Fiji’s beauty extends beyond its turquoise waters and stunning waterfalls. Its most precious resource is its more than 900,000 people. Though predominantly Christian in name, the nation is only 19 percent evangelical. Great spiritual need exists, but God is at work.
He is using Samaritan’s Purse and our project, Operation Christmas Child, to transform Fijian villages with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Churches are being planted—all starting from a simple shoebox gift.
Shayal received a gift-filled shoebox as a teenager in her Hindu village of Vunika. She accepted the invitation to participate in The Greatest Journey, the follow-up discipleship course for children who receive shoebox gifts, and soon accepted Christ as her Savior. Her class began to grow to include parents and siblings until a church opened in the village for the very first time. Shayal brought her mother and brother to this church where they also became believers. Today she is sharing Christ boldly with her friends at school. She said, “My duty as a child of God is to save lives.”
Three times a week, Pastor “Waisea” Liwaiono walks up to 10 miles one way to villages like Shayal’s to teach The Greatest Journey.
He said, “Operation Christmas Child has taken me into rural areas where people haven’t heard the Gospel. We’re talking about Hindus. We’re talking about Muslims. Operation Christmas Child has begun building up churches in these communities.”
After The Greatest Journey started under a mango tree in the Muslim and Hindu community of Laduna, the class began to grow so much that Pastor Waisea said, “I couldn’t stop it.” As a result of investing in these children, today a church of 100 meets under a shelter for worship every week.
“Operation Christmas Child has taken me into rural areas where people haven’t heard the Gospel.”
The villages of Vunika and Laduna are just two examples of where God has planted churches through Operation Christmas Child and The Greatest Journey. Please pray with us that God will continue to grow His Church through these Samaritan’s Purse projects.
The Greatest Journey is an exciting evangelism and discipleship program designed to teach children how to become faithful followers of Christ and to share their faith with others. We offer the program to children who have received Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Boys and girls who complete The Greatest Journey course receive graduation certificates and New Testaments in their own language. We’re able to provide all the study materials, a graduation certificate and New Testament for only $6 per child.