This morning I was in Labasa with Aisake, general secretary for GIFT, the Fijian doctor’s group with whom TUtP does our medical outreaches. We had traveled to this city yesterday to meet with Dr. Mike Mua, the medical director of the northern part of Vanua Levu Island. Dr. Mua heads up the 250 bed hospital in Labasa and is in charge of all medical outreaches in this part of Fiji. We needed his blessing, advice and cooperation for our project next August.
Dr. Mua is a believer and was one of the original founders of GIFT ministries. He helped staff one of our earlier outreaches in the slum areas of Suva. He fully supports our efforts and had some very wise counsel regarding the best place for us to locate our August outreach. There is a rather large Indian settlement, Dreketi, which is on the opposite side of the island about 2 hours away from Labasa that is virtually never visited by medical teams. This is where we can make the biggest impact and be of most assistance to him in his efforts to meet the medical needs of those for whom he has responsibility.
After our discussions with Dr. Mua, Aisake and I walked over to the offices of the Commissioner of the Northern District of Fiji. This very important official, Mr. Alipate Bola, is a long-time friend of Aisake’s. We need his permission to do any work within his district. Aisake explained to him the work we do and I showed a PowerPoint presentation from one of our previous outreaches.
He became very enthusiastic when he learned of our beekeeping initiatives. He has responsibility for agricultural activities throughout all of Northern Fiji (dozens of islands) and was instrumental in funding beekeeping among the farmers in Dreketi. There are more than 200 hives in that settlement and they have not been doing as well as they should. He feels the farmers need further training, especially in the areas of re-queening and splitting hives.
Yesterday we met with Chuck McKay, a Labasa farmer who heads two farmers groups including local beekeepers. They need exactly the same kinds of training. Mr. Bola is eager to cooperate with us as we provide the training and support these beekeepers need. Through his efforts, we will be able to secure government training facilities in the Dreketi settlement. That would prove immensely helpful for housing our entire team.
Aisake was able to meet with one of the local pastors who will help us secure spiritual counselors and prayer teams as well as those who will do the critical follow up after the outreach with those who accept Christ as a result of our ministry.
We completed all these discussions in time to catch the bus that got us back to Savusavu in time for a late lunch and in time for me to purchase my ticket on the overnight ferry to Suva. I am sitting on the ferry typing this report at 10 p.m. The ferry was supposed to embark at 8 p.m. Looks like it will be closer to 11:30 before they get all the trucks loaded prior to departure. I don’t mind the delay as it means a more sensible morning arrival in Suva. I can’t check into my hotel room until around 2 p.m. So the later we arrive in the morning, the less time I have to keep track of my baggage.
God has certainly been watching over all our various meetings and giving us favor with those we are working with.
I’ve been sleeping well at night and have had more than adequate energy throughout each day. I have a sleeping bag spread out on the floor in the lounge and should sleep well on the passage to Suva
Continue to pray that those I need to meet with in Suva will be available. I’ve already received phone calls from two people stating they are eager to meet with me during the next couple of days.
Thanks and Blessings!