Well, after David finished his blog post yesterday, we had some additional late night events that lead to all of the team sleeping in one apartment, despite the fact that we have two separate apartments. As we got ready to go to bed after a long first day, we came to find an unknown man sleeping in a chair outside the girls’ apartment. Needless to say, us girls were pretty skeptical to go to sleep knowing there was a stranger sleeping just outside our door, so our brave boys politely woke the gentleman to ask what he was doing there. Turns out… he was actually a security guard there to protect us! However, we had psyched ourselves out so bad by this point, that we still felt it was best to stay together. Poor David slept on the most uncomfortable couch and seriously thought about just going down to the other apartment in the middle of the night. We were so grateful to have the boys and slept much more soundly knowing we had some muscle and brawn to take out any possible intruders…Even though we also had our own personal security guard. Although, he was asleep, so not sure how protected we would have actually been in the event of an actual threat.
We all slept soundly, no intruders! Praise Jesus! We started out the morning by having a worship rehearsal at a local foursquare church in the middle of a low-class settlement called, Tomuka. There are several small homes clustered together in these settlements, the people living there are leasing their lots, because in Fiji it is difficult to own your own land unless it was handed down to you through your family.
Turns out God is stretching me and at the beginning of the worship rehearsal, Cami encouraged me to sing harmony along with her and Eric. So, I am now singing at the Fiji National Foursquare Pastor’s Conference alongside some of the most talented worship leaders I know. Talk about unqualified and God pulling out old gifts that haven’t been used in a long time! The rehearsal was fun, but hot, as there is no air conditioning in the church.
After rehearsal it was time to eat! The food here has been AMAZING! And if you know me at all, I am NOT an adventurous food person, so this has been fun to again be stretched to try new things and be pleasantly surprised. Homemade lunch was provided to us at the home of the Fiji Foursquare President, Pastor John. There is so much fresh fruit here, which is a delicious treat since everything in the great PNW is frozen right now. Pastor John and his whole family have been so welcoming and kind, as have been all the Fijian’s we have met.
We left Pastor John’s home and headed to another settlement to do home visitations to share the gospel and pray for people. Along the way we picked up a few more evangelists from the local church. When we arrived at the settlement they broke us up into teams of four and we walked from home to home, meeting new people, sharing the gospel, hearing people’s stories and praying for their needs. IT WAS HOT, but wow this was an eye opening and humbling experience; to meet people who live with far less, yet some with a faith that would probably literally move mountains. People were so willing to welcome us into their homes, roll out their room size sitting mat and talk with us about Jesus, their personal struggles, their families and then allowed us to pray with them over their lives. Several people needed prayer for illness, jobs to provide for their families, and one older couple who shared about their grandson who had been in prison for over five years for theft charges. Sometimes it was difficult to understand their English through their heavy accents. Each team had one of the local evangelists with them to help with translating, so people would feel more comfortable in their native language, but almost everyone spoke some english.
A heavy afternoon rain blew through the settlement and it felt so refreshing. We headed back to the apartments to freshen up, and along the way stopped to help load firewood into a truck that will be used to cook food for the pastor’s conference tomorrow. People that were around made comments that they were surprised to see white Americans helping with manual labor work. Sad to know that in other parts of the world we are seen as lazy, but was glad that God provided us an opportunity to show that we wanted to serve in whatever way was needed.
We got a couple hours to relax and freshen up before we headed to another amazing home cooked meal. This time it was at the home of one of the church elders. She made a huge spread of Indian food and oh my gosh, it was delicious! Especially a green eggplant dish that you dipped small tortillas in, again my pallet was stretched and I was happy that I branched out! Her home was right next to the church and after dinner we met with the church’s local worship team for a music and vocal workshop. Never thought I would be teaching anyone about worship vocals, seeing that I literally just sang again for the first time earlier today.
I can’t even describe how much fun it was to see these Fijian Christians learning and playing new worship songs. We taught them What A Beautiful Name and they really seemed to like it! We stayed and worked with them until well after 9pm here, which feels like midnight to us. Even thought it’s technically midnight yesterday for us, so weird! I still can’t fully wrap my mind around the crazy time travel we did.
We just got back to the apartment around 10:30pm and are winding down and heading to bed. Tomorrow is the start of the pastor’s conference and we know that God has big plans for these pastor’s, so please pray for us as our team leads them in worship and biblical teaching. It will no doubt be another great day!