BULA FROM FIJI.
It’s been a while since I properly updated and I am sorry that it has taken this long. There is a limited amount of internet access. But I’ll start from the beginning..
On the first of July our team arrived to Fiji! Any expectations that I had about Fiji – white sandy beaches and people in grass skirts was altered as soon as I landed here. Commercials about Fiji did not prepare me for the true Fijian experience. I know that there are places in Fiji that would fit that mold but the majority isn’t quite like that. I went through a time where I had to adjust my expectations. But now I can honestly say that each day I wake up, I love this place and these people a little more than I did the day before. To write to describe this place is a challenge because words cannot express it.
The population in Fiji is 30% Indian and the other 70% is Fijian. They live as next door neighbors but yet they stay true to their own cultures.
Our first three weeks of outreach was spent in Latoka, Fiji. We stayed at what we called the yellow house. It was the Marine Reach DTS house for Ywam teams. We had the privilege of sharing it with another DTS team from Kona, Hawaii - the Ships DTS. All together we were 12 and would share dinner and breakfast times. 5 DTS teams came from Hawaii to Lautoka Fiji and so our house became the ywam drop in house where people would come and hang out, worship, pray, dance and cook. I loved having a full house of people always.
During this time we were able to be a part of The School of the Circuit Riders! The school of the Circuit Riders is a week long training program that teaches people of all ages to share the gospel. This is there vision...
Our desire is that each student will carry out the simple tenets of Jesus ministry: Preach the gospel, teach biblical truth, pray for the sick, move in the supernatural, and call others to join us unto the fulfillment of the great commission. We desire to live from a foundation of worship and intercession to simply adore our great God, to receive His heart and strategies for nations and to commission those ready to respond to the call.
It was our privilege not only to be a part of the training but also to document this adventure and what God was doing in Fiji. We were able to record and photograph during this week which was such a blessing to give back to the community and also the Circuit Riders Team. In this week we saw healings and over 200 Fijians and Indians give their lives to the Lord!! Both Fijians and Indians were doing street evangelism in their own city longing to see people come to know God! So amazing.
One of my students, Kaylee, really wanted to see healings and was struggling with having faith to pray for that. I prayed with her and really encouraged her to ask God for more faith. That evening Kaylee, myself and mon (my co- leader) were able to pray for a lady who had a stroke 8 years ago and lost most of her eye sight in her right eye. That night the Lord healed her completely and she was able to see again out of her right eye! It was a huge encouragement to all of us..
"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." - John 14:12
I think that its our lack of faith that keeps us from seeing God work in incredible ways. Fear of man, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake. God says that we can do what Jesus did and more because we have the Holy Spirit. How amazing. And not because He needs us but He allows us to be a part of His purpose. It is so incredible to be a part of what he is doing here on earth. That He, the God of all creation - Lord of all, invites us to partner with Him! Our job is to be obedient. He is so AMAZING!
After Our time in Lautoka we traveled over to Ovalau on July 19th. This is a small Island just off of the Main island. We traveled in a bus from Lautoka to Suva (the Capital of Fiji on the Main island), took a ferry over to Ovalau and then another bus ride to Levuka where we were staying. When we reached Levuka, Ovalau there was something different. We were feeling dis-unified and frustrated with one another.. people were getting sick and short tempered. At 3 in the morning most of us would wake up and feel the need to pray. The spiritual atmosphere was very heavy and we were being attacked from the enemy. It wasn't until 2 or 3 days later till we found out what was going on. Levuka was the old capital of Fiji, it is also the center of the Fijian Islands, the last island to stop cannibalism and the place where the occult started and spread to all the other islands. We were staying 4 doors down from an old Occult building where human sacrifices were made and other unspeakable things. It was said that there were underground tunnels for the members to travel to special places within the city so they could cast spells and curses on certain places. Once we understood the spiritual atmosphere and what we were up against we were able to pray more directly.
Our purpose for coming to Ovalau was to do a promotional video for a new ministry that was being started. It is a ministry that is pairing rugby and the gospel together to change the community. Rugby is HUGE in Fiji and so something like this will make a really big impact within the islands. It was a really cool thing to be a part of. Also another awesome thing we were able to partner with was the opening of the prayer house which is located in the center of Fiji. The idea is to have people stay there for a day, a week, a year - whatever they need. It is a place to seek the Lord. These projects are both in the beginning stages but I believe that they will be crucial in transforming Fiji in the future.
Another awesome thing we were able to be a part of while we were in Ovalau was a baptism! Two of the prisoners from the local prison wanted to get baptized so one day after church our team, and the pastor we had been staying with, went up to the prison, walked down to the ocean with the two prisoners. My co-leader Mon also wanted to get baptized. I had the amazing privilege with Pastor Semi to baptize my good friend Mon! It was so special! Something that I will cherish forever. It was amazing to hear that God had changed hearts and that these three people wanted to die to themselves and live a life for Christ and Christ alone! Only God can change lives! After each one got baptized we stood in the water together, joined hands and prayed together and finished off by singing amazing grace! I will never forget this moment!
Our plan was to stay from July 19th till August 5th but during one of our team times we spent some time in prayer asking that God would really lead and guide us. We felt as though there was something more that we had to do in this place. The spiritual atmosphere had not lifted since we had been there and even during the few weeks we were in Levuka there were obvious struggles and attacks from the enemy. We needed to do something radical. We felt as though the Lord was leading us to do a prayer walk around the Whole island. This was confirmed by two members of leadership. They had said that they had been thinking about how cool that would be. So we extended our stay until the 10th of August.
On the 6th, a Tuesday, we went up to the prayer house and prepared our hearts and ourselves spiritually for the journey ahead. It was an amazing time of worship, prayer and seeking Gods heart as to what He wanted from us during the walk. The next morning we woke up and started walking at 3:30 am. We had a team of rugby boys come alongside us to help carry bags, pray, and climb trees to get us coconuts. They were also super helpful at pushing us up hills and encouraging us to press on. Truly a blessing. We walked and prayed, worshiped, praised, prayed, climbed mountains, rested, ate coconuts, climbed, worshiped, walked, ran, prayed, worshiped, climbed, walked, rested, prayed. praised. As we reached another hill the boys would say `` just one more hill...`` haha it worked to encourage us at the beginning but when we reached mountain number 14 we were really struggling. The walk was hard and long and we could feel that we were in a battle. There were sweat, tears, pain.. but in our weakness He is strong. And I can honestly say that during the walk God was there He was walking with us one step at a time. After the 12th hour of walking we were ready to give up. We could hardly walk anymore and the enemy was really attacking us physically, emotionally and mentally. The verse `...My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness...` was our driving force. There was no way we would have made it without the help of the Lord. It was painful and a huge challenge but The Lord was faithful to carry us through. As we entered into the town of Levuka (where we had begun) it was 7:20pm.. coming close to the 16 hour mark. Hand in hand we entered into the last part of our walk and when we did it felt as though we entered in hand to hand combat with the enemy himself. As we walked down the street unified both physically and spiritually we prayed out and sang out praises.. I am certain we looked foolish but none of us cared because we knew that we were not fighting against flesh and blood but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world. Even at the end Satan was trying to take down our team but with the Lords help we were able to persevere. The end came when we reached the occult building and walked in through the gate and yelled into the building that Christ had won and He alone is the ruler over this land and these people. Christ is all authority, He alone is King, He is victorious and will continue to work in Ovalau. It is amazing looking back at this time and see Gods hand at work. It is incredible to remember that God doesn't need our help but yet He still asks us to partner with Him.. to join in His mission. How Great is our God. That He would ask 6 white girls to walk around the island and pray for His people - be obedient and He will do the rest. Amazing.
It was so hard to leave Ovalau and the amazing Fijian family we made but I know that God has new adventures and plans for us during these next 5 weeks. I am so grateful for the work God is doing here and also within our Team. I couldn't imagine doing this with anyone else. God knew when He chose this team who would be the best and I am so thankful for his choice. These girls are amazing and I am so blessed by each one of them. I am constantly learning from them and alongside them. God is using them to shape me and I am so thankful and grateful.
I am sorry if what I wrote is a little disjointed.. or slightly confusing. I am not one to write down events or circumstances effectively. I have a hard time explaining things without using facial expressions and strange noises.
I am so blessed to be a part of this experience and I know that I could not be here if it was not for the Lord but also the support of my friends and family so thank you so much for everything! I feel each and every one of your prayers.
Love all the way from Fiji
Ele Alyssa Joline