It’s 5am on a Sunday morning in early April. Although Fiji’s capital of Suva is in lockdown, 12-year-old Nasoni Junior is already awake and ready to feed the homeless on the city streets.
Today, Junior is joining his parents like he has done so many times before, but this time he is more reluctant. The police have been very strict in arresting people, and authorities have not made it clear whether Junior and his team are allowed to continue their ministry.
Junior’s team is called “MISSION-1”, named after the mission work they do on Suva’s streets every Sunday morning. They have been doing this for a year now, but it’s getting harder. Half of the team were recently forced to return home to Australia due to the pandemic. The Wood boys from Campsie, NSW, would normally be here. They have been serving with Junior for 12 months, providing the homeless with breakfasts of hot chocolate, muffins and homemade buns, and singing songs and praying with people.
The situation is different now. The remaining team are wearing masks, gloves and have bottles of hand sanitizer, and only three people are allowed to go out together because of social distancing. But this morning, they still ministered to 40 people—providing them hot drinks, homemade buns, rice and stir-fry in takeaway packs.
The recipients responded with words like “thank you for your love” and “God bless”.
Knowing that the homeless in Suva depend on the city opening for business each day, the MISSION-1 team kept ministering for four weeks during lockdown. Despite their hesitation, they were overwhelmed with a deep sense of compassion to reach out.
Junior and the MISSION-1 team feel that this is a unique way to share the good news of Jesus’ love and Salvation to the forgotten people of Suva City.