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BIR Visits Savusavu!


The weekend of the Easter break is always a special time for the churches of Christ in Fiji. Easter weekend means that it is time for the annual All-Fiji Workshop. Traditionally, the workshop alternates years between the two large islands in Fiji - Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Unfortunately, Covid-19 resulted in the workshop being cancelled in 2020. While many of the restrictions for large gatherings have been lightened this year, it was still not possible for all of the congregations from both islands to meet together in 2021. However, the congregations on Vanua Levu came together and requested that the Bible Institute at Raiwaqa put together a workshop just for the congregations on the north island. They agreed to allow the Buca congregation in Savusavu to serve as the host congregation. It turned out to be an outstanding workshop.


On December 17, 2020, Tropical Cyclone Yasa made landfall on Vanua Levu as a category 5 storm. The damage was incredible, with many residents losing their homes and entire crops. Since the majority of the people on Vanua Levu live largely off of their plantations, this was a major blow to the people. Shortly after the damaging winds of TC Yasa, Vanua Levu was hit by a second cyclone on January 31, 2021. TC Ana was a Category 3 storm which brought heavy, widespread flooding across the island which resulted in flooded homes, mudslides, and road collapses. While Rocco Pierce, the director of BIR, has been actively involved in doing disaster relief work on the island to help with the physical needs of the people (thanks to generous donations from numerous members and congregations of the churches of Christ), he wanted to do something to help with the spiritual needs of the Christians impacted by the storm. The workshop was a perfect opportunity to do this.


The Bible Institute at Raiwaqa partnered with the local congregations of Vanua Levu to put together a program on the theme God is Still Good Even When Things are Bad. The focus of the program was upon encouraging Christians to find hope even during the difficult struggles of life. The speakers came from the BIR students and staff, as well as from the local congregations on Vanua Levu. Five different congregations from Vanua Levu were present for the workshop, and the Buca congregation was an outstanding host for the event. They worked tirelessly to provide meals for close to two hundred people who were in attendance for the workshop.


The workshop was held on April 2-4, 2021. The schedule was:


Friday, April 2

9:00 AM – Bible Class Teacher: Romulus O'Brien (BIR Student) Subject: God is Still Good When I Lose Everything

Text: Job 1:13-22 10:00 AM – Bible Class Teacher: Samuela Tupou (BIR Alumnus) Subject: God is Still Good When My Faith Grows Weak Text: Psalms 73:1-5, 15-18

2:00 PM – Bible Class Men's Class: Petelo Tulaga (BIR Student) Ladies' Class: Nancy Sailo (BIR Alumnus) Youth Class: Cory Pierce, Caleb Pierce, Mosese Narai (BIR Student)

Subject: God is Still Good When I am Criticized

Text: Psalms 41:5-11 6:30 PM – Singing – Atu Tawake 7:00 PM – Key Note Lesson Speaker: Rocco Pierce (BIR Instructor) Subject: God is Still Good When A Family Member is Lost Text: Romans 9:1-5; 10:1-3

8:00 PM – Bible Questions and Answers

Speakers: Rocco Pierce and Jason Pierce (BIR Instructors)


Saturday, April 3

9:00 AM – Bible Class: Teacher: Duru Ketenilagi Subject: God is Still Good When I Suffer Illness

Text: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 10:00 AM – Bible Class: Teacher: Joeli Finau Subject: God is Still Good When the End is Near Text: 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Psalms 116:15

Children's Class: Debbie Pierce, Devan Pierce, Ase Solinadrotini (BIR Student) 2:00 PM – Bible Class: Men: Joji Vuetimaiwai (BIR Student) Ladies: Moana Tulaga (BIR Student) Youth: Cory Pierce, Caleb Pierce, Mosese Narai (BIR Student)

Subject: God is Still Good When I Feel Alone

Text: 1 Kings 19:9-18 6:30 PM – Singing – Atu Tawake 7:00 PM – Key Note Lesson Speaker: Bobby Whippy Subject: God is Still Good When A Loved One Dies Text: John 11:21-22 8:00 PM – Bible Questions and Answers

Speakers: Rocco Pierce and Jason Pierce (BIR Instructors)


Sunday, April 4

10:00 AM– Bible Class: Adult Class: Rokola Naikavuka

Youth Class: Cory Pierce, Caleb Pierce, Mosese Narai (BIR Student) Subject: God is Still Good When the Waves Roll High Text: Mark 4:35-41

Children: Debbie Pierce, Devan Pierce, Ase Solinadrotini (BIR Student) 11:00 AM – Worship Speaker: Emosi Sailo (BIR Alumnus and Instructor) Subject: God is Still Good When We Mess Up

Text: Psalms 103:8-13

3:00 PM – Worship Speaker: Jason Pierce (BIR Instructor)

Subject: God is Still Good When the Storm Rages Text: Psalms 107:23-32

The workshop was such a wonderful and encouraging time. The highlight of the weekend was that ten precious souls responded to the Lord's invitation to put on Christ in baptism and have their sins washed away. Those who were baptized included the wife of a current student at BIR and the youngest son of one of our full-time instructors (Jason Pierce). Beyond that, it was a time in which everyone's spirits were lifted by a period of fellowship and study of God's word. In a time when people are struggling with storms, Covid-19 restrictions, and a loss of crops and jobs, it was great to be reminded that Christians have hope that is found in the knowledge that God is Still God Even When Things are Bad!


~ Jason H. Pierce

Academic Dean & Instructor

Bible Institute @ Raiwaqa






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