The Fijian Way


Fiji Update #2 (first day of school for the deaf)

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It’s been two weeks since we’ve left snowy Rhode Island to land in the humidity of Fiji. Two weeks full of learning about a new culture, a new way to communicate with the deaf, and new ways each day to serve in this blessed work at the Gospel School for the Deaf. School has just begun and the hard work that the staff put in during the past few weeks has paid off and the school year is off to a great start!

The Cooney’s (the directors of the school) work tirelessly to make certain that the school is ready for the students and that the many children who travel from far away villages arrive safely and securely. It’s been a wonderful example to see the fruits of their service. Serving is never easy, yet the reward, not for personal gain but collective gain, is eternal. Every bit of love that is given to these kids is returned in plenty.

Lindsay and I have been able to labor around the school and hostel as the school schedule finds a good rhythm. Nurse Lindsay has been treating the children before and after school and we’ve both been put to work painting and getting acquainted with the beautiful deaf children of Fiji.

We thank God continuously for your consistent prayers and to the many who have supported us in this journey.  Before we left our church staff  gave us a verse of scripture from a letter to reflect on. These words from Paul to the church in Rome have been a constant encouragement during our time of devotion and daily activities. We hope it encourages you as we both, from Fiji to East Greenwich and beyond, learn to serve God and the world around us.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Stephen & Lindsay

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Fiji Update #1 (our arrival)

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We’ve arrived! We didn’t know what to expect but it was smooth, LONG, yet unforgettable. LAX airport was a culture shock and Fiji certainly is too. The rain is bad here, but in Suva (where the school is) it has been hit the hardest. The boys hostel where I’m staying (Stephen) and the girls hostel where Lindsay will be staying is going to be an adjustment. In Fiji fashion, they cleaned them for us and laid down their best sheets in preparation for our arrival. The cook for the school made us fresh bread and tea when we arrived. Hospitality is a Fijian gift! 

It feels like we went through a time warp to a culture and land that you never thought existed. Our bodies will need a few days to get adjusted. We’re so thankful for the communal prayers from the church family. God’s peace has been like the wind, invisible but forcefully evident. We’ll be learning a great deal about this culture as we reflect on ours back home. We’ll be learning about communication with each other and a new people. We’ve already felt growth by our mere arrival.  

School is cancelled for a week because of the rains and we look forward to settling down and serving in any way possible. Lindsay’s talents are a gift from God to this school. I’m so excited for how she is going to be used. I’ll be doing some after school activities and helping out where needed. 
We’re so thankful for your support, love, and prayers!
Stephen & Lindsay