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NZ Update -- 1 April 2021

Fiji: Isei and Va Colati have just returned from an uplifting visit to the members in the northern islands of Fiji. The trip was delayed several times by bad weather, with a couple of tropical cyclones passing the area.

Isei noted: “It was very encouraging to see that all our members have grasped the same focus that Head Quarters is leading the Church towards, focusing on Christ as the Centre of the Centre of our lives”.

The Colatis, accompanied by Margret Franklin and Filipe Tuidamudamu as support, spent 3 days on Taveuni island, where they have decided to hold a 4 day Festival in August. There are 8 families in Taveuni, with more than 40 people attending gatherings, but only one person has been able to come to Suva for the Festival in the past. The photo above shows the Taveuni members.

The team also spent 4 days in Labasa, where there are 3 families with 16 members, and a week in Lekutu, where 7 members attended the meeting, and 19 other people came along just to listen. Isei reported that more than half of the total attendance during this trip consisted of people who came to our gatherings for the first time.

Isei did some electrical re-wiring of a cyclone-damaged home and distributed supplies to assist members recovering from cyclones earlier in the year.

Suva: The young people in Suva conduct a monthly outreach program entitled “Streetlights”. March’s activity was at the home of longtime members Mr and Mrs Mataika.

“The day consisted of general clean-up of their garage and compound, cutting the grass, water-blasting the concrete surrounding the house and painting of the fence wall. It took 6 youths 7 hours to get the work done. It was a lot of hard work however seeing the outcome as well as the gratitude received from the Mataikas made it all worthwhile. We ended the day with a prayer circle inviting God to fill and bless the entire house as well as its occupants.”

Refresher Weekend: A reminder that we are holding a Refresher Weekend at El Rancho, Waikanae the weekend of July 9-11, with the theme centred around effective listening and communication. Those planning to travel by air will need to make their bookings asap, before airfares increase. As usual, congregational funds may be used to assist members to attend this weekend.

Ever Giving: I noticed the following message from James Henderson on the UK church website and thought it was very topical.

“Did you read or hear this week of how the Ever Given has ceased to give?

“One of the world’s largest container ships, called the Ever Given, has been stuck in the Suez Canal, preventing other vessels from getting past it to their varied destinations. I know it’s just a play on words, but so far the Ever Given hasn’t given an inch!

“I wonder whether we ever get in the way of other people’s progress, a bit like how the Ever Given is blocking the movement of ships? It can happen, can’t it? We can become immoveable objects that just won’t budge in order to accommodate others.

“A Christian principle is that just as we have been given, so we should ever give. It’s particularly relevant at this time of year when believers remember that Jesus Christ gave his all for the world so that in like manner we can sacrifice and give of ourselves for others.

“It’s a simple thought: think about your blessings – all the things that you have been ever given — and give. Be the Ever Giving.”

May God’s rich blessings be with you all in this special season where we contemplate the enormity of Christ’s sacrifice for us, and rejoice in the wonder of His resurrection.

Looking forward to meeting up at our Zoom service on Sunday.

Warm regards, Rex


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