Eleventh Fiji Report

On Thursday, my last day in Suva city, I met first thing in the morning with businessman and friend, John Samisoni, to discuss the results of the Wai medical outreach and plans for the upcoming youth camp. We also caught up with each other on family and other ministry activities. John has been a friend since I first began coming to Fiji in 2003 and he has contributed in many ways to the success of what TUtP has been doing in Fiji all these years. He is a valuable source of insight into all manner of things Fijian. His passion is Jesus—loving Him and making Him known, especially to Hindus.

Next came coffee with the Dean of the Anglican Cathedral, Rev. Claude Fong Toy, born and raised in Fiji. He shared with me how he came to know and love Jesus and how he became involved in the Anglican Church. Fascinating account.

As Dean, Rev. Toy is in charge of planning clergy conferences and other clergy gatherings around the country. The recently appointed director of the Anglican seminary is evangelical. Together they hope to be able to turn the clergy back toward genuine faith. He would like me to do a seminar on prayer for the Suva clergy when I return to Fiji early next year.

After lunch I met with Dr. Joe Koriouvueta, Permanent Secretary for Social Services, Poverty Alleviation, and Women’s Needs for all of Fiji. Dr. Joe is also the director of GIFT, the group of Christian doctors TUtP works with to conduct our medical clinics. Currently there are about 16 doctors associated with GIFT. I’ve known this man of God from the beginning of my time working in this great nation. He has such a heart of love and compassion and he has faced a daunting task in his position. There are elections next month and whatever the outcome, he is likely to retire from public service and devote himself to GIFT. He showed me the architectural drawings for the GIFT center and warehouse that should be completed before this coming December. He and his wife will move into an apartment in this new facility once it is completed. From these permanent offices, he is confident GIFT will be able to more effectively serve the needs of the poorer people around the islands.

Then in the evening I took a taxi over to the house of Reggie Kumar, an Indian pastor friend I’ve also known from my first days in Fiji. Reggie wasn’t home as he and his wife were attending his church conference in Nadi, but his son Reggie Jr. and his daughter Charisma were there. Jr. is the young man just finishing dental school at the top of his class who helped out one day last week during our outreach. He has a year of internship after completing his studies this December. Then he hopes to become a qualified oral surgeon over the next three years. He also wants to continue to serve at our future medical outreaches. Our dentists who have observed his skills are very impressed with this young man.

Then yesterday morning I made my way back to Nadi where I will be meeting with our Fijian team over the weekend to finalize everything for next week’s youth camp. I just had a long conversation with the camp director, Cuvu Atama, the daughter of Ratu Osea Gavidi, the paramount chief TUtP has worked with since 2003.

Face-to-face contact is so very important in Fijian culture. It was fantastic to be able to meet up with so many important friends and partners during my brief stay in Suva.

Please pray that all continues to go well. Throughout the day next Monday, 150 youth plus staff will be traveling from villages all over the main island by various means of transport to the Lomawai Secondary School campus in western Fiji where the camp will be held. Pray that the Spirit of the Lord will powerfully impact students and staff as we focus on Jesus.