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June

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My Friends,


This past month we were able to bring out some of our friends and family who have been involved with Mission Fiji for awhile now, but decided to take the leap of faith and come see with their own eyes what has been going on here in the village. 

I hope some of these videos, stories, and photos can show a little bit how lives are being changed, both Fijians and Americans, through the support and sacrifice of our whole mission family.

Thank you to everyone who has stepped out to become involved in this journey. 

Our Fijian families send their love as well.
 
Sincerely,
Seth Coleman and the Mission Fiji Family
 
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Adidas Video

Click to Watch

My friend who works at Adidas, Erik Mendoza, is helping us make a difference out here by impacting the youth. Check out this short video to see the story. 

Click to see more videos

Island Culture.


One of the richest parts of living in Fiji has been discovering the process of understanding a different culture and way of life.

In the same way it takes time to get to know a person, it takes time to get to know a culture. And before I can effectively help out here, I first have to be able to see truthfully and honestly.

There is a missionary saying that "it takes two years of living in a culture just to begin to see the surface of what is going on."

When I first came to Fiji back in 2013,

 

I assumed the Fijians were "in need" because of their lack of material things... and in a sense I was wrong.


What I came to see is that having less material possessions actually set them free to experience some deep blessings.


For example, in the village I didn't have my own bathroom or water tap, so I needed to go to my neighbors house. I would walk over and talk to them while I was filling my water. After a few days the conversations became more personal and soon we became great friends. While I was filling my water, I was actually filling something much deeper in me. My lack of a water tap created a reason to have relationship.

What if my abundance of possessions back home in the U.S. can actually actually deprive me of a deeper need in my heart, to live in community? 

In America I can drive into my garage, push the automatic door, and disappear from the people around me until I wake up the next day and drive out. I don't "need" anyone. And I can get in the habit of thinking I am better off alone.

Thomas Merton once said, "no man is an island." We are not designed to live on our own. We need each other.


Our souls gain a sense of well-being when we rub shoulders and help each other. It brings a great sense of meaning to life. 


After living in the village for a few months a strange funny little idea entered my mind, "Maybe its weird that I don't know the names of my neighbors in the states." I shared that fact to my friends in Fiji, and they couldn't believe it. 


I'm not saying having possessions is wrong,


but its easy to isolate ourselves when we live in abundance. I am starting to believe that one of the reasons the Fijians have so much joy, even in their lack of "things," is because they live in a constant state of regular community.
 

Leaning on Each Other.

One day Nene (nay nay) Mere came over to our house just to visit. She lit up when we asked her to teach us how to cook some Fijian food.  

After we spent some time together she began to open up about being overwhelmed and worried.

Nene was told by a visitor from another village that she had a curse on her life because she had been having disturbing visions of a large dark figure standing around her. And that she needed to go to a special church and do "special rituals" to be free of "this curse". The visitor claimed to be a Christian.

This began a discussion about Jesus what he said about these kind of matters. We talked about how the Bible teaches in the New Testament book of Timothy that each person can have direct access to God and if you pray to him with a sincere heart he will hear you. Because of Jesus and what he did on the cross, we no longer need "special people" or "special churches" to set us free. They can help us and guide us, but they are not required for us to interact with God.


"For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,  who gave himself as a ransom for all people." Timothy 2:5


Many types of churches and men have gained false power over people because these truths are misunderstood.

We prayed together with Nene and she was filled with peace. It was a fulfilling day spending time together. 
Here is Stephanie, buying some fresh veggies from our Indian-farmer neighbor Kritine. 
 

What is a man?

This question about, "What is a man?" is answered very differently, depending on what culture you are in.

Here in Fiji, there are amazing roles that are assigned to men. They are the farmers and hunters. They are the decision makers and tribal leaders. They carry authority and are given great respect. 

However, sometimes in the home there can be great difficulties. Typically in this culture, the men expect the women to serve them and do whatever the man says. If a husband doesn't have a good heart, this cultural dynamic can be very damaging. The women can become overworked and overwhelmed by daily life. 


Since jack and I live alone, we always do our own cleaning, and cooking. Sometimes the people joke around with us, like how "we are doing the girl jobs," but other times I think our example is making a positive impact.


In this photo, Jacky is washing dishes with one of our good friends Waqa (wong-guh). 

This looks pretty basic but its actually pretty legendary. We share to the men how Jesus taught that greatness is found by serving and humbling yourself. And there is a lot of power if a husband serves his wife by doing the dishes, or even just helping her clean. A simple act like this can really lift her heart. 

Some of our friends have been inspired by this and we can see a shift in how they relate to the women. This is a slow process, but we are here long term and we pray that men can see that it is "manly" to do the dishes for your wife.

First Aid

With the help of donors back in the states, Heather and Abi brought over medical supplies to help the kids in the village.

It's hard too appreciate the power of neosporne and a bandaid until you are in an environment where it isn't a part of life.

One of the small boys who lives with us, Joka, had a pretty gnarly skin irritation causing his foot to peel and crack. Heather and Abi gave him his first medical treatment and cleaning. He loved it and felt so much better after. 

Sometimes I like to get all idealistic and leave all my western life behind and just live like a Fijian Native. However, I do really appreciate the amazing blessing of having medicine and antibacterial cream... so I can't hate on western influence too much:)
 

Fijian Medicine. 

Kave (Kah-vey) got to return the blessing to the girls for taking care of his little brother Joka, by treating heather with an old natural Fijian Remedy.

Heather had pink eye, so Kave dripped in some pure coconut water. Her eye infection cleared up in almost 24 hours. It was awesome!

What I learned in Fiji

by Abi Yager
"Being in Fiji, I learned that cultures compliment each other. It’s not about one being better than the other, or one being right or wrong; it’s about how we can learn from and help each other. We both have different things to offer that are equally important and we should embrace that. My time in Fiji opened my eyes to the beauty of community, and the importance of relationships. I love the culture there and being able to come alongside them, learn from them and teach them was an amazing experience. Fiji has my heart! Can’t wait to continue this ministry and see what God has in store! 

Journey to the Highlands

We took a journey up to the interior highlands of Viti Levu and brought some baby blankets and first aid kits that were donated to us. 

It's awesome to get up to the villages in the mountains where there is no electricity or running water. A lot of the things about their way of life have remained the same for hundreds of years.
The family we stayed with made some fresh bread in a home made oven. We stayed up drinking tea and cracking jokes. Fiji life is so awesome how everyone just spends time together. No TV. No busy schedules. Just community.

Our good friend Tala Neivua leads this Small Christian church in the Highlands. It's an awesome community of people who are learning to love and serve one-another.

Exercise Day.

The village elementary school right next to our base asked us to come and help lead the kids for a "Sports Day".

Abi got after it and led the whole school in some exercises. The kids had a blast.

Hawaiian Mission Team.

A Church from Honolulu Hawaii called One Love will be coming this month for 10 days to serve the village and help us build a second Bure hut on our ministry Base. 

We are super excited to tell the stories of how this trip goes next month. This will be our first time hosting a church group in the village. 

Prayer Requests.


1. Vision.

Pray for God it give us clear vision and wisdom on how to best serve the villages. 

2. Mission Teams

One Love Mission Team will be here from July 18th to the 30th. Pray for Pastor Mike Thomforde as he leads the group and for the team to grow and learn as they step out in faith to serve the Fijians.

3. Character

Pray for the Character of Christ to be formed in us as we seek to love unconditionally, serve humbly, and share effectively.

4. Provision

Pray that we can continue to be resourced financially so we can be creative and effective as we serve the villages.

5. Legal Registration

 Please pray for our local registration to finish processing. Sometimes things in Fiji move real slow :)

Donate.

Help Support the Mission

Thank you so much to those who help resource us financially. 
 

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. "


1 John 3:16
 

www.missionfiji.org


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