Friday, 19 August 2016

Use Your Tears - Ministry in Post-Cyclone Fiji

Written by Stuart McMillan
Penaia Revono, President Stuart McMillan and Atunaisa Kaloumaira. Penaia Revono, President Stuart McMillan and Atunaisa Kaloumaira.

Just after Cyclone Winston the Methodist Church in Fiji prepared 70 students from their theological college in pastoral care and chaplaincy for disaster situations and sent them out across Fiji.

Some students arrived in a small group at a village which was badly devastated by the cyclone. No one had come since the cyclone, no supplies and there was no one to provide care. The students went house by house to people. One student knocked on a door and was greeted by a man who welcomed him in.

They sat and the man told his story as the student listened. The man had a business which had been totally destroyed. He had a house but it too had been totally destroyed. As he told his story he became angry and he said to the student: "How can I continue to believe in God?"

The student listened and under the Holy Spirit’s leading he said: "Use your tears". The man began to cry, the student sat quietly and the man cried for a long time.

This man was ready to leave God, his tears connected him afresh with the God who declares never will I leave you or forsake you, nothing can separate you from my love.

Praise God for the compassionate sensitivity of the student, who through the Holy Spirit enabled the man’s heart to be opened and as his tears flowed out God’s love flowed in.

This is just one story of the many in Fiji as people tell their stories of struggle in the wake of disaster.

Please pray for communities of people displaced, for the work of our partner Church, the Methodist Church in Fiji and for the work of the Spirit as lives and communities are rebuilt.