Saturday, May 12, 2007

We moved to Lautoka in week 6 and started our work with the Personal Transformation Centre (PTC), which is a new YWAM ministry that runs kid's clubs, offers Christian counselling and skills training for the benefit of the local community. We are all staying at the PTC and (for the most part) enjoying living in very close community with one another. It's hard to imagine whaty it will be like having a whole house to ourselves again!

Highlights:

(1) We have helped to run several kid's clubs in the local area with the staff from the PTC, which has been great fun. Nearly 100 children came along the first club in Natawonga, a council estate in one of the poorer areas of Lautoka - and we organised soccer, face-painting, volleyball, story-telling, gymnastics, and crafts, plus skits including our very popular Doctor Skit! We all enjoyed sharing in the obvious enthusiasm of the children and working so well together as a team. The following Monday and Tuesday, we established a new kid's club at small house church and about 40 children came along at short notice, helping to put into practice that pastor's vision to reach out to the many children living in his neighbourhood. And, then there were another three kid's clubs on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - seeing those children's smiling faces kept us going all week! Please pray that the new kid's club will continue after we leave.

(2) Whilst all this was going on, some of our team also found time to make regular morning visits to a local older person's home in Lautoka. One of our team members had the idea of doing foot and hand massages, which was really appreciated and helped to overcome the language barrier. The next day, two translators appeared from nowhere and we had a powerful time of worship and testimonies as the Holy Spirit touched many of the older people there. Three people gave their lives to the Lord and we were able to go back the next day to encourage and disciple them.

(3) In the afternoons, team members were able to visit the local hospital to entertain and pray with the children and mothers in the children's and maternity wards. Two of our team members dressed up as clowns and performed a comedy sketch for the children.

(4) On Sunday, the whole team attended the Victory Centre church in Lautoka and enjoyed the joyful worship there. Some of our team members performed an interpretative dance and gave a short message on the motherly qualities of God (as it was Mother's Day here). On Monday, we were able to do some door-to-door evangelism with the same church in a poor indian village that they are trying to reach out to. Five people gave their lives to the Lord - we were just sad that we won't be able to return there before we leave.

(5) Looking back on our time here in Fiji, it is clear that in the midst of all our different ministries, God has also been changing our hearts as we have lived out and shared our faith together. We will each go back with many stories of how God has moved in and through us and will never forget our time here.

Next week, we return to Nadi for two days for our debriefing time and then fly back to the US on Friday. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and for all your prayers during our time here and back in Chico. To all our friends in the Guatemala team, we look forward to seeing you again soon!!! Heidi - we will miss you.

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