I (David) recently returned from a trip to Fiji where I had quite an adventure! I went with my friend, Pastor Dan Boyd from Hope Chapel Foursquare Church in Santa Rosa, California. We traveled by big and small planes, trucks, boats, and vans to several different villages and cities on three different islands to visit pastors and churches. We had quite a few adventures! One being a night-time boat ride in stormy seas with no lights. We preached, taught, evangelized, met, and encouraged many pastors and leaders.
Dan introduced me to several people he knows and has ministered with over the last six years. This introduction has definitely given me a head start in building relationships with the many wonderful people we met. I am extremely grateful to be able to learn from him and to be his friend.
By far my favorite part of the trip was making several new friends! I kept thinking, “Wow! I get to come back soon and hang out with these wonderful people!” While there, I learned more about the culture and customs, but I have soooooo much yet to learn. My prayer is for God’s love to shine through us and over time our heart to serve will be evident. We look forward to being a part of what God is doing in the wonderful people of Fiji.
The hospitality in Fiji was amazing! We were warmly taken care of wherever we went on the islands of Taveuni, Kadavu, and Viti Levu. They treated us with warmth and kindness…and so much food! Everyday was a feast of tropical fruits like papaya, mango, pineapple, and bananas. We had fish, chicken, lamb, beef, and other meat. Dalo (taro root) was served with almost every meal as it is a staple starch along with cassava (tapioca root). I was hoping to lose a few pounds while traveling but easily maintained because of all the good food.
We met and traveled with several great people during this trip! I wanted to briefly share one story about how we were traveling by van on the main island of Viti Levu. We were traveling with Pastor Sashi from the big capital city of Suva to his small town of Raki Raki. After stopping to meet and encourage another pastor, Richard, and his family at his church in the northern part of Suva, we traveled up the road to Raki Raki. It was quite stormy and had been raining for almost a week. The rivers started flooding pretty bad. Many people said it was the worst they had ever seen. We kept driving and as we crossed bridge after bridge, the streams and rivers were almost over each bridge. In the outer part of the village of Savusavu a big river flooded the bridge and road. We turned around but the road was flooded behind us too. We were stranded on a small hill near some houses along with another car behind us with five people.
We sat in the van on the road for a couple of hours watching the rain and the floodwaters rise. We talked about life and ministry. After a while, we and the other stranded motorists were invited to wait out the storm in one of the houses nearby. We gladly accepted their invitation and hurried inside with all the others. We spent the next six hours sitting on the floor together talking and getting to know each other. We shared the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus with the people sitting there and one guy named Epeli surrendered his heart to Jesus. Pastor Dan then led him through a bible study and showed him some good passages to study. I loved seeing Pastor Dan and Pastor Sashi talk to Epeli about following Jesus! God knew why we were stranded there in that place with those people at that time! I also met and prayed with a stranded couple who were having difficulty getting pregnant, and I am believing God for a miracle. I can’t wait to visit Epeli and all my new friends in their village. He asked if Sashi and I would come and visit and plant a church there. The waters receded and we went our separate ways but I know God is at work.
I have been home for the last couple weeks, and we are close to being fully funded. We have 93% of our support raised. Praise Jesus!!! We are still getting all of our logistics figured out for moving a family to a different country. Lord willing, we will hopefully be moved sometime in February.
Thank you to those who are partnering with us in prayer and finances. We cannot do this assignment without your support and God working through us.
We are working a video to show more parts of this trip. I am learning how to edit and will share as soon as I can.