Support Letter Jun 07
By Chris Wren
Thursday, 28 June 2007
I wore a ‘sulu’ for the first time as the acceptable formal dress in a Fiji village! It would not seem so strange to me if they were the less formal bright and flowery overlapping ‘sulu’. That would seem more like the Pacific islander scenes that one sees from Hollywood. But the straight plain grey or dark blue, sometimes worn with a jacket and tie, seems too much like a women’s skirt!
The typical Fiji house is of wood or sometimes block construction very much like an old shed or garage; no ceiling, floor of rush matting, of quite rough build, one light in each of the two main rooms and no light in the toilet or shower where one finds toads and geckos. Usually the floor is of rough unpainted cement, the door held shut by twisting a bent nail, perhaps another to hang your clothes on. Sometimes the people can look so normal in the street, yet live quite differently! The windows are often without glass, just mesh with or without frames. Some of the larger buildings used for meetings just have wooden panels that prop open.
One man we were speaking to did not understand why we were asking if he had a job. He said if he wanted to eat, he just planted and it grew. Some food even grew wild. Everything grew on his island, mostly all the year round, so why did he need a job? With such a relaxed simple lifestyle where one needs to work little, one can understand that time doesn’t matter. ‘Fiji time’ means almost any time.
The only boats seem to be open GRP boats of about 25 feet with 40 hp outboards. They use these between the islands. No buoyancy tanks, lifejackets, radios or any safety equipment whatsoever, not even a lifebelt. Of course they don’t maintain their outboards so when they breakdown can drift around for days until towed in (if they are lucky!)
Freemasonry is rife in Fiji especially in Levuka, which originally started as a village of criminal escapees. The new notorious Prime Minister is believed to be very much into Freemasonry. Some say it even extends to sacrifice.
Christianity is everywhere, but only under the Methodist banner, thanks to the missionaries of long ago, some of whom were eaten. However superstition is still prevalent.
Please pray: -
For the work building Christian relationships and witness in our next outreach program.
For the 5 new crew arriving soon.
For a just and fair government in Fiji.
For the crisis situation at the Shalom Christian Retreat Centre in Wales.
For resolution in Liverpool where the builder wants yet more money in his fixed price contract.
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