Yaladro Hut residents, on the outskirts of Tavua Town in Fiji (on the central north coast of the main island, Viti Levu), were overwhelmed and delighted when they received red buckets full of goods from the Natogo Adventist Dorcas Club. Natogo is a branch Sabbath School of Vatukoula Central Adventist church and has around 15 adults and 12 children.
Named after the biblical character Dorcas (or Tabitha), who was known for “always doing good and helping the poor” (see Acts 9:36-43), these clubs—still active in many Adventist churches around the world—provide clothing and food for people in need.
According to Akanisi Tikinamasei, the assistant Dorcas Club leader, the women felt that it was their duty to visit the weak and poor and to share the blessings they had received from God. Although the Dorcas women are unemployed, they made it their business to visit each family and pray with them.
They then presented each family with one of the nine buckets, which were filled with groceries such as dhal (lentils), rice, sugar, flour, tuna, onions, biscuits and toiletries. They also took vegetables such as eggplants, plantains (a starchy, banana-like fruit that is often cooked) and cassava (a staple root vegetable in Fiji).
The families, both of native Fijian and Indian descent, were emotional and shed tears of joy when they received their red buckets filled with groceries and God’s love.
Lavenia Fiu, a Dorcas member, added that, despite belonging to a new Sabbath School branch, the women of Natogo were eager to make big impacts in the community in small ways.
“We are not rich but we want to share the good news that even though we live in a world of suffering, we should put our trust in God because He is still in control,” said Akanisi.
Dorcas is not the only ministry involving the Natogo group. The team also runs children’s ministry programs for the Indian and Fijian children in the community.
The church members deliver firewood to the elderly and widows in the community.
They are trying to save money for land and a permanent church building as they currently meet in a corrugated iron shed.