"Spiritual bomb" hits Fiji
By Lynley Smith of Challenge Weekly, New Zealand, October 29, 2007
Special to ASSIST News Service
Crowds flock to receive Christ in Labasa, Fiji, as Impact World Tour teams minister the Gospel.
AUCKLAND NZ (ANS) -- Over 165,000 people heard a clear presentation of the Gospel with 17,474 recorded decisions for Christ, when Impact World Tour(IWT), a ministry of YWAM Campaigns, swept through 16 ain cities and communities across Fiji Islands recently.
For six weeks, from September 3 to October 13, the team ministered in 24 schools, into three prisons and at gatherings across the nation. The response was so overwhelming in some communities, that the total number of decisions made, other than decisions for Christ, was not recorded, because of the size of some of the crowds, said IWT regional director David Cole.
Despite the wet weather, experienced on 19 of the 39 campaign nights, the IWT teams were astounded at the way Fijians came out to the stadiums and parks and not only stood in the rain, but came forward to give their lives to Christ. Amongst those responding were many Indo-Fijians from other religious backgrounds, the largest unreached people group in the South Pacific.
“An Indian pastor shared with me after one campaign night that he knew of four Indian families in his neighbourhood who had given their lives to Christ and he had been approached by another man who had a family of six come to his home to share about Christ and pray for them” said Mr Cole. “We were excited to see whole families respond to give their lives to Christ, often lead by the fathers bringing their families forward to respond.”
At Subrail stadium in Labasa, the main city on the Island of Vanua Levu, 25,000 people attended in total over the three campaign nights with a powerful presentation of the Gospel given through the IWT teams.
“It was like a spiritual bomb going off in some of the high Indian population communities,” local pastors told IWT leaders. “There has never been anything like this in our history.”
Despite the interim Fiji government issuing an emergency edict on the first night of the campaign banning all public gatherings, IWT was able to continue its tour on the strength of an earlier agreement with the interim government.
Opportunities to preach the Gospel arose spontaneously. On the way to a stadium to prepare for one evening campaign, some of the Team Xtreme evangelists stopped for refreshment next to a local police station. When the policemen came out to see who they were and to talk to them, they were given the Gospel and two of the policemen gave their lives to Christ.
Taubale and Ofa Toki, who were involved in the IWT campaigns in Auckland in 2004, had moved to Suva in 2005 and had been preparing for the 2007 campaign together with their Fijian trained staff, for the past two years.
The M/V Pacific Link, part of the international YWAM ministry Marine Reach based in Tauranga, was in the Fiji region for four months prior to the IWT campaign, reaching those on 11 more remote outer islands with health care(medical and dental), construction and evangelism teams from YWAM and local churches.
A YWAM team on the ‘Shekinah’ a Nelson based mission yacht also made trips to some of the outer islands for many months also leading up to the campaigns, sharing the gospel, teaching and helping with providing clean water resources.