Sunday, February 04, 2007

Three Hours Can Make a Big Difference

Today was my first trip down to the Lami church. Lami is located about 10-20 minutes outside of Suva, the capitol of Fiji. The church here was the one the Cairns had originally planned for me to take, and so it was of particular interest for me to come and see.

The morning was spent at the Nadi church, having the normal morning service. Nothing really of note to speak of there, but I’ve always been curious about translating a North American style church into a different culture. I’d be curious to get an honest opinion about what they locals think about the way we ‘do’ church. Would they do it differently if they were given freedom from the start? Or would it look much the same? How can you avoid syncretism if you give locals freedom of worship. Interesting problems… and I’m not sure that I’d have an easy answer.

The Lami church was… much more alive! It’s a far younger church, with most of the group consisting of youth. I led the senior youth Sunday school class, and we talked about some of the difficulties in following God. It’s not always an easy thing to do, despite what it might seem like at first. They were generally open and receptive (at least to my Canadian feelers!), despite the warnings that I’d received to not expect any feedback… normal youth! It was refreshing!

The service also had an energy about it that at least to me seems to be lacking in Nadi. Perhaps it’s the youth, and the prominence of music in the church, but I found myself really enjoying it!

This evening, I went with Molly, Tepal (the elder of the Lami church) and his Wife to go see “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Amazing how you can be in a 3rd world country, and still go see some of the latest movies. Very good, by the way, it makes you think about the things you give priorities in your life, and how fortunate we really are.

Ministry has its ups and downs… but we need to remember to trust.

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