As our plane took off from Sydney bound for Suva, our team from Nowra Church of Christ were all feeling a little anxious. Despite our keenness to embark on this journey, we had no idea what we were heading into, and we had doubts about whether we had the gifts or experience needed to help the small gathering of Indian Fijians at Vuci Road Church.
Pastor Raj and his congregation welcomed us and we accompanied him the following day visiting people in their homes, praying for them and the issues in their lives. Some were people from his church; others were people of Hindu faith whom Raj had met along the road who accepted his offer to pray for them. We started to realise that this was a remarkable man, who had himself come to faith from a Hindu background. He faithfully walks the streets of his neighbourhood, witnessing to the love and power of Jesus Christ wherever he is welcomed. This is the backbone of his ministry, and it is a privilege to witness. We have been challenged to be such an influence in our own neighbourhoods back home.
On Tuesday afternoon we met with Raj and Nirmala in their front room to share our testimonies, reflections and the most magnificent pumpkin curry. Later we joined a Bible study on the veranda of another church family and, as we were fed again (pilaf this time), a transformation took place. Conversations now were warm and real; there was a buzz of chatter and so much laughter! Little children climbed over us. Generational divides and cultural chasms were bridged by the connecting ties of the love of God. Prayer requests were exchanged, dreams were shared and part of God’s family was reunited.
God didn’t require us to go equipped with five year plans and programmes. He just wanted us to share our stories and our lives with another part of his family. The feedback is that our visit was appreciated; that our nervous attempts at teaching and sharing were, in fact, a welcome encouragement. Pastor Raj told Fiji Community Churches of Christ Director, Bruce Edwards, “They have left something in people’s hearts – being willing to come and share.” For us, the privilege of being part of that is an immeasurable blessing. We look forward to continuing to build the depth of relationship between their church and ours and seeing where God takes us.
Margaret Kirk, NSW