict resolution based on Christian principles for the 70 or so staff of a large local resort. Please pray for her as she prepares for this exciting, opportunity to use her gifts in an unexpected arena.

(5) The men's group also met for the second time on Sunday, using clips from movies to lead into a discussion on the spiritual 'strongholds' in our lives, such as pride, independence, and unforgiveness. Please pray for a leader from the church to take over this important ministry when we leave.

(6) In the afternoons, we have also been able to make many follow-up visits to families that we have visited and got to know in previous weeks in Navakai and elsewhere, building relationships and meeting practical needs. These are some of the most fruitful times for us as we find that God is giving us a heart for particular individuals.

(7) Team members have also made two visits to the children's ward at the local hospital, where we have been able to talk with and pray for the children there and comfort their mothers who are staying with them.

(8) Last, but not least, two of our youngest team members celebrated their birthdays this week with home-made birthday cake and a visit to McDonalds - a real treat for the children, who are trying to get used to a different diet here in Fiji.

Thank you to all of you who have been praying for us.

See you next week...