9th Fiji Report August 2014

New BibleThis morning, the last day of this portion of my trip, our team served the people of Kabuna Village where we stayed during our outreach into the local Hindu schools.  We got an early start so we could end as close to noon as possible (actually ended around 12:45 due to 3 dental patients who came in at the very last moment).  69 people took the opportunity to come to the clinic.  We did 44 dental exams and extracted teeth from 31.  Ear and eye exams numbered 36.  We gave out 29 pairs of reading glasses.  There were 14 villagers who made a commitment to Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Eye exam2Totals for the week:

955 individuals assisted in some way.
795 received dental exams.
107 had extractions (One person had 11 teeth removed, most of which were broken roots.)
864 had eye and ear exams.
132 pairs of reading glasses were given at no cost.
184 received Jesus as Lord, many of whom were Hindu or Muslim.

I consider this one for the books.  A number of records were set in terms of service.  Jesus was definitely presented in a powerful way by both word and deed.

Thanks to all of you who were praying.

I head to Suva tomorrow for meetings with a variety of ministry partners.  Then our youth camp begins one week from Monday.

Appreciate your continued prayers for ongoing health and stamina, for successful contacts with those I need to meet, and for an outstanding youth camp.  Lots of preparation is still ongoing for the camp.  I’ll meet with Ratu Osea’s daughter, Cuvu and her husband Gabe, in a few minutes to discuss what still needs to be accomplished over the next week.

I’ll take our dentist, Dr. Boone, to the airport in about ½ hour to catch his flight back to LAX.

Fiji August 14 2014

Nadroga Arya CollegeOn this 4th day of our outreach we saw 241 people in total. There were 166 dental exams resulting in 28 extractions. Our Project Heaven team did 225 eye and ear exams and distributed 45 pairs of reading glasses. We had a total of 127 individuals who received Christ. Many of these were Hindus. God is truly blessing our activities.

We are so grateful for your prayers. The team is tired, but happy. All of us slept very well last night after our record day. Tomorrow morning we serve those who live in the village where we have been staying. We expect folks from two other nearby villages to also come.eyes



Fiji August 13, 2014

Today, August 12th, was a record breaking day for the staff of Project Heaven (Hearing and Vision Enhancement) who are part of our GIFT medical team.  Normally they might see 120 or so individuals on a very busy day.  Today they saw 322 for eye and ear exams.  They learned a few new techniques that they say they will use in the future when they need to see larger groups of people.  They gave out 20 pairs of reading glasses to teachers and members of the community.  Students usually do not need reading glasses.

Dr. Tom and I did 327 dental exams and Tom pulled teeth for 32 of those.

We saw a grand total of 351 people.

Our counselor prayed for 258 of whom 19 received Christ.  Praise the Lord!

This was a very busy day and all of us are quite tired.  We were working so fast that we didn’t discover we had not eaten dinner until we stopped and were packing up and found our uneaten lunch.

It was a very warm day, but we were able to set up in the school meeting center that is open on two ends and has a high tin roof.  The other two sides were classroom blocks, but they had louvered windows on inside and outside walls.  So we were mostly quite comfortable with the slight breeze that blew almost all day.  There is still a slight breeze as I sit on the veranda of the house we are staying.  I’m typing this report as our evening meal is being prepared.  By the smell, I think we will have fresh fish.

Thank you so very much for your ongoing prayers.  We can tell you are praying


Fiji August 12, 2014

More Eye ExamLast year when we were in the Wai District we ministered in the Fijian schools. We promised to come back this year and provide our services to the local Indian schools and communities. That we are doing what we said we would do is very significant in this society. We are lifting up the Name of Jesus as we show that we keep our word. Some of these schools have never had medical teams come to help their students.

On this second day of our outreach, we saw 197 individuals at Lomawai Primary School. This is the second largest Hindu school in the region. 190 students and staff had eye and ear exams. 168 had dental checks, with 11 extractions. We gave out 26 pairs of reading glasses, mostly to teachers and members of the community. Our counselor prayed for 103 people and 24 received Christ. It was a very busy day.

Lomawai Primary SchoolIt is amazing to observe how disciplined the students are as they go through our procedures. This is a real tribute to their teachers and to their parents. The staff of the school was totally cooperative, even though this was a final examination day. Students came in by class after they completed their tests.
Tomorrow we will visit a school that has around 400 students. It will be a real challenge to serve all those students and their teachers along with members of the community.
Pray that we all remain in excellent health and that our strength holds out. We so rely on your faithful prayers.


Fiji Monday August 11, 2014

Welcome to NamataIt is Monday night, 9:15 p.m. and we have completed the first day of our medical outreach. We visited two Hindu primary schools and ministered to 79 students, the staff of both schools and folks from the surrounding communities. Students and staff expressed extreme gratitude for our visit. The head mistress of the first school told me that in the history of the school no one ever came like we did to help them. She was delighted that we would come. We were simply demonstrating the practical love of Jesus. This gives great credence to the Gospel and to the local churches.

Project heaven vanThe students began their day by reciting the Lord’s prayer together. But then they also sing a Hindu song to various Hindu deities. There is a need for discernment and truth.

We have not had water all day in the village where we are staying. Water was supposed to be pumped from the well into the village tank this afternoon. This has still not happened. Pray it will be so tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will be at a larger school in Lomawai. We really appreciate your prayers.


Eye Charts

Fiji August 10 2014

DSCN3831This morning Tom and I attended church in the village. The singing is incredible, as usual. I gave a few words of greeting from the TUtP board, my church and pastor, and my family. Then the rest of the service was conducted in Fijian. I knew the text of the sermon—the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke so had a pretty good idea what the pastor was talking about. However I spent the sermon reading Scripture so I could also be worshipping.

After church we had a lovely lunch of fresh-caught fish, boiled tapioca root and spinach. Ratu Osea was in church with us but could not join us for lunch because the bridge across the river between the church and the house we are staying in is under repair. His car could not cross it and he could not get across in his wheelchair, since the surface of the bridge was largely missing. He’ll join us during tomorrow’s outreach.

Aisake (General Secretary of the Fijian medical group we work with) and the GIFT medical team finally arrived around 7 p.m. The eye and ear specialists were unable to come until tomorrow. Hopefully they will join us early in the afternoon. The four who came settled into where they will be sleeping and just finished their evening meal at 9:20 p.m. We discussed the two Hindu schools we will be ministering to tomorrow and they headed off to bed. Dr. Tom went to bed before they even arrived, as he is still getting used to our time shift.

Our schedule for tomorrow: Breakfast at 7 a.m. Leave for the first school at 8 a.m. Begin the clinics at 9 a.m. Second school at 1 p.m. Finish the clinics and return to our village around 5 p.m. Debrief and eat our evening meal around 7 p.m.

We so appreciate your prayers as we begin.

Thanks and Blessings!

Fiji August 9, 2014

We are in the village. It has been a very loooong day. There was a bit of miscommunication regarding the shopping we needed to do to get the last supplies we needed. Eventually things were sorted out and I was able to get to all the shops needed to pick up all the food and pharmacy items required. Then a van and driver were engaged to move us and all our boxes, bags, trunks, etc. to our base for the outreach.

The driver asked for payment in full prior to leaving Nadi. Since we were at a gas station, that is not all that unusual. They require the money to purchase the fuel needed for the trip. The second he was paid, he got out of the van, which was loaded to the roof with our things. He walked to a van parked behind us and indicated he was not willing to take us to the village as he would have to travel off the main road and on a dirt road part of the way. He talked the van behind us into taking us, paid him and began to offload all our stuff into the new van. This is unheard of.
Still it did not delay us that long and frankly the van we moved into seemed like a nicer van than the one we had been in. When we arrived at the village, the driver said, “How much did you pay the other driver?” After the first driver negotiated the trade off, he told me he had paid the entire amount I’d given him to the new driver. He actually hadn’t. He totally cheated the second van driver and walked away with a nice profit for perhaps 15 minutes of effort. Nice shell game.

All the main village leaders were waiting for us to arrive so they could formally greet us. We took all our supplies into the house Tom and I will stay in, spread everything out so our hosts could see what was on hand and determine what, if anything else, would be needed before the Fiji medical team arrives late tomorrow afternoon. Sorted through things, asked some questions and wound up calling Cuvu to buy a few more needed things before she comes out tomorrow (Sunday).
All in all, a kind of interesting day!
Thanks for your praying.