We had another great day of camp. The youth seem very enthusiastic as they learn about some of the basics of Christian belief. To many of them, what we are teaching is new. Our Campus Crusade counselor is a great teacher and is really concerned that the kids know what it means to be a believer. On Thursday he will get to active evangelism and outreach and on Friday, we will take them into town in pairs to witness to whoever they meet.
I continue to teach on the character and nature of God. So we are really saturating them in what they need understand to know who God is and who they are as a result of placing their faith in Him. Even some of the adults who have been listening in are grateful for the new insights they are gaining.
This morning during break, the campers went down on the beach below the camp to gather shells for a project they are doing. It was low tide and shells are everywhere. I was picking up a wide variety of very lovely shells and listening to the laughter of these kids as they played together and got to know each other better. What a joy. Developing lasting friendships among the campers is one of our goals.
I’m feeling much better, though I still have quite a cough and have to protect my voice as much as possible so I’m able to teach. Thanks for your prayers.
9:30 on Monday evening, the first ½ day of camp. It has been an incredible day.
We began with lunch as folks continued to arrive. Then we introduced ourselves and talked about the purpose of the camp. Our first session was taught by our Campus Crusade counselor who has worked with us through so many of our medical and evangelical outreaches. He presented a very clear understand of what salvation involves, using the cube that depicts what Jesus has done on our behalf.
At the end, he gave an invitation and 8 campers made a decision for Christ. PTL!
The rector of the local Anglican Church, St. Edwards is attending. His entire family is participating. He was most impressed with Joe’s straightforward presentation. Then I presented my first teaching using Freedom in Christ material to talk about being set free from spiritual bondage. I talked about our new identity in Jesus, using the bookmark that sets forth a Biblical account of our being new creatures.
Father Penny asked if he could have a copy of the material. In fact several have asked if they can have the presentation so they can go over it again at their leisure. It is always marvelous to me to see the lights go on in the kids’eyes as they begin to comprehend these really simple, yet profound truths.
After our evening meal we watched Amish Grace, a wonderful movie that deals with forgiveness. I’ve seen it three times now, but it always moves me to tears. There were not many dry eyes among the youth.
We’ve sent them to their dorms for the night.
Most of today I felt about as sick as I’ve ever been in recent memory. I took my second dose of antibiotics. Folks here are praying for me, as are you. I can’t thank you enough. I haven’t eaten much since yesterday noon, mostly chicken broth and hot tea. I would not have been able to teach this evening as my voice was shot. By morning I expect to be much better.
We did further camp shopping this a.m. for more food, kerosene and cooking gas. I also picked up the prescribed course of antibiotics which I have started to take for the pneumonia. I’ve heard from a number of you who are praying for my healing. So appreciate that. I must admit I am a bit tired this morning, but am gaining energy as we set things up for the camp.
Just got a very good report from the beekeeping trainers. Things are going extraordinarily well with the sessions. Folks are so appreciative that we would come and do training for them. Our trainer has opportunity to share his faith and reasons for being involved in this mission. God is on the move.
Hopefully we will continue to have a strong internet signal here so I can send you another report the end of the day regarding how things have begun. I am excited by the possibilities.
Today is Sunday, a day of worship and rest. We attended services at 9 a.m. and headed home for lunch and a peaceful day. After lunch while most of the team was taking a nap, I walked to a spot along the road where I should have been able to get a strong internet signal. For a period of time I had a strong signal, but could still not connect to the net. Then the signal failed entirely. It is early evening and I’m sitting in a car on a rise overlooking the ocean. Nice view, strong signal.
I had a doctor listen to my lungs this afternoon since I still have a cough. Much to my surprise, she determined that I may have pneumonia in the lower part of my right lung. Since we can’t do an x-ray there is no way to be certain. I have had a pneumonia shot within the past 2 years, but that is no guarantee. In any event the prescription is the same, one course of antibiotics and a check at the end to see that I am symptom free. The doctor was not concerned as the sound she heard was not very loud. Still I appreciate your prayers. I am actually feeling much better, hence my surprise at her finding. Will pick up the antibiotics in the morning while doing a bit more shopping for the camp.
Yesterday we visited the campsite to make last minute arrangements, including making sure the freezer was working. Then we drove into Savusavu to buy food for the first afternoon. Once we know how many campers actually come, we’ll buy more food for the rest of the week.
Also yesterday I learned one of the participants in teaching at the camp will not be able to come because of a mistake his booking agent made in his tickets. He has been emailing me copies of the material he was to present. I will use his notes to teach what he was to teach. In addition, I will be teaching more materials on the subject of prayer.
I thank you again for all of your prayers. You matter.
Here are the totals for the four days of outreach in Dreketi:
We treated 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
God is awesome!! We head to Savusavu at 6 a.m. tomorrow and begin final plans for the youth camp that starts on Monday.
39 eye exams
5 ear exams
29 pair of glasses distributed
15 dental patient extractions, several with multiple teeth pulled
15 were prayed for regarding a variety of issues
4 rededicated themselves to Christ
18 received Christ, 5 of whom were Hindu
Another great day. PTL and thanks for your prayers.
53 had eye exams
23 had ear exams
28 received glasses
15 dental patients had extractions—several had multiple teeth removed
16 people requested prayer for various needs
4 people rededicated their lives to Christ
21 received Christ as Savior, 8 of whom were Hindu, 2 of whom were Muslim
So we have increased the population of the Kingdom and there is great joy in heaven today.
Our beekeepers have also completed their second day of training. The training is quite intense and exhausting, but everything is going well. We may see them briefly tomorrow as they are doing training not too far from our clinic.
I had a tight, persistent cough all day today. It was especially bad first thing in the morning. I think it is related to mold, fungus and dust. Also the anti-mosquito device in our room bothers me. We will not use it tonight and see if mosquitoes become a problem.
Thanks so much for your ongoing prayers and support.
67 had eye and/or ear exams
18 had dental extractions
40 received glasses
10 were prayed for
29 received Christ as Savior, 22 of whom were Hindu.
This is a great beginning. Our eye and ear specialists heard various patients talking about how great our dentist is, “You don’t even feel it when he pulls your teeth.” With that kind of word of mouth, the dental load should significantly increase as the week progresses. We have a great team.
Praise the Lord with us for 26 new members of the Family. Pray for even more to be born again. Through your prayers, you are participants in all we achieve.
Our morning started at 6:15 a.m. with breakfast. We are staying at a church guesthouse that is within the church compound. Everything is really quite nicely arranged. ur team is three to a room in four dorms. The rooms all have screens so we don’t need mosquito nets. Most mattresses are on the floor, according to Fijian custom, however they are quite firm and comfortable.
This morning we had about 70 folks at our church service. There were at least 25 children among them. Worship was quite enthusiastic and very moving. I spoke for about 25 minutes to a totally attentive and responsive congregation. The presence of the Lord was quite strong throughout our time together. As the young people took communion, each one came over to me for prayer and blessing. A few adults joined this group as well. That was a very moving experience.
Carl, our beekeeper left early this evening with the couple with whom he will stay for the next three weeks as he moves about and conducts several two-day training sessions. He and Chuck, the farmer and beekeeper with whom he will travel hit it off immediately. I know they will establish a strong friendship over the days they are together. We prayed for safe travel and health as they will be in a number of rural villages.
We will set up our medical and evangelistic clinic tomorrow morning before breakfast and see our first patients around 8:30 a.m.
The rest of the U.S. team arrived in Nadi from LAX at 5:30 this morning. Since their plane was on time, they asked if they could change their afternoon reservation to Savusavu to the morning flight. That meant they arrived here earlier than expected. Much better for them than sitting in an unfinished, under construction airport lounge all morning and into the afternoon.
We completed our shopping for the medical and evangelistic outreach this morning as well. Then we drove to Dreketi, arriving just after dark at 7:30 p.m. We’ve unpacked and eaten our evening meal. The doctor associated with the Labasa government hospital is already in town, so the entire team is now in place.
I preach in the morning, and then we will relax during the rest of the day in preparation for an early start on Monday.