By Peter and Susan Kingston
published in Good News Blog, Oct 27th 2017
We have been visiting Susan’s extended family of nine brothers and sisters in France, which represents lots of looooooong meals where they eat and drink and talk for as long as six hours!!! From there we went to Romania, where we’re spending three weeks. We’re partly staying with Homes and partly using couch surfing and Airbnb. As usual, we’re trying to travel as cheaply as possible—hitchhiking and nearly always eating supermarket foods instead of eating in restaurants, and generally keeping costs as low as possible.
Normally, we stay in Fiji for three years if we’re on a residence visa, and six months if we’re on a visitor’s visa. This time, as our six months were nearly finished, we were planning to make a trip to nearby Tonga and then come back again for another six months. However, things worked out differently!
We met a young Chinese-looking girl on our street that had apparently been robbed a week earlier and had no money or passport. A nearby home had taken her in temporarily, but she urgently needed accommodation. After checking her story with the police, we took her in and tried to help her. However, due to her limited English, helping her also involved taking her to the airline office and various Fijian government offices in order to speed up the process of her getting a new passport and plane ticket to go back to her country of origin.
This dragged on for several weeks with very little progress, and in the meantime, some of the government offices took our well-meant suggestions as unwanted advice and started getting upset with us. In the end, they came to our house and took the girl into custody, telling us to end our involvement in the case.
We thought that would be the end of the story, but early the next morning, the girl escaped from custody and came back to our house, seriously jeopardizing our position, which was already a bit fragile. We gave her breakfast and sent her back in a taxi, after which (sure enough!) the authorities came back to our house looking for her. We told them what had happened, and since it was a company taxi that we had called by phone, they were able to validate our explanation. However, the Asian girl had no intention of going back into custody & instead disappeared!
By this time, we were seriously praying if it wouldn’t be better to cancel the planned visa trip to Tonga and instead stay out of the country for a longer time in order for this storm to blow over. On the very day that we were wondering and praying about this, we hitchhiked into town, as we often do, and the foreign lady that picked us up told us she was in the area just looking to see if there was a house to rent. (During the 16 years we’ve hitchhiked in Fiji, this had never happened before.)
To make a long story short, she brought her family round, they liked the house, and decided to move in after a few weeks! The only problem was that they needed all four bedrooms, whereas we only had three available, with the other one set aside to store our belongings. However, even this worked together for good as we quickly went into emergency mode and had several big garage sales to sell a lot of unneeded stuff that we’ve accumulated over the years. To store the rest, we constructed a small attic. Everyone worked overtime, but by our departure date, the house was completely ready and this very nice foreign family moved in.
Since that time, we’ve been “on the road,” traveling and doing programs where there are open doors. The examples in the photos are from Taiwan, Philippines, and Romania, where we’ve stayed with missionary friends.
After visiting our families in Europe, the plan is to slowly make our way back to our secondary mission base in Malaysia, and then eventually to Fiji in order to carry on our charity and missionary work there.
All our work is done on a voluntary basis, so any donations would be very much appreciated! A big thank you to all who have helped over the years, both financially and in other ways. God bless you!