Fiji District team leaders were praying and searching for a compassionate ministry project to reach local residents when an idea dawned on them in the beginning of 2014.
At the time, the Fiji government was exploring ways to manage poverty, particularly with regard to assisting those who were homeless and living on the streets. The district team was inspired by Matthew 25:35 ("For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger when you invited me in.") and proposed a partnership through which a safe home would be provided for the less fortunate. The facility would also help residents restore and rehabilitate their lives so they can return to the community.
The government immediately embraced the idea and agreed to work hand-in-hand with the church. After months of dialogue and preparation, the Good Samaritan Inn officially opened February 6.
GSI is located on three acres in Coloisuva, Fiji, where there is a newly renovated Nazarene church. Fiji Nazarene Compassionate Ministries manages and operates the facility while the government, through the Ministry of Women and Children and Poverty Alleviation, provides assistance with the aid of various ministries such as health, social welfare, and workshops on business and livelihood training.
The temporary home has 24 beds and provides shelter where homeless locals can stay until they are able to get back on their feet. Many of these people have been rejected or abused, so the inn will also be a source of love, patience, forgiveness, understanding, and acceptance. The inn will teach people to pray and to see God as the provider and source of healing, restoration, and empowerment in their lives.
Apart from providing the land and managing the home, the church donates equipment, clothes, and volunteer labor for different work activities.
“This centre, The Good Samaritan Inn, is the first of its kind in Fiji,” said Rosie Akbar of the Ministry of Women and Children and Poverty Alleviation during the inn's official opening.
Fiji District leaders are grateful for the commitment and trust of the government in this endeavor.