It’s about 36 hours since I last slept, though I did doze a bit during the 11 ½ hour flight from LAX to Nadi, so this will be brief. The trip over was a bit bumpy, but not too bad.
PTL, Fiji Airlines did not charge anything for the extra trunk I brought over. The woman who was checking me in recognized me from previous medical mission trips and on her own initiative got permission from her manager to check the extra trunk for free. One trunk was full of water filters, the other of fishing tackle that we are giving away to those who lost everything in Typhoon Winston. I was also allowed at no cost to check an additional 15 lb. item previously approved for humanitarian supplies.
I’ve come through so frequently bringing in medical teams and have talked with these people about what we have been doing here since 2003, that we have served over 17,000 Fijians around the nation with free medical services. This is a face-to-face society. When folks know you, they really pay attention to who you are and what you do. I guess the statement, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God” means what it says.
Tomorrow a.m. Aisake and I will begin to visit some of the most severely damaged villages on this end of Vanua Levu Island, the 2nd largest of the Fijian Islands. We will assess needs and begin to provide such assistance as we are able. We will distribute some of the water filters to homes we visit. We also hope to be able to get over to one of the main fishing islands to begin to distribute the fishing lures and tackle to those whose livelihood is based on fishing.
I can hear the lovely sound of the surf nearby. It is gently raining. I can no longer keep my eyes open. But this was a truly blessed day. So appreciate your prayers as we move from place to place.
As we say in Fiji, “Vinaka vaka levu” Or “Thank you very much.