Community Visit: Bible Society of the South Pacific – Fiji Mission on Vanua Balavu Island, Fiji.

An old lady participated in the “Taking Your Pain to the Cross” exercise in Vanua Balavu Island, Fiji.

Vanua Balavu Island, a captivating blend of coral and volcanic beauty, spans an area of 53 square kilometers (20 square miles) and boasts a peak elevation of 283 meters (928 feet). The island’s distinct characteristics include towering cliffs with rich volcanic soil, ample water resources, and thermal springs.

Lomaloma, the central village, hosts amenities such as a post office situated in Lomaloma copra port, and a modest hospital. The Lomaloma Copra Biofuel Project, previously a crucial power source for Naqara, Sawana, and Lomaloma villages, is now inactive.

Vanua Balavu Island offers a unique fusion of natural allure, cultural heritage, and essential infrastructure, making it a standout and compelling destination in the region.

The training modules extended to Vanua Balavu encompassed Trauma Healing workshop, Hermeneutics Seminar, and Sunday School Teachers Training.

Four teams, part of the Bible Society of the South Pacific – Fiji Mission team, embarked on visits to various communities within the island. These teams were strategically designated to specific communities, each focusing on conducting impactful training sessions and activities.

After a Trauma Healing Group session at Mavana village, Vanua Balavu Island, Fiji.
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4th – 13th February, 2023.

Vision Day Australia encompassed a dual focus: a showcase of Bible Society Australia’s accomplishments throughout 2022 and an insightful glimpse into what the organization has planned for 2023. Additionally, the event involved productive meetings between our teams and our Australian counterparts, fostering collaboration and exchange of ideas.

I thoroughly enjoyed the insightful five-voices training hosted at the Australian Catholic University in North Sydney. The training was expertly conducted by Penny, the Chief Welfare Officer for the Bible Society Australia. The training program included an 80-question quiz that needed to be completed prior to the session. This quiz serves as a valuable survey aimed at understanding one’s personality, a crucial aspect for effective teamwork within the Bible Society.

The initial session revolved around the theme of self-awareness and appreciating the diverse voices within our teams. From this exercise, I gained a valuable lesson: I plan to take the quiz to Fiji and encourage my team members to complete it. This initiative will enable me to better understand and respect their individual voices, fostering a harmonious and effective team dynamic within the Bible Society.

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Empowering Batiki Island: Bible Society Fiji Mission Team’s Transformative Journey in Lomaiviti

In the beginning of 2022, the Bible Society of the South Pacific-Fiji Missions team received an invitation to visit Batiki, and the visit was scheduled for New Year’s Day 2023 and the subsequent days in January.

Preparations were diligently made, and on December 31st, two teams were formed, comprising two Trauma Healing facilitators and one Sunday School Teachers Training facilitator each, totaling six members. They commenced their journey by heading to Ovalau first and then transferring to Batiki island via a small boat.

The team devoted 7 days to their mission on Batiki (from December 31st, 2022, to January 6th, 2023), during which they carried out the following activities:

1. Trauma Healing Workshops: The team conducted healing groups in all four villages of Batiki, reaching and teaching a total of 65 individuals.

2. Hermeneutics Seminar: This ran parallel to the Trauma Healing training, leveraging the same facilitators. The team successfully imparted knowledge to a total of 65 participants.

3. Sunday School Teachers Training: Two training venues were set up on the island, where a comprehensive total of 35 teachers from Batiki were trained and equipped.

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Empowering Vanuatu Against Domestic Violence: A Journey of Healing and Education

As of December 2022; after the recruitment of the Program Manager Mrs. Renata Netaf, she has met with 14 leaders from Churches and relevant agencies.

As at 30th March, 2023 5 Domestic Workshops have been held, once in Port Vila and four in Santo. A total of 91 people have been reached with the training that have been held so far.

From the 21st – 24th February, 2023 HWT Training of Trainers/Initial Equipping sessions on the (5 Core Lessons) + Domestic Violence was held at the Vanuatu Council of Churches Training room in Port Vila, Vanuatu. A total of 22 participants turned up at this training. The training was also to train the Program Manager Mrs. Renata so she could facilitate future trainings. Representatives from churches, Women’s groups, and other agencies were at the training. The workshop had a mix of experienced and seasoned church leaders and prominent lay members from various. The workshop identified five potential partners and co- facilitators that Vanuatu Mission Branch Domestic Abuse project can call upon to facilitate on a volunteer basis and for collaboration purpose. Participants were eager to take the training to their own communities to share the knowledge and healing with their own people. 18 participants were awarded the Apprentice facilitator certificate at the end of the training and advised that they co-facilitate for the next 24 months.

From the 1st – 7th March, 2023, the HWT Training of Trainers on the 5 Core Lessons + Domestic Violence was held at the Church of Christ hall in Santo, Vanuatu. The Facilitator Mr. Jack Reuben and co-facilitator Mrs. Ledua Turaganivalu and Mrs. Renata Netaf facilitated at this training.

Unfortunately, the Master Facilitator Rev. Apenisa could not join the team in Santo as all the local flights were cancelled as the nation was advised to get prepared for the upcoming natural disaster. That week, Vanuatu had two cyclones one after another in Vanuatu. Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Judy first hit Port Vila from early morning on Wednesday (1/3/23) and followed by Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Gavin on Friday afternoon (3/3/23).

Meanwhile in Santo due to the disruptions of the TC Judy warnings and alerts the training was deferred from the 28th of Feb to 1st March. The training was scheduled to be completed on the 3rd of March but due to the cyclone and earthquake the training had to be cancelled and re-scheduled for 7th March. The turnout of participants was affected. From the 25 participants that were invited, only 9 people attended the training. Nevertheless, those who attended were privileged and blessed to be part of the training. There were lively discussions during group discussions and sharing sessions.

Sharing of hurts and griefs greatly helped the participants healed. Six of the nine participants were awarded the Apprentice facilitator certificate at the end of the training. They were advised that they co-facilitate for the next 24 months to gain more knowledge and confidence in facilitating. We thank God that after the newly trained Program Manager received the training she was able to facilitate the three trainings below with the help of others that received the training in Santo.

  • 19/03 – Domestic Violence workshop was carried out at the Presbyterian Church in Santo. 25 women were participants at this training.
  • 26/03 – Domestic Violence workshop was carried out at the Presbyterian Church in Santo. 12 men were participants at this training
  • 27/03 – Domestic Violence workshop was carried out at the Presbyterian Church in Santo. 23 youth were participants at this training.
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Jesus All About Life Distribution Initiative Touches Lives in Fiji

In  an effort to share the message of Easter and bring joy to the lives of orphaned children, children in communities and the elderly, the Jesus All About Life Easter Distribution initiative took place in the Rewa Province and orphanages in the Nausori-Lami Corridor of Fiji. This collaborative  effort, made possible through partnerships with local authorities and Bible Society Australia, aimed to provide Easter storybooks for communities and the same for the orphanages but with the inclusion of food vouchers to help in their day to day operations. The initiative’s impact surpassed expectations, leaving a lasting impression on the lives of those involved.

Objective and Execution:

The primary objective of the Jesus All About Life Easter Distribution initiative was twofold: to spread the message of Easter by providing the much-needed educational and recreational resources to children in the 37 villages in the Rewa province and orphanages in the Nausori-Lami Corridor, with food vouchers to help in the day to day operations. Meticulous planning, including visits to the Rewa Provincial Council and obtaining approvals from the Department of Social Services, laid the groundwork for a successful execution. Collaborations with Bible Society Australia ensured access to Easter Storybooks.

Over a span of five days, the dedicated team embarked on a journey, visiting 37 villages across the Rewa Province and 7 Homes in the Nausori-Lami Corridor. The distribution process was carefully organized, ensuring that the storybooks and food vouchers reached the intended recipients in a timely and efficient manner.

Outcomes and Impact:

The Easter Storybooks Distribution initiative yielded amazing outcomes, touching the lives of countless children and elderly individuals in the communities visited:

Extended Reach: By distributing materials to village headmen, the initiative successfully reached a broader demographic of children, transcending denominational boundaries. The involvement of orphanages and Homes catering to the needs of disabled children and the elderly ensured that the initiative brought joy and knowledge to those who needed it the most.

Positive Impact: Feedback from the staff of orphanages and aged-care facilities was overwhelmingly positive. The provision of Easter storybooks uplifted the spirits of these communities, empowering them with tools for growth and learning.

Awareness and Collaboration: The initiative created greater awareness about the season of Easter and the work of Bible Society of the South Pacific and its partners.

Challenges and Lessons Learned:

Throughout the initiative, the team encountered various challenges, including logistical constraints and accessibility to remote villages. These hurdles served as valuable lessons, emphasizing the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and cultural sensitivity in community-driven activities. . Such challenges also shed light on the need for continued support and sustainable solutions to address the needs of these affected communities.



The Jesus All About Life Easter Distribution initiative in the Rewa Province and the Nausori-Lami Corridor of Fiji illustrated the transformative power of collaboration, compassion, and a shared vision. By extending the reach of the initiative, the team successfully touched the lives of orphaned children and the elderly, and children in the communities by spreading joy and knowledge throughout the region. This initiative not only left a lasting impact on the recipients but also paved the way for future activities aimed at promoting literacy, empathy, and inclusivity in Fiji. Through such collective efforts, we can continue to make a positive difference in the lives of those who need it the most

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