Carrying the Message of Christ on a Yacht

Elizabeth Bahe

Volunteers cross the island nation by yacht to bring a message of life and rejuvenation.

Nestled in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia, Fiji is comprised of 330 islands -- 110 inhabited. Late one summer, the 74-foot yacht Dayspring covered 14 of the islands, carrying the message of Christ.

Fiji residents Ron and Aggie Russel own Dayspring. The elderly couple joined 9 fellow Fijians and 2 Americans onboard the ship for 2 separate trips, working together to show the JESUS film -- a movie of Christ's life based on the gospel of Luke.

The Fiji people are "church-oriented," according to Fred Darwick, 1 of the 2 Americans. More than half are Christians, yet despite that orientation, the people are in need of spiritual rejuvenation.

"After more than 40 years of church ministry, the visit of the team has been a revival to me," says Senivasa Vuladua, a former lay pastor in the village of Waciwaci, on the island of Lakeba. "I am also now assured of my salvation."

The project team members showed the film 63 times. As thousands watched the life of Jesus, 1,744 indicated that they had prayed and received Christ as their Savior. Additional information was circulated about how to have a relationship with Jesus, and 1,331 people attended studies to process what they learned.

"It shows what is being done to reach a very responsive audience that is very difficult to get to," says Wes Brenneman, Cru's regional director for the Pacific Islands.

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