Baptism amid chaos: Fiji community shows unwavering faith during storm

Some of the people baptised on March 4.

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Despite heavy rain and wind brought about by Cyclone Kevin in Vanuatu, 24 people were baptised in Nayaca Village, Nadarivatu, Fiji, on March 4. The baptism was a result of a three-week evangelism campaign conducted by Pastor Josateki Tabaka, assisted by Lewa Seventh-day Adventist Church members.

The baptism ceremony itself took place during a storm, with the waters of the Wainiura River swollen and overflowing onto the roads leading to the village. However, this did not stop people from neighbouring villages—such as Naga, Nadrau, Navai, Nadala, Koro, Marou, and Buyabuya—from walking many kilometres across flooded and bush roads to witness the baptism.

Among those who were baptised, the headman of Buyabuya village shared that Pastor Tabaka and his team’s teachings have been transformational and given him a new perspective on life. The village leaders expressed gratitude for the opportunity to be baptised and “to be part of a community that is grounded in faith and love”.

“The baptism ceremony was a testimony to the power of faith and perseverance in the face of adversity,” said Fulton theology student Ravulo Pauliasi Dawn. “Despite the unfavourable weather conditions, people still made their way to the ceremony to witness their loved ones committing their lives to Christ.”

“The event was a celebration of the spirit of community and the power of hope and a reminder that even in the darkest of storms, there is still a light that shines bright,” Mr Dawn added.

After the ceremony, the Lewa church members expressed their gratitude to everyone who made the baptism possible, “including the members of the Nayaca Village community, who opened their hearts and homes to the participants of the evangelism campaign, and the volunteers who braved the storm to make sure that everything was in place for the ceremony,” they said.

“As Fiji continues to face the impact of Cyclone Kevin, the baptism ceremony in Nayaca Village serves as a beacon of hope and a reminder that even in the midst of adversity, there is always a reason to celebrate and to hold on to faith,” said Mr Dawn.

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