Voyagers Conference 2021

A journey in itself

Earlier this year, because of the pandemic, it was becoming evident to us as a ministry that we would have to reconsider having the annual Student Conference. It was either going to be shifted online or cancelled altogether. The thought of that was a bit disheartening because initially, Voyagers Conference was planned to be a huge event bringing together university students from across the Pacific region. The ministry had already booked out the entire Pearl Resort for the weeklong event.

Conference was coming up in a matter of days and there were still so many things to be done. The constant delays and periods of radio email silence were taking its toll on me. Anxiety slowly started to creep in. At one point, I began to think, ‘you know what… maybe it’s not too late to cancel this whole programme’. Thankfully, we didn’t cancel. Things finally started to come together a couple of days out from student conference. My heart though, was far from being at peace. The night of the conference opening a technical mishap meant that everything had to be delayed by an hour. More stress. But this was out of my hands now. There was nothing really, I could do… but pray.

Things finally got underway with the programme and by the grace of God, it just flowed. We had around 80 people tuning in on that first night. Our National Director, Koli Ravoka spoke from Daniel and focused on a passage from chapter 11; “but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”. 1

Voyagers Digital Conference main speaker, Koli Ravoka.

Discussions were then facilitated on Discord, an online social platform that was originally created for gamers.

At the debrief that night, with two other team members, we logged into the call and spent a good couple of minutes just laughing (I don’t know if that’s just an Islander thing or if it’s universal) before even speaking a word. It was a laughter of amazement, of relief and admittedly, one of embarrassment. God has always been in control. Orchestrating everything for His own glory. What a timely reminder.

From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Psalm 90:2

Highlights and outcomes of the Conference

Cuppa-joe sessions

A Q&A hosted by a staff member [Joey]. During the session he fielded questions that had been voted on by students to a panel of esteemed Cru staff. The questions ranged from faith, “can I lose my salvation?” to relationships, “how do I know she’s the one?” to social topics like, “how to I respond to a friend that is telling me that they are attracted to the same sex?”

FamilyLife Fiji National Directors, Pita and Mere Nacuva sharing during Cuppa-Joe.
Reaching your world

Staff gave a brief overview of the state of the digital landscape in Fiji and shared about opportunities for digital outreach. They introduced MissionHub, a free app that builds communities and encourages people to take steps of faith in their everyday lives.2 Plus, how to use tools such as short films as aids to gospel presentation.3

Testimonies

We had a lot of testimonies of students that were encouraged through the conference, especially given the circumstances. One student wrote,

“The conference was such a refreshing experience. I was so blessed by the speakers and grateful to have made new friends on Discord. Overall, my relationship with God has developed and I’m just grateful.”

Luke, a final year civil engineering student.

Since the conference, our Discord server has remained busy. Students are excited about plans to have more Cuppa-Joes and FamilyLife (our family ministry) has indicated that they would also like to run their own digital conference later this year.

Most of all we want to build on the momentum that we’ve generated from Student Conference. To do that we’ve began working on a Student Persona. More on that soon.


Download the Conference Booklet designed by Tuma.


Notes:

  1. Watch day one of the conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmQ2lM05AQQ&t=1136s
  2. Download MissionHub at missionhub.com
  3. Find out more about digital outreach on indigitous.org

Namaka Orientation

Imagine walking through campus on a hot (read: humid+sweaty+sticky) day and coming across a table that was serving ice cold juice… for free! Wouldn’t you stop to cool off and find out what these guys were about?

Free juice!

That was our exact strategy out at orientation day on Namaka campus last Wednesday and we had an overwhelming response. The Student Life table was definitely the busiest table at the school foyer.

While students got a drink, we took the opportunity to talk to them a bit about the ministry and asked them to fill out a quick one-minute survey card that looked like this:

A couple of the resources that we gave out on that day

Tom, one of the student leaders that showed up to help did an awesome job talking to groups of students (at times twenty plus in a group) about who we are and how they can get involved. It’s always encouraging to see students step up.

Tom talking to a group of new students about the cards

Prayer Request

  • Please pray for the students that filled out cards. Over the next couple of weeks we will be making phone calls to see if we can connect with them. Pray that God would just prepare their hearts.
  • Pray for the team as they begin these connections with students that God would provide opportunities for them to get into deeper conversations and share their personal testimony of life change.
  • Our first Connexion (weekly meeting) begins February 14th. Perfect “date” wouldn’t you say?

Praise Report

  • Our constitution has been approved by the Student Association and Student Life Namaka is now a registered body.
  • Kelera, our latest team member has found an apartment and will be moving over from Suva this weekend.
  • Visit our facebook page, it now has over 1,000 likes – www.facebook.com/StudentLifeNamaka

The Highs and Lows of 2018

Setting up ministry in a new location is a challenge. It’s no secret. Building a movement is something that takes time to function at full capacity. It’s something that we understand might take even longer given the fact that at the moment we might only have two full-time campus staff to begin the new year. This is something we knew full well taking on this assignment. 

However, from the get go our rhetoric has always been that we are here to help assist and equip students reach their campus for Christ. We want the students to take ownership of the movement. We want students to lead. We also want to build strong partnerships. It doesn’t matter whether you’re with Cru or YWAM, WEC, OM, or a small church, what matters is that God’s name is glorified.

And although, there hasn’t been much fruit to show for this past year in ministry. We believe that a seed has been planted in many people’s hearts and that the few that have shown interest, really understand the vision of building Christ-centred movements in the Pacific and beyond.

Here are a few things that happened this year:

Connecting with students

We were blessed to find on arriving to Namaka, a group of students that were keen on being part of the movement. Most of these students had either been involved in a Bible study that Nathan had been running on his visits to the West or encountered a project team.

We hosted a BBQ with key students and used it as an opportunity to connect with them and cast a bit of vision.

Easter Outreach

The team organised an Easter Outreach where we were able to have a speaker share the gospel with around 280 students. Of the 98 comment cards that we got back, 55 indicated a strong desire to grow in their walk with God. 48 of the 55 – female students. This was definitely going to be a challenge with Judith soon to go on maternity leave and Nathan and I the only full-time staff on campus.

Hanging out after Bible study

Leaders Training at Home

In April we had five student leaders attend a training at home. Nathan talked about quiet time and I spoke on the spirit filled life.

Spirit-filled living. This is a week before Judith gave birth to Micah 

Other stats for those that like numbers:

Life concept 1 – Confidence  52 students 
Life concept 2 – Forgiveness  38 students 
Life concept 3 – Empowered  32 students 
Life concept 4 – Equipped  13 students 
Life concept 5 – Maturity  8 students 

*Life concepts is very similar to Follow-up.  You can download the resources here.

As the semester progressed, campus ministry often felt overwhelming and lonely with Nathan and I being the only staff in a new campus. Our student numbers at connexion started to dwindle and we lost contact with some key students. However, what we’ve been left with is a refined group of committed students. 

Small group study

Micah arrives

Lautoka Hospital for some reason has a new policy that does not allow fathers to accompany their partners to the delivery room so this is one of the first times I’m seeing Micah

Prayer Group with other Missionaries

God’s blessed us with great friends who serve with other ministries and organisations. We’ve found support and encouragement in our local church and amongst other missionaries in the area. 

Our weekly prayer group with other missionaries we had earlier this year
Church friends visiting Judith and baby Micah

ELI – NZ

In June I had to travel to New Zealand to be part of the ELI training. It was tough leaving, Micah was only four weeks old. Fortunately, Judith’s parents had come over from Vanuatu to be with them while I was away.

With the grandparents

Voyagers Conference 2018

Read about that here.

Deuba Wedding

Nathan and Rebekah got married on the beach in Deuba. It was a beautiful wedding. I’m very proud of Nathan, he’s become someone I can really count on and Bekah adds a lot of much needed humour and spontaneity to the team.  

Nathan and Bekah got married July 28th

Second semester

The second semester was a challenge, with Nathan and Bekah focusing on support raising, I became the only staff on campus. A couple of times I had to run Bible studies with a group of 6-8 female students; as the semester progressed we picked up momentum but this was interrupted yet again with trips to Australia and Vanuatu. 

After a Bible study meeting with students

Vanuatu Trip

September was a busy month for us. I had to leave Judith and Micah again for ELI, this time in Brisbane. A week after returning from Australia, we travelled as a family to Vanuatu. Jim (Judith’s brother) was getting married to Charlotte (a close friend).

It was also a good time for us to connect with family, friends and ministry partners and our church there.  

Micah’s first time travelling overseas
Jim and Charlotte’s wedding October 6th

Church involvement

We’re really thankful for being a part of a vibrant church community that has helped us settle well in our new location. One thing that really blew us away was when Judith had just given birth to Micah, families from church brought food over for an entire week.

Since then, I’ve been given opportunities to preach, putting into practice what we’ve learnt during IBS and also assisting with the church finance.

Tavakubu Community Church is a Brethren Church that is located about five minutes drive from home, comprising of about 12 families and many young people. 

Preaching for the first time at our church in Lautoka
(Note: we had a visiting team from NZ attend that Sunday)

Pray for partnerships

Please be praying for these potential partnerships:

Auckland Bible Church, NZ

In October I got to show Justin (Tandem Director) and Tim (Senior Pastor of Auckland Bible Church) around Nadi and the campus. Pst Tim is planning on bringing a team of about 8-12 church members for a one week mission trip to Nadi in July next year.

  • Pray for the team as they raise their support
  • Pray for their time on campus and opportunities to link up with the churches nearby
Tim and Justin talking with students at the Namaka campus
Justin with Student Association President Tom

Operation Mobilisation

With Mr Bloomfield (WEC), Mr Asif (OM) and Nathan (Cru)

Sunday afternoon Nathan and I, along with his father-in-law Mr Bloomfield (WEC) met with Mr Asif from OM UK in talking about strategies to help reach Muslims while continuing to encourage Christian workers in the field. 

*Sorry, that’s about all I can share online* 

But here is how you can be praying:

  • For wisdom and strength to share the Gospel message
  • That God would guide us to meet those whom he has prepared to listen
  • God would take those who have heard the Gospel to apply it to other listening hearts

FamilyLife

We’ve been so encouraged by having FamilyLife staff John and Julie Majors (and family) here in Fiji for the past six months. It’s been such a great time to get to know each other, learn and also talk about ministry. One of the things that Judith and I have been feeling God impress on our hearts lately is the need to reach out to the handful of young couples at church. The Majors helped us see that as full-time workers we also need to invest as much; if not more, into discipling our own kids and learning to love our spouses better. 

We’re looking forward to starting our very own “home-group” with other couples next year to learn more about Godly parenting.  For now here’s how you can be praying specifically:

  • Pray for 4-6 couples to join us in going through FamilyLife’s the Art of Parenting material
  • Opportunities to assist and learn from Pita and Mere Nacuva (FamilyLife Directors, Fiji) 
  • Attend a “Weekend to Remember” event with two more couples (friends of ours)

More about FamilyLife on their website – www.familylife.com

Praise Report

One of our main prayer points this year has been that God would send more workers to our campus. We were praying specifically for female staff since they represent the big percentage of the student population.

We’re happy to announce that Kelera (Lela) will be joining our team next year. Lela has just graduated from New Staff Training and was recently based at the Fiji National University campus in Nasinu near Suva.

Judith with Lela
Lela getting approved to join the team by Micah

Lastly, please pray for another female staff member (can’t name at the moment) from the US who currently works with international students in Australia. She’ll be coming to Fiji in April to visit the campus and meet with the team to explore the possibilities of doing ministry here in the West.

Oceania Leadership Summit

Beautiful view from Mt. Tamborine

Module 2 of our Emerging Leaders Initiative was held in September at Mt Tamborine in Brisbane.

Our ELI team made up of Nathan, Nani and Sai (coach) got to present our research project and I got to share about ministry so far in Namaka.

Sharing about ministry in Namaka.

We had two main streams at the Leadership Summit. The first one was for senior staff/leaders, their speaker was Gregg Hinzelman who spoke on developing vision and engaging donors. I was glad I could sit in on most of their sessions. The second was the ELI and our main speaker was Holly Sheldon. Holly spoke on “leading larger” and how that drove her to begin a ministry now known as Bridges International.

Nani leading worship
DMPD team made up of Joey, Ice and Biu giving their presentation
Group prayer
Bob Whitaker sharing on Romans 8:31-32 – God is for you

Main takeaway:

There were quite a few but this one really summed most of it up.

PLEDGGT

  • Pray
    • James 4 says that we don’t have because we don’t ask
    • Pray for God to give you God-sized vision
    • Pray for the World – Ps. 2:8
    • Pray for labourers – Matt. 9:37-38
  • Look
    • Jesus intentionally looked around, saw the need and used that as inspiration to implore his disciples to beg God for reinforcements
    • Look at the spiritual aspect of current events
    • Look to God’s heart for the world through scripture from Genesis through Revelation
  • Educate
    • Work hard at developing vision
    • Educate yourself about the area you are trying to impact
    • Utilise online resources
    • Spend time with visionaries and people who are stepping out in faith
    • Learn missionary facts
  • Dream
    • Vision is simply trusting God for the possibilities of the future and talk about it
  • Give
    • Our hearts tend to follow our wallets
    • Support nationals – get their prayer letters
  • Go
    • Join a mission project
  • Talk
    • Tell stories about missions experiences
    • Use other peoples stories
    • Impart vision into all aspects of your ministry

ELI Research Project

Here’s just a brief overview of our ELI research project. Our focus in on reviewing the training material currently used at conferences in the Pacific Island nations.

*We have a video that we presented in Australia but we’re still working on recording the audio for that but it’ll be up soon.

Methodology

  • We conducted online surveys with staff and students
  • Interviews with long serving staff
  • Observational trials of staff teaching our current material to students and afterwards giving their feedback on what they thought.
  • This then led us to review the training material we’re using and also material from neighbouring Cru locations such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and even Papua New Guinea.
Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 12.41.59 PM
We looked at material from the US, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and PNG.

Obstacles

Some of the challenges that we faced during our data collection process were

  • that we had a small pool of students that responded; compared to the actual number that were sent evaluation forms post-conference.
  • In addition, their responses may have been too kind and not elaborate enough to give us an accurate look at the data.
  • Another obstacle we faced was our team location and schedules. A new baby, settling down and getting married and new campus responsibilities too. These were the major ones we faced.

Key Findings

When we were able to meet we found out a lot of things from the data we collected. We found that given the choice, the top three topics of interest for both students and staff were:

  1. How to study the Bible (52%)
  2. The Spirit filled life (43.5%)
  3. Making Disciples and Prayer (33.3%)

We also discovered that students and staff both agreed that the training was lengthy.

However, our biggest finding was that there was a significant contrast between student and staff views with regards to:

  • Comprehension
  • Practicality
  • Transferability
  • Interaction
  • Overall satisfaction of the training
Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 1.06.05 PM
Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 1.01.46 PM

This meant that our training greatly relied on the trainer and how they delivered the material.

So, there is now a change in focus of our project. It’s no longer the content but the layout and delivery of the material.

Recommendations

As we navigate our way through these obstacles and key findings we’ve established some possible solutions to meet these needs by firstly simplifying the training material and focusing more on the format of the training.

These solutions will explore incorporating active learning activities such as;

  • Culturally adapted case-base problem solving which is relevant and relatable to Pacific Islanders.
  • Collaborative learning where students are engaged in group activities.
  • Personal reflection and journaling times
  • Giving staff the opportunity to practice coaching techniques and how to better facilitate group discussions.
edgardale
Cone of learning.  Research has shown that kinaesthetic learning can help students retain up to 90% of information.

Our hope is then to come up with a framework for future material formatting one level training as a sample next year and trialing it in 2020.

Emerging Leaders Initiative

The Emerging Leaders track is a two-year leadership training program which gives participants the opportunity to work with emerging leaders from across the region and a chance to receive coaching from experienced leaders in ministry. 

The training is made up of four modules, two in each year of the course. Our first module was a week-long training held at Long Bay, Auckland.

Mark Rutter our main speaker (US Director of Leadership Development and HR) spoke on Cru’s Leadership Framework. The framework is comprised of six elements: Heart, Relationships, Roles, Responsibilities, Results and an undergirding foundation of Stewardship.

My main takeaway: Invest in your team

“A man’s greatest talents are not in how much he has been able to do alone, but how effective he has been in getting others to work with him. A good leader leads men; a great leader trains leaders.” 

Henrietta Mears
  • Prepare and equip the team to pursue the mission
  • Ensure the right person is doing the right job
  • Create an environment for growth
  • Develop individuals

Idea: Go through a book with the team and have weekly book discussions to not only foster growth but also motivate one another. A few of the books that we might begin with for “win” phase at the beginning of the semester are:

  • Fireseeds of Spiritual Awakening by Dan Hayes
  • The Finishers by Roger Hershey
  • The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman
  • Everyone, Everywhere; Glimpses of God’s Global Work Through People Like You by Erick Schenkel

Any other recommendations?

Voyagers Conference 2018

My highlight would be sharing to a community of non-believers; it was my first time sharing the Knowing God Personally booklet to Hindus and asking them if they wanted to give their live’s to God. I was blessed to have been paired up with Tandem Director Justin and his son, Luke from NZ. It was just a great experience to witness how they shared; as well as get some pointers from Justin.

Lusi Muamua
35807823_1031557313676602_8472587985164959744_o
Lusi (third from right) with her outreach team.

The highlight of the conference would be the training and group discussions because during the trainings of a level one, I got to understand the KGB booklet and understand God’s promises & plans for me & for the in the lives of other believers / non believers.

The group discussions became a way to connect with other students & fellowship which brought the students closer and this was the best highlight of the week getting to sit down and just talk about God’s promise and plans for us all. 

One takeaway from John Majors sessions on Luke 9:23 was how he elaborates on the the 3 main topics of the verse; deny, take up cross daily & follow. I was really blown away with John Majors talks he really spoke from his heart & experience.

Mary Donu
35883026_186599605516393_8390275323484176384_n
John Majors during one of the sessions.
36087451_186599482183072_8050541722448429056_n
Students talk about the JesusFIlm app with a staff member.
36087964_186599378849749_8990996666710491136_n
Vili a staff member from Tonga leads a group of students through training.
IMG_20180612_131835
TuMa with students that were in his level 3 training group.

The Suva staff team also got to meet Micah for the first time and had a small baby shower for him.

Micah with Nina, Lela and Joey
Aunty Sai holding Micah
Julie Majors and the kids with Micah 

Status of the movement in the Pacific and our vision

Fiji’s vision is to be the hub of the Pacific in terms of spiritual multipliers and to continue to trust God for the fulfillment of the 10/100/10/100 vision (more on this further).

This has been our rallying cry since 2010 as we trusted God to expand our team and to increase our effectiveness in helping fulfill the Great Commission.

Samoa through Soi and Fataki have branched out from Fiji to trust God to build spiritual movements. They are trusting God by the time they leave in 2027 that God will raise a team of 20 Samoan missionaries who are not only reaching Samoa but beyond.

 

16836270_383249425383470_6215441887739533068_o
Cru Samoa staff: Soi, Fataki and Sera during orientation week.

Veronica and Viliami are our two Tongan missionaries who are working with Losena and Fekita to see Tonga Cru re-establish and are trusting God for ways to reach Tonga and beyond.

19400448_1339632442800278_5588082284027281933_o
Veronica with Vilisi.

Tu Ma, Judith and Nathan are making their move to the West of Fiji to help build movement among university students in the Nadi- Lautoka corridor. There are students from the West who are already asking not only how they can be involve but a few have already gone through our staff interview process. Judith who is from Vanuatu is trusting God to see spiritual movements develop in Vanuatu.

19417281_1341270335969822_2724039588726091310_o
Ni-Vans: Daphne, Judith and Charlotte.

This year we are embarking on a journey to trust God for movement to be establish on the campuses in the North, Savusavu and Labasa.

We do not want to reach Fiji only or the Pacific, we want to reach the world! We believe part of the manpower to reach the world will come from Fiji and the Pacific. We believe God will do that throughout the different generations.

The voyager we are sailing on, our canoe, our waka, our drua, our takia no matter what the season is like, will not stop, it will keep sailing till when we reach the shores of the new Jerusalem.

Jesus from Jerusalem sent his disciples to the remotest part of the earth, which is the Pacific. Now it is our time; Fiji time, Pasifika time from the remotest part of the earth to send missionaries, even if it means back to Jerusalem where it all started.

okeanos

10/100/10/100 Vision

The 10 represents the 10 years from 2010 to 2020 we have trusted God to produce a 100 missionaries. Since then we have seen 70 people mostly university students from different countries and backgrounds go through our staff interview process and hundreds of students have been sent on mission projects. The second 10 is for the 10 ministry locations in the Pacific we are trusting God for run by staff that are 100% funded.

From nine staff back then we now have 25 missionaries and from one campus location we are ministering on six campus locations not including the ministries we have through the communities and churches.

God is definitely on the move, and we want to be a part of that; to continue to trust Him to open doors, for more missionaries and for more countries so that we can develop spiritual movements in.

Please continue to uphold us in your prayers as we trust God together for the fulfillment of His vision for Fiji Campus Crusade for Christ.

*As presented by Sai Kacimaiwai (Campus Director) on behalf of the National leadership at the Fiji Campus Crusade for Christ 40th Anniversary celebrations in Suva.

Elidah’s call to staff

A testimony by Elidah Zzferio serving with the Great Commission Movement (Cru) PNG.

It has always been my passion to serve God and be in missions for a long time but the field and area of missions was not made clear up until after my 4 years at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG).

Being a young Christian in a tertiary institution, you go through a lot; not just peer pressure but the reality of life avails itself to you in many ways. I have gone through so much hardship and stepping stones in my 4 years there. My friends and peers have also gone through the same things as well but the ones who always rise above it all have one thing in common; Jesus, whereas the ones who know about Jesus and the Holy Spirit but do not allow him to take full control of every part of their lives, tend to do things on their own strength and knowledge and often end up hurting themselves more than intended. I see my peers going out to the clubs; smoking and chewing betel nut; getting drunk and causing havoc all over the campus, fighting over unnecessary things; getting suicidal over relationship issues and I wondered why? Why do they not see the enjoyment one has in the Lord, why are they still looking for ways to feel complete? Why are they finding fulfillment in the world?

I realized and I saw that yes, there is a need for missions… Not only in other countries that do not know Jesus or worship other gods BUT there is also a very big need here on campus and in Papua New Guinea too.

I was hesitant at first when I got the application. I was very double-minded but after a long time on my knees and after a quiet time, God spoke to me clear as day. I was still contemplating when the verse Matthew 6:33 came into mind: “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” Then He asked: IS THIS NOT YOUR DESIRE? Have you not always wanted to serve me?

I believe God has called me to staff to invest my life in the lives of the students in enabling them to make clear, God fearing choices for a better PNG and to help them understand their worth in the Lord. To build up Godly principles in their lives so that they in turn can help others understand their worth in the Lord and build up Godly principles in their lives as well and also to have a movement of multiplying disciples in all ethnic groups in the country; on campus and wherever the student graduates will go in the future.

PNG staff
PNG staff L-R: Beautlyn Eliab, Dianne Aulo Tanya Agua and Elidah Zzferio