Journey to Fiji via Brisbane, Australia
Report by Christabel and Daniel
We accompanied Bro. Gan on his fourth visit to Fiji Islands. The trip lasted a total of 12 days, including a four-day stopover in Brisbane to visit Sister Chantana and her family. After a smooth flight, we were greeted at the airport by Sis. Chantana, her husband, Bro. Nathanael Lee, and their daughter, Marygrace. The family were gracious hosts and took good care of us. Sis. Chantana prepared many of our meals, Bro. Nathanael ferried us about in his car, and Marygrace accompanied us gaily wherever we went. They took us to visit the Glasshouse Mountains and Chermside Shopping Centre. Also, we drove down to Gold Coast for lunch the day before we left. We mostly spent time sharing the Word of God in their home.
On Sunday, 14 Dec, we attended their church which was held in a small rented hall not far from their home. It is a small church and there were about 25 members in attendance. The brothers mentioned that there are approximately 50 believers in the church. Before the main service, there was a short session of Sunday school which everyone attended. Bro. Greg led the session and expounded the birth of Jesus Christ to the little children present through the use of colourful felt cut-outs to tell the story. Then, Pastor Don shared a simple message regarding obedience to the Lord. He emphasized the importance of always returning to the Word, always checking whatever we hear with what is written in the Bible. After service, there was a Sunday school year-end party for the children and some presents were given out. The church members had contributed food and everyone was invited to have lunch together.
A few brothers gathered together in Bro. Nathanaelís home on Monday night for a fellowship. They got to speak with Bro. Gan and find out more about the End-time Message and the ministry.
Bro. Kolade is a Nigerian brother who has recently migrated to Brisbane. He is a practicing psychiatrist. He has been corresponding with Bro. Gan for quite a good while after coming across some Prophetic Revelation books, and was glad to meet with Bro. Gan.
Bro. Phil and his family, Bro. Allistor and Bro. Greg also came. Bro. Gan took this opportunity to share with them about his ministry and the bad influences of Branhamism. He shared with them about the extremist teachings that polluted and corrupted Bro. Branhamís original message and how it was very important to heed the call to "Go Back to the Word". One of the brothers found it difficult to believe that the prophet, as a man, could make mistakes. Hence, between Bro. Gan and the brother, a debate ensued on the fallibility of Bro. Branham. The night ended without any conclusion to the discussion due to shortage of time.
Clockwise from bottom left: Christabel, Daniel,
The next day, 16th Dec, we flew to Fiji, arriving late at night. While the weather in Brisbane was hot and dry, the weather in Fiji was hot and humid. There were occasional showers throughout our stay. To make matters worse, we could not avoid the numerous mosquitoes and their bites.
Although the weather was inhospitable, the same could not be said of the people. The Fijians are a warm, friendly people who are incredibly hospitable. Bro. Tui, Bro. Joape, and Bro. Tupou greeted us at the airport. They took us in a taxi-van to the hotel, about a ten minutes' drive. Tired and hungry, we stopped at an eatery on the way to pack a quick dinner.
We had a day of rest before the convention began. Bro. Gan spent time with Bro. Tui while Noa, Mila and Ruthie (some of the younger believers) took us to visit Lautoka and Nadi Town. On Thursday, the convention began proper and ended on Sunday evening. There were two services each day, a morning service from 8:30am to 12pm and an evening service from 4:30pm to 7pm. The services began with singing and specials given by various people. Bro. Gan opened the convention with binary sermons on the gates of hell and the gate of heaven.
In the evenings, he projected videos of false prophets and how they deceived people. He wanted the Fijian believers to be aware of the falsehoods that compound in the Endtime Message and to be wise in the Word of God. Then, Bro. Gan preached on how to rightly divide the Word of the God. He guided the believers through a study on the literary tools employed in the Bible, showing them the hidden meanings behind the words on the pages of the Bible. He urged them to always read the verses in context.
Bro. Gan also preached, on the side, about the importance of giving tithes. He urged the believers to give tithes to God to sustain the ministry of their pastor. When Bro. Gan realised that some believers did not have Bibles, he told them that if they would pay FJD$5, he would contribute the rest of the money and buy them a Bible each. About 45 Bibles were ordered.
Over the years, the believers in Fiji have grown. This year, the convention is especially blessed because there are four churches that attended Ė Nadi, Savusavu, Suva, and Levuka. There were about 200 people in attendance, including children. The church building in which we worshipped is a testament to the blessing of God on the convention, because the entire structure cost only FJD$120. Everything except the poles of the structure was obtained free. Bro. Lani, an engineer with the Fijian Army, arrived home just in time from Iraq (where he had been one of many soldiers sent to keep the peace under the UN) to help wire the building. A believing couple flew in from New Zealand to join us at the convention.
We spent much time with the young believers, eating, singing and playing with them. On the last night of the convention, we stayed through the night, singing and praising the Lord. After the convention was over, we were blessed with an opportunity to visit a small island that we had all to ourselves. Some brothers and sisters accompanied us and we had a great time on the island, eating freshly caught fish and singing songs. On the last night of our stay in Nadi, many of the believers showed up to share a last dinner with us. Also, at the airport the next morning, they turned up to send us off, urging us to come back again soon.
From Bro. Gan
Ni sa bula vinaka! It's nostalgic to be greeted with the Fijian greeting once again. What joy to see the Fijian believers again. This time it was an even greater joy as I saw the Lord's hand move to bring about a revival among the believers in the Fijian Islands through my previous three visits in 2004, 2005 and 2006. This recent visit saw twice as many believers in the convention. The spirit of Branhamism that stood against me in the last three visits has been broken by the spirit of the unadulterated Word of God with the passing away of its nicolaitane leader last year. Truly, "The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked." (Prov.10:3).
The church in Suva that I visited in 2006 has been set free from the bondage of Branhamism. Though the church was separated from the "big church" (also in Suva) and its nicolaitane pastor for many years yet the believers were never free from Branhamism until the last two years. The church in Levuka on Ovalau Island, has also recognized the authority of the Sacred Word of God and is set free.
In Savusavu, on the island of Vanua Levu, the pastor of the church abandoned his flock and went over to Suva to take over the "big church" there after its leader passed away. He claimed that he was called of God and since none of the elders and deacons had any calling, he seized the pastoral post. Needless to say he was there for the money. His own church in Savusavu was left to the deacons. Satan was doing his job to confuse the people but God was in control to separate those who are His to His Precious Word of Life. With the visit of Pastor Tui (from Nadi), a believer, Bro. Akuila (who was a deacon of that church) received the truth concerning the Message of the hour and together with his family, left that Branhamic church and got into the Word of God.
There was great rejoicing during the convention as the Word of God was expounded. How the ministers and the elders rejoiced! They expressed "anger" at those preachers who had deceived them, especially the nicolaitane pastor (in Suva) who had controlled them all those past years till he was taken in death in December 2006. All that they knew were the words of Bro. Branham. They had preached to their own individual churches by just reading off the sermon books of Branham and explaining what they believed Branham was saying. As for the Bible, it was hardly ever used.
Their joy reminds me of this event recorded in Nehemiah chapter 8:
opened the book. All the people could
see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people
all stood up.
Praise the Lord! Fiji is one of many nations where we see the spirit of Branhamism being broken down as the Spirit of the Word of Life in Christ Jesus brings the light of Truth to His children. Like all religious isms in Christendom that are crumbling before the Word of God, Branhamism will also crumble as the standard of God's truth is raised up against it. All isms are built on shifting sands.
May the Lord continue to bless Bro. Tui and the ministers who now stand with him in the Sacred Word of God as they go forth witnessing the Truth.
God bless and Vinaka Vakelevu.