Final Reflections

Farewell Fiji, again

“Many Fijians have so little, but they have given us so much, to make us feel welcome and part of their families”
“I feel so humbled and inspired from this mission”

These phrases summarise many of the teams observations of their days visiting and contributing to mission projects around Suva.

Supporters Generosity

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The Anglican Archbishop of Polynesia welcomes the Golden Oldies to Fiji

The Mission commenced with many residents from Archer, families, friends, supporter groups, churches, previous Golden Oldies members contributing to the mission with donated equipment and materials; donations to purchase specialist equipment to take; and commitments to pray for the mission.

We purchased medical equipment and supplies, laptops, kitchen utensils, guitars, received donated carpentry tools, sports uniforms, childrens bible stories, bibles, school stationery, scientific calculators, teaching instruction manuals on core cirriculum subjects, family packs of childrens books and towels-soaps-toothbrushes, sheets, towels, pillow cases, tea towels, and other items that came to a total of 150kg of excess baggage.

Fiji Airways in their generosity heard about the mission to suppport the people of Fiji and offered to donate the full 150kg of space ‘free of charge’. That has never occurred before, and we were very appreciative of their sponsorship to bring all these treasures to their Fijian people.

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Golden Oldie Don presents donated children’s bible story books to the Village Chief

We landed in Nadi, Fiji and all 21 boxes of excess freight thankfully were claimed off the conveyor belt, with only 40-minutes to find our ‘ground courier’ who was going to drive all the freight to Suva, 5-hours away. But, there was Customs to get through. We were required to have an Import certificate, Customs broker and pay import tax! An official Customs Officer opened the first box (50 children’s books) and started asking how much each book was valued at. Time was ticking on. 30-minutes before we had to check-in for our domestic flight to Suva. He asked about what we were doing, requiring a description of each box, then suddenly said ‘oh away you go, no charge this time’ There’s a saying in Fiji that says ‘God is good…All the time…God is good’ How very true that was at that moment with the many prayers of people supporting the mission.
Rushing through the terminal, we met our driver, crammed all 21 boxes into his car, and he headed for Suva. We met him at the Bible College 4-hours later! His car must’ve had wings!!
This event was the beginning of many little miracles that we encountered every day of this mission, as we saw God’s presence touch the hearts of people we met.

Bible College Home

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The Bible College near completion, after its significant development

The team returned to their ‘spiritual home’ again this year at the St Johns Bible College, after the College has been going through a major redevelopment over the past 2-years. Although not quite completed, the GOM team were the first ‘guests’ to be allowed to stay at the newly expanded College. Some slept in the yet to be completed Cafeteria, to ensure all the team could remain on the campus. The Chambers extended family showered the team in their love, wonderful hospitality and care, with the team being so appreciative, as every other team has felt in previous years. A sanctuary for a tired team as they returned to the college each evening.

Villages become families

The Villages welcomed the team, more as returning friends than visitors or strangers. The benefit of returning each year building trust, and renewing friendships was evident through the continued ‘talanoa’ (conversations) we had.

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Real Village hospitality, even in monsoon rains!

Arriving one evening to a squatter village on a hillside outside Suva, the village had prepared a makeshift shelter with tarps draped over the bamboo poles protecting us from the monsoon downpour we were encountering. This was the meeting room for that evenings event. From a kava ceremony, to formal introductions, to lovu-cooked food, to children dancing, and then engaging with Golden Oldies to dance under the stars on rain-soaked spongy grass, this became the model for many of the team visits to other squatter settlements we visited.
But there is a serious side to all this, as well as gifting some of the supplies we had brought with us, we wanted to further the partnership to build village well-being and offer spiritual encouragement.


One of the main projects significantly advanced was the ‘mud-brick’ vision.
To establish training in brick-making and carpentry skills, to then build affordable cyclone-proof housing and church buildings for these squatter villages. In addition to this is the expectation to sell bricks as another money source alongside their fish and veges currenlty sold at the road side.

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Roger, Thomas and Alfred mud brick presentation to Village Chiefs through video clips and discussion (a sample mud brick can also be seen)

Roger and Thomas, along with Alfred from Fiji, spent all week meeting church and village leaders, developing, revising, then revising their plans that could make the project genuinely feasible. At weeks end, they announced their much anticipated proposal.

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Roger, Graeme and Thomas welcome the new GOM Project Manager, Tekape, to oversee the Mud-brick Project

A Project Manager is being employed by Golden Oldies to oversee the establishment and development of the making of mud bricks in 3 villages, one on the other main island of Vanua Levu. They are importing 2-new mud brick machines from China to compliment the one already about to start operation in making bricks. The first bricks made are going to complete a demonstration affordable home, a new Sunday school and extension to a church.

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Graeme and Village Chief/Church Minister Rev Tomu, celebrate the Village’s desire to be a partner in starting a mud-brick project with their men from this squatter village

Building materials are scarce and expensive in Fiji , and being the first to offer this alternative cheaper mud-brick to expensive cement-bricks could help take the squatter villages out of poverty and overseas aid dependency, to offer these village-churches some greater self-determination and regular employment for their men folk.
The next 6-months will be a very interesting time for all involved, and something the Golden Oldies are very proud of supporting through fundraising for the seed money needed, technical and operational support as partners in the project.

Crafts expansion and diversification

One remote squatter village we visit relies solely on sales from its minute crops and fishing. The men row for 1.5-hours through mangrove creeks to the ocean, then another 5km out to sea to catch their fish, then return on the incoming tide with their catch. Sadly they are noting a reduced quantity of fish available, and with the sea levels notably rising as they share their concerns for their survival. Furthermore, on their village border demand for new housing is bringing the bulldozers alarmingly closer to invade their village lifestyle of decades. With all that doom and gloom, they challenged us! Get on with what you have and continue to innovate. Last year the team saw them experimenting with making grass brooms to sell. They had made two. And by the end of that mission they had made another 10 and delivered them before the team departed.

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A remote squatter village develops crafts after the success of the GOM purchases of their grass brooms last year

This year, they were prepared for the GOM teams arrival, and it was beyond our wildest dreams. They had diversified to make a range of crafts to sell. By the end of this visit they couldn’t believe they had sold everything, amazed and proud of their efforts. The value of their morning sales was equivalent to 5-months of selling fish and veges at the road side stall!
Visiting this village every year by the Golden Oldies has brought deepening friendships and  some measure of new hope for the diversification of their micro-businesses.

‘It went on a long walk’

The oldest church on the Island with historical protection miraculously has withstood the recent cyclones. Although the kitchen wall collapsed and now has a tarp to protect it, the small congregation try to bring Gods love to this small bustling town. However, they confessed the Church woman’s invaluable ministry of sewing blankets for the new Mums and their babies at the local Maternity hospital was sadly in recess. The sewing machine the Golden Oldies had previously donated several years ago had ‘gone for a long walk’.

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Baby pack gifts from supporters distributed to new Mums at the Maternity Hospital

Now ‘amazingly’, a sewing machine had been donated for this years mission, and now we knew where the home should be for this machine. They were overwhelmed with appreciation, but how to reconnect with the local Maternity hospital again?
From this church we walked through the town to revisit the same Health Centre/Maternity Hospital again, we were surprised at the increased level of demand for medical services, and at the Maternity hospital the number of expectant mothers waiting for check-ups.

Health Centre busier

Previously the Health Centre was open from 6am-10pm, and  it is now open 24/7 with doctors on duty all the time. Equipment and supplies are limited, so again the generosity of many people’s donations towards invaluable equipment was gratefully received. The Medical Officer in Charge is so busy, yet unbelievably, spent an hour talking to the team about the health issues of the region, and wanting to know more about the mission work the team were doing.

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Senior Sister surrounded by boxes of GOM donated medical equipment in her congested Nurse Manager’s Office

Then another God moment, as the discussion got onto reconnecting this local church woman’s ministry to the new mothers at the Maternity hospital. The Medical Officer approved and welcomed them to return and recommence their ministry.

Hospital serves 80,000 people

Through her we gained approval and access to visit the only Hospital in the region. A 16-bed ward with less medical equipment than the Health Centre! The Children’s ward was one bed and cot in the reception area. Their needs were obvious, without even asking, and is already a real focus for next year.

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Golden Oldies offer prayer and encouragement at the small hospital

Free Education AND Transport

Education to secondary level, and most importantly transport to schools, is now compulsory and free in Fiji. Although truancy can be an issue for those in the villages, schools are focusing on improved academic standards, and a new trades-training academy has just been announced by the Government. Basden College that specialises in second-chance education reveals a good example of this academic culture, ‘if you stay away for a week, then stay away for the year’, they see ‘School is serious business to prepare you for the workforce’.

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Golden Oldies spend time in the classroom 

Another school has the ‘DEAR’ programme, cutting 15-minutes off the lunch break for reading. Before reading, they must brush their teeth then read. DEAR means ‘Drop Everything And Read’!
Three of our Golden Oldie Graduates, Wendy, Norma and Avila actually taught in classes here for the week. The school was hit with a sudden extreme shortage of teachers, so our ladies were teachers, which was both rewarding and exhausting -standing in front of a classroom of 45 primary school students! It also revealed, again, the lack of educational materials available, and how well the teachers do with so little.

Golden Oldies make National News!

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Golden Oldies Mission makes a national daily newspaper

The Fijian national daily newspaper ‘somehow’ heard about the GOM and sent a reporter to interview team members and take photos. Then at the end of the week a whole page was devoted to the Golden Oldies Mission to Fiji! It emphasised the teams partnering with the Bible College to help improve the lives of Fijians and especially their involvement with the squatter villages.


Remote Fishing Village -High Adventure

Travelling to the remote fishing village in Fijian long boats, down the widest river in Fiji, traversing through mangrove-bordered tributaries to the ocean was both nerve-racking and exhilarating. A first-time visit by a GOM team, and the entire village had spent all week preparing for the team. From the fish caught, to the lovu prepared, village welcome and hosting of the team by the entire primary school. They had prepared weaving, gifts and performed traditional Fijian dances and war-hakas by the camouflaged pasted boy-warriors.

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Adventuring down one of the largest river systems in Fiji to meet the children at a remote fishing village

The visit allowed the children to rehearse and perform their wonderful culture in front of visitors, something they rarely get a chance to do. Again it was great to share bible stories and dramas performed by our group, and leave educational materials, bible stories, children’s books and sporting uniforms with this idyllic village isolated from the world.

 ‘Walk in the Light’

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Golden Oldie Avila, presents a communion chalice to Village Minister

The Christian message remains an integral component of the Fijian people, and how wonderful to see a nation close down on Sundays for church, family time and village celebrations. Sharing our faith together was uplifting for everyone, and everywhere we went people were so appreciative of team members praying for them. This was never more evident that at the small hospital and old people’s home where team members went from bed to bed praying for the sick and families by their bedsides, and the elderly. At both these sites the senior nurses commented about the ray of light and hope their prayers and visit had brought. A song the team learnt was ‘Walk in the light…’ and here is a shining example of that.

Mission is about Partnership and Relationships

The mission continues to develop friendships, partnerships, and a growing sense of family between the Golden Oldies Mission team members, and all the places and people they meet each time we visit. They have grown to trust us, and we have grown to hear their hearts. The team learning that we must not assume to know what they need, or that we know best about how to do things better. Far from it. They teach us that their simple ways of life, where individualism is replaced with family, and what’s mine is yours too, has values that we have forgotten in our busyness.
Although at the same time, they do want to progress from subsistance living to some greater village-self-determination.
The on-going generosity of many supporters donations and gifts, the GOM ‘Graduate’ programme, and developing projects like the mud-brick venture, are a few small, humble ways the Golden Oldies can help to improve the lives of our Pacific neighbours in Fiji.

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Golden Oldies Team and members of Sigatoka Church at the end of the mission

In conclusion

in all honesty, we too learn so much from them, with their warmth of friendliness, culture, and faith. It challenges us to strive to become more caring, selfless, and village-community focused. And most importantly, to restore our soul and and keep God at the heart of all that we do and can become with Jesus as our Saviour and Lord.

Vinaka vakalevu
Graeme and Jane
Founders/ Team Leaders Golden Oldies Missions

Remote Fishing Village Greets Oldies

Early today we set off by bus in the Suva rain to a river landing site where we headed down a large river to where it meets the sea. Nakui is a little bit of paradise tucked away near the coast line. Seemingly untouched, the scenery is beautiful and the people were even more so.

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The team make their way through Nakui village.

The village chief and elders welcomed us with a traditional ceremony – the men drunk Kava and then it was offered to the women. After a few rounds of Kava we joined in discussion with the Elders, wanting to start to establish a relationship with this village and get to know what they need.

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The children put on traditional dances, the team presented their cloth Meke.

We made our way over to the Nakui primary school where we were entertained by singing and dancing by the children. They were humble and respectful to us, kneeling and clapping as they presented us with flowers, drinks and our meals. We responded by singing a song and reading bible stories, apologizing to them that our singing wasn’t quite up to there standard.

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Alison dancing with one of the village children.

The children asked us to join them in dancing on their school field, which we happily obliged. We also joined them in some rugby, netball and volleyball. They were sad to see us go and as we departed the village we were asked by the children, elders and chief to come back again next year. The fellowship is already starting to grow.

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Traveling through the mangroves.

The journey back to the boat landing was a bit longer and exciting than expected. First one of the boats wouldn’t start and then another ran out of petrol half way up the river! After a long ride back up the river and through the mangroves we finally made it back. Tired, a little sunburnt but content and inspired we all made it safely back “home”. No swimming or paddling needed!

Dancing the Night Away

Last night the Golden Oldies were privileged and honoured to be hosted by a village. We were shown love, grace and inspiring fellowship as we were welcomed into this small community.

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The team dramatise the bible story of Peter and Jesus on the water.

Cabiti is a small Melanesian village up a long winding hill. The village consisted of around 20 families with many attending at St. Barthelomeus church hall last night. A small, humble building that was brightened and decorated with beautiful silk fabric. They are still in the process of building and extending their church, something which we are hoping to partner with them to help accomplish -with mud bricks!

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Discussing the opportunities of ‘Mud Bricks’ with the village Chiefs.

We were traditionally welcomed in the Fijian language, ceremoniously we were presented with Kava as a gift and were welcomed by the village men as they accepted us as part of their community. Some of the men of our group accepted the Kava on behalf of the group. They were then invited to sit with village Chief and Elders around the Kava bowl to discuss the villages needs and opportunities.

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The youth showing us a traditional dance.

Then came the dancing! Some youth stood in the middle of the hall and treated us to a ceremonious dance. Halfway through the second song we were invited to join, attempting to follow the movements. You could see them brighten, laughing and smiling as these “Oldies” from New Zealand were excited at the chance of learning a traditional Fijian dance. After a wonderful dinner more dancing was held and this time the youth took us in a step by step guide. It was hard to tell whether they were laughing with us or at us – we hope it’s both!

The village women presented us with gifts of Sulu’s and shell necklaces as we said our farewells. A connection had been made with the village of Cabiti and the missson opportunites and excitement has just began!

Back to School!

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Students play Tennis on the field at Holy Trinity School.

Holy Trinity School is a Primary School in Suva with 750 students and only 18 teachers. Four of the teachers were away this week, throwing our Golden Oldies of Wendy, Avila and Norma in the deep end to teaching large classes between 40-45 children. They have done a great job and loved being called ‘Maam’!

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Wendy hard at work, teaching a class at Holy Trinity.

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Avila and Norma after a long week at teaching at Holy Trinity

Today we got a chance to experience it for ourselves, spending time in the classrooms. There were three or four Golden Oldies in each room, as we split up and tried to met as much of the children as possible. The children were so excited to see us, jumping out of their seats and loudly greeting us. The groups did all different things, some of did quizzes, songs or just talked one-on-one with the children.

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We played “Simon Says” with the children in one of the classrooms.

In our class Pauline gave the children a talk about how important education was and why she decided to stick with it and do more after working. Next we asked the teacher what they were studying and Alison helped teach them, asking questions about where each parts of the body were, what they did, and even asked them to teach us how to say them in Fijian. Sadly all too quickly it was time to go!

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Don showing some of the children his “magic tricks”.

I found myself being hugged by about 30 children all at once as we said goodbye and tried to leave, but it was like they didn’t want us to go! They children were all hanging onto me as I made my way slowly out the door, some of them even tried to follow us out the door! It was an amazing experience and I felt honored and privileged to bring smiles to these children faces.

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Donations of new PE and Sport Uniforms for the school.

It was a real eye opener to the way the school operates and how the children are educated. The teachers are trying their best in conditions of a school bursting at the seams, with little resources and not enough classrooms. I loved the experience of being in the class and meeting the children. Their happiness at seeing us and their joy of joining in with activities and singing was inspiring.

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Jane in fellowship with the women and children at St. Christophers.

This had been a morning of inspiration. Before this we had visited St. Christophers orphanage. We were given a tour by one of the ‘children graduate’ girls who is studying at University and now helps out there. There are 28 children at the orphanage at this time, ranging from just one up to early 20’s. It was with great relief and a weight lifted off our shoulders at the sight of how well run and how much care, grace, and love was provided here. I was inspired by the amount and variety of books they had at their library as well.

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Sister Karlo and Melva having a laugh at St. Chritophers.

God was certainly moving in the places we visited today, moving in the loving calm and grace, and in the crazy, yet passionate, chaos of an over stretched school providing great education to so many students.

Find Happiness

This morning and early afternoon the Golden Oldies made a trip to some ‘squatter’ villages. It would be a real look at the Fijian people and the way that they live, love and show hospitality.

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The team with the people of Nadawa village.

First was Nadawa, a small village of 12 families consisting of 62 people, including children. With no electricity, one source of water and the constant fear of being forced off their land by Property Developers for housing these people had nothing that our Western Culture would call ‘useful’ or ‘acceptable’ to offer. Yet they gave everything, this small village welcomed us with smiles, songs, food and blessings in abundance.

After a walk through the village, we were hosted by the women of the village to morning tea, but not before we were treated to the sight of some of the older children climbing trees for coconuts, and then offering them to us to drink and eat! It was  a lot of the teams first experience of fresh coconut and the consensus was a good one!

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Mary discussing craft ideas with a village mother.

During morning tea we had the opportunity to buy some arts, brooms and traditional dress made by the women of this village. It was joked that the purchase of these goods were your ‘ticket’ to get back on the bus afterwards. We all walked away with some purchase.

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The team trek through plantations to get to the remote village.

We were farewelled with smiles, songs and heart. Happiness was in the children’s eyes as they waved us goodbye. Gratitude and love in the eyes of the village parents as we donated children’s bible books to them. A warm and beautiful heart as they escorted us all the way out of the village, helping us along the muddy tracks to ensure we we returned to our vans safely.

Secondly, we visited the parish and village of St Gabrielle’s and the lovingly-named ‘tin cathedral.

But a lovely surprise, after much talk the community was well on the way of completing a new church building. It had walls and a roof, a great improvement from the foundation that the team saw last year. Due to be completed in December the new and strong building is a beacon of light, sitting just off the main road.

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Jane and Gwyn with the ladies of St Gabrielle.

We were greeted by the village all lined up to each shake our hands and thank us for coming. And then, they wanted to take photos with us! Happiness, laughter and ‘Vinaka’ was shared in that building, a beautiful representation of what is to come with God’s grace and help.

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Being welcomed into the ‘Tin Cathedral’.

We then had a formal welcome and gathering in the ‘tin cathedral’. Sitting in their church was a true testament to this communities faith. Once again, we were hosted by a people that had so little, but was willing to give us so much in a show of gratitude of our visit. A large lunch, songs, prayer and introductions, and a chance to met and talk to these true Fijian people. An embodiment of their culture, an embodiment of God’s love and family.

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St Gabrielle singing a farewell inside the ‘Tin Cathedral’.

Happiness was once again the theme as there was not a single face in that cathedral without a smile, we were farewelled with spirit, songs and enthusiastic waves of goodbye. The whole congregation stayed on the road outside the cathedral were we could see them, waving and kissing goodbye as we drove off.

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Farewell from the people of the two ‘cathedrals’ of St Gabrielle’s.

Today the Golden Oldies found a little happiness. Recently tourism adverts for Fiji have stated that Fiji is where ‘you find happiness’ and while this is true in a large sense, there is also something about it that we need to think about.
I believe it to be more rewarding to go looking for that happiness. To go off the beaten track and find the real Fiji, it’s people and it’s happiness. Go looking for those that just want to say Bula!

Sewing machine answers prayer

The Golden Oldies visited the oldest church on the main Fijian Island that has spiritual and historical significance. In all honesty, St Lawrence Church should’ve fallen down in the last cyclone, but only one wall caved in, now covered by a blue tarpaulin.
Yet the Parish people and their spirit remains committed to its cause. In particular they have a mission to help the young mothers at the local maternity hospital, but confessed to a small problem. The sewing machine they had to make blankets for the new mothers ‘has gone for a long walk’. Now ‘miraculously’ the team brought a donated sewing machine to give to a needy cause. St Lawrence seems to be this place.

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St Lawrence Church will use the new sewing machine to help young mothers at the local Maternity hospital as an outreach

Following on from here we visited this Maternity hospital and the Health Centre that we have supported for several years. The overwhelming impression was increased demand for their services, stretched resources, but a calm orderly system appeared to be working. Our Nurse Margaret, was impressed with the cleanliness of the hospitals, and the professionalism of the staff. We met the Hospital/Centre Manager, with literally hundreds of people waiting for medical attention in makeshift waiting rooms. Her passion and commitment to caring for the ‘little person’ in the region was impressive, and they were humbled with the generous gifts of medical equipment and supplies to assist them in their work.

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Retired Nurse Alison shows Dr Dasi some of the donated medical supplies desperately needed for her work here 

Lunch was at Basden College and meeting the new Principal. He had spent the last year in the Interior of Fiji, teaching students in tents after the cyclones. Many houses are still not built and people remain in tents 18-months later. ‘Teaching children to pass exams in the heat of the day in tents should be demoralising’. But his students excelled and passed. This ‘culture of learning’ he has brought to Basden and it was impressive to see his expectations for student living. ‘If they don’t come to school for a week, they might as well not come to school for the year’  is the new standard. I want to train my students at school as if they are in a job. You need to learn to attend school each day, just like a job’. It was good to pray for his role and then the team spent time with students in their classrooms.

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Roger hands over some school books to Principal Parker at Basden

Final stop was the Government run Old People’s Home in the WW2 barracks. People usually residing here have no family, physical or mental disabilities, or dementia, and many are amputees.

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Elsa presents a sewn blanket to a resident

Staff showed compassion and great care in facilities that are basically large rooms with no privacy for anyone. The team handed out stitched blankets sewn by Archer residents that brought smiles and heartfelt thanks from residents. Medical equipment and supplies were donated and a laptop provided to the nurses -their first. The team spent time talking and encouraging residents, praying Gods love over them.

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Neville spends time with one of the residents

So does any of these visits make any difference? The Fijians tell us ‘you know, it warms our hearts to see you caring for our people. Thank you for coming and giving of yourselves, and your generous donations mean a lot to us’.

Today has been a good day.

When It Rains…

Rain poured down on us as we made our way up the steep hill into Matata Village. Umbrella’s casted a canopy of colour as we carefully made our way up, being greeted with smiles and waves of the villagers as we went. Matata village is a squatter village of 200,  and as the rain poured down it felt like we were welcomed and greeted by all of them. This was our first village to visit, and it was the first ever visited by the Golden Oldies on there first trip to Fiji, a relationship that had grown from quiet politeness to a surge of laughter and fun, dancing in rain and mud – sharing life together.

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St. Michaels with a new lick of paint and final preparations on “the shack”.

The heart and hub of the village is the church St Micheal’s and All Angels, a beautiful building that is their shelter in bad times as it is the most stable in the village. But the Church is not where we will spend our evening, in stead we were in “the shack” a make shift hall that the villagers worked hard to put up just for us, and will spend time taking down after we left. And this is only a small amount of there hospitality. For a place with so little, they give so much. They are only happy to give all they have for the visitors that had come to their village – they welcomed us “home” with food and joy and bright smiles that could not be dampened by the rain.


It is a tough feeling accepting a large meal from a community that you know does not have much. But it is also a privilege, the people of Matata wanted nothing more that to show us their hospitality, and the large and beautiful meal was a part of that.

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The Sunday School children treat us to dances during dinner.

As the night went on we were treated to the Sunday School Children performing dances that they had practiced just for us. Entertainment while we ate dinner, but the sight was so amazing that you had to wait to eat dinner, as you didn’t want to miss a millisecond of the beauty that the children showed. Their smiles and souls shined bright as we applauded each performance. But it was nothing to the smiles that were about to come, when the rain stopped and the music turned on – the muddy grass would soon become a dance floor.

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We begin to join the dance with the village children!

I have always thought that saying a child’s smile was the most beautiful and pure thing in the world was a bit cliché. But these children are the epitome of that saying. I have danced in the rain many times in my life, but never quite like what we did tonight. As we joined the children and village in their dance we were no longer visitors, we were, a part of them. Family, friends – brothers and sisters in Christ.


Is Praying worth it?

Do we expect God to answer prayers?

This was a question posed by the Archbishop today as he spoke at the Suva Cathedral to us, and 18-people who gave a commitment to following the Christian faith today.

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ArchBishop Wiston preaching to a packed Cathedral today

The powerful sermon left an impression on me that will not just last today, but something I will ponder for the months ahead.

That is just what I got the sense of. I had just been in a place of prayer, filled with God’s spirit – and I was challenged by this experience.

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Golden Oldies arriving at the Cathedral for today’s service

The Cathedral is a beautiful place, and not just in its masterwork of stone and wood, but the people that gathered there. The people worshiped God, and the raising voices of a congregation that believed whole heatedly the words that were leaving their mouths sung with such conviction.

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The congregation witnessing the confirmation of the 18 candidates.

I left feeling uplifted, being among people who loved a living God, and I can only conclude that they believe God answers their prayers. But what about you? Do you have enough faith to believe that God can answer your prayers too?


Freight Miracle

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Arriving at Christchurch Airport with the 21 boxes of donated goods

Many people have sponsored all the equipment, books, carpentry, bibles and much more. But there was a sense of nervousness whether we could actually get what finally totalled of 21 boxes of freight from Christchurch to Suva. So the miracle began.

Christchurch check-in finally accepted the entire 21 boxes. Great start.
But getting through Nadi customs was going to bring us to a crashing halt!

No customs clearance, tax to pay, no documentation completed. The first box was opened…children’s story books. “how much is each book valued at?”, and the questioning began, yet we only had 40-minutes before we would be boarding our next flight to Suva. More questions, more calculations, then suddenly he said, “oh, just take them all through, no charge, welcome to Fiji’

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Loading the boxes into a car at Nadi Airport carpark

Unbelievable! Rushing through the terminal we located our courier contact, loaded the boxes into his car, and we both departed. The courier driving through the night to Suva, and us to catch our plane.

And just before midnight, 12-hours after leaving Christchurch the full 21 boxes arrived on site at the Bible College in Suva!

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All the freight arrives safely before midnight in Suva!

Fiji Airways -Vinaka!!

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Archer residents proudly display medical equipment purchased for Fiji

Fiji Airways have taken a personal interest in the work the Golden Oldies Mission teams are offering to Fijian people.

Each year the team has taken valuable supplies of medical equipment, children’s books, teaching manuals for teachers in schools, calculators, sewing machines, and now even carpentry tools.

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The Archer Craft Group fund raise annually to support the mission

These supplies have come from residents of Archer’s Homes and Villages, the Archer Memorial Baptist Home Trust’s Kingdom Ministries Fund, the Archer Craft Group, Cubro, Hit-IT, Golden Oldies team members from previous years, and other supporters who have fund-raised, provided individual donations and/or materials or equipment.

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Archer Nurses are donating laptops to the Nurses at an Old People’s Home in Suva

The Golden Oldies acknowledge all these people, and thank Fiji Airways for their support in sponsoring additional freight space, so these donated goods can be distributed to the villages, schools, hospitals, old people’s home and orphanage in Fiji that the team partner with.

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Prayer is a key to fulfill God’s plans and reveal his love to people. The Archer Prayer Team members have copies of the teams itinerary so they can support them daily in prayer. 

And finally, time to pack it all up, ready for the trip. All 19 boxes!!

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Peter and Wendy, proudly display some of the boxes ready to be freighted to Fiji with the Golden Oldies Team from Christchurch. With special appreciation to Fiji Airways who have sponsored the space to make it all happen