Visiting & Reaching Cyclone Ravaged Islands Through Trauma Healing Program

Visiting & Reaching Cyclone Ravaged Island in Fiji Through Trauma Healing Program

Corrugated Iron VS Coconut tree during Cyclone Harold’s Impact in Kadavu.
Bible Society Mission team after visiting Kadavu Island for 3 weeks in November, 2020.
After a Trauma Healing Workshop in Nukuvou, Nakasaleka, Kadavu (Fiji Islands).
Distributing Proclaimer Bibles in Kadavu, Fiji.

As the whole world closed its boarders and practiced social distancing, Fiji experienced one of the worst cyclones to hit the islands. Fijians flee to their islands due to corona virus and job losses from urban areas but were met by Cyclone Harold. It was a rude awakening for some as they interpreted the disaster as a punishment from God for their sins, but for Bible Society Fiji Mission, this was an opportune time to bring awareness of the WORD of GOD to them and also conduct Trauma Healing workshops.

The team visited Vatulele island in October 2020. The island is a flat archipelago 40mins away from Coral Coast, Sigatoka. Vatulele has one primary school and Methodism as the only Christian denomination.  It has four villages, Ekubu, Taunovo, Lomanikaya and Bouwaqa, with four teams conducting workshops and free distribution of scriptural materials. The islands main source of income, masi (tapa), was badly damaged from the cyclone.

In the same month of October, Beqa island was visited too. A little bigger than Vatulele, Beqa has eight villages and four schools (three primary schools & one secondary school). Three teams serviced the islands and visited its schools.

Mid November till the first week of December has the Mission team visiting the fourth largest island in Fiji, Kadavu. The island has seventy-five villages and the mission team was divided into five groups. Four teams travelled Kadavu while one team worked on Ono island. Teams spent twenty-four days teaching and ministering in Kadavu and was met with great reception from all the Christian churches on the island.

The teams main workshop were the Trauma Healing workshop and the Bible Society awareness session. They also conducted a number of workshops that is needed like the Translation workshop, the Sunday School Teachers training, the Hermeneutics seminar and staffs that were trained with YWAM, utilized the YWAM BELT material for kids when the need arise.

The trauma healing session was very helpful to most villagers as some carried a lot of hurt and trauma even before the cyclone. The practical exercise on drawing your trauma helped so many in expressing some of the hurt they’ve been carrying for years. Creating a safe space for everyone to speak in was new to most as tradition restricts certain people from public speaking. In some villages, the participatory way of learning challenges the culture of having a traditional spokesperson who speaks for the village.

The Translation workshop is an awareness session about translation work in Fiji and highlighting the Fijian New Version bible. In some places, most people still prefer the old version because they do not know much about the new version. So this prompt us to make awareness on the Fijian New Version bible and highlighting the slight changes on the translation as this will help make clear the gist of what the Word of God is.

Despite the closure of boarders around the whole world and social distancing becoming a new norm, Bible Society is in full swing with missions. People are hungry for the Word in this trying time.

As the year 2020 comes to an end, we are grateful for lessons learnt in visiting and seeing local communities and how they recuperate, months after Cyclone Harold. Even with their circumstances they were still willing to share their food and homes to our mission teams and this is where we can see God’s hands working in the lives of his people and how blessed we are, to do His will.

Special mention to our prayer partners and donors for the support throughout 2020 and we hope and pray that 2021 will allow us to reach those in need in the Pacific.

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FIJI: Ba Translation Project Update

In all my trips to Ba, I planned and travelled on Sunday afternoons. This is to allow me to spend Sunday nights in Ba or near, so that we can start the review sessions on Monday mornings. I treat the review work just like my regular 8.00am – 4.30pm work in the office. So we work with this many hours every day to cover and finish my targeted seven chapters of any book that is to be reviewed on a single trip. For example, Mathew with its 28 chapters was reviewed with 4 trips, Mark with 16 chapters, was reviewed with 2 trips, and John with 21 chapters was reviewed on 3 trips.

Our next book is Romans. With its 16 chapters will be covered in 2 trips.

My February trip took place on February 16 – 18. My target was John chapter 8 to 14. Our venue for this review work was the Ba Mission Assemblies of God church in Yalalevu, Ba. We were hosted in this church by its Senior Pastor Rev. Jone Lesu.

Rev Jone Lesu is a longtime friend and supporter of Bible Society. He has a big church with a good size congregation. Until this project started, the frequency of our interaction has grown due to frequent request from us to use his church – as the venue for our work. Both our February and March reviews was carried out from his church.

On the February trip, I worked with only 2 reviewers. While it still went well, we all felt the need for one or two more people to be added. This was solved when I called and asked Rev Nakeke’s help. Rev Nakeke got back to me in no time with the names and phone numbers of two gentlemen. So by my March trip, I worked with a four member review team.

My March trip took place on March 15- 18. We covered John chapters 15-21 and thus completed the book. The new additions to the team were good and fit in well. They were quick learners and good contributors too.
We finish the book of John before the first Corona virus infected person was announced for Fiji. We are looking forward to our next book which is Romans, which according to our review work plan should be reviewed in the next quarter.

The Four reviewers are:
1. Meli Naivalu (Nailaga, Ba)
2. Mosese Soro (Varavu, Ba)
3. Savenaca Naliva (Sorokoba, Ba)
4. Vatukilagi Ratu (Natalacake, Ba)

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FIJI: Final Proof-reading of the Fijian Study Bible

When I came into BSSP 2005 as a volunteer, the Fijian Study Bible Cyclopedic index review was already an ongoing task carried out twice a week by a team of reviewers. How far back the work started and those involved in translating the encyclopedic index, I do not know. But work on this material continues down the years till this year. They were some untranslated pages and some missing pages that had to be translated or retranslated by the late Pastor Mosese Waseiyaroi and retired school teacher Tevita Lala.

Plans to final proofread both the bible text and the study materials that will make this bible a study bible took place at Coral coast Christian camp on the 19th of November to the 22nd, 2019. Thirty five readers from different age groups, denominations, and backgrounds took part in this 3 days & 3 nights of proof reading camp.


We proofread the whole bible text and finished about 84 per cent of the study materials. The 35 participants of this exercise expressed great joy and enthusiasm participating in this part of the process and talked about the how fortunate they were and how beneficial the exercise was to their own understanding and spiritual life.

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FIJI: Mission Visits the Yasawa Island Groups

It is by grace alone that we were able to make a second trip to the Yasawa’s this year, 2019. The team consists of; Mr. Solomoni Cinavilakeba (Fiji Mission Cordinator), Mrs. Iva Teilai (Sunday School Teacher Training facilitator) and Ms. Teupola Waqainabete (Fiji Mission Administration Officer).

Bible Society of the South Pacific engaged with churches where the Assemblies of God, Methodist Church and Catholics are the major Christian denominations of those islands. Catholic churches are in specific areas like Vuaki Island and Nacula Island.

The team travelled to the Yasawa group of islands to equip the Sunday school teachers through training and supplying them with Sunday School materials. Bible Society of the South Pacific, specifically the Fiji Mission sees this opportunity to meet the needs of the communities by inviting a guest facilitator like Mrs. Teilai to deliver a one and a half days program in three venues, speaking to Sunday school teachers from all Christian denominations.

The first part of the trip was a follow-up trip to the already visited Naviti Island and Nacula, to distribute the certificates of those teachers who were trained in our first visit in May. Also on the agenda was to deliver some of their resource materials to help them teach their Sunday school classes.

The first visit in May allowed us to train 19 Sunday School teachers from Naviti & Nacula island before we continued the journey to Yasawa island to conduct trainings in Bukama, Teci and Tamusua village.

We were able to train 17 teachers from Bukama village, 13 teachers from Teci village and 11 from Tamusua village.

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