Saturday, September 20, 2008

Life: Nadawa Outreach

My time in Fiji had its ups and downs, but it was, in the end, a triumph. I went in early August with Teach Us to Pray, my dad’s mission organization

to help pray for people coming through the free medical clinic Teach Us to Pray and Window of Hope would be running. In the end, lives were impacted and the love of Christ was shone in the darkness. You’ve already seen the statistics, the numbers of people who were touched. It would be impossible for me to tell all of their stories, but here are just a few that stood out to me.
I was walking through the village on the second day, going from door to door, letting people know about the clinic and seeing if anyone wanted prayer. With me was Sylus, an Indian man from Canada who was serving as my translator. It was nearly time for us to go back to the church where the clinic was being held. Sylus and I walked up to one last house and knocked on the screen door. A middle-aged Fijian woman sat inside with a young boy on her lap and another playing on the rug. A young girl of maybe five years also sat inside.

“ Bula, come in,” the woman said as she opened the door for us to come in. We told her we had come to let her know about the clinic and to see if she wanted prayer for anything. The woman told us she had already been to the clinic, but would like prayer for her twin sons - who had chicken pox. As she spoke, the little girl ran out of the house. At there invitation, I sat down on the couch and we chatted for a few moments before I began to pray for the children.
As I prayed, the little girl came back into the house, followed by an elderly woman who smiled and waved at me.
“This is my mother,” the woman who had let me into the house told me. I recognized her immediately as a woman that I had prayed for the day before in the clinic. She had been suffering from back pain at the time and it had gone away when I prayed for her. To my delight she told me that her back was still well. I finished praying for the twins
and unfortunately we saw no improvement in their condition.
We told them they should go to the clinic so the doctors could give them medicine and thanked them for their hospitality. “Before you go,” the mother of the twins began, “Can you pray for my daughter. Every night she is waking up, she is itching and she wakes up my father to scratch her so that neither of them can sleep. This cannot go on, my father must work.” I nodded and the little girl came over to me and I placed my hand on her shoulder and began to pray. I finished my prayers and as we got up to leave, the grandfather came into the house. He asked us who was in charge of the outreach, and told me he wanted to write a letter from the community thanking the man in charge. “My father is in charge.” I told him, and I invited him to come to the healing prayer service that evening meet him.
I was not able to make the prayer service that night, but I saw the grandmother and grandfather waiting in line at the clinic. They told me they had not been able to make it either but joyfully proceeded to tell me that their granddaughter had slept well the night before for the first time in three months. We praised God for this and the grandfather asked after my father. My father was gone at the time, but I urged them again to come to the prayer service.
That evening at the prayer service, Ratu Osea one of the paramount chiefs of Fiji, and a man
who has partnered with my father in his ministry to the country, brought some of the youth from his church to do a dance for the people assembled. Most of the family did not make it that night, but the grandfather came and it turned out that Osea and the grandfather were old friends from the government, who had both worked on projects to improve the community. My father met with the man, who revealed that he was the leader of a local committee and wanted to help Dadin his outreach work. A new and potentially vital connection in the community was formed.
I met the little girl again several times during the week and she was always happy to see me. Last I knew, she was still sleeping well.
Later in the week, I was in the clinic praying for people waiting in the queue. The woman nudged her friend and they spoke together in Hindi. A moment later she caught my attention. She looked up to me with hope in her eyes and told me in a quiet voice that she had a headache and would like me to pray for her. I had been praying for some people around her and they had been healed. I think if it had not been for that she would have asked me to pray for her – I could tell by her head wrapping that she was a Muslim woman. I smiled and asked her if I could lay my hands on
her head to pray for her. It’s always important to ask before you touch someone, but it is especially important if she is an Islamic woman. She nodded her assent, and I placed my hands on her head and began to pray. After a time I took my hands off of her head andasked her if the headache was any better. This is always the hard part for me, asking if God has worked. Even though I know I’m not the one doing the healing, I’m always afraid that they won’t be healed. When that happens I feel as if I have failed them somehow. She nodded and I smiled. “Praise God,” I said and she smiled and said, “Praise the Lord Jesus Christ!”
The final story happened towards the end of the week. It was getting to be later in the day and I was getting tired
An Indian lady standing in the line touched my arm and asked me to pray for her daughter, who she said had a sore throat. Her daughter, a young Indian girl in a white dress, smiled timidly up at me. I prayed for her and, as always, asked if she felt any different. The girl's smile widened and she excitedly told me that the pain was gone from her throat. A look of hope began to kindle in the mother’s eyes and she asked me if I could pray for her now. She told me, with tears in her eyes, that her husband had left her years ago, that he was an abusive man and called her often the threaten her. She wanted to move to be with her sister and wanted me to pray that it would be possible. Again, I prayed for her, that her prayers would be answered and that God would give her strength. As I stopped praying and opened my eyes I saw a shift in her expression, a light kindled behind her eyes and she spoke to me with boldness. “When I came in here, I had no hope and as you prayed for me I felt this darkness lift off of me! I can face anything now. I know it; my husband does not scare me anymore!” When she said this, her daughter’s face lit up even more vibrantly than it had when her throat had been healed.
The following Sunday I saw them together at the local Assemblies of God church. She told me she had been a Christian but had long ago stopped going to church and that she would now be going again. She said my prayers had worked, that she had hope again and that her daughter was still without pain. God had moved in her life.
God moved in the lives of the people of Fiji, and I was blessed to be a part of it. Coming together with Christians from all around the world, from many different callings, we got to bless the citizens of Nadawa. Through the ministrations of the doctors, nurses, counselors, the prayer team and all the other volunteers we worked to touch every part of their lives. I cannot begin to tell you the joy of my experience, but hopefully the stories I have told you give you some insight into what I saw in Fiji this year.

More Pictures can be found on my facebook at:
A final request: My time in Fiji this year was a wonderful and rewarding experience, but nothing is free, alas. Before going I managed to raise about half the funds that I needed for the trip, and because I already had the ticket and the hotel had been purchased, I went
Now, I need to raise the rest of the funds to pay back Teach Us to Pray, which fronted the money. Any amount you would like to donate would be appreciated. You may click below to donate. Currently, I need to raise $1,300.