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Fiji Mission Thank You Notes

Friends and Family

Ben Ashton and his Fijian friend perfecting the art of the goofy pose.

I am sorry that I am just getting this out now, but it has been a very busy senior year.  I had a wonderful, life changing experience in Fiji.  All your help whether it was through monetary giving or prayers or both, were much appreciated.

Through all the anxiety of waiting on a 13 hour flight from Los Angeles, and gaining nearly a day from jet lag, we eventually made it. Once we arrived there, we had to take a 3 hour bus ride to the other side of the island.  This is where I knew that it was going to be a special trip.  I have never seen anyone in my life so happy and warm than the Fijian people.  Every person we passed whether it was in a town, on a farm or in a village we shouted, BULA, which is a warm welcoming hello in Fijian.  No matter what these people were doing they dropped whatever they had and shouted back BULA.

Once we arrived in the Vugalei Village, where we were staying, the village family welcomed us with open arms.  They prepared for us a huge feast of traditional island food and tons of the best fruit I ever had.  By the end of that first day I knew it was going to be heartbreaking leaving all of my Fijian friends there.  Throughout our stay there we helped build the sanctuary of the church.  I stayed in the basement of the church that happened to be finished right before we came.  Fiji weather in the jungle is about as hot and sticky as you can imagine.  And along with random down pouring rain showers comes sitting water which means tons of bugs and frogs that got into our sleeping quarters.

Through little sleep and lots of bug bites, we were able to help finish the church, assist in leading out in VBS, go to the local SDA school and teach first grade for a day, and build lifelong relationships with the young kids there.  Leaving Vugalei was the hardest thing I had ever done;  many hugs, and many tears were cried from all the great memories I had made with the Fijian people.  I have learned how to be happy with literally nothing, and they showed me a glimpse of God’s love.  I cannot wait to see my Fijian friends in heaven.  This couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for your help and your prayers. I thank all of you so much for everything you did for me so that I could have this experience.

Thank you.

-Ben

Contributed by Todd & Ben Ashton


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