‘Denise’ lives with her 5-boys in a dying squatter village. In 2-months time the Chinese contractors will start excavating her land for new houses.
“Where are you going to move to?” Wendy asks, and Denise replies,
“we don’t know, maybe the Housing Authority will help us, but our real hope is in God above”
and after encouraging her we then get to talk about the Crusaders! Its interesting but in both villages we visited yesterday, the Crusaders were key discussion points, they love them.
Can’t work out why, what’s wrong with the Hurricanes! The next squatter settlement, Nadawa, we reach by walking through the plantations, and they welcome us with coconuts freshly dropped out of a palm tree by a boy ‘running’ up the tree to kick them down to us. As we talked with their young Village Chief, Rev Wami, we ask how they survive here.
“We go out in our long boats through the mangroves when the tide comes in, fish for 8-hours and then come back in on the in-coming tide.” If they’re lucky they will catch enough to pay for 2-days food. “And schooling?” “After faith, education is the goal for our children. We don’t want them to live like we do.” The children walk through the plantations daily to go to the Anglican School, an hour away. Last year a girl from this remote impoverished slum village was Head Girl of Basden College, the Anglican High School. They are proud of that, and this year she has a Scholarship to attend Forestry School.
‘The children look happy and healthy, and they have nothing compared to us’ was the continual reflection being heard in the bus as we rattled along to the Tin Cathedral for lunch.
Another example of our miracle acting God being revealed in our presence.
Our Projects team, Allan, Grant and Tim, had a great first day in the village, training the village people in plumbing skills as they prepare to complete this toilet project for their official opening this coming Sunday. They had 10 men and students working alongside them, connecting pipes, hanging doors, drilling holes through masonry, extending block walls, and gathering a list of other materials they need to buy this am. Today they’re off early, and excited about their role, even if they do have a few mosquito bite wounds from the overnight attack in the hostel bedroom!
Meanwhile the team today are being hosted by the Anglican Schools that help educate the children from these squatter settlements. After that they’re off to the University of the South Pacific where they are viewing these specially design laptops for children in developing countries throughout the world. ‘E-learning’ using laptops and inquiry-styled learning is being developed to give children in remote areas the best chance for their future employment. While tonight a squatter village is hosting the team with a Fijian cultural experience and a kava ceremony.
But I want enlighten the team about the kava until afterwards!