‘Emmanuel’ –God is amongst us, God leaving his ‘home’ to come and live amongst us. This was a reflection that came to our people as they had left their home and made their way down into another culture and remote village people, to share together the love we have for God.
The village comprises of about 200 ‘houses’, half being of indigenous Fijian descent and Methodists; and the rest are of Melanesian descent worshipping at the Anglican church. Both having their churches in this valley and together they share a pre-school.
The village people like other villages has a roster to go fishing daily, leaving in their long-boat canoes with outboard motors, navigating through the mangroves to the ocean to fish. Then returning on the incoming tide 8-hours later, they return and others will take the fish to the Suva market, an hour away to sell. Their main source of income for the village.
The team met children and families as they walked through the village and then were hosted to a delicious lunch of fruits and coconut milk –which was poured into glasses to make it easy for them to drink.
The children sang and danced and the team reciprocated. Time to leave and met the scheduled taxi to ferry our Oldies back up the torturous mountain track.
But ‘Fiji time’ occurred again.
No taxi met us, too steep they decided for the taxi to come down the hill!
‘What do we do now?’ I thought, and then suddenly to my absolute astonishment the team ,all with their walking sticks and dodgy hips, with support from the village children started climbing the hill! The God of miracles gave them an inner belief and strength that they could do this. They did.
[Today has dawned brilliantly sunny, 26C, and the Golden Oldies are heading to a coastal resort for some well-earned rest. Saturday night they are being hosted by a village for a meal, and Sunday morning they leave early, returning to Suva to join in the first-ever ‘bula’ service at the Anglican Cathedral. And of course the Sunday afternoon is the trip out to the remote Wailoku Valley Village for the grand opening of the dunnies!! and subsequent village celebrations].