Today, Monday is my 4th day in Fiji as we prepare for our TUtP 2017 medical outreach and bee keeping training.
The day began at 6:30 a.m. with breakfast as Aisake, Pastor Joshua and I got ready to travel back to Labasa to meet up with various team members traveling from a number of locations. The two hour drive was uneventful, though through quite beautiful countryside. We drive over the spine of the mountain that divides the island, so we have quite the view.
Once in Labasa I first had to resolve the issue of the non-working modems so I could be sure to have access to the internet over these next few days. That was accomplished fairly easily and I now have two modems, each from a different phone company, working on my computer. I’m able to use the one with the best connection depending upon where I can get the best signal.
we will have two counselors to talk with those who come through our program. Pastor Joshua is one of the counselors. The second arrived fairly quickly after we got into town. We ate lunch and drove out to the site where our 10-member team from Downey CA will be bunking. The site is a nice 2-story building on the edge of town. Lovely view. Great breezes.
The pastor of the church that operates this guest facility was waiting for the team to arrive. However unknown to us, the team had decided at the last minute to drive from the ferry into Savusavu where we had driven from, to leave some items at an orphanage before coming to Labasa. We didn’t find this out until the pastor called us at 7 p.m. asking if he could go home for his evening meal as the team had not yet arrived. We were a bit embarrassed that the team hadn’t called anyone to let us know of their change of plans. This meant that the host from the village where the outreach will be held had to make his way back into town in order to get the team settled in and provide them with directions to the village. Hopefully everything has been sorted out.
In the meantime, I met up again with Chuck, our bee keeper trainer and drove back to his farm where I’ll be sleeping throughout the outreach. I really appreciate Chuck and Sue. He is tending the TUtP beehives as well as conducting all our training. We should not have to bring anyone from the States anymore unless they want to come. It’s always helpful, though.
I trust all the pieces will come together in the morning and we will have an incredible opportunity to serve the people of this area and share the love of Jesus with them in very practical ways over these next three days.
As always, we so appreciate your prayers.
This is Sunday, my third day in Fiji and a day of rest.
I taught this morning comparing the stories of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her hair and the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus asking Him to deliver her daughter from a demon. Two diverse women in two very different locations and situations, both encountering the Lord of Life and presenting specific needs which He met. Interesting reflection on their similarities and differences and how Jesus showed love to both. Had a good discussion afterwards with some of those who heard the homily.
I didn’t sleep well last night. I had quite bout of acid indigestion. Haven’t had that problem for some time. Sudden extreme variant in diet, I’m sure contributed to the problem. Good old baking soda helped considerably once I was able to get some and take a couple of teaspoons in water. Still it was some time before I was able to sleep. Have tried to doze a bit this afternoon, but I don’t do well sleeping during the day. I should sleep very well tonight.
It is a gray rainy day. It poured on and off all night long with quite a strong wind. I’m staying within a stone’s throw of the ocean. I’d hoped to walk on the beach today but the on again off again rains don’t allow it. It has been fun hearing the rain beat down on the tin roof of the house. Those who have had the blessing of living in houses such as this can appreciate the pleasures of the unique sound this produces. Very evocative of past places where I’ve lived. Brings up many nice memories. The sound of the surf is also very calming and pleasant.
We leave in the morning to drive back over to Labasa. We’ll meet the other 10 members of the team from the States. They arrive by ferry from the main island tomorrow. We’ll all go out to the village and begin our setup for the medical outreach. Our bees have been in the village since last Thursday. It takes a few days for them to settle down enough to be worked during the training.
I was not able to get the modem I bought yesterday to work. Appears it is defective. Will have to return it and get another one that hopefully will work. Otherwise I’ll be cut off from communication while in the village. Hopefully at night I’ll have access from the farm where I’m staying each night.
It has been interesting spending time with Aisake and his family. TUtP invested a lot in his compound to enable him to raise chickens and plant various crops. Things are going well. His bees have thrived and he’s been able to split our hives. We’ll see at the end of the week what kind of honey flow he has when our bee keeping trainer visits.
We’ll be targeting the women’s group in our bee keeping training. We have found over the years that working with the women produces more lasting results than working with the men.
So appreciate your prayers that all will go well during this outreach.
Thanks and Blessings!
This is my second day in Fiji. I’m still having difficulty with the internet but am temporarily on a very slow connection modem I bought today does not seem to work. Since it is Saturday night here I’ll have to wait until Monday to try to rectify the problem before the outreach starts and I’m in a rural area with no way to get onto the internet to send updates. Pray all works out.
Drove 2 hours from Savusavu to Labasa to buy supplies for the outreach and meet with some of the key participants in the program. Quite a hot, muggy day with rain during the 2 hour drive back. But we accomplished what was needed. All our supplies should be in place when we begin the medical and beekeeping programs on Tuesday morning.
I was also finally able to reach Joyce on the phone after repeated attempts over 2 days. Great to hear her voice. She’s also on the road visiting friends.o
So appreciate your prayers.
End of 1st very long day in Fiji. 10 hr. 45 min. plane trip. Uneventful but virtually no sleep. Lots of preparatory shopping today in Savusavu town helped keep me awake so I should sleep quite well tonight. No access directly to the internet yet due to modem issues I plan to resolve tomorrow. In the morning will drive to Labasa town near where the outreach will happen. Already checked in with our dentist who arrives in Labasa tomorrow a.m. Am hit & peck 1 finger typing this on a very small phone screen. Appreciate your prayers. Greatest blessing.