Several weeks ago OJT was nothing more than a mysterious acronym to me. I couldn't figure out what it meant and several of us decided to call it, Orange Juice Time. I know we're in Fiji with a wealth of tropical fruit at our fingertips, but what does Orange Juice have to do with missions?
I have come to learn that OJT stands for On the Job Training. Which at first seemed unclear. What does it mean?
On the job training is the EE term to describe going out into the community and sharing the gospel. We can only learn so many techniques for sharing while sitting in the classroom. The real training happens out on the field. Usually we go out in groups of three or four with one person who's been trained in EE in the past.
Last week we were the ones training in the classroom and this past week, we got to help host an evangelism workshop in Nadi. We've gotten to share the training that we've been learning for the past two weeks with those who have never learned how to share. The group is a mix between local pastors, people from local churches as well as several people that we met on the s tweets last week who have turned their lives around.
In some ways, Fiji reminds me of the south, or the "Bible Belt." People are friendly and give you a big smile with "Bula!" When you meet them. and for the most part, they've grown up in a church, so they know any bible stories, but their relationship with God is not one that have become personal to them.
The predominant "religion" on the islands is Methodist. Although the Methodist church is one denomination under the banner of the church, here it is its own religion.
The word is preached in church, but not encouraged at home. Many people involved with the Methodist church still practice pagan traditions, such as drinking Kava, that have been part of the islands' history for hundreds of years.
I have to say, the early missionaries did a fantastic job with bringing the church, but somewhere along the line, things changed. Just about every village has a Methodist church in the center of their village. Today, it is mostly the old who attend.
The early missionaries did not have instruments to bring with them, so now it has become part of the tradition of their church. They sing a capella in church and would kick you out if you dated bring a musical instrument in.
There is a legistic emphasis on good deeds. Because of this, many people don't realize that God is personal and wants a relationship. In fact, many are excommunicated from the church if they begin having a personal relationship with God.
When we go out to do OJT in town and share this with people, most of the time they light up when they hear that God loves them and wants a relationship.
In the past two weeks, I've gotten to speak with many people from a Methodist background, as well as seventh day Adventists, Jehovah witness and several people from Hindu descent.
Most are completely overjoyed to hear the gospel.
He was beaming and had tears in his eyes at the end.
L-R, ashley, William, me, Mitch, and one of the trainees at the clinic.
Several men on their lunch break who all said they wanted to follow Jesus.
Sharing with some school boys.
My new friend Judah changed completely from when we first met him and at the end of our talk. He couldn't wait to bring his wife back so she could hear about Jesus as well!
Two beautiful girls I got to share with. Vaciti and vitinia.
Most have been receptive in wanting to hear more about Christ. There is a hunger to know him! Pray as we continue to follow up that there would be a heart change and a hunger to know Christ more.