This is the final report regarding the latest Fiji Outreach trip from August 11-Sept 14, 2015. I have been home for a week recovering from the trip and catching up on the mound of things that piled up at home and in my office while I was gone.
This was a very difficult trip in many ways, as I was seriously ill during much of my time there. I got pneumonia at the beginning of my first full week in-country during our medical outreach, and I totally lost my voice for two weeks. Our beekeeping trainer and my assistant, Aisake Emmanuel also came down with the flu or cold that was going around. Nonetheless, God did great things:
During the Dreketi Outreach we treated a total of 242 patients:
All 242 received eye and ear examinations
124 pairs of glasses were distributed
52 dental patients had extractions—many had multiple extractions
53 individuals were prayed for regarding various requests
11 individuals rededicated their lives to Christ
84 people received Christ—24 were Hindus and 4 were Muslims.
Our team in Dreketi is now following up on those who received Christ to begin the process of discipleship.
During our youth camp in Savusavu, six campers gave their lives to Jesus during the first evening. After a week of evangelism training on the last full day of camp our newly trained campers led nine individuals to the Lord during their practicum at a local hospital. This was the first time these kids had ever done any witnessing. What an encouragement to them to see the Lord honor their efforts.
As a result of what happened at the camp, our team has been invited to be the speakers at a massive youth camp in May of 2016 on Vanua Levu Island. This is a camp that is held every two years by several congregations throughout the island. They anticipate over 200 youth attending from the four major islands of Fiji and from as far away as Australia and New Zealand. What a marvelous opportunity the Lord opened up.
During our two weeks of beekeeping training near Labasa, our team taught eight two-day training sessions that reached about 230 existing beekeepers. We worked together with the government, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, the Commissioner’s office and the Northern Development Program. We also worked with ITC, an AID agency. We visited Fijian villages, Indian settlements and urban areas. Throughout the sessions we were able to explain that we do what we do for the sake of Jesus Christ and hold devotions prior to each training period.
Providing this training has positioned us very well for future work within these locations. From among those we trained, we hope to identify at least 20-25 mentors for more intensive training so that they will be able to continue to help advance the skills of those we helped during this year’s activities.
During our final week we assessed the beekeeping project in Lomawai and made a decision to move all our assets to Labasa on Vanua Levu to advance our activities in that location under the direction of Chuck McCay and Aisake Emmanuel, our coworkers in Fiji who helped facilitate all of our efforts this year. These two will be continuing to coordinate our work on an ongoing basis over the next few years. We were able to move all of our bees, but could not complete the relocation of all our equipment. I just learned via email yesterday evening that arrangements to move the remaining items to the new location are going forward with the help of John Samisoni, another friend and coworker in Fiji.
I am currently completing one last course of antibiotics and steroids my doctor prescribed last Thursday. Chest x-rays showed my lungs are clear, but I still had inflammation that needed to be dealt with.
God accomplished so very much during this trip. This despite my illness. You were a part of everything He did through your prayers. I cannot thank you enough for standing beside us through these efforts and accomplishments.