This Mission Overview:
The Golden Oldies Mission is a fully supported mission trip to Fiji, running for 11-days from Saturday 9 September.
This year we have 23-Golden Oldies on the team from all over NZ. The team are based in Suva for the majority of the mission. Here is their itinerary.
|Saturday 9 Sept||The team travel from either Auckland or Christchurch to Nadi, Fiji on Saturday afternoon.
In the evening the combined team fly from Nadi to Suva, then travel into Suva city to the St Johns Bible College.
The team is based at the Bible College for the next 8-nights.
Sunday 10 Sept
|The team will attend the Suva Anglican Cathedral for the morning service.
With most shops are closed for the day on Sunday. However, the buses still run and the team will have an option in the afternoon to take an open air public bus for a trip around the city. A great experience seeing all the suburbs and locals.
Late afternoon a team meeting will take place to prepare for the week ahead.
|There is an optional College Chapel Service before breakfast each week morning, for anyone to attend with the College staff and students.
After breakfast before the team head out on mission a Team Devotions time is held.
Today a Fiji Cultural session will take place followed by a talk from the team of the House of Sarah Ministry.
This ministry specialise in woman’s abuse issues and how the church is dealing with these challenges throughout Fiji and the wider Pacific.
This afternoon the team will head into the city to purchase their ‘Fiji Numbers Ones’ Fijian-styled clothing, that they will wear when out on mission.
Tonight, the team visit a squatter village up in the hills on the outskirts of Suva city. This village is where the team from previous years has supported the purchase of a Woman’s fishing boat too.
Tuesday 12 Sept
|Today is a busy day.
The team travel to visit the oldest church on the Island and hear about how this small congregation support ministries in a local town.
Then a short walk through the town to the local Medical Centre and Hospital. The Golden Oldies have supported this over-stretched and sparsely-resourced hospital with donated medical equipment from donations received.
Over the past years some of our Golden Oldies have volunteered their week here, to help the nurses and staff deal with the hundreds of people seeking daily medical attention.
This afternoon we travel to the Anglican High School that has specialised in offering second-chance education for young adults who want to return to school. Young men and single-Mums attend, and the school has grown from 80 to 400 students over the past 5-years.
Some of our Golden Oldies Graduates maybe serving here during the week as well.
We are hoping to start the building academy with the School, giving the students a chance to gain building skills, making the new mud-brick houses that the Golden Oldies are developing as project that started last year.
Finally, we will visit the Government-run Old People’s Home, located in the WW2 Army Barracks.
This is quite an emotional and challenging visit with elderly people with physical disabilities like amputees, blind or deaf, co-habiting with those with mental health issues and dementia. The staff here are incredibly gracious, and again the Golden Oldies donate medical equipment to support them in their work here.
Wednesday 13 Sept
|Today is housing day, and we will visit squatter settlements in the region.
The team will learn about the land tenure issues, squalor housing, subsistence farming, fishing and micro-businesses.
The village we visit is very isolated and the team will trek along tracks through the coconut plantations to meet the people of this village
The team then travel to the ‘Tin Cathedral’ -a term given to a squatter village’s ‘Cathedral’ that was built in a week! It’s a great story, and recently with Overseas Aid, this village is building a new multi-purpose church/community centre which the team will see for the first time this year.
Tonight, the team have the honour of meeting a widow who is caring for the ‘Chicken Boy’.
This is a man who was raised as a chicken under the family house for 14-years by his grandmother. After he was discovered and released, no one could cope and care for him. Then God brought this lady along who has given her life to his rehabilitation and well-being. We will meet them and hear their incredible story.
Afterwards we will attend a coastal, historical church for a youth-orientated ‘praise and worship’ service, followed by being hosted by the church family for a meal.
|Thursday 14 Sept||Today the team travel to St Christopher’s orphanage, where we will meet the sisters, children, and volunteer supporters. The team will have time to talk with the children and experience life here in the orphanage.
This afternoon we visit the Suva Cathedral Primary School, meeting the students, and attending classes with the children.
This is where some of our Golden Oldies Graduates are spending their week, helping the teachers and administration-support staff in their roles here.
Tonight, we are hosted by a suburban squatter village. They provide a cultural extravaganza with their food, music, and Fijian dancing.
It’s a totally different style of squatter village to what the team experienced earlier on in the week, with different set of challenges. Adjacent to this village is the development of a new housing subdivision and the treat of expulsion from land they have lived on for generations is a constant threat they face.
|Friday 15 Sept
|A full day out for the entire team.
For the first time ever, a Golden Oldies team are venturing to a remote fishing village at the mouth of the largest river system in Suva. It involves travelling in narrow elongated Fijian long boats down the river, through the mangroves to the ocean.
Here we will spend the day with the village community and their Primary School and Kindergarten. The team will be allocated classrooms to spend time with the children, and the children will perform some traditional dances and songs as well.
|Saturday 16 Sept||Today is the team’s final full day in Suva.
It will be a chance for the team to explore and experience the wonderful and famous Saturday Suva markets. Village people travel to the city with all their crops, poultry, fish, and crafts to sell on the Saturday. They sleep under their trestles on the Friday night in the market centre!
Suva is a bustling city centre and it’s a last chance to do some final shopping.
Tonight, the Bible College and Golden Oldies will host a Thanksgiving Service and banquet dinner to thank the many people who have been involved in the mission over the past week.
|Sunday 17 Sept||Early start today, packing up, saying our farewells, and travelling to Nadi.
The team travel the Coastal Coral Pacific Highway that passes through many coastal and inland villages along the way.
The team stops at Sigatoka for a church service hosted by the parishes of Sigatoka. This church we attend is an example of another Golden Oldies Mission project. In partnership, a Kindergarten Ministry has been developed using the church as its base during the week. From 5-years ago, with a Parish of 3, the Church is now recognised as having the most successful pre-school programme in the region, with a waiting list for children to attend. It has also increased the numbers attending the church on Sundays.
After sharing in the Service and being hosted for lunch by the Church community, the team then complete the trip to Nadi.
Here in Nadi the team will stay for their final 2-nights at a resort.
|Monday 18 Sept||A day to relax and reflect on the mission.
Some of the team will relax quietly at the resort or explore the local region, while others will venture out on a day trip to a tropical island to experience something of the beauty of the tourist region.
A final night together as a team, before an early start the next morning.
|Tuesday 19 Sept||Up and away to catch our flights back to NZ!