A short note on our move to the West next year and our small team, the Trailblazers.
When you think of a trailblazer, what picture comes to mind?
A simple definition of a trailblazer is, “someone who makes a way through wild country”. Sort of like pioneers.
However, trailblazers are more than just pioneers, they are both pathfinder and path-marker. In the original sense of the word, a trailblazer was someone who laid out markers to guide those that would follow. The famous missionary, C. T. Studd when told by critics to go home, that he had done enough replied,
“God has called me to go, and I will go. I will blaze the trail though my grave may only become a stepping stone that younger men may follow.”
I’m sure that if you look through the Bible and missions’ history you’ll find many men and women who have said similar things as they ventured out into unfamiliar territory. Maybe some are coming to mind right now. People who gave up their lives to fulfil the greatest commission – to be trailblazers for the Gospel of Christ.
The picture that comes to me as I think of this word – Trailblazer; is that of the early missionaries from the Pacific who harnessed the innovation of a great seafaring society and used the dreaded double-hulled war canoes as vehicles to bring light to their savage neighbours. Settling, learning native languages and passing on the message of love and hope.
For Judith and I, it has always been our plan to assist the ministry in Vanuatu once she completed her training. [We hope this is still very much part of God’s plan for our lives as well.] However, as we’ve prayed and talked about our next steps, we’ve felt God’s leading for us to be a part of this opportunity in the West of Fiji. The West, specifically Namaka in Nadi has been an outreach ground for our conference and missions’ teams in the past few years and momentum has slowly started to build.
This year after our respective projects to Tonga and Nadi, we sat down with the national leadership to talk about the future. It became clear that while we felt ready to move back to Vanuatu, the logistics were very much not in our favour as a young couple. Plus, we had no experience leading a campus team; even if we had decided to go, we would have still greatly relied on the guidance and leadership of our Fiji team.
So the decision has been made and we’re excited.
Along with Nathan Alfred, we are calling ourselves the Western Trailblazers. The West for us is a stepping stone firstly for our own development as mission workers and secondly as a way of giving back to our home nation of Fiji. Establishing the movement in the West will strengthen the movement’s cause to having Fiji the spiritual hub for sending and resourcing the Oceania region. Our commitment for now is up until the end of 2020 and our focus in Nadi over the next year or so will be to pioneer and lay the groundwork for a sustainable movement in the West trusting God for his favour and provision.
Please remember us in your prayers.
ps. We can’t tell you how excited Nathan, our fellow worker was when he got the news. Nathan had been pushing for a move to the West and had already been meeting with key students from Namaka. [Yeah boy, saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze]