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Thursday, January 9, 2014

I See Nothing But Jesus

Bible distribution in Fiji
Until the late 18th century, the Fiji Islands were carefully avoided by sailors and explorers because the Fijian natives were known to be ferocious cannibals. One tribal chief was infamous for personally consuming over 800 people. After killing and cannibalizing missionary Thomas Baker in 1867, the natives boasted, "We ate everything but his boots."

Methodist John Hunt was the first missionary to take the Gospel to Fiji. He landed in 1838 and battled the spiritual darkness for a decade. He completed a translation of the New Testament from Greek into the Fijian language in 1847 and died the following year at the age of 33. As he lay dying, Hunt 
prayed in fervent ejaculations for the salvation of the Fiji islands. Suddenly he grew utterly calm. "You see a bright prospect before you," said someone.
"I see nothing but Jesus," exclaimed John.1
Within fifty years of Hunt's arrival in Fiji, not a single person on the islands openly professed the old heathen religion, and today, the Fijians refer to their cannibalistic past as  "na gauna ni tevoro" (time of the devil).2
Fiji's dark past makes its present circumstances all the more remarkable. Last November, at the invitation of the Fijian government, Baptist International Missions, Inc., began distributing Bibles to students in every school in Fiji. Over 200,000 young people received a copy of God's Word. 

Even more remarkable, however, is the fact that this nearly $500,000 project was underwritten by individuals and churches in the United States who have largely conceded their own nation's future to the devil. An attitude of hopelessness pervades the church in America as though the Light that penetrated the darkness of  "na gauna ni tevoro" cannot pierce the evils of this present age. O, we of little faith! If only we could see, not the wind and the waves, but the vision of John Hunt and exclaim with him, "I see nothing but Jesus!"

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