It’s 11 at night. It’s dark and raining. Paul, David and I are together. Three men roll up in a white van, one jumps out and says “get in the van!” We’re shuffled to the back and driven through Lautoka with no idea where we are going and what is going to happen. I look at David and say “I don’t have my passport” he says “neither do I and I don’t have my phone”. We pull up on an unexpected gathering…
Let’s go back to the beginning and tell you how we got to that point.
The morning started how it has the last few days. We had breakfast at the apartment, toast and cereal, then got ready to head to the Fiji National Foursquare district conference. The day starts on Fiji time meaning the first speaker is scheduled to start at 9:30 and we fire up breakfast around 10:15. Then we eat! Then the first speaker. That is one thing about gatherings in Fiji, we eat at every one! Delicious Indian and Chinese food prepared by awesome Jesus loving folks for 40 or 50 people. Think about trying to do that at every gathering of the church, home cooked dinners for 50!
David Bickley kicks off the morning with a great message, then we hear from Pastor Mark from Beaverton Foursquare. He had been sick yesterday and was still feeling under the weather today but gutted up to come share with us. He gave a great message about being a shepherd like Jesus. Very good! Then padare (pastor in Hindi) David shares a message about evangelism. You maybe can guess the three main points: Find Tell Bring. Another Life Center Joe-ism making it around to world to help more people find and follow Jesus!
Then the conference is over. We reset the room for the worship seminar, head to the store to buy some ice cream and cold sodas, then head back for dinner. More delicious food! (As a side note, every mission trip I have ever been on, you’ll always find the Gora’s [white people] at the grocery store buying sodas and chips)
(Another side note, David and Cami proudly eat Indian food with their hands, just like real Indians! If you want some fun reading, research why Indian people only eat with their right hand. 😬)
We kick off the worship conference with some singing. Another great night of worshiping the Lord together with these very passionate Fijians! Seriously, the fervor with which these people worship God is so inspiring. We sing, we hear a message on the qualities of a worship leader, then we sing again.
(*Hey everyone…this is Cami for a second! Eric wrote this entire blog and failed to mention that HE was the one preaching at the worship conference both nights. “He” being capitalized for emphasis not because it was God talking. Although God was talking…through Eric…so I suppose you can take it any way you desire. Anyway! He taught on the character of a worship leader & it was dang good. He led us into a ministry time and then hopped on the guitar & led us in worship. My man of all trades. End of Cami’s insert 🙌🏽*)
We are challenged to live a life fully surrendered to God and we take some time to pray for each other. It’s a powerful scene to look around the room and see Fijians and Americans praying for each other to be better followers of Jesus.
The evening ends with more passionate singing and even a little white guy dancing. (I won’t say who, but it wasn’t Paul Lack… Or David… or the other David. So yeah, it was me, I like to shake it for the Lord.) We pack up the hall, load up the vans, and get prepped for the combined service tomorrow morning. We’re hoping for 300+ people at a high school in Lautoka to celebrate everything God is doing in Fiji.
So back to the beginning, the white van. Paul David and I went to help set up for the service tomorrow. Pastor Richard was kind enough to drive us in his van. When we got to the school, there was a wedding in progress. It was in full swing so we decided that we couldn’t wait to do set up tonight. We’ll attack it in the morning! It’s daylight savings in Fiji today so we get an extra hour of sleep. Love y’all, moce!