S: Fiji Mission 2011
BC: The End
FC: Fiji Mission 2011
1: Life brings simple pleasures to us every day. It is up to us to make them wonderful memories. CathyAllen
2: We headed out on July 14th for Fiji. Our mission was to go to Homes of Hope in Fiji to work and help the women and children there.
3: Homes of Hope was established in Fiji to stop the cycle of poverty and sexual exploitation of women and children. We boarded our flight in Phoenix for Fiji. We had tons of supplies for the women and children... diapers, formula, clothing, medicine, toiletries and vitamins. We arrived in Fiji on July 16th since we crossed the date line in route. Our team was 26 people in all. When we arrived in Fiji we then got on a bus and rode for another 7 hours or so to the other side of the island to Suva. We stopped along the way to see some of the sights . Though a tiring trip we were all excited to finally be in Fiji after months of planning.
4: We stopped at quite a few places along the way in route to Suva. We saw this beautiful Hindu temple , stopped at a furniture store along the Queens highway, had views of the beautiful ocean and stopped at a market. | The largest Hindu temple in the soutern hemisphere
5: The Market | Along the way we stopped at a market in Sigaotka. The Fijians sell their produce here. | They like to stack the fruit and vegetables. We saw bananas, pineapple, papayas, tangerines, cassava, mini peppers, and also fish. | Ws bought tangerines, pineapple and bananas. We also bought some hot bread buns with cream at a bakery nearby. YUM
6: We finally arrived at Homes of Hope. We first got a tour of the property. It is 40 acres total, in the jungle, very green. Here are some views of the guest house (where the men stayed) and the little house Katherine (a long term missionary from SVCC) is staying in. We had 17 women and we stayed in 2 bunk rooms, mine had 10 women. The shared bathroom was downstairs.
7: Jungle Outing | On Sunday we first went down into the viallge and attnded church with one of the women. It was awesome, sitting outside, some of the service in Fijian and listening to the roosters crowing. Afterwards we rode in the back of t a truck and got to hike to a waterfall in the jungle. Very fun, everything was so green!
8: The SPA house | On Monday morning our work started. Some of us headed up the hill to work on the SPA house. It is a house on the property that will be used for couseling offices and also to be the initial place some of the moms stay if they are not ready to live in the dorms when they first arrive at HoH. We painted the outside with another coat of green paint and also worked on painting all the steps black.
9: We helped haul gravel up the deck to mix concrete for the bathroom floor. | Kere's House | On Tues. I went over to work on a house HoH was building for the one of the moms off cmapus. It was a bout a mile away, in the jungle. The views from the deck were unbelievable. | We had lunch just down the hill at another house in the driveway. We were exhausted by 1:00 and ready to rest. There wasn't much shade except right up next to the house. it was super humid. | We helped haul gravel up to the deck to mix concrete for the bathroom floor, made steps out of rock and dirt up to the deck and painted.
10: Wednesday we headed back to work on Ker's house. The men worked on finishing the bathroom and putting a sink in the kitchen. We painted and painted and painted. The supplies for the house were limited so we did what we could. | The men from HoH that helped us were Esau, Lau and Tony. We were lucky enoug to meet Kere today too!
11: Thursday morning was my day for kitchen duty. Heidi and I sstarted with peeling and cutting carrots. We peeld, chopped and then cut 10 lbs. of carrots with very dull knives. It took us 2 hours. We got to go into town briefly with Salote . Food is really expensive, Kit Kat bars are $2.99 fiji $$'s. | In the afternoon I helped up at the SPA house and painted the deck with Holly and Kenzie. That was hard on the back.
12: On Friday morning we went over to try to put the finishing touches on Kere's house. I worked with Bob and Ryan finishing all the pink paint inside. Missey and Steve cut the "lawn" with machetes, and the other guys finished the plumbing. The picture below is with the neighbor Frances. She kindly let the women come and use her bathroom while we were working on Kere's house. So sweet.
13: Friday afternoon we were able to participate with a ceremony to present the house to Kere. She and her son Junior were overcome with emotion. Tuks gave a short speech as well as pastor Mark. The women sang for all of us. Kere received the keys to her house. It was a very uplifting experience, knowing we were part of giving someone a hand up to a better life. Kere has 3 children, ages 15, 10 and 1. She will also be going on to get her teaching certification. She is a good example of what HoH hopes to help each woman achieve.
14: we s | The Faces of Homes of Hope Here are just a few of the precious faces of some of the women and children we were able to spend time with. Their smiles and laughter will forever be remembered.
16: The flowers | and bugs
17: of Fiji
18: The Uprising | The last night we were able to stay at a small resort on the Coral coast called the Uprising. We stayed in rooms on the beach called bures. We spent time together as a team processing all we had done in the past week. We enjoyed the beach and relaxing a little.
19: One of our favorite things about staying at the Uprising was the showers. They were outside in a little enclosed garden area, and best part, they had hot water!! This was much appreciated after a week of cold showers. We had a wonderful dinner and enjoyed the beauty of the ocean and beach.
20: This was my first mission trip, and hopefully not my last. It was an amazing experience. The women and children of Homes of Hope were so joy filled, despite all the hardships they have endured. I hope to return home with a better appreciation of the many blessings I have been given, and a committment to do more to help others in need. Though I may not be able to make a huge difference in the world I can definitely make a difference in others lives. The women of Homes of Hope have been through so much but now stand on the firm foundation of God's love. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13