These are the words a 16 year old used to describe how she feels about her first missions trip to the nation of Fiji with YWAM Youth Adventures. We just returned from an incredible outreach with a team of 20 consisting of teens, teachers, and YWAMers. Ministry included going into high schools, primary schools, hospitals, being a part of local sports teams and visiting aged care. Youth Adventures is a 10 days missions trip program for teenagers taking them on a cross cultural experience to know God and make Him known during their school holidays.
For many of our team members it was their first time on a plane, first time overseas, and first time sharing their faith in front of a crowd.
Our team motto was to be BOLD and COURAGEOUS for Jesus!
The start of our adventure involved stepping out into the unknown. We didn’t know what to expect but within the first day of outreach we could see that God is moving in Fiji. Although it can be considered a ‘religious’ nation in terms of quoting the bible and being socially reformed by missionaries almost a century ago there is a lack of having a personal relationship with a living God. Everywhere we went in the city of Latouka God was leading us to the lost. God gave us favour and we met both Fijian and Indian Fijians. Our days were packed with planned ministry and then in our spare time we grabbed our backpacks filled with bibles, water, and sports gear and walked the streets to connect with locals who recognised us from our school visits. One of our girls got invited to play netball and was able to share her faith with the local judge in the city.
Before outreach we had been generously donated 30 basketballs and then ‘randomly’ met the city’s basketball coach during street evangelism.
There were many times that God would lead people to us at the right time and the right place. He had prepared the way!
On the very last day we went into an Indian Aged Care Centre. One of our teens was very shy until God gave her a message to share from the book of Esther. As she was sharing several of the old ladies began to speak in Hindi to our interpreter. He translated that they were having ‘something’ happen to their hearts! A local pastor who was hosting us jumped up to explain the gospel in Hindi for the entire room. Immediately our team divided into pairs and prayed for those who were experiencing God to receive salvation and healing. Even our interpreter got the gospel and received a Bible. After our time of ministry we chatted some more with the interpreter. He was from a Fijian father and Indian mother and shared his story of struggling with depression earlier this year. Somehow he had come across a bible which he was secretly reading in his bed at night hiding under his blanket because his mother disapproved of Christianity. He heard a voice telling him not to worry, that everything would be okay. It was his first day back at work the day we arrived and although he had never attended church or heard the gospel as we were ministering He recognised God’s voice! We were amazed at the perfect timing of God and his absolute faithfulness to those who seek him.
In Isaiah 61 God promises beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning. During this outreach we learned that the gift of salvation involves complete restoration, freedom, and healing. Although our team encountered many challenges that would want to discourage us; we saw God’s power transform many lives – including our own.
Following Jesus will always take you out of your comfort zone and on an adventure.