On Saturday, we spent the day in Lautoka at the Foursquare church hosting a women’s conference. Ceila, Ginger and I joined their worship team or choir, as they call it, for worship in the morning. We sang What A Beautiful Name and hearing the outcry of spontaneous worship from the church and the rest of the choir was an especially special moment for me. The Holy Spirit has been so evident on this trip.
Sam and Jake wrangled the children while the women enjoyed a special event focused on them. The boys did a phenomenal job engaging these adorable kids, playing games, giving away Hi-Chews, and teaching God’s word to them. Meanwhile, Danielle kicked off the women’s conference with a message on Joseph. She reminded us of this incredible story of faith and how even though Joseph’s circumstances looked bleak, God was still faithful to his promise. I followed Dannielle and told some of a lonely season I went through shortly after getting married and how Jesus also experienced loneliness. We see Jesus’ clear portrayal of loneliness through His death on the cross, as Matthew 27 depicts. But, we also see how we now have full access to closeness with Jesus through the tearing of the curtain and His resurrection.
After lunch we did more worship and one of the choir members asked Ceila and I for a “praise” song. We had few songs on our list that they also knew so, we chose to sing “Happy Day” and in 5 minutes we were up to sing. It started out fine and then I completely forgot the words and died laughing. Well, it might not have been eloquent or pretty but it was the joy of the Lord was present.
Angela gave a short message and Robyn and Ginger gave longer messages. Through everyone’s messages, it was so evident that God was working in each of us to bring all our messages together. Everyone’s message had some sort of tie into another’s message. This holy orchestration made for a wonderful day of ministry.
Our fourth day here was Sunday and we had a full day of ministry planned for us. We began in Lautoka with a bible study for each age group: kids, youth and adults. Then, Ceila, Ginger and I were asked to join the choir again for worship. It truly is such a joy to worship alongside the people of Fiji. They embody so much joy through their praises. After worship, Robyn gave a message on the Lord’s Prayer. They had a Hindu interpreter and although it was her first time giving a sermon with interpretation, she killed it. Following her message, we ate lunch served to us by the church leaders. The food here is A-MAZ-ING and we are constantly blessed by the hospitality of the people here.
After lunch we loaded up the cars to Qerelevu. I like to call this church, the church on the hill. This church sits on a hill in the midst of the Fijian countryside. It’s surrounded by beautiful mountains and farms. The church is small but, the people are so welcoming. We’ve spent a lot of time with Pastor Nita and her five daughters. God is using her and her daughters to bring change into their community. We began with worship here for church, led again by Ceila and I. “What A Beautiful Name” is very well known here so, that’s always a good go-to song. We also sang, “Holy Spirit”, and singing this song in this picturesque church on a hill and small congregation gave me goosebumps! Then, Nita’s two eldest daughters led us in a few worship songs as well. Following worship, Ceila and I gave our testimonies and Ginger brought the main word for the evening. After service the church leaders had tea and homemade snacks for us and we watched a storm pass over us with lots of rain. I watched as Clara, the Bickley’s youngest daughter danced by herself in the rain and loved every second of it. Again, we were blessed and I mean blessed, with Fijian hospitality. During snacks, as especially special moment I witnessed was Ceila, calling out a word from the Lord in one of Nita’s girls who is called Sweetie. Ceila felt the Lord say that she was meant to be a worship pastor one day. So, during snacks, Ceila took her to the front porch of the church, gave her the guitar and began to teach her some basic chords. It was such sweet moment for all of us to witness.
We ended the day with swimming in the Ba River, which was just a short drive from the church. The river was calm and warmer than expected. We got to swim with Nita, her girls and other people from the church. A highlight of my day was watching all the happiness of the kids as they splashed and swam across the shallow river together. Once everyone was dried off, we went back to the church for dinner made by Nita’s husband. Overall, it was an incredibly special day and we loved getting to bond with the church in Qerelevu.
We want to thank everyone for their continued prayers while we are here. Continue to pray for the people we encounter and our team, for health, wisdom, and boldness.
I’m signing off for now,