Symon and our eldest son have just returned home from 12 days in Fiji! They went with a group of 14 others from our church to serve and encourage 4 churches we partner with and assist during their bi-annual conference.
This was Symon's fourth time visiting Fiji, and our eldest son's first - first time in Fiji, first time out of New Zealand and first time on an aeroplane.
Our son Jasher absolutely loved his time there and really wants to visit again.
It's amazing how you can travel on a missions trip hoping to encourage others and be a blessing yet often you return home and find you have been more impacted and encouraged yourself than you expected. That's the general feeling I get from those that travelled on this trip.
The people of Fiji are beautiful, warm and friendly and have an amazing sense of humour. They welcome you into their homes, share their stories and many have such a strong faith in God despite the sometimes overwhelming trials they have to face.
Symon was so impacted by their respect and honour for older people, something that sadly, we often don't see in our culture, as well as their thankfulness and joy for what they have. I think so many of us could learn a great deal from these amazing people.
I'd love to travel to Fiji with the next team, but until then I'll just have to keep listening to the stories, gazing at the photographs and praying for this beautiful Nation and it's precious people.
It's so good to have my guys home again though... soooo good!