Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bula, bula, bula! (Hello, hello, hello) We made it to Fiji!! After a pretty uneventful, but long, day of travel we arrived at Nadi (pronounced Nandi) airport. The trip through customs was easy. The people here are so incredibly friendly. They are easy to talk to and eager to hear about you and where you're from. Our CDTS group is made up of 15 people, and at least one gecko, who is living in our room with us. The Derushas are Frank and Denise and their five children Caleb, Tavita, Micaiah, Israel, and Isaiah. They are from Arizona. The Munfradas are Chick and Lynda, they are from Colorado. Bill Cheney is from California. The Oosterhouses are Dan and Robin and their three boys, Caleb, Joshua and Nathaniel. They are from Michigan. We are still in the process of getting settled and accustomed to the time change. One of the Derusha kids was up at 3:30 this morning, he was still on California time. All of the kids are doing great they are loving the pool that is at the hotel. It's a great way for them to expend all the extra energy that has been built up after a 10 1/2 hour flight from L.A. We already had a meeting with Pastor Mike, one of the pastors that we will be working with in Lautoka. He gave us some insight into some specific areas that we can minister too. One of the areas he spoke about was the area of relationships, both in the church and in families. He was glad that our team was composed of couples both with and without kids. He said that we would be examples to the people of good relationships. Pastor Mike also explained to us about how the tourism trade in Fiji has caused the Fijian people to have preconceived notions about western people. They assume that all Americans are Christians. When they see Americans doing wrong things, they see it as Christians doing them,and they have a hard time believing that Christians can do such things. That is also true between the Indo-Fijians and the Fijians. Most of the Indos are Hindu, but they see all of the Fijians as being Christians, even the thieves and such. Why would they want to become a Christian if that is what Christians are doing? One of the most important things that Pastor Mike said, was that the people are sick of hearing about Jesus, they need to see Jesus. We have to give them a positive view of Christianity. One of our speakers, Dean Sherman, said that we need to show people the treasure we are, so that they will want to sell their fields (religion) and buy ours. Matthew 13:44 says: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field" We have to show the people around us that we are not like the world. We have been set apart by God as His treasure. If the world doesn't see us as any different, we have a problem. We hope that we can be a light to the people of Fiji, and that we can show them the treasure that God has made us.