Blog

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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VISION DAY with BIBLE SOCIETY AUSTRALIA

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.

 

Conclusion:

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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God’s Plan in Kumi’s Failure

Vakatawa Vetinia Kumi
Vakatawa Vetinia receiving Bible Society’s gift for her church.

THE wise man once stated that, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it’s the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). This scripture rings loud and true for Lay Pastor (Vakatawa) Vetinia Kumi who twice flopped her English, Fiji Seventh Form Examination paper, to finally realize the purpose and call of God in her life. Her ambition whilst at high school was to have a successful career and support her family. However, despite scoring good marks and failing the most important subject – English, Kumi realized she had to change vocation.

Growing up in her village of Naruwai in the province of Bua in Fiji’s second largest island – Vanua Levu, Kumi always shares her dream to her parents, that one day she’d become a Deaconess or a pastor. Then, she enrolled into the school system. It was in this education stream that her childhood dream slowly faded and she thought, to pursue a successful career. But later into her final year at high school level, that God miraculously moved in a way, that looked otherwise in the eyes of man but it was His way of making Kumi realize the Calling in her life.

“I thought I’ll become a civil servant as I continued my high school education. I really wanted to have a good career so I can help my parents and my family. But something happened, I failed my English paper, despite two attempts. I passed my Form 7 exam in my first attempt, but I failed my English which is the most important subject. So, I thought to give it another try. I changed school and attended Labasa Muslim College. I passed with very good marks but I still failed my English paper. Right at this moment, God just reminded me of my childhood dream that I always wanted to become a deaconess or a pastor,” the 27-year-old says.

She was offered an opportunity to study at the Lautoka Teachers College and simultaneously, the doors to study at the Fiji National University opened. But Kumi knew the experience she went through at high school is a beacon that she had to change course.

“From this experience, I told my parents of my desire and the Godly reason why I twice failed my English paper. It was a bit hard for them to accept but I’m happy that they’ve supported me until now.”

Kumi then attended the Methodist Lay Training Center (MLTC) in 2013, graduated in 2015 as the only female graduate. She spent a year looking after her village of Naruwai before being posted to her first posting at Tavulomo village in the circuit of Dama in the Bua division under the Methodist Church of Fiji. She’s now into her sixth year looking after a congregation of 156 members.

The pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 was an obstacle that she approached as a challenge. It was an experience that she could only thank God for giving her the wisdom to make wise decisions. As the people were suffering, she attributed God for the ‘motherly love’ instincts inbuilt in a woman that kicked within and had great impacts in the lives of the people.

“Covid-19 changed how things work in the ministry,” Kumi explained.

“Most people were not coming to church because they were used to the lockdown norm of staying home during the pandemic. But I believe that ‘tender love and caring’ characters in a woman especially mothers who’d care for their children, birthed compassion in me. I begin to treat people with love. I can feel God strengthening me in this area to show genuine love to the people and it really impacted them,” she adds.

“Later, after the lockdown, people slowly began to come of out of this new norm of staying home on Sundays to attend church. Some members who haven’t entered a church in more than 10 years begin to come to church now.”

She drew a lot of inspirations and invaluable lessons from her congregation. “It’s my members that really taught me a lot in the ministry. I learned a lot of things from my visit to the members on a personal level. It gives me inspiration to see how people are impacted and have grown despite the challenges of this covid-19.”

She adds ministry is tough. “Its worth travelling this tough journey. It’s a joy to do ministry because I know that in those tough situations, I am not alone – God is with me. I often hear from my circuit Pastor, that ministry is not only about preaching – it’s getting to know the people on a personal level, building that strong relationship with them,” she adds.

Vakatawa Vetinia with her son, Naivalu.

Kumi is married to Olive Rasue, who has been a pillar in the ministry. She says her husband’s support has really helped her grown.

“I thank God for my husband who is very supportive and understanding. I have my roles at home as a wife and as a mother and then there’s ministry. It’s hard trying to balance them all. But my husband helps me fulfill all these roles. Its his support and understanding that motivates me in the ministry.”

Kumi who is the only female Vakatawa in the division of Bua is breaking new grounds in a male dominant ministry. She is the first female from her village to journey this vocation. Kumi is also the pioneer Vakatawa in the village of Tavulomo where she ministers.  

She advices, “Struggle and life’s challenges will keep coming at us like waves but the only solution is God. Fiji, let’s serve God faithfully, build a good relationship and fellowship with God, come away from living a sinful life and you’d witness the favour of God in your life.”

One of her favourite bible verses, John 14:6; “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” is always a reminder that it’s through Jesus alone that all problems could be solved. 

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An Unorthodox Contribution to My Spirituality.

Tanya is a University of the South Pacific student awaiting her graduation later this year, 2022. She accompanied the Bible Society of the South Pacific team as a volunteer. This article is her contribution to Bible Society’s work and these are her personal opinions and experiences.

I was asked to recount my experience accompanying the BSSP Christmas distribution team across Viti Levu in the form of a blog. I must admit that my years of academic writing in university have gnarled my drive at creative writing and story-telling. So, the idea of a blog has never been attempted and totally new but nevertheless I welcomed the challenge.

A TRIP OF NEW OBSERVATIONS

It was on Saturday, 11th December that I had received a call from my elder sister – Teps, asking me to accompany her on their Bible Society 2021 Christmas Distribution tour across Viti Levu. Dazed mid-nap from the previous night’s wedding celebrations I agreed groggily and without hesitation before resuming my cozy nap. Chaos ensued Sunday night as my sister and I rummaged through our clothing looking for suitable stuff to pack for the five-day distribution, all the while the realisation of what I had agreed to unnerved me. In all honesty, amidst my indecisiveness of whether being spiritually apt to go on this trip (a thought quickly trampled by my sister), I more eagerly anticipated my chance of sight-seeing than what the initial attempt of the trip was.

After a prayer at the Pacific Energy bowser located by the Sawani-Serea road junction, we started off our long journey at around 6am towards Vunidawa. The team consisted of Talatala, Bis, Teps and myself. Of course, after Sunday’s post-church grog match, I did what I had recently mastered effortlessly, catching some sleep along the way. Falling in and out of slumber, the journey was still long but I was in for a surprise because right after departing Nawaqabena we met a group of Naqali kids supposedly either on their way to or from the farm. Their enthusiasm on receiving their books and having their picture taken perhaps became all too overwhelming as they collectively agreed to discard their cane knives for that quality picture, however they were reassuringly encouraged by the team to keep it in instead.

Children of Naqali, Naitasiri on their way to their farms received their Christmas storybooks from the Bible Society team.

Thus, they posed for this terrific picture which suddenly became a fan favourite. Unexpectedly, I began anticipating meeting kids along the way, just to see the joy and enthusiasm on their faces as they received their books and got their picture taken. I noticed the further we moved from civilisation, the more grateful and excited people were at receiving their Christmas package. This is in no way a demeaning strike at our urban centres and suburbs but the sheer appreciation and genuine gratefulness was what I noticed firsthand amongst my fellow highlanders and for me, that was satisfying enough. Additionally, these people were sincerely appreciative and at times surprised that such a team made an effort to bring the WORD in its various forms to them, to reach grassroots. Gradually, sight-seeing had become secondary and I eagerly became more involved with the team, as amateur as I was I offered to be a photographer whenever they needed. My excitement was met when we encountered kids in the most unusual places. Driving past Naluwai we met a few teenagers who had just received their COVID-19 vaccine jabs from the Vunidawa Health Centre and were on their way home.

Teenagers returning from Vunidawa Health Center for their COVID-19 vaccinations to walk right to Naterumai village, Naitasiri.

We continued onto Serea village before encountering these kids again at the Serea-Laselevu junction. It was saddening to see them slowly striving on-home in the scorching heat and for us helplessly having no room in the car. Considering we spent close to an hour at Serea, you would’ve been sad too if you saw these kids try and cover 3-4 miles of distance in such unbearable heat. It was half a day and getting the hang of mission work, as I was now calling this trip, I knew that we were far from done and we still had a long way to go before reaching Wailoa power station. Upon day two, even as we travelled up arduously on the road’s mountainous terrain towards the Hydro dam and leaving the Naqelewai junction we still caught sight of kids in the most unusual places.

These siblings from Naqelewai were alone at their roadside farmhouse with their parents probably out in the plantation and they received us enthusiastically; and of course we also met a mom with her two boys along the road just past the Monasavu dam and still a long way off from Nadrau, which was proving to be more surprising as it was enlightening.

There is great emphasis on both the former and the latter because in the middle of what was theoretically (or so I thought) uncivilised untainted lands, Fijians have somehow still managed to settle it.

FIJIAN HOSPITALITY

Recovering from Sunday’s post-church grogginess on day one, I prayed and playfully confessed to my sister that I was craving for some fish even though we were travelling up in-land (colo) and in the indigenous community we all knew that you only eat fish from the coastal regions and outer islands but nonetheless I craved longingly. As a kai-wai, some yummy fish served with chilles and moli (lemon/lime) would knowingly cure my unbearable grogginess. On day one there were plans to have lunch with our family at Nabena, Matailobau and when lunch was served (malea vakalolo with rourou) my prayers were answered and I was more thankful than I was surprised because of course, God delivered even in something as minute as this. The size of the Malea’s (Tilapia) and the tasty Boka’s (Dalo/taro) we had demonstrated the fishing skill of my Momo (uncle), a skill that could most probably rival that of any fisherman from the islands.

Our accommodation for day one was our EFL family at Wailoa power station who provided us with a quaint little ‘A house’ to rest in for the night before giving our tyre’s a good pump prior to continuing on for day two. Now, of course the gist of all of this is the inexplicable Fijian hospitality and to further accentuate the truth of this, was the floods of invitation we received along the way to take shelter, get some rest or have a hot meal. As late as we were from coming down the Nadrau-Tavua route, there still was a delicious meal waiting for us at our host’s in Tavua town (‘the lateness’ I will dive into later). Similar implications apply to our gracious hosts from Vatukoula my Tovata’s from Saqani, our YWAM-BSN family of Adam Street, Lautoka and of course our Nalebaleba family at Sigatoka Special School. I cannot overlook the instances of not only invitations of tea but the offering of it throughout our distribution such as Vatukoula’s AOG church and Wasewase Lautoka’s juice, tea and pastries. As well as being grateful to our Nalebaleba family in hosting us for grog. Certainly, the term ‘Fijian hospitality’ has been a recurring theme for Fiji Tourism and these! These exemplary instances are something I, as a Fijian am stupendously proud of.   

MISSION-WORK- an unorthodox contribution to my spirituality.

Avisai inspecting our flat tyre at Lutu. Wainimala.

Assuredly, I still have a few words left to share and this trip if described with one word, would be ‘enlightening’. I say this as a person who has always had a wayward outlook on spirituality and God especially. My enlightenment came from seeing the work and faith of the Christmas distribution team during my five days with them. If you have carried out mission work, then you’d know that mission work isn’t always smooth-sailing, ‘God always keeps you on your toes’. Obviously, I’ve saved the juiciest bit for last and it starts on day one. I remember us trying to chase sunlight after departing Serea and we were delighted to reach Lutu (Wainimala) around 3 or maybe 4pm in the afternoon. Our delightment was short-lived when on our bid to make it onto Matainasau was disrupted by a flat tyre. There, a few short metres from the entryway into the village, we sat. To further dampen our situation, our spare tyre was less useful than the flat one. I gravely panicked and almost failed miserably at composing myself but the team wasn’t openly panicking just yet. Instead the two men, ‘Bis’ and ‘Talatala’ walked back to the village to get help while Teps and I sat there expectantly. There wasn’t any luck in the village and we struggled with the available tools we found in the car. My anxiety peaked as my mind raced of where we could sleep if we were to stick around Lutu? Who would take us in? What would we eat? After some time, exasperated from all our attempts, a white fielder turned into the village and made its way toward us. The team were hopefully and almost sure that this was God-sent, I however, braced for disappointment as I’ve so often done before. Alas, I was proven wrong when this man offered us a TOTAL TOOLS auto air compressor 12V (if that’s the proper term for it- I also later Googled it out of mere fascination), a brand that I’ve highly undervalued and believed to be a knock-off because they were simply sold at Rups Big Bear enterprises. An enterprise where you could find kitchenware, clothing and hardware all compacted under one roof. Dumbfounded, I was first in front of the audience to witness this tool work its magic and the sincerity of its owner in helping us. While I knew God was using everything incredulous to aid us I still shakily refused to acknowledge it. The man who helped us later introduced himself as a talatala of a denomination that we had just distributed Christmas booklets to. After having both the spare and flat tyre’s pumped, we thanked the man immensely before cautiously proceeding onto Matainasau. Although this meant that we had just a village left to reach before Wailoa, the road was too narrow, meandering and becoming more treacherous. Just past Matainasau we assessed the treacherous route ahead and decided to change our tyres, from the flat to the spare one.

Our amateur mechanics having a go at the spare tyre after Matainasau.

Realising that the two men, Talatala and Bis had no vehicle mechanical knowledge profounded me more. My anxiety peaked as the sun swiftly sank but to my surprise the men continued working and my sister unbothered, reassured me to have more faith, before taking pictures of nature amidst handing tools to the men. As I silently questioned their calmness, one or two of them would occasionally say as if to reminisce that this is/was what mission work was. Diligently the men completed their work and we left for Wailoa at around 7pm knowing full well that we were only alive and moving because of God’s grace. Reaching Wailoa that night, the two men more exhausted than ever, especially after successfully mastering the art of changing and pumping tyres, something they confessed to never having done before. Although, with crisis averted I still went to bed agitated and the events of the next day would grant me the reasons why. We had successfully made it past the Monasavu dam and Nadrala and as excited as we were at seeing Navai, we failed to reach it as our spare tyre blew.

With Navai in sight we sat there, the men set to repeat their new-found skills as amateur mechanics while Teps and I, set about calming ourselves away from a second’s panic. Well more so, myself than Teps, my sister’s faith disallowed her from deranging like a lunatic in the midst of chaos. A trait I’ve come to admire over the years, especially since it grew with her years at Bible Society. This was a trait, the men also possessed. I don’t know if it was an organisational policy or just already spiritually armoured persons choosing to associate themselves with the organisation. Whatever it was, it was becoming more interesting and even appealing the more I observed it. The two men successfully removed both tyres, the flat and the spare one, after a distress call to Tavua. Our cavalry was to come, take our spare tyre back to Tavua for a new one and then return, as per our agreement. Being marooned at around 8-ish that morning, we waited for our cavalry. Morning turned into noon and help arrived at around 2, and thankfully with the driver’s resourcefulness to use his spare tyre instead, saved everyone the hassle of wasting daylight.

The two vehicles trailed each other towards Tavua after 3 in the afternoon, our rescuers four-wheel drive patiently ensuing ours as we struggled to continue distribution with what little daylight we had left. We accomplished work in 3 villages before reaching Tavua. The team never lost their energy, as they kept reiterating, “Qo gona na mission”, literally translating, ‘this (trials/hardship) was what mission was about and it wouldn’t be as such without hardships along the way’. The rest of the trip along Ba, Lautoka, Nadi and Sigatoka was as easy and uncomplicated as urban centres are meant to be. Knowing the ‘nooks and crannies’ of Viti Levu’s coastal highways, we knew the storm had passed and I had now understood that this was what mission-work was, as unconventional as this one may have been.

Nowadays, I’ve learnt to be more trusting in God and let him control the situations I so often cannot. I cannot say that I’ve been completely transformed but I’ve had added new perspectives on ‘walking with God’ throughout this trip. The BSSP team did such amazing work and I’m forever grateful for the invite. Keep with excellence and Godspeed BSSP!

Christmas distribution team 2021
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Bible Society Transitions It’s Training to Virtual

Sunday School Teachers Training Facilitator (Mrs. Iva Teilai) making video resource videos for Sunday School Teacher Training.

In an effort to transition mission work during the pandemic, Bible Society Fiji Mission staff worked on having the Sunday School Teachers Training virtually using Zoom platform.

The Sunday School Teachers Training was an initiative that Bible Society of the South Pacific worked on after realizing the needs from the community. Together with Kingdom Kids project, the Sunday School Teachers training has been a successful tool for mission and in reaching the young ones through the training of Sunday School teachers.

Upon transitioning the training to virtual platforms, Bible Society had to compile resources videos to enhance the virtual experience for the teachers and in this regard, the team was able to learn new things. Getting volunteers equipment’s to compile such resources has also enable the team to look into investing in new equipment’s (camera, tripods & mics) and upskilling of teams to match the technological era we are currently in.

Below is a resource video compiled for the Sunday School Teachers Training with Mrs. Iva Teilai.

Virtual Sunday School Teachers Trainings Done in 2021

  • 21st September, 2021: Trained 9 Sunday School teachers from the Nasova/ Nasese Methodist Church and Saioni Vou Methodist Church.
  • 30th September, 2021: Trained 4 Sunday School teachers from the Galilea Mission Center, Kinoya.
  • 7th October, 2021: Trained 15 Sunday School teachers and parents.
  • 14th October, 2021: Trained 6 Sunday School teachers from the Nasinu Wesley Church.
Resource handover to the Saioni Vou Methodist Church teachers
Resource handover to the Nasinu Wesley Church teachers

 

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Bible Week Videos Involves 3year Old’s to 99years Old

 

We were joined by the President of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Rev. Ili Vunisuwai and the General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Fiji, Rev. Iliesa Naivalu for this activity.

The Bible Week celebration started on 27th June, 2021 to the 4th of July, 2021.

This was amidst the lockdown that Fiji was observing and so the Bible Society of the South Pacific had to rethink ways in which to host a nationwide celebration for Bible Week. Hence, the idea to utilize modern technology for the celebration like having the hashtags (#BibleWeek2021).

We are joined by Rev. James Bhagwan (General Secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches), reciting his favourite bible verse for #BibleWeek2021.

Videos received from the Fijian community ranged from children of 3 years old to the elderly of 99 years. Locations of participants spanned the globe like United Kingdom and Barbados and it also helped some of the younger generation the ability to recite bible verses in their mother tongue. This video campaigns also encouraged youth groups, families, YWAMER’s and friends to send in their videos.

We are joined by Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete and his 99 years old grandmother (Bui Alena), as they recite their bible verse for #BibleWeek2021.

This initiative ran until the end of July, 2021 which has inspired Bible Society of the South Pacific to increase the Bible Week to Bible Month for 2022.

Watch all videos submitted for the Bible Week 2021 celebration which was featured on the Bible Society of the South Pacific Facebook page.

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Boost to Mission Work in Fiji

Bible Society Fiji Mission Board Members & some of the Comic translators with the David Comic at the launch.

On the 22nd of March, 2021, Bible Society of the South Pacific launched a David Comic in the following dialects:

1. Tavuki, Kadavu.

2. Naitasiri

3. Bau

4. Lau-i-Cake

5. Maumi, Tailevu

6. Toga, Rewa

7. Wainimala

8. & Fiji Hindi

We were blessed to have Rev. James Bhagwan (Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary) as our chief guest. The comic was launched at the Jovili Meo Mission Center at the Pacific Theological College and we had the translators and church leaders present to witness the auspicious occasion. Watch the Launch address by Rev James Bhagwan of the Pacific Conference of Churches.

Watch some of the pictures from the launch event that had all Bible Society Staff, Board Members, some of the translators of the David comic and some of the donors of the Fiji Mission.

22.3.2021 David Comic Launch pictures.
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