It’s 5:00 a.m. on a Sunday in early April. Although Fiji’s capital of Suva is in lockdown, 12-year-old Nasoni Junior is already awake and ready to help feed the homeless on the city streets.
On this day, Junior is joining his parents as he has done so many times before, but this time he is more reluctant. The police have been very strict in arresting people, and authorities have not made it clear whether Junior and his team are allowed to continue their ministry.
Junior’s team is called MISSION-1, named for the mission work they do on Suva’s streets every Sunday morning. They have been doing this for a year now, but it’s getting harder. Half of the team was recently forced to return home to Australia due to the pandemic. They had been serving with Junior for 12 months, providing the homeless with breakfasts of hot chocolate, muffins, and homemade buns, and singing songs and praying with people.
The situation is different in 2020. The remaining team members are wearing masks, and gloves and carry bottles of hand sanitizer. Only three people are allowed to go out together because of social distancing rules. But on this particular morning, they will minister to about 40 people, providing hot drinks, homemade buns, rice, and stir-fry in takeaway packs.
The recipients respond with words like, “Thank you for your love” and “God bless.”
Knowing that the homeless in Suva depend on the city opening for business each day, the MISSION-1 team kept ministering for four weeks during lockdown. Despite their hesitation, they were overwhelmed with a deep sense of compassion to reach out.
Junior and the MISSION-1 team say they feel the need to go on helping those in dire need.
“This is a unique way to share the good news of Jesus’ love and salvation to the forgotten people of Suva,” they said.