by Stephen Arrington

The morning song of an exotic bird stirs me gently from my sleep. The melody drifts through an open window on the back of a warm tropical breeze. It is still dark outside here in the South Pacific as I listen to the drumming sound of an approaching rainsquall. The cascading water marches in rapidly from the ocean, hammers across the tin roof, then it tramps up the mountainside leaving a moist freshness in its wake. The sunrise is only moments away as I quickly grab my video camera and head outside. I see a landscape that most Fijians call the most beautiful spot in all of Fiji. I am on Vanua Levu Island standing on a ridge overlooking a pristine bay lined with coconut and banana trees. Before me sprawls a lush valley with dense growths of broad-leaf ferns, flowering vines, and other tropical foliage. The words rain forest echo through my mind. Eagerly, I film the sunrise as warm, yellow light spills across the sprawling campus that is Vatuvonu School.

Built in 1932, Vatuvonu School was once the pride of the South Pacific. Hundreds of students came from the surrounding islands, but then the SDA Fiji Mission hit upon hard financial times. In desperation, educational funds had to be redirected. Four years ago the secondary school here had to be closed. A year later the vocational school had the same demise. Last year, funds were cut off to the primary school with instructions for it to close. Instead, a small core of dedicated volunteers (mostly retired grandparents) worked without pay to keep the campus barely going. A growing burden of debt ($10,000 USD) continued to loom over the school’s modest tuition and gardening funds. Armed only with sticks and knives, the children’s parents planted taro on a tiny portion of the school’s four hundred-acre farm to raise money for the loan, but the meager funds weren’t enough. On the coming Sunday, the Fiji Mission Executive Board was scheduled to make the difficult decision to sell the farm. With no other available source of income, the school would finally be forced to close. In the words of the school’s pastor, “We are standing on air and only a miracle can save our school.”

After writing the above two paragraphs, I returned to the United States knowing that a miracle was desperately needed to save the school. By touring this web site, you will discover that the Lord is truly blessing our work in Fiji. Every single one of us has the opportunity to be a Christian Warrior for our very big God. I invite you to be a part of the big dream in Fiji that is fast becoming a working reality.