Fijian youth brave cyclonic weather for mission camp

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More than 2000 young people from around Fiji attended three regional youth camps from March 30 to April 2.

The largest of the camps, with 1000 young people in attendance, was held in the Central Eastern Region in Levuka, Ovalau. There were 700 attendees at the Northern Region camp at Taveuni, Fiji’s third largest island.

And more than 500 young people from the western region of Fiji attended the Western Regional Youth Camp held in Lautoka with the theme “Mission on the Move”.

Despite the weather, with Cyclone Josie bearing down, the youth braved the rain in order to be part of the programs. The main worship services were held at Churchill Park, featuring guest speaker, Pastor Eliki Kenivale, chaplain for the Pacific Tertiary Evangelistic Center based in Suva.

Pastors from the Trans Pacific Union Mission and the Fiji Mission were also involved in the break-out sessions.

“This experience was significant to each of us [camp coordinators] as we experienced first-hand God’s faithfulness in protecting campers,” said one of the camp organisers Kesaia Vasutoga. “Although issues were encountered, boats delayed, school cancelled and work for camp attendees, overall [we] saw God move.”

The main purpose for the camp was to equip and train the youths in missionary work and also to help fund a boat for mission work in the islands.

Pastor Kenivale spent 25 years of his life and ministry as a missionary and pastor in the Guam-Micronesia Mission, an attached mission to the North American Division. In one of his main messages he challenged the young people to invest in the friendship bank account.

“You cannot withdraw from your bank account if you have not deposited any money into it,” he told the young people. “You will need to invest before you make any withdrawal. A similar principle applies in the areas of soul winning and discipleship. One cannot lead a soul to Jesus if he or she has not invested some effort, time, money and the like to develop and build up a relationship with a friend or colleague.

“During evangelistic meetings, Adventists like to invite people to attend their meetings and if some do not turn up we easily blame them for their decision. We are also quick to say that we have done our part.

“But, in actual fact, how much have we invested in them before inviting them? How much time, energy and resources have we given in order to connect and build a relationship with that particular person? We should never expect more if we have never invested anything at all,” said Pastor Kenivale.

Young men collect the special offering.

Pastor Kenivale also challenged the youth to dedicate a year of their life to serve as missionaries in unentered areas in Fiji and abroad. He asked, “Why should we preach to the same people over and over again when some in other parts of the world have not even heard the gospel for the first time?”

During his appeal, young people stood for the Lord as they recommitted their lives, while some stood because they wanted to serve as missionaries for God. Interestingly, 23 young people signed up to dedicate one year of their lives to missionary work.

The camp collected more than $FJ10,000 for a special project, a missionary boat for Pastor Vilive to help in his mission work on the Yasawa islands.

On June 9, a special Sabbath rally for the western region will be held for the boat dedication and for Pastor Vilive’s mission work.

“A big thank you to all the youth for the special offering collected on Sabbath. Through your contribution we managed to collect $FJ2648.60 [in that offering alone],” said camp coordinator Inoke Sakealevu.

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