Thursday, October 8, 2009

Personal Transformation Center

For those of you wondering about this place where we are volunteering, I'd like to describe it. It is a part of a world wide mission organization called, Youth With a Mission (YWAM). When it was started 50 years ago by an American couple, it was geared for young people, hence the "youth" in the name. Today, people of all ages participate. YWAM is made of "bases" all over the world. Each of these bases is unique and, though they all are non-denominational and agree with some fundamental beliefs, they have different vision statements. The Personal Transformation Center (PTC) here in Lautoka has two focuses: 1. offering courses and practice in biblical counseling and providing that counseling to their community. Yesterday I accompanied Lo to Tilak high school where she counsels students two days per week. We met with a Muslim girl who was abused by her boyfriend. Lo was trained at PTC in a 5 month course, and now offers her services free of charge. 2. Another focus at PTC is supporting the birth of a new base in China. They send groups to this base every year and are training them how to build their own counseling center.

Other bases have different focuses. Some offer schools of journalism, others teach dance, others offer courses in primary health care for remote areas. All of the courses offered at all of the bases all over the world are part of a world-wide University of the Nations whose motto is, "to know God and make him known." They believe that all disciplines can be used to communicate and demonstrate the gospel in all nations.

PTC is an active place. There are about 15 full time unpaid staff members, some with kids and some single. They coordinate the applications and preparations for the schools; they run the schools. In between the schools they maintain ministries. Lo's ministry has been doing high school counseling at 3 different high schools. Jima organizes kids clubs in the afternoons and in the mornings visits the parents of the kids that attend. Kafi runs the community preschool. Vini manages the base and does counseling. Meme co-organizes the single mother's group with Kamba from another base. Sisa is the base leader and coordinates with community leaders and other pastors. Others visit the hospitals weekly to sit with and pray for patients. The whole base turns out on Monday mornings to rake and clean the large park in their neighborhood. The list goes on. These people are actively compassionate about Fiji and their city. They receive no money for what they do and trust God to provide their needs. He seems to be doing a good job. They have food, clothing, and an ample building.

We have left the remainder of the school supplies our friends sent with us for PTC to use at their preschool, in their kids clubs, or to use as Christmas presents for the large kids' Christmas party in December. But there are more needs. I've decided to list them so that if you wish to help or pray, you know how.
1. Full time staff members, especially an office worker to manage finances.
2. an updated, more user-friendly website.
3. The monthly costs to run the base (rent, utilities, office needs, food, etc) is 4000 Fijian dollars per month
4. They're hoping for 200-300 community kids to attend the Christmas party on December 10. For decorations, food, gifts, etc. they have a budget of 2500 Fijian dollars.
5. School here in Fiji is not free. The staff members who have children pay for their fees. Sisa has one son enrolled in a Christian school which charges 1200 per quarter. Even the public schools charge various amounts.
6. Bibles in English or Buan (the national Fijian dialect).

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