From kiwifruit and apples to pineapples and mangos. From thermals and gumboots to jandals and sulus. From “kia ora” to “bula!” From NZ’s culture to Fiji’s.
In November a group of students from NZ will leave the shores of Aotearoa to arrive in the welcoming embrace of the Fijian people.
Beyond fruit, clothing and greetings, we will look at how different cultures serve, worship and tell others about Jesus. We’ll ask, what does this tell us about God? How does God want us to deal with injustice and poverty? And how can our studies as Christians in NZ serve the rest of the world?
We will spend time in Fiji both learning and serving. The first week, students will be billeted to Fijian students’ homes, eating local food, learning the language and observing the culture.
During the second week, Kiwi and Fijian students will go together to serve the community. After each project and time sharing the gospel, students will regroup to share what they saw and learned.
TSCF and in particular the Lincoln University Christian Fellowship have a great history with Pacific Students For Christ, TSCF’s sister movement. For many years, the Lincoln CF has taken students on biannual trips to volunteer and see God at work in a different culture and context. Students have come back with a bigger vision of God at work in the world, and specifically on their university campus.
Hannah Whiteman was a Lincoln University student from 2013-2015. In her final year, she was part of the Lincoln CF trip to Fiji. It shaped her decisions when she came back to NZ.
“People tend to go on mission trips with the expectation of miraculous, wonderful, crazy, life-changing things,” she said. “But God works in really subtle ways too. … I could have never anticipated the ways and to what extent the Lord would work in my own heart over those two weeks. As a group, we grew really close and came home to Lincoln with a fresh, genuine passion to share the gospel with those we can most relate to.”
Hannah and many others have experienced what it means to leave one culture and to enter in and learn from another. “It was wonderful to experience another culture,” she said. “ Those life changes and lessons are hard to come by in your own back yard, but it is nice to know that we needn’t go anywhere to find our mission; it is right in front of us.”
If you’re studying in NZ and this trip interests you, we’d love you to join us. Check out www.facebook.com/fijiculturaltrip and submit
the sign-up form by 1 May 2017.
Kate Street is a Lincoln staff worker.
In 2014 I was part of the team from Lincoln that went to Fiji for two weeks. I spent most of the time helping with a concreting project for a local church. I also did one day at the men’s prison, talking to inmates.
There were two big things I got out of the trip:
Contentment. We live in a culture that worships money and possessions and is always trying to get more. When we were in Fiji, I noticed that they were much more content with life. We work hard for more money at the expense of relationships and contentment.
Obedience. When we went to the prison we all did a short talk from the Bible. I had prepared some thoughts and they seemed clear in my head until I got up to speak. Total mind fog. Not ideal and I was very close to just reading an encouraging Psalm and then sitting down. However I felt a strong conviction to carry on with what I had prepared even though it now seemed to be a pile of disconnected thoughts.
When we finished all the inmates shook our hands and thanked us for coming. One stopped and said to me, “Thank you for what you said, God spoke to me through that.”
God reminded me that when he prepares a job for us, all we have to do is obey and the results are in his hands. If God used what I said to change someone’s life, that’s amazing. He certainly used Fiji to change mine.
– Luke Tarson
Date: 12-26 November 2017
Approximate cost: $2300