Fiji is a nation of 330 islands nestled in the South Pacific. Fiji is postcard-perfect in many regards, but there is another side to the postcard: people that live in poverty and great spiritual need. There are two main people groups here: the indigenous Fijian, and the Indo-Fijians (Indians brought from India by the British several generations ago in order to work the sugar cane fields). The Fijians converted to Christ en masse 100 years ago, but while religious outwardly some still lack a genuine faith. The Indians are primarily Hindu, with a growing handful of Muslims. Students International Fiji is relatively new: Ray & Laura Pittman (missionaries in Fiji for 8 years now) are working to pioneer SI’s work on the main island of Viti Levu.
We’re excited to welcome our second summer of outreach teams to the Fiji Islands! It’s been exciting for the teams to come alongside what God is doing here. This summer we are partnering with several existing ministries as well as beginning some pioneering work of our own.
Sigatoka Kindergarten & Pre-school
SI Fiji is partnering with Glory Gate church in helping them with this outreach to the Hindu and Muslim families in the area. Most are too poor to send their children to pre-school or kindergarten (optional here in Fiji). The local church had the vision, and SI was able to come alongside and help that vision become a reality. Now the poor children of the area are able to hear the good news about Jesus Christ and bring it home to their families! The parents are always commenting on how different their children are since they started school; this ministry has proven to be an amazing outreach of Christ’s love in the Sigatoka community.
Homes of Hope:
Homes of Hope is also a partner ministry www.hopefiji.org that SI Fiji has been able to come alongside and help. This home for single moms and their children has a vision to reach out to those who others turn away, to bring these young mothers to the Lord. They seek to “re-parent” and disciple them as well as their children. It is an amazing ministry and SI is working to help them however we can. . .this summer one of our goals is to help them become more sustainable as far as feeding the moms and kids. Through garden ideas, chicken projects and fruit trees, we are well on our way. Teams also have the opportunity to help in the area of education with the pre-school & primary school on campus.
Momi is the area in which SI Fiji is seeking to build a community outreach center. Right now the teams are helping to complete the abandoned structure on the property. Eventually this will be a base in which to house SI teams as well as serve as a community development training/resource center. This may take the shape of technical training and discipleship for young boys, educational ministry sites at the school next door, as well as agriculture, art, and sports ministries. We’re looking forward to seeing what God does in this primarily Indian community (the base is surrounded by a staunch Hindu community, and beyond that, Muslims). The people there are in desperate need of Christ’s light. We are facing a lot of opposition and spiritual warfare as we pioneer this project–(sickness, machines and vehicles breaking down, etc.). It is not surprising considering the hold that Hinduism has on the area. Please pray for the Momi community!
Fiji Prayer Requests
€¢ For the summer outreach teams
€¢ For the spiritual battle we are fighting here as we seek to shine the light of Christ into some very dark areas
€¢ For the children at the pre-school and kindergarten to come to a saving knowledge of Christ–and to become missionaries to their families!
€¢ For the moms and children at Homes of Hope–for them to truly embrace the hope and healing offered in Christ in the midst of their desperate situations (many have come out of the sex trafficking industry in Fiji)
€¢ For the people of Fiji and its leaders
€¢ For Ray & Laura Pittman, country directors, as we are facing a lot of difficulties and challenges right now. Pray specifically that God would provide transportation for us (desperately needed!)