Though we all are appalled by the destruction of the recent floods in Fiji, one thing comes from these times of chaos and loss, that is the generosity and compassion of people who are strangers as well as kin. Here is a letter to the editor of the Fiji Times that tells such a story:
Act of love
MY cousin who lives in Nadi was in Suva on Good Friday. His home in Nadi was underwater up to the ceiling and he was thinking about all that he had lost.
During the church service the pastor's sermon was about giving and caring and he related this to the floods and that many people in Suva were not affected at all and that they could give to a worthy cause.
And then the pastor thanked the congregation for what they had collected. My cousin found out the items were bed linens, kitchenware, shoes, clothes of all sizes and types, school supplies, school bags and there were even a few kitchen sinks.
He was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people that he broke down and with tears in his eyes he went around to all the members of the church and hugged and shook their hands.
Many of them were surprised by this. It takes a lot for my cousin to breakdown and cry because he is as tough as nails.
He was thinking of all the people in the cane belt, villages and settlements who had lost everything and the families who had lost loved ones. Especially a second time just when they were picking up the pieces.
What made him breakdown was the fact that the people who had given so generously are strangers to him and the people of the West.
Of course there will be family connections, but the majority didn't know who would get what they had sent and they had just collected and given without thinking about ethnicity or religion or whatever.
He knew that Liga Gukisuva of Vodafone Fiji had conducted a house to house collection and this finally broke his heart and he wept.
He wishes to thank every soul in Fiji and organisation, social and church group for the kindness they have shown. This is Fiji at its best.
While we are all Fijians and related in so many ways, I call the overwhelming generosity the kindness of strangers.
From our family to all the families in Suva, a big vinaka vakalevu and may
God bless you all abundantly.