Sunday, December 27, 2009

Monday we were supposed to go to Sigatoka again, but just for the day. But we got the call that they still didn't have electricity or water. Later in the day it finally came on and we started making plans to go there for two days instead of only one. The rest of the day was spent preparing for the ministry (kid's programs mostly) we would be doing and packing for the couple of days we'd be gone.

Tuesday we headed to Sigatoka. We arrived there about noon and had lunch. We stayed at what they call a backpacker “resort”, which is set up with lots of bunks and not as glamorous as what you'd expect a resort to be. It turned out that the place we were staying still didn't have electricity, but it had water so we were able to stay and accomplish the things we needed to. Right after lunch the neighborhood kids from around the resort came and we put on a program for them. We had the clowns and puppets and a few little skits and ended by playing some games with them. After the program we had some time to play in the ocean and see a lot of interesting wildlife. There was a lot of debris on the beach from the big storm from last week, so after supper we had a huge bonfire on the beach. Pastor Gabbie filled us in on the history of the village we would be visiting the next day as well as some history of Fiji. Bill hope to have him come to future classes and teach them about what he spoke to us about.

Wednesday we went to Dicuvu's (pronounced Deethuvu) village. Dicuvu is Pastor Gabbie's wife. Her father is the chief of the village and the high chief of 110 villages on the western side of the island. He is a born again Christian and has been working on his brother, the next in line to for leadership and vice president of the Methodist church of Fiji, to stop the kava drinking in the Methodist church. Dicuvu's dad was away that day so the brother was overseeing our visit. We were brought to the meeting house in the village and had a short ceremony where we presented the chief with some gifts of flour and sugar. Traditionally we would present the chief with some of the root that they grind for the kava, but since we couldn't have any part of that we were able bring the other things instead. After the gift ceremony they immediately started mixing up a bowl of kava for the men to drink while we did the kid's program. It's really sad to see. It used to be that only the chiefs would drink the kava, and then only one bowl and they would be done, but it has exploded over the island and young people and women have started drinking it. We started the kid's program and did the gambit of clowns and skits. The DTS team from Chico joined us there and they also did some things with the kids. We all went outside to play a few games. We returned to the meeting house and asked if we could pray with the children, and were given permission. Then we asked if we could pray over the women and men that were there drinking the kava and watching with their children. Again we were given permission. One of the DTS girls prayed over the chief's wife for her knee which was causing her some pain. Then we asked if we could pray over the chief and lay our hands on him. He gave us permission and a few of our group gathered around him and prayed. We didn't have any clue at the time how big a deal all of these things were. Later Lynda was talking to Dicuvu about it, and there had never been any public prayer spoken in that meeting house. It had only been used for tribal ceremonies. Dicuvu had come to the village about 20 minutes after we left and the chief's wife knee was completely healed by the time she arrived. Because of that and the other things that had happened, Dicuvu told us that YWAM teams would be invited to that village to speak and pray over the people there for healing and hopefully have an impact on the kava issue that is gripping the people there. What an incredible blessing to be a part of something so huge. Thank you God for the opportunity! We returned to the Sandalwood later that day.

Thursday, Christmas Eve, was a day for packing up and preparing for the move to Lautoka. Later in the evening the DTS came and we celebrated Christmas together. We had a fun time of sharing our stories together.

Friday was Christmas and we worshiped with our church family at EWC. Afterwards we were treated to a Christmas lovo that they provided for us and members of their congregation that weren't returning home to their families. What a great time of fellowship and fun.

Saturday was final packing and moving to Lautoka. Bill went ahead with all the luggage, and the rest of the team followed on the bus. We are staying at the Personal Transformation Center (PTC) which is a YWAM base. We met all the staff and enjoyed a nice dinner with them. After dinner we had a meeting to tell us the things we would be doing while here.

Sunday we went to a local Methodist church that was all in Fijian. The rest of the day we had off and were able to relax before a really busy week of ministering to the people here.

We are glad for God's protection during the move and for the few staff members that are here during the Christmas break to help us. They are truly a blessing to us.

We now have pictures up on the blog, just look to the left of this post and take a look at them.