The role of the ACBM is to support the spiritual and physical welfare of our brethren, sisters and youth through COVID-19 and beyond. Until recently the ecclesia in Fiji have been doing an amazing job of maintaining its members welfare, however they have all but exhausted their ability to do so going forward. The ACBM, in consultation with local serving brethren, has sent monetary welfare to be distributed as the ecclesia sees the need to their members.
The island nation had the COVID situation well under control using strict international travel bans and isolated lockdowns until February/March. The delta strain then hit hard and Fiji went into severe national lockdown that had a sustained severe impact on brethren and sisters that have a subsistence cultural approach to life. Many brethren and sisters lost incomes , transport was not available, getting to medical facilities became difficult , the price of food increased, the availability of food decreased and the anxiety of lockdowns on a close knit, family orientated was acutely felt by many.
Fijian ecclesial life is incredibly important to brethren , sisters and young people , they see the ecclesial as “the pillar and ground of the truth,” their principle place for fellowship and praise. They have not sung together as one for many months and miss this blessing greatly. God willing the ecclesia could possibly open in late November 2021 if vaccination thresholds are met.
Spiritual nourishment and some spiritual needs are currently being met by zoom, the ecclesia has been using this extensively for memorial fellowship with some Australian, New Zealand and Indian brethren and sisters, however it is not the same as meeting together, singing and really being able to encourage one another in difficult times.
Isolation has had an enormous impact on Fijian young people, Fijian schools are only opening on the first of November 2021 to senior year, with strict protocols. Most schools have been closed since April. The ACBM has a focus to include youth activities in the 23rd November—3rd January to encourage the young people to stay positive, grow spiritually and engaged with the ecclesia.
God willing the ACBM in conjunction with local brethren will hold an uplifting virtual end of year Study, including youth activities. The adult Sessions are to be given on differing themes by bro Kier Risley on “family life in challenging times”, Vit Jurevicius on ”COVID Impact, recovery and coping strategies,” and Grant Jolly on “the exciting days we live in – prophesy”.
Our brethren and sisters in Fiji feel so blessed to be supported and encouraged by the larger spiritual family that we all have access to by adoption into the house hold of our Heavenly Father, through the sacrifice of the lord Jesus Christ. Their greatest comfort, as is ours, is found in the gospel of everlasting life which we share.