Only two weeks left! We had a good weekend. Saturday, we were able to do some sightseeing. Just around the mountain from the Sabeto base is zip lining and a hike to a waterfall. We got to do seven ziplines over creeks and beautiful jungle vegetation. It was a good time to just laugh and enjoy each other. After, we went back to Nadi town to do some souvenir shopping at a popular store here called Jack’s of Fiji. The team was like kids in a candy store. There were a lot great unique Fijian items. Two of the guys were so excited to buy Zulus, which is what a lot of the Fijian men wear. They were so inspired, the two guys wore them to church on Sunday and were appreciated by the locals.
Overall though everyone is feeling mixed emotions at this point. Some are homesick, some sad that it is only two weeks, and others feeling numb. This last week we had a lot of unexpected challenges and hard things happen that are good for everyone to continue to learn flexibility and faith, but also brings more heart issues to the surface as attitudes rise and complaining starts. We just read a few days ago James 3 about taming the tongue, which was a very convicting issues and teaching. There are a lot of opportunities to talk to the team and about speaking life and being encouraging rather than being foolish and speaking useless and demeaning words. We are also getting to have some really good discussions during what we call GGs (Grubby to Grace (women’s) or God’s Gentlemen (men’s) where we separate into guys and girls groups and get to go deeper together.
Some of the challenges we were faced with was waking up one morning to no water and our refrigeration off, meaning food we had stored overnight, majority of it had to be throw out. We eventually figured out it was a breaker that went out the day before when using the power tools on the same line, causing a shortage on all the outlets in the kitchen. Although stressful in the morning, after praying we were so grateful it wasn’t the refrigerators and a quick fix. We were also fortunate we lost electricity on Friday night all throughout the next morning; however Saturday we were gone most the morning and day, so it didn’t effect us for work or cooking. We have also had some challenge with work projects in needing more resources and having to wait on moving forward on certain projects until they can get them.
Also one of our the girls (Emma), was having pain in both her knees that was progressively getting worse as she worked. After taking her to the doctor in town, she was told to limit her activities. She was very disappointed, as she is a very hard worker and likes to work. It has been encouraging to watch the team take care of her and help her. One guy on the team even carved a walking stick for her. She was able to go zip lining and to the waterfall with us all on Saturday, because the team took turns carrying her on their backs up the trail to the swimming hole.
As for weather, it was very cold this morning, which was refreshing and a change. It gets warmer in the later morning and afternoon. Sunday we went to church in a larger town outside of where we are staying that was right next to the beach. The church had no walls and was open to the beautiful ocean view and the neighborhood surrounding. It was a small intimate church, but compared to the first church we went to, this was much less internationals, and all local Fijians from one of the other islands we could see. They were so welcoming and full of joy! They also cooked us a beautiful Fijian meal that was really good. They made fried fish, yuka, crab salad, potato salad, stuffed leaves, and pineapple papaya juice. We felt very honored and appreciated. They even did a special Fijian dance for us with their little kids!
The next two weeks are going to be pretty busy with finishing up the work projects, going to schools, going to another church this Sunday and we have another sightseeing and market shopping day scheduled this week.
Please pray protection over the team, and especially for Emma and her knees. We lift up her every day, and pray healing. Pray for hearts to continue to be tender and soft to what God has for each one the remaining of the time. It’s easy for everyone to become weary and start to miss home or miss familiar things. Pray they have a deep desire to stay focused and challenged, to walk with God in their emotions and feelings and that they get to experience trusting Him and letting Him lead them.