Here are a few thoughts about the Methodist Church in Fiji.
Illustration of repairing the power wiring.
To begin with I must thank my golfer friend Lindsay Dixon for helping us by fixing the damaged power points in our house last Wednesday. My friend was able to come to investigate the power failures. We had to climb inside the roof and crawl about searching for the cause. It took 2 hours to find the problem, and it was not until we climbed on the top of the roof, took our a few roofing irons above the kitchen and then checked the electricity wiring where the plastic box was half burnt and melted. That was the cause of the problem.
Then from there the electrician set about to check and fix about fourteen power points and install a safety switch and this took another two hours. Lindsay said that the wiring was probably over fifty or sixty years old and had never been updated.
This is a parable perhaps. I would like to compare the checking the problems of electric power current flowing through the wires with the power of leadership of the Methodist Church in Fiji.
What is the current problem of the Methodist Church in Fiji at present?
1. The basic problem is that there is very old wiring, with no rewiring done in forty-five years ago when the Methodist became Independent in 1964, when Rev Setareki Tuilovoni was the first Fijian President.
Power point 2. The Constitution of the Fiji Methodist Church is very old and has to be updated to suit the modern times, though some parts were changed during Rev Paula Niukula’s time about the General secretary position.
Power point 3. Sometimes the load is in one place, top-heavy without a safety switch. Has Epworth House offices in Suva become the focus too much?
Power point 4. What has happened to the relationship with the parents Churches like Australia’s Uniting Church in Australia and New Zealand and their contributions toward Fiji?
Power point 4. The relationship of the Lotu with Vanua and the Traditional Chiefs in each area. Do we need to check who holds the power? Check who really ‘owns’ the Lotu - the Chiefs or particular individuals or the ordinary people.
Power point 5. Fiji Islands are prone to yearly hurricanes and earthquakes yet survive, and coups by strong people, but what do we do about it? Passively accept that this happens and just get along with our normal life to support our families?
How can these power points be fixed? What kind of people do we need in Fiji to fix the power points? Or just let the wires get heated up and damaged? We surely need to take action, install safety switches, and bring in the skilled people who are willing to crawl through the roof of a house to find and fix each damaged area, bit by bit. It is not an easy task, but necessary.
Prayers and fasting are good but are not enough. Action is needed. You do not just pray that your electrical problem is fixed. We need the expertise and people with the right skills to find the problems and set about fixing them. What do you think?