Reading the Bible in Fiji
Posted on: 13th September 2016
While many Fijian students call themselves Christians, Bible reading is often not part of their daily life. CMS worker Tony Wright shares the impact that studying God’s word has made to three Fijian students.
For Christians in Fiji, reading the Bible one-to-one is unheard of! As the Campus Staff Worker for Pacific Students for Christ (PSFC) in Fiji, one of the key aspects of my work is to meet up with students on the university campus to read the Bible one-to-one. As I help the students to read and apply God’s word for themselves, my work is both novel and important. Here are the stories of three students who I aim to meet up with once a week on campus to read the Bible, pray and share:
Victor is an Indo-Fijian accounting student who previously served as President of the PSFC Student Council and is currently the campus ministry Vice-President. Victor says: “It is a great privilege to have a one-to-one Bible study week in, week out. In our time together we have covered a number of the New Testament books. I have been compelled to understand the scriptures in their context and to see for myself the response it requires. Recently in our time together, I have learnt how all the scriptures speak of Christ and how it’s always been about him.
He continues: “Proverbs 27:17 says, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another’. This has indeed been true of my time together with Pastor Tony. Studying the Bible in this manner has also developed a true friendship and allowed us to share a strong bond. As a young man, this has also afforded me opportunity to seek wise counsel. Often we study scriptures to see what it says about young people and how we ought to live. It is amazing because whatever issues we are discussing, the word remains at the centre of it all … One-to-one Bible study is an excellent form of discipleship. It may be slow, requiring time and effort, but it’s always rewarding.”
Shane is a geography student who is currently pursuing his postgraduate certificate, with a view to transitioning into the master’s program. He is originally from Rotuma, and before joining the student ministry he had a Catholic background. This year he is serving as the PSFC Student Council President.
Shane describes our Bible study: “When meeting up with Pastor Tony, we read the Bible, pray and share with each other. Every time it is an eye-opener and encourages me in the way I read the Bible. Some highlights are that I am now more confident in reading God’s word for myself and understanding it better, which has answered a lot of questions about the Christian life. Through these one-to-one meetings, Jesus is made known and glorified!”
Shimon is a former I.T. student, who has served as both PSFC Music Team Coordinator and Treasurer, and is now Associate Staff Worker (a volunteer worker who returns to serve on campus after graduation). Shimon says: “I used to read and apply scripture out of context and was commonly misinterpreting it … It’s now two years since we started meeting to read the word of God, discuss, share and learn together. Now, by the grace of God, I have been learning a lot: how to read scripture in context, how to see Jesus in all of scripture and how to apply it to my life. I now understand a lot better how to read the Bible effectively to the glory of God. I have also been able to teach others and lead Bible studies.”
Shimon continues: “I am very, very grateful to Pastor Tony for being so patient with me and helping me learn and grow as a Christian. Through reading the word for myself and studying it together, we see and learn how to critically evaluate and listen when a preacher preaches the word. One thing Tony always says is, ‘Don’t just blindly believe me, but check it in the word for yourself”, and that is something I like.”
Fijians need Bible teachers to help them truly understand God’s word, and respond to it with faith and godliness. Is God calling you to Fiji? Click here to find out more about how you can serve with CMS.