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October 2022

This Side of the Globe

New Zealand is very inviting. Gorgeous beaches. Inviting woodlands. Comfortable cities. Friendly locals. These are all encouraging factors to missionaries who are considering moving to another location.

I am not sure yet if I want to move in to Fiji, to Australia, or to New Zealand. I need to seek God’s will in my life. In my short stay here in Auckland, I have to confess I keep thinking about moving to this side of the globe.

One thing for sure is that I will go to a place where I am able to meet with local pastors and train them in missional service. God’s call in my life is to be of service to field workers in the areas of pastoral theology and cross cultural missions work.

Offering Forgiveness

I am in Suva, Fiji visiting with our pastors here. In one of our gatherings, just before the service starts, I sit with Torika, a grandmother in her early 70s. We sit and talk about her life as a believer.

“My late husband did not follow the Lord. But in his last breath, before he died, we came together as a family, my sons and I, and reconciled with him.” She recounted how her son gathered them together at her husband’s deathbed and they all spoke forgiveness and made amends with the wrongs done against them. The following day her husband passed.

I treasure these moments when the people I meet tell me stories of God’s redemption and release. I look forward to the day, as I continue my travel around Asia and Oceania, when I can share Torika’s story to other people, so that we can all glorify our God who offers forgiveness and declares reconciliation to the world.

Smelling God’s Call

“I am floating effortlessly, almost hovering over the waters. All around me are fish of all kinds. I cast my net and walk to the shore dragging the net and fish with me. And I opened my eyes.”

Pastor Moses shares with me the dream and vision he had of God’s call in his life just a few years back. He is resolve to obey this call and is now dedicating this year as the time to start a new church plant in his clan’s village. 

“I was praying when God’s vision occurred, ”Pastor Moses continues. “When I opened my eyes, my room was filled with the smell of fresh fish.” God is leading the way for our Free Methodist work in Fiji.

Liking This Work

Praying with the Fijian pastors and their families is one of the highlights of this missionary work here Suva, Fiji. Knowing that some of them are willing to go for missionary work here in the Pacific is an added bonus to my trip.

I like the way the Spirit is unraveling God’s ways to me during this short trip. He helped me know the people better. He gave me the once in a lifetime opportunity to witness a Sivusivu traditional ceremony. He showed me the generosity of the Fiji culture. I am richly blessed to be here.

I like this work of being a missionary.

Last Sunday’s Reflection

Paul says: “I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!” (2 Timothy 2:9). This simply means that God is not contained into just one place. God moves.

God is moving around the world. And my Free Methodist friends scattered in Asia can attest to this. Filipinos in Vietnam and Taiwan. Congolese and Tongans in Australia. Fijian Free Methodists will soon follow the movement of the Spirit of God. This movement does not come without suffering. But, despite the pain and hardships, we know that God is there with us all the way.

Our NT Lectionary Reading is from 2 Timothy 2:8-15. Read these verses and ask yourself the questions: Is the word of God alive and moving in your life? What kind of suffering are you experiencing because of this movement? 

Remember: “If we endure, we will also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:12a). Let us continue in God’s word.

When We Are In Heaven

"When we are in heaven, I want you guys to sing the same song that you just did this morning. There in the presence of our God, I will understand all the songs, whether they are in Kibembe, Swahili, or French. There I can celebrate your stories in these songs and glorify our God for His work in our lives."

I am in Perth, Australia,  visiting our Free Methodist Church of Perth, an African congregation. Most of the members are refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Pastor Lusema is leading this church. He has traveled with his family from different refugee camps in Central Africa.

Now, they are here in Australia, and this is the beginning of a partnership with FMWM-Asia. I am here in the beautiful city of Perth only for four days. But already I feel the Spirit of God beckoning me to come back for a longer and stronger connection with these communities of Africans. God will lead the way.

A Testimony Of God’s Love

How would you encourage the members to go and share God’s love to others?

“This is my testimony. I went to the mountain to pray. In a moment, God showed me many people. God Himself, He showed me many people. He told me: ‘You see. These people will come.’ Wah. All these people will come. That is why my the focus is to teach people the love of the God.”

Lusema shares a testimony of God’s love and guidance. Moving from one refugee camp to another, transported from one African country to another, and finally settling in Australia with his family, God is there for him. Lusema talks of visions, dreams, healing, and many miraculous ways God has led him and his family to the city of Perth to start a Free Methodist Church.