The team travelled to a remote village up in the hills above Suva, in the mist and drizzle to be welcomed into a squatter village. A moving cultural experience, but tragedy was to follow.
On returning to the Bible College a team member, Mel -an Archer Nurse on the trip, received shocking news that one of her children had suddenly passed away that evening. At 4am this morning Mel, and Thomas as a support person, departed to return to Christchurch this afternoon.
The team and Bible College family have been profoundly saddened with the news and have rallied to offer support. We plan to proceed with our programme to walk through plantations to remote squatter villages today. But Mel, her other 3 young-adult children, and Thomas will be ever-constant in our thoughts and prayers.
Mel and Thomas depart for Christchurch early today
Mike, a Golden Oldie from last year, donated a guitar to the College to give to away to someone who would enjoy the use of it. George lives on the other side of the Island and was gifted the guitar to use in his youth group. He was so thrilled, that with school holidays now on in Fiji and the Golden Oldies in Suva, he wanted to express his thanks to them. Travelling on a bus around the island, he arrived and played his guitar at the children’s programme at the Cathedral today, and is now staying at the College for the week with the team.
George Junior, after he had used his guitar to play in to the children at the Cathedral Service
Why? He has offered to be the night time security guard at the College for the week the team are based here. His way of expressing his thanks to Mike and the Golden Oldies.
[Tonight, Monday, the Golden Oldies are travelling to a remote squatter Village up in the hills to experience true village life…]
Heaps! They just keep cramming in for a trip around the city.
Those Golden Oldies got on board ‘two by two’
Several years ago Golden Oldies Jill started the first-day city tour idea, and today led by one of the College students Moses, another trip occurred.
Roger ‘the Mafia man’ and Thomas in the van
Apart from the squeeze, it was fascinating to view the President’s palace, the coastline and reef, local parks and the National rugby stadium. -Roger
Bible College student Moses explains to Luke and Adele about the Fijian reserve they visited
The Suva Anglican Cathedral. The left half has snow protection!
It was great to attend the Suva Cathedral today. Its amazing to think it was half designed by the British –with no windows to protect against the snow!;and second half by the Fijians who gave it windows to allow the breeze in.
Peter and Pieter chatting
Its easy to think we know what’s best!
Andrea chats to Esther while Luke takes on the Fijians at rugby!
As I step onto Fijian soil have been struck at how quiet and the simple way of life appears here. I’m also stuck by how people take the time to say ‘bula’ to you and make you feel at home.
Darren and Anita showing the President’s guard how to stand to attention!
One guy came up to me and after saying ‘bula’, then apologised to me for the rain we were experiencing today! Wow! -Darren
The short flight from Nadi to Suva was a real surprise…
The team arrives in Nadi
I sat next to a young man reading his bible, but it wasn’t the bible I knew. As we started to chat about God I discovered be was a training Mormon and was preparing to depart for Salt Lake City for more intensive training very shortly.
Some of the New Plymouth team members, Norma, Jim and Margaret, on arrival into Suva
Then ensured half an hour of serious discussion with him exhorting me to learn about his faith and me explaining mine. As the plane touched down in the darkness and tropical heat of the night, we were able to agree on our belief in Jesus’s saving sacrifice and in the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
Heather and Erena chat with people after the service at the Cathedral
So our mission has begun, and already we are having the privilege of sharing our faith. And that’s even before we have arrived at the Bible College! –Erena
Donations have been pouring in for this year’s Golden Oldies Mission to Fiji. In partnership with St Johns Bible College, a number of project partnerships have developed over the past years.
Anita, Adele, Mel display some of the medical items purchased for the remote health centres team members will be assisting at.
The Golden Oldies have focused on projects that either receive minimal or no support or funding from other sources. These projects include working with remote villages keen to provide improved housing, sanitation, education and health for children and families; churches working with new mothers at a maternity hospital; supporting a remote medical centre; schools specialising in second-chance education for students living in squatter villages; supporting the St Christopher’s orphanage with sewing lessons; and helping at an old peoples home based in the WW2 army barracks. these are some of the projects the Golden Oldies are investing their time, skills, and finance in.
We’re grateful for all the contributions from Golden Oldies members themselves, friends supporters, Archer residents,the Archer Board, and Archer Tours members, and individual fundraising groups from around NZ who have heard about these missions.
Secretary Wendy packs boxes for the sea freight, and still keeps talking on the phone!!!
Recently our first sea freight of donated goods including sewing machines, children’s books, clothing and prayer books was shipped to Suva. While the Nurses at Archer have purchased over $1,000 of medical equipment to take on the trip, with generous donations in price discount from the medical supply companies have allowed us to take even more equipment
Golden Oldies from throughout NZ
Golden Oldies 2015 Team Members, based in Christchurch
This year’s Golden Oldies Mission team comprises of people from Christchurch, Blenheim and New Plymouth. The team has returning Golden Oldies, termed our ‘Graduates’ who are coming to transfer their life experiences and skills to mission projects we have previously visited, and first timers, our ‘Interns. The group ranges in age from 50+ years to 80+ years.
Rev Peter at a team training session
The Christchurch Team have had 2 training sessions in preparation for departure on Saturday 15 August. “I’m so excited about having the chance to go on a mission, something I have never done before”, says Intern Darren. The team has enjoyed getting to know one another and prepare themselves for the mission ahead