Friday, November 23, 2007

After twenty-four hours of travel time from the Chico YWAM base, the DTS and BLS students and our staff have arrived safely in Nadi Fiji. It was such a blessing to see Dale at the airport!  We have made ourselves at home just outside of Nadi in a three bedroom house that YWAM Chico is renting.  Dale also spent some time with us and helped us get set up in our new home.  Vinaka Dale!
Things seem to be moving a little slowly, but God is providing many opportunities for relationship building just around our neighborhood. There is an emphasis on building relationships and on crossing over to the Fijian and Indo-Fijian cultures. We want to reach the people where they are, and to do so are we are engaging ourselves in the day-to-day lifestyles of the Fijians. Which is, in essence simple. The Fijians are beyond friendly. They are very relational and willing to open both their homes and their lives to us Americans. You will not pass by more than three people without a cheerful “Bula!” (meaning hello) and a smile.
The first day of being here, the students went into town for a few hours. The shops were mainly owned by Indo-Fijians.  We walked around observing the culture and the people living in it. We talked to a few people about what we were doing in Fiji, and some knew about YWAM Chico.
We met up with our leaders and Dale at a McDonalds just a few miles down the road from where we are staying. We later met up with the Crossroader’s team and went to dinner together on a Port. After dinner there were a number of native dances and fire shows. It was nice to see a glimpse of the culture in that way.
The next day we started the morning with worship and a team meeting. Pastor Maikeli and his wife Va came to speak with us about the culture and Evangelism. They told us how grateful they were to have us come and be an example to their culture of what daily being a Christian looks like. They also encouraged us that even though we may not see the fruits of our time here, God is doing many things and has used many of the DTS ministries to minister and help change Fijian’s lives.
We will be working with Pastor Maikeli and Va for seventeen days doing an assortment of ministry. He has a church in Lautoka and we will be able to come alongside what God is already doing there to help serve and love on people.
Our second day of being in Fiji we also had an opportunity to go to the YWAM Fiji base to have dinner and fellowship with the staff and students there. They served us a traditional Fijian meal… fish cooked in coconut milk, casava, tarot root, muscles, and corned beef cooked in tarot leaves.  It was an all around good time. The Fijian dinner was amazing and the company was even better.  Everyone was so talkative and such a blessing to be around. They were very open about their lives and about what God has done and is doing in them.

After dinner they performed a few cultural dances for us and we all sang a few worship songs together. We left their company very blessed and encouraged. God is doing work in Fiji and in people’s lives all around the Eastern world.
It has been pouring rain the majority of our time here, but we hear that it will be getting warmer. The landscapes are beautiful and full of tropical delight. Our back yard has a banana, mango, and coconut tree. We also are blessed by the tropical plants and flowers that surround us daily.  I cannot express enough how much warmth is found in these people. I sometimes feel as though they are blessing us more than we are them. It is simply the Fijian way.
Yesterday and today we spent some time walking through the neighborhoods praying and getting to know the people. We met a local pastor from Shiloh International Church and were invited to come and visit their services. Everyone is so overwhelmingly hospitable, inviting us over for dinner and for friendly conversations.
We plan to take a trip into town today and visit the “Bula Festival” (a local carnival) in Nadi. We have hopes of emerging ourselves in the community a bit more, as well as whatever it is that God wants us to do.
Much of our time has also been spent in intercession and prayer for whatever it is that the Lord wants us to do. When we don’t have a set schedule we ask for guidance and the Lord is faithful in directing us. We have had many pictures and directions in our prayer times. God is sharing His heart with us, giving us the opportunity to work with Him rather than by our own understanding.
It is an honor for us all to be here and to be a part of what the Lord is doing throughout Fiji. We appreciate all of your prayers and your thoughts. We are excited for what awaits us over the next eight weeks. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
As the Fijians say, “Moce!”
God speed,

Fall 2007 DTS and BLS
YWAM Chico