Fiji February 22, 2015

The folks I needed to see during my layover at the Nadi airport did arrive and I was able to discuss a number of issues with them prior to when I actually meet with them and others in Nadi town week after next. Did get my Fiji phone and was able to add time to it as well as top up my computer dongle so I can use internet when access is available.

The flight to Vanua Levu Island, Somasoma town was uneventful, though there were lots of rain clouds to fly over and into. Really a lovely view with the tricks of sunlight on clouds and ocean. Aisake, GIFT general secretary and good friend met me at the airport. Chris Perrin, who oversees Community Bible Study International for all of Fiji also was at the airport with her husband. They live in Fiji about 4 months out of every year.

Enjoyed a great night of sleep and was ready for church on Sunday. Chris and Aisake were with me. Afterwards we had an early lunch to discuss CBSI and TUtP involvement. Our camp next August will be a joint effort with this group. We are still trying to get their Bible study program into the schools here, as well as into as many villages as we can. There is a lack of quality Bible study around the country and this well-developed system can be of great value to so many. Many challenges remain, but Aisake and his wife are willing to take on some of those challenges and turn them into opportunities.

This morning, Monday, Aisake and I took the 7 a.m. bus from his home just outside the town, into Savusavu. We are sitting on a bus platform waiting for the 9:30 bus to Labasa. This is a 4-hour trip I have made before by car. Is a most lovely journey across the mountain spin of the island. We will meet with pastors and a doctor in Labasa to plan for the August outreach in that largely Hindu, Indian town. We will stop by to visit a farming family I’ve known for many years. Chuck, the owner of the farm, designed and helped build the women’s center TUtP built outside of Suva some years back. I’ve provided some seeds, etc. for the farm. Chuck also keeps bees. I want to see about getting some hives for Aisake, so we can expand TUtP beekeeping onto this island so that can become an integral part of what we do here.

It is the rainy season, hot and muggy, but with a very comfortable breeze. I’ve slept very well my two nights here, which I very much appreciate.
Will spend the night in Labasa, return to Somasoma Tues afternoon and most likely take the overnight ferry to Suva Tues p.m., arriving early Weds. a.m. to begin meetings there with other GIFT staff and other TUtP partners.

Thank you so much for your prayers. I did not have internet access all Sunday, but the signal is strong here at the bus platform, so I’m taking advantage of catching up with emails, etc. Not sure how things will be in Labasa town, but should be O.K.

Blessings!

Fiji February 20, 2015

My good friend and TUtP board member, Jim Whitney, picked my up at my house Thursday evening the 19th at 6 p.m. and drove me to LAX. There was virtually no traffic on the way to the airport (though I know it was different on Jim’s way back to his house). The Fiji Airlines check-in was already quite busy when I got in line. By the time I was checked in, it was 8 p.m before I got to Panda Express for my evening meal. The airlines has instituted draconian check in requirements for carry-ons, My regulation carry on bag no longer meets their stringent requirements, though it should based on their advertised size limitations. They finally allowed me to carry it on. It’s the same bag I’ve taken on several trips here in the past. Oh well. The flight was quite full, the trip uneventful–as is best. As usual, I did not sleep during the 10 1/2 hour duration. Got a lot of reading done. Love my Samsung Tablet. The battery lasted all night.

Since the flight takeoff was delayed 1 1/2 hours (for no discernible reason)after we boarded the plane, we arrived late this side of the pond. The person who was to meet me and bring me my Fiji phone and some things I need to take with me to Savusavu city this afternoon has not yet met me. After waiting over an hour, I took a cab to town to exchange currency and then returned to the airport to eat breakfast. SKYPED with my wife, caught up with emails, and still have 2 hours before my flight to Savusavu leaves.

Appreciate your prayers that I will meet everyone I need to see while here. I’ll be in on Vanau Levu Island for about 3-4 days. Will be planning for the medical/evangelistic outreach in Labasa town, one of the largest Indian towns in the country. Lots of opportunity to reach our target group, the Hindus and Muslims. While I’m on Vanua Levu Island, I may not always have internet access. In fact I needed to update my software upon arrival to get the net working here. When I’m done on Vanua Levu, I will take the overnight ferry to Suva where I will remain most likely until next Monday before taking the bus to Nadi. Have several people to meet and negotiate with during all legs of my trip. From Nadi I hope to travel by car to several towns and villages to meet with the youth leaders who attended our 1st friendship camp last year They will help in the planning for the next camp set for next August. Will also meet with key leaders regarding our beekeeping center. That involves a lot of driving.

Appreciate your prayers for stamina and that everyone I need to meet with will be available. There is much to get done during this trip.
Thanks and Blessings!

Ken

Heb. 13:20-21