CCA Mission Trip to Fiji

July 01, 2006 | Monte Saxby

The Cascade Christian Academy (CCA) bus pulled out of the church parking lot in Wenatchee, Wash., on Tuesday morning, March 28, loaded with clothes, gear, tools and 22 people headed to Fiji to build a church. Six more people joined us along the way, making the total 28. The trip was organized by Ernie Reynolds, CCA’s chaplain, and included CCA’s senior class, who made this mission trip their senior trip.

The goal of the trip was to help build the new Sigatoka Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. Not only did each member of the group raise money for our own portion of the expenses, we also raised approximately $34,000 to cover the cost of the building.

After a 26-hour trip and after settling into our quarters, a stream of Fiji natives came carrying food and shouting “Bula Bula” (a Fiji greeting). They gave us each a leaf, a flower lei, a hug and a personal “Bula.” After a prayer of thanksgiving for our safe arrival, we ate a meal of rice, bananas, papayas, and other fruits and vegetables.

The weather was hot and humid and sunscreen, drinking water and shade were life-sustaining commodities. We had to start work earlier to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures.

During the next six working days, we learned many new construction skills and that when you are working for God the devil tries extra hard to discourage or stop you. But each night at worship “Tellatella” (the locals’ name for Pastor Ernie) kept reminding us that we were doing God’s work and He would see us through.

I also learned that the Fiji people are some of the friendliest people I have ever met and I learned to depend more completely on God.

I asked Simi, a 26-year-old local church member who was helping build the church, what he did for a living. He said he had quit his job to build the church. When I asked him what he would do when the church was finished he just said: “God knows.” The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve decided that this is the best answer to a lot of life’s questions: “God knows.”