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Week 4-5 (23/1-8/2)

"Rain, rain go away. Please come back another day..!"

If you know Barney (the childrens programe) you know this song and lately Jonathan has taken a habit of standing outside our house, singing it with a loud voice! Everything is wet after one week of constant raining and I mean everything! Our walls have green mould growing on them, our pillows feel like someone has poured water on them (which is what we first thought had happened), our cloths are either wet or mouldy and our shoes stink (mildly put…)! During this week we have come to realize how blessed we normally are, with a weather that makes laundry dry in 30 minutes. The other day we almost got our house flooded and when we hear about the people living in low-lands close to the river, or in sugarcane-fields, we really feel the need for prayer. Many of them struggle with colds and other health problems due to wet conditions and some have been evacuated to nearby schools. Everyone keeps saying that they never experienced anything like this in Lautoka, but the good thing is that it's only expected to continue for a few more days.

The main reason for this weather is that we've had a hurricane going past us in the northeast and as a result we've ended up with heavy rains. Thank you Father that we didn't have to encounter the hurricane! We haven't been able to go out on outreaches because the roads are flooded and even if we could get there, people would get sick just by sitting in the rain waiting for their turn… Instead we've been busy curing a cold (that almost everyone in the team got), trying to get our laundry dry and planning for the future of our medical team. As some of you might already know, we've had some struggles in our team but we think that we're back on the right track now. Our Father has been graceful and blessed us in our humanness… showing us our mistakes and weaknesses and the way to deal with them. Because this is pioneering work, we have to take one day at a time and try to stay flexible. This might sound a bit vague but we don't want to go into details here, and all we can say is that maybe the rain came at the right time because we were all forced to sit down and talk things through.

Last week when we went to Viseisei, an Indian family brought their 10 -year old daughter to our clinic. She is suffering from Juvenile Rheumatic Arthritis and because of her swollen, stiff and constantly paining joints, she hasn't been able to play like other children or attend school regularly. The treatment she's getting (Methotrexate) makes her more susceptible to infections, lowers her appetite and increases the risk for her to get other serious health problems. The whole family is suffering from seeing this little girl daily fight with pain and they've spent lot's of money on doctors, medicines, witch-doctors and travelling - money they don't have and therefore been forced to borrow or beg for.

We all got captured by this girl, her serious face and bright eyes. Incredibly brave, patient and bearing despite pain and several swollen joints. She could hardly move her wrists, several of her finger joints where swollen and she limped because of pain in her ankles. We gave her intra articular steroid injections (a treatment that is included as a treatment of choice for children with rheumatism in most developed countries but not available in Fiji). Despite the pain that the treatment itself caused, she gave me a big smile when she left. When I saw her limping away, with a donated comforting teddybear under her arm - I thought like so many times before "I'll never forget this girl" and I know the Lord won't eigther!


In the Presidents village...

This last week, we had our first medical outreach for this year and the result - like a thunderstorm... shaking but exciting! Viseisei is the oldest village in Fiji, the place were the first Fijians set foot when they came to the island. It is one of the most traditional villages in the country but also one of the richest... materially. Because of culture and traditions it's been hard for teams like ours to get entrance into the village. After a successful outreach to their "sister-village" Lauwaki, we suddenly received an invitation to Viseisei. And not only that, we got invited to set up in the Chiefly meetinghouse - The very house where the leading Chiefs in this region meet to discuss future plans and politics. In other words - it's very rare that anyone else get to use it and especially for us "palagis" (= white men...and women) this must be seen as honouring and encouraging for our ministry. On our last day we had a majestic thunderstorm coming our way and because we were on the mountain top we had the doors and windows shaking and rain coming in flooding our floor in the examination room. Opposition or support...?!

The negative side of traditionalism is that sexual abuse committed towards women and children is more common that anyone would like to believe. Pregnancy rates, especially amongst teenagers, are the highest in the country. How do you deal with this problem? Well, in the village they say "we have extended families" that is the mothers of young mothers look after their grandchildren. Which of course is good for the children in one way, but it also means that the rapes, the abuse and the pain continues and the same thing happens to generation after generation after generation. Catastrophe, I say!

One of the young ladies who came to our clinic was 19 years old and single. She needed help because of bleedings that had been ongoing for 1½month. She was pale, tired, freezing and with high pulse (tachycardia). Those are all symptoms of quite severe anaemia - lack of blood. She lives 25 minutes from a hospital, is feeling considerably ill and wants/needs help but still hasn't gone to the hospital. Why? Fear? Probably, but of what? That it might be known that she has been pregnant and now had a miscarriage? Maybe. Afraid because maybe she was the one provoking the miscarriage? Who knows? Afraid because maybe the father of the child was one of her closest relatives?

I'm not saying that this is what had happened to this girl, but what I'm saying is that it could very well have happened this way? Do you think I'm speculating? I've heard stories like this too many times, so I asked the girl if she could have been pregnant when the bleeding started and that this was an incomplete miscarriage she nodded yes. Her whole appearance was so sad and I've worked with teenagers enough to recognize when someone has been pushed to many times into doing things with their body. Something vital is damaged in their spirit. This girl had that appearance. Eyes shy and avoiding, clothes big to hide them from others eyes, quiet but under the surface desperately looking for help. Am I generalizing? Yes, maybe but it felt so insufficient not to be amble to meet her real need. I had to refer her to the hospital so that the bleeding could be stopped and her physical condition and need attended to. But she had problems that were just as urgent as her physical ones. We prayed together and after that she left our clinic with a letter of referral and as so many times before, I could only ask the Lord, our Father to go with her.

As it is today, we cannot take on patients that need treatment over a longer period. Our ministry is focused at meeting more acute and urgent health problems. This young lady once again showed us the need for more. Someone must meet the needs that go beyond what is easily "fixed". We have a desire to do that, but we need more staff and we're trying to recruit both locally and oversee. God can do this and maybe you feel an urge to come and join us?

When it comes to us in the family, we are all fine. This week Asena, a Fijian lady has started working with us as our nanny. She is a calm, kind and believing lady, mother of one but "extra-mother" of another three children. Both of our children seem to like her and her personality seems to go well together with theirs. We all went together to last week's clinic and as usual our kind charmed every lady in the room. Do I need to say that we were not lacking cookies, chewing gum or coconuts... :-)

See you in two weeks!

22/12 - 1/1

A Peaceful Christmas

We hope that you've had a wonderful Christmas, we sure have!

Compared with last year, when it was really hard to get into Christmas-mood, this year's version was one of the most fun ones we've ever had! Definitely in the same league as the Christmases when we were in our 10's and waited eagerly for Santa to come… This years' Santa was speaking Swedish with a funny accent and his beard fell off just as he was starting to hand out the gifts. This despite our efforts to glue and tape it thoroughly in place. So he was holding his beard with one hand and giving out packages with the other, but when his eyebrows came falling down the situation became emergent and we had to take a break. Santa had a makeover in the bedroom and the most funny thing is that the kids didn't even notice, busy as they were checking out their presents..! :

A big "thank you!", to our Swedish friend Louise and we can only say that next years Santa will have a tough time living up the 2005's versions performance!

By the way, we had everything you can imagine on our Christmas table, including (too much) candy and as a surprise one of our neighbours brought over a big home baked Christmas-Danish. That's Fiji in a nutshell - so generous!

Thank you! Everyone that has sent us Christmas greetings and written in our guestbook on the website. We have so much enjoyed reading them, even if it has made us miss you and sometimes miss home. But the truth probably is that even if we were at closer distance, everybody would have been to busy celebrating Christmas and we would not have been able to see you anyway… :

Well, well, life is full of everyday routines and "have to's" but one thing we have already decided in order to do something about it. When we move back to Sweden we will ask our Father for a place to stay that is big enough for us to have a guestroom always waiting for you to come and spend a night or two with us!

We haven't had any outreaches this week due to our Christmas break, but we are desperately looking out for more nurses, doctors, a pharmaceutics and leaders for next years CDTS. So if you know of anyone or feel called to come and join us… And we also need a Nanny!

Something to think and pray about during next year maybe..?

We wish you a Happy and Blessed New Year!


A very Swedish tradition is to light candle every Sunday in December. This is to celebrate Advent and is supposed to bring a feeling of Christmas and excitement. It doesn't work! Not when the thermometer shows 33 degrees (Celsius) outdoors and 32 indoors... Nor when there isn't biting frost and the only thing that makes your cheeks turn red is the biting comments from shoe shiners. And just the idea of celebrating Christmas on the 25th! I know you all do that, don't you. But we've been celebrating on the 24th since childhood and you just don't adapt to such a major changes to quickly! Well, well... We've bought ourselves a Christmas tree and we're celebrating with our Fijian/Indian family, so we'll have a great time!!

Tomorrow is our last medical outreach this year and we're looking forward to it! Excited about tomorrow, when we're going to an Indian settlement, together with 2 DTS-teams that Fredrik has been working with. And at the same time relieved that we're going to have a break after this. During our time off, we'll have time to process our work and see what we can improve. We will also relax and take the kids swimming and just enjoy! One thing we would like to do more and better is the follow-up. To a large extent this has been carried out by the local churches and the church teams we have been cooperating with. We have had a lot of reports on how people have been healed from their physical problems, but also on how they have given their lives to Jesus and that is so exciting!

Fredrik is working hard, trying to organize everything with the different teams that are coming in. He has also been dealing with customs, immigration authorities and e-mail inquiries, now that our Base directors are on furlough. He's doing a great job and the rest of the Family are very impressed and tries to encourage him - praying that "Dad will have fun at work", as our second youngest member would put it. :-)

We wish you all a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas and an exciting New Year! We will do some Christmas baking tomorrow and invite you all to come and taste!

Heaps of Hugs and see you later!


10/10 - 30/10

A lot of things have happened since our last update. As most of you already know, Jonathan was very close to being hit by a car a couple of weeks ago. Thank you all for encouraging us through e-mails and supporting us in prayer! It meant so much, especially the following days when feelings of disaster and fear came over us. Chock grows afterwards, this we know by experience now. Once again thank you for praying for protection over our family.

Less serious is that Linn once again got head lice after an outreach…

We are back into having 2-3 days of outreach each week and last week we went to the “Heart House”. This is a place for people that for different reasons have lost their land and their homes. Many of them are sugarcane farmers and haven’t been able to renew their land-contracts when the lease expired. These are very poor people and many have lived and grown cane on the same piece of land for 30 years – some families even for 90 years! Now the landowners want to raise the rent and the farmers can’t afford it so they are kicked off the land. The needs were great and we were all kept busy, especially our dentist Rowena.

Most memorable? That we had to cancel our first days’ clinic because the Pastor that was going to arrange with localities and inform the people living in the area, was indisposed because of a boil on his “behind”… That God turned it to good and we had a spontaneous clinic the day after, with people from all different churches and others living in the area all working together, serving each other! Even when the rain was pouring down and people were sitting under a leaking roof they all waited patiently and the day after we got offered to use the community hall. The noise from waiting adults and playing children were sometimes so loud that patient and doctor had to shout to each other over the table, despite sitting 50 cm apart… guess how much you could hear of heart- and breathing sounds… Privacy was great though, nobody could hear anything that was said between doctor and patient!

Another great thing that happened was that a Hindu Pandit priest gave his life to Jesus! A pandit priest is a very influential person in the Hindu belief system. He is performing special ceremonies on behalf of other believers, as a way to please different gods. This priest has a serious angina and as we were having our clinic, his wife and sisters came to us and asked us to come and pray for him. Some of our team members went to his house and the following day he came to the clinic to tell us that he had “surrendered his life to Jesus”. Of course this is something that will have to be seen over a period of time (many Hindus like to “add” Jesus to their other gods), but there was true joy in the family as we visited them by the end of the day! Later the same week he shared with team members how he had cut down on smoking and drinking kava (the locally produced drug/drink) and that is certainly something that will benefit his physical health. Body, soul and spirit – they are all connected, aren’t they? If this man stands firm in his decision, it will affect and impact many other Hindus. We can only pray and ask Jesus to continue to work in his life and for the local Pastor for wisdom as he disciples him.


Is there a difference? Is life in Fiji any different from the life we left in Sweden two weeks ago? Yes, yes, YES

Culture shock? Re-entry? Yes. Maybe more now then when we first came to live in Fiji. Now we thought we knew what it was going to be like, and so we were not prepared for the differences being so great. Good and bad!

To start with, coming home wasn’t as we had expected… Our beloved apartment was smelly after being closed without anyone living there for a while. There was black soot (from the sugarcane factory) everywhere; on tables, beds and toilet – everywhere. Our plane landed at 3 o’clock am so when we came home the first thing we aimed for was OUR BED. Just to find a giant cockroach heading for the same place. We all fell in a deep sleep, especially the cockroach that got to taste some very strong insect spray... J

After spending our first days cleaning the apartment from roof to floor (without finding any more cockroaches – thank you Father!), we were back into feeling really at home and we so much enjoyed putting away our suitcases for the first time in 6 weeks. We want to take this opportunity to say “Thank You!” to Granny and Grandpa. For several weeks their home was our home and we never heard any complaints over finding children’s shoes, toys, memory-notes, tea-bags and suitcases in most unexpected places…

Some memorable moments and highlights from our 2 first weeks back in Fiji; positive and negative:

First time back on a bus here. I get on a really crowded bus and like so many times before I immediately get offered a seat. We all squeeze together, with a smile and a feeling of belonging together. After me, another 20 adults and 3 children enter the bus and they all get provided a seat – on an already packed bus! That’s what I call teamwork! Nobody complains and there are no angry faces, only smiles even when someone gets their toes stepped on or their head bashed with a bag of vegetables. It was so heart lifting and I must say I don’t know if the same thing would have happened in Sweden…

Employees’ rights seem to be an unknown expression here. For quite some time, one of our closer friends from the Church has been working as office staff with a governmental minister. She has been the main breadwinner of the family ever since her husband got laid off when the factory he was working at closed down. She’s had major responsibilities at her work and many times she has been asked to do work outside of her regular duties. Now the minister (who has got Chinese roots) decided to go and visit his home country for a while. All of a sudden, our friend and her family are without income. No salary during her employers’ absence, no information about when he is planning to come back. Only his word that she will get her job back when he returns… There are so many people here that will tell you the same story, almost shrugging their shoulders. That’s part of life in Fiji.

Everything is so dirty, mostly because of the soot. It hits us how clean Sweden is.

We were overwhelmed by the reception we got when coming back. People we had only known for a short time had become our friends and they greeted us with open arms!

Our children are taking the transition so easily and without any hesitations they naturally embrace and adapt to two so different cultures. They see our apartment here as our home and to them Fiji and Sweden is within walking distance from each other... J

That’s all for now. Lautoka has just won Fijis’ largest national soccer tournament and it’s high life outside our window! All the cities cars are singing… accompanied by our neighbours’ rooster. J

God bless you all!


Week 10-13 (11/3-3/4)


Long time no see... but everything that has happen lately and kept us from updating this web page has been great!!

First: Our medical team is up and running! We've finally got all our papers and Sofia got her registration yesterday! The last couple of weeks we've gone to many villages and settlements and we've seen our Lord ministering as we've been praying with people and taken care of some of their physical problems. We've met many and got new impressions and experiences, but there are some that we remember especially.

A 3-year-old girl, Vilisi, had lost weight from 19 kg to 11 kg in just two months. When she came to us she had enlarged lymph nodes on her neck, in arm pits, above clavicles and a swollen liver. She also had high fever and pneumonia. We admitted her immediately to the children's ward at Lautoka Hospital because this little girl could have anything from acute leukaemia to TBC and Hepatitis. My strongest impression from this was how a teenage-girl from a visiting NZ-team came alongside, supporting Vilisi´s mother 100 %. In a moment, she became like family and stood by the mothers' side all through the days in hospital. She brought her water, took them between departments and encouraged this little family in a difficult situation. In a culture where support and family means everything in times like this, it was amazing to see how two people from so different circumstances "adopted each other" and became as close friends. We still do not know the outcome of this but we'll get back to you about Vilisi.

Another special person, Nancy, lived just across the street from the church where we set up our clinic for a day. Three weeks earlier she had given birth to a beautiful daughter, and now she could barely walk across the street and in to the clinic. Her face was pale, eyes dim almost as if not being aware of what was going on around her. She had high fever and three large, severely infected wounds on an abnormally swollen left breast. That something as common as breast engorgement leads to severe infection, sepsemia, and in worst case death is very rare in more developed countries. Not so in a country where medical assistance can't be taken for granted. In this case, with Nancy, it was only a matter of hours before it would have been to late. She was also admitted and taken to the Hospital for further treatment

We cannot take credit for the medical treatment of any of these two, but we were at the right place in the right time and because we come to people in their own back yard, the dare to come to us for help. Many here feel that they are not treated with respect when they come to the public health authorities. In showing them respect, honour and listening to what they have to share, we want to show them that our Father does the same. And so many want us to pray with them and that blesses both our patients and us so much!! I sometimes wonder if the same thing could happen in Sweden…

Last (but just as great): Fredrik's parents and sister have been her to visit us and we've so much enjoyed having them with us!

God blessed us with friends, who in their turn blessed us in letting us borrow their house. For ten days. We've been living on a point, surrounded by the ocean. We've admired the sunset while sitting on the porch eating mango fruit and papaya from our own garden. Our children are thriving from all attention. They've had breakfasts with Grandma and Grandpa, gone swimming, read books and been to McDonald's (!) a couple of times. Sometimes life as a Missionary can be quite comfortable… Our parents came during a quite busy time but they went with us on outreaches, helping with building a toilet in one village and taking care of patients in another. We all think (especially Linn & Jonathan) that Grandma should take one year of from her work as an accountant and come and join our team here!

Week 8 (21/2-10/3)

Miracles and wonders.

You who are not Swedish might not know what the Vasalopp is, but it's an amazing cross-country skiing competition and it needs lots of snow in order to take place. If you read Swedish newspapers you would now that Sweden has been very "dry" on snow this winter. Despite of this the race took place. God gave enough snow during the last week and we had a wonderful race - Swedish victory and beautiful???. Isn't that a miracle?! The other side of it is that 3 men died during the competition, totally unexpectedly. A tragedy for their families and friends. Tragedy or miracle - such a difference in how we view and experience it during the past week and a half we've been back in the "dump-village" a couple of times. The first time we went there, we only saw the church and our "clinic". The second time we visited the people in their homes and for the first time in Fiji, we saw real poverty. The dirt, the smell, flies everywhere and a spirit of fear, violence and mistrust - so apparent on the children. Such a difference to all the smiling, happy and curious faces we've met before! Some children expressed such hopeless-ness. Malnourished - not on food but on love and care. A tragedy in itself.

We did what we could do, not much considering the needs, but we also got to sit down and pray with some precious people. One woman with several boils in her buttocks, a young woman with generalized muscle and joint pain and a mother who was very concerned about her husband. On our way back home our thoughts were full of how and why. Why was there such a strong sense of violence and fear amongst so many of those living in the village? How would we be able to do something about it? Yes, we could see the pattern; unemployment - low self esteem - perhaps use of drugs - hopelessness - violence. How could our presence make a difference? Like so many times before here in Fiji, we quickly realized how limited we are in ourselves and as before we said:"Father, You have called us here. What do you want us to do and how do you want us to do it?
We kept on praying and a few days later we returned to the village. Our purpose was to do some surgery and help the lady with the boils. If you are practising medicine you know that boils in this region of the body are quite difficult to deal with. They also have a tendency to come reoccur, especially when you're living under conditions like this woman. I had really stressed to our Father that we needed His help in order for this to heal! Surgery wouldn't be enough.

I must admit that I was quite surprised when I, at our return, discovered that the boils were perfectly and totally healed! Instead of large infected boils and inflamed tissue, I found thin scars and healthy underlying tissue. My spontaneous reaction was WOW! (Followed for a second by a the slightest disappointment for not getting to drain the boils…I'm a doctor you know :-)

But God had answered our prayers in many ways! The atmosphere in the village had completely changed. Men that previously had an aura of violence ant threat were changed for the better, the children seemed more relaxed and the lady who had shared with us about her husband told us all we had prayed for had happened! Miracles!

In many ways the village still looks like a poor and dirty place, but my eyes can also see the miracles and I now understand why God sent us there. Not to change everything and help everyone, but to ask Him change everything and help some. Yes, you can ask the question:"Why doesn't He make everything right for everyone, now if He's able?" I can not give a full answer to that, but I know that ours and other people's choices have made the world look like it does today. And ours and other people's choices will determine what the world will look like tomorrow.

PS: You find some pictures from the village in the Gallery. Unfortunately the camera doesn't capture the flies and the aromas… so the pictures are somewhat lying.

See you soon!

Week 7 (14-20/2)

On a garbage dump…

… in Lautoka you find a little community consisting of approximately 100 people; families and elders. Food comes from mango trees, kassawafields and leftovers from restaurants and resorts being thrown on the dump. Very few have a job and cash to buy medicines, schoolbooks, glasses and other things we take for granted. In the centre of the village, in something that resembles a barn, you find a lovely pink church and in this church we had our mobile clinic set up. For one day we treated people with different health problems. We got to sit down and talk, listen to their thoughts about the future and pray together. It touches my heart every time and it amazes me that we are so alike, considering our backgrounds are so different. The things a Fijian mother is sharing with me about her daily life are the same things I'm pondering in my life and immediately I know that we understand each other - despite "language-barriers"…

People's health problems can in general be divided into: arthritis, diabetes/heart diseases, infections and skin problems. Treatment of arthritis is more or less non-existing, so when we're coming doing something so basic as aspirating fluid out of swollen joints and injecting cortisone, the effect is almost considered being miraculous. Here's a little story on that…

In a little shed on the dump lives an older woman. For 4 years she hasn't been able to walk because of knee-arthritis. When she heard that we were having a clinic in church, she started crawling towards it. She soon had to give up because of her pain. Relatives came to get us and our orthopaedic surgeon Kelepi, Fredrik and our translator Jeremiah went with them to the lady. After aspirating large volumes of fluid, injecting cortisone and praying with her, she stood on her feet and walked for the first time in 4 years. Happy and smiling, and with quite shaky legs she sat down afterwards. Without pain for the first time in many years. All her relatives ran to the church to get treated..!

Part from medicines we also left two big boxes with clothes, two bags with toys and a lot of toothbrushes and toothpaste. We're so aware that our work here is dependant on the people that are donating money and things for us to give out. And believe us when we're saying that everything goes to the ones that need it! So therefore we feel free to say that if anyone of you would feel urged to donate things, tools or money to buy medicine, you are as much a part of our work as if you would be here in Fiji. Send us an e-mail and we'll tell you how you can do this.

Week 5-6 (3/2-13/2)
Culture shocks and different personalities…

There are moments when we realize how Swedish we are and how Fijian the Fijians are… Last week I (Sofia) went to a very beautiful place called Pacific Harbour, together with 100 other women. We went to listen to good teaching on "The power of the Cross" (by Jean Norment from YWAM Kona), enjoy the nature and our Lord without the distraction of children and husbands… :
One of my roommates, a lovely Fijian woman, and I went to the bathroom together the first morning. So here I am, standing by the hand basin, taking my time and really enjoying not having two little children climbing on me. Enjoying that I don't have to hurry and that I only have to get myself ready before breakfast. All of a sudden my peaceful relaxed morning toilet gets interrupted when I realize that my roommate is standing next to me, waiting for me. I try to tell her that she doesn't have to wait for me, hoping that she will leave so that I can enjoy my peaceful morning alone… But she responds that of course she wouldn't leave me all by myself (in a room with 6 other women doing their morning ablutions!) That would to her be like abandoning me, something she would never do. I would like to tell her that I would love to be abandoned, but of course I don't do that. Instead I hurry all I can not to keep her waiting, skip combing and walk back to our room with my new found friend. Only to smuggle my comb into my towel and sneak back to the bathroom to finish my morning procedure - this time without enjoying it…

The most stupid thing with all of this is that I really didn't need to hurry! I tried to be polite in a Fijian - make company - and Swedish - not to keep anyone waiting - way, only ending up being frustrated. If I only would have realized that my Fijian friend didn't mind waiting at all. That she never even reflected over how long or short time she had to wait, but gladly would have waited for me the whole day if needed. So, from now on I will only be polite in the Fijian way! :

Here are some other examples of "good-to-know-about" in the Fijian culture:
Never keep your head above others, especially those that are in higher rank than you. This means that you sit down at the entrance when you enter a house. If you are invited further in you bend over as you quickly move inside and sit down. Because most people sit on the floor, it can even happen that you have to crawl in and out of a room. This happens especially if you enter the room where the village chief is. You shall not touch an adults head while this is dishonouring or carry a hat in a village. Sunglasses are not to be worn either in the village, because you're hiding your eyes and some might wonder if you've got something to hide. It's better to give an untruthful answer that disappoints someone with a negative answer. If you comment on somebody's furniture, belongings or cloths, it's the same as asking if you could have it and you will end up standing surprised with your arms full of gifts! Your host would find it impolite to deny you, being the guest, anything.
It is exciting, frustrating, educating and challenging with cultures! :

Week 4-5 (23/1-2/2)

Busy weeks (getting bruised…)

Let's start with the busyness. We took the truck on her "maiden voyage" and did our first outreach as a complete team. We went to an Old People's Home and gave them wheelchairs, commode chairs, crutches and other practical equipment. What they appreciated most though, was being invited up to dance (!) We took out our guitar and sang some Fijian songs and they all joined us in singing. After a while those that could take a few steps got up and danced away from their walking frames. We had great fun and the kids loved it!

We also visited the local prison. In a prison built for 135 inmates there are now 165 prisoners and despite being a bit crowded, the atmosphere was surprisingly good. The officers were very helpful and translated for the inmates when ever needed. Off course one can always say that they were making an effort just because we were there, but I think we've got enough experience now to be able to discern whether the care is true or not. Especially one of the officers was very helpful in taking care of our patients. During a couple of hours we treated all kinds of diseases from scabies and "frozen shoulders" to angina and cataract. Several of the inmates have developed severe cataract from fist fights with hits towards the eyes. Sad, but treatable! Worse are the inner wounds caused by there life style. Rowena extracted one tooth, fixed many and removed so much tooth scrapes that she had to wash out some of it from her hair when we got back home… It was all together a great time to be able to minister to the inmates through medical help and prayers. It was also great to work together as a complete team for the first time.

Now to the accidents… It started on the 23:d by Linn falling against a couch resulting in 3 teeth being quite loose. Her upper lip grew to three times the original size and our little brave girl had to slowly tuck in her rice, one by one and drink really carefully… After lunch that same day, Jonathan all of a sudden got very high fever (40,5C degrees). He was limp and couldn't care less about what was going on around him. In a country like Fiji you have to think "could this be meningitis?" But since he lacked stiffness in his neck and skin rash, we waited, gave Tylenol (with the result of one degree decrease in fever…), put frozen towels around him and prayed. After a night with not much sleep, Jonathan started to get diarrhoea in the morning, the fever went down and he started to be more himself again. Praise God for your protection!

(Fredrik takes over the "pen" from reasons written down below)

A couple of days later the adventures continued… Sofia and Louise were about to clean and prepare the hospitality room for arriving visitors. When they were about to move a thick piece of glass board they suddenly dropped it on Sofia's finger tip. After having adjusted the finger tip herself (a typical thing to do when you're a doctor...) which was pointing in the wrong direction, we fixated it. Five minutes later our orthopaedic, Kelepi Paka, came by. He offered an aluminium sprint to stabilise the finger and arranged with an X-ray appointment. The plates showed that the finger tip was clearly broken. Later that same day, the series of undesirable adventures were completed when Linn and Jonathan run in to each other with a big bang. When we arrived to the scene of the accident Jonathan was quite dizzy, Linn's loose front teeth were spread out on the floor while lots of blood were flowing from her mouth. Both kids were still very brave and while crying, Linn said she felt some "rocks in her mouth".

Sofia is now walking around with her pointing finger high in the air and Linn is wandering about with a decent space in her upper gum. The good thing is that big kids also walk around like this!

If you are among the ones praying for us, please pray for a little bit of rest from these kinds of adventures. We feel that we've now had our share for a long time.

Thank you!

Week 1-2 (3/1-18/1)

The pieces are coming into places...

It's been 3 months since we came and so far we've mostly been preparing , planning and organizing for the ministry we long to get into; the Mobile Ministry - our truckministry. We've planned to "take off" in January and it looks like it's actually going to happen! We'll be going out to the villages on a more regular basis. Louise (our nurse) has arrived and our team is now complete! With the exception though of the driver-mecanic that we need and are praying for God to send. (So if you feel called... :-)

This week we're going to visit a home for the elderly, leave beds and other equipment, see what their needs are and do some medical check-ups. Tomorrow we're going with our medical team to the local prison. The prisoners health are not very good and healthcare is not a priority. We are also planning to go to the village Matawalu, preferable next week and it's going to be our first outreach with the truck. It's funny how much we've come to consider "her" a member of our team! "She" (we've been thinkning about giving her a name - just as with the ship..) has become a crucial tool for us to be able to do our work. Without her we would have to walk for hours on bad, winding roads and still only make it to our closest neighbours...

Vecka 52 (24/12-2/1)

A catastrophe

A disaster that can not be described. You've probably also followed the news and read everything that has been written about the Tsunami and the things that are happening in Asia. Is it really possible to grasp? We- who weren't damaged at all- can only take in the amazing fact that we're still sitting down at our breakfast table every morning, as a whole family. Our children are healthy and have full stomachs, as if nothing has happened... Many times, I've started crying, sitting in front of the computer, reading about children that have been torn out of their parents arms. There are many Swedes that have been killed or are missing and for the first time since we came here, Sweden and how everybody is doing there has become more important than what is happening here.

To get shaken is probably good. That so many have lost their liver is terrible. I cannot help but wonder how I would have reacted. What makes it possible to lose so much, in such a horrific way, and still be able to make it through? This catastrophe has once again revealed what is really important to us. I don't know if I could handle losing Fredrik or Linn or Jonathan this way. I've been thinking about this before and have come to the conclusion that I want to die first! Still - maybe because my work; where death is a reality every day and because here in Fiji death is a part of life - the question comes back to me. "What if…"

"Do you believe there is a Heaven?" The question came from one of my patients who knew she was going to die. That we will meet in Heaven one day - that is my hope and my great comfort. That life here and now is only a small part and there is an eternity where I can hold my husband and my children again. It frightens me too that my children will have to go through pain and difficult times. I tell my husband to drive carefully, just like my mum is telling me. I would probably react with extreme anger and a desperate desire to make everything right again, if anyone hurt my child!
But at the same time I know I have a God who cares! A Father that I'm talking to every day about things that happens, not the least things like these. For somebody to say "I will pray for you", is not a cliché to me. I've seen things change completely after prayers - and often amaze me in just how much God cares! No doubt things happen that are almost too difficult to pull through, but as until now I've only seen prayers change things for the better!

So we pray for all those who are right now in the midst of this disaster. I think Jesus more than anyone else knows how difficult it is for them. Maybe this catastrophe makes us understand a little more what it's like to live in the "developing" part of the world.

Week 50-52 (12/12-23/12)

Christmas gifts…

A New Year is coming up and it's time to summarize this year and the things that happened. In Sweden on TV you'll have lots of programs doing this - in all different categories; sports, economics, music etc… In Fiji we haven't seen one, and we don't miss them. On the other hand, we miss the cold weather and the snow… Arghhh!! Do you think we're being ungrateful? Imagine coffee that never goes cold. The water in the pool being heated up by the sun so that it is 35 degrees C, air-temperature 32 and all you want is to have a nice refreshing bath… Lovely candles that give far too much heat (but a nice Christmas-feeling… :) Thank you Lord for creating the Pacific Ocean big enough to only be heated up to 25 degrees. Wonderful!!

But despite all these complaints… there is not a chance that we would trade the heat against grey, wet Swedish snow mud! We've been on the Internet and they don't seem to have much more snow in Sweden at the moment. :! Looking back we can see that our Christmas gifts started to arrive in September… We will tell you, in short, what happened:

The car - We had in mind to get a car when we came to Fiji, to be able to take the kids to the beach or do things together as a family on our days off. We discovered though that because of import taxes it's just as expensive to get an old rusty Ford as getting a brand new BMW… almost… Who said that Sweden was a country with high taxes? You compare it to Fiji…!! So we dropped the "car-project" - only to have the Lord blessing us again! The next day, the Marine Reach base got a van donated and we get to use it when we need to! Praise Him!!

Our home - In December we moved in to the room that is going to be our home for the next year. It's in the apartment that Marine Reach is having as a base here in Lautoka. We bought ourselves a lounge suite and our children got a corner of their own where they can play with their toys, sit and paint and do all "their stuff" :.Now We´ve got a home where we can sit in the evenings, have a cup of (strong) coffee, see the sun set in the Ocean and talk about nothing and everything as the kids are sleeping in their beds. Praise Him again!!

Patients (and patience.. ;-) - Despite the fact that we've so far mostly been doing (necessary) preparations for the truck ministry, there have been people coming over almost daily wanting medical advice or treatment. They have been an encouragement to us during this time of preparation, inspiring us in our work and in our prayers. We're realizing more and more what it is to do pioneer work. At first you see little result of your work. Then, you see little result. Then you see little result - and then you're stunned and amazed about everything that is happening and what great things God is doing!

Our work permits - Processed and approved in 7 weeks! Normally that takes 4-6-12 months - at least! To us it felt like a miracle. :

Healthy children (and parents)! With Linn's adventure at the Emergency Clinic as an only exception, we've been well and at good health ever since we came here. Those of you that were with us in Canada know this is a welcome change and a "miracle" as well… Community living is not always the most beneficial thing to your health… ;-)

Finally - what a Christmas gift it is to read your greetings in our Guestbook at our webpage! Fun, encouraging, touching and inspiring to see that you are all with us and to read about what is happening in your lives. From all of us to all of You, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Week 46-47 (15/11-28/11)

It's been almost two weeks since our last update and it seems impossible to give you a fair resume of all our impressions, learning experiences and comic situations, as we're becoming acclimatized here in Fiji We've learned how to walk with the right pace (since everybody is staring at you when you walk in a perfectly normal European way!). We think evenings are starting to become a bit chilly (and when we look at the thermometer it shows 30°C = 86° F…). We're driving on the wrong - oh, sorry, left - side of the road and Fredrik has bought a skirt. Yes, I know it's called a "pocket-sulu" but it's the same thing and he's got quite nice legs! One thing that we're having a problem getting accustomed to though, is celebrating the first of Advent, singing Christmas Carols in 35° (95° F) heat and having Santa Claus with a flower-necklace. That is not easy for a Swede!

For the last two weeks we've been working at organizing for the ships arrival in Lautoka and her journey back to NZ. On board, ophthalmologists and a DTS-team from Marine Reach have been seeing and treating hundreds of patients. After this she'll be heading for NZ where she'll stay for 4 months - during our cyclone-season (!). That will give us time to focus on developing the truck-ministry and ask the Lord for guidance in how to do that. This is all pioneering work, where we constantly are evaluating, changing and trying to find new solutions. We've put together a "wish list" with medicines and equipment we need and it's been sent to churches and supporters in Australia, NZ and USA. If you happen to come across any of the items listed (download here) and they are not being used, please drop us an e-mail!

We've got some encouraging good news from the village Naviyago (see gallery for pictures). Knees that were injected with cortisone are working perfect, many that were treated for different infections and others with high blood pressure are "moving around like they were young again". We were two doctors and a team from Marine Reach going into the village some weeks ago and we treated 84 patients in one day. In Sweden that would have been impossible because of all documentation we're obliged to do, but here - with help from God - it all became possible! Language is sometimes a barrier to overcome because many of the elderly mainly speak Fijian. That is also one of the reasons for them not going to the hospital even if they are very sick. It is just too humiliating not to be able to express oneself. With us coming out to the village, to their homes, it gives the courage to come for help and it builds trust for the future. We do feel that part of the ministry God has given to us is to develop good relationships with the local Ministry of Health, including the hospital. We want to participate in developing and providing health care for the Fijians in general and seeing God doing it is amazing!

We've got some new pictures in the gallery, moments to remember… Our personal favourite is the man painting the lines on the street. Long live creativity!

Week 45 (5/11-14/11)

Our first week in Fiji and what a week! Three hours flight from NZ and we landed in another world. Here is extremly beautiful with high mountains and exotic trees and flowers. People on the street are greeting you with the friendliest smile you´ve ever seen (coming from a stranger!). The roads are narrow, sometimes paved but just as often dirt roads and we suddenly understand why 4X4 cars are so popular. Just as we suddenly realize that we now live in a developing country.

What is it that makes you think like that? Is it that most people are walking and you don´t see as many cars as you´re used to? Or is it the sugercane field being ploughed with an ox and a wooden plough? Or is it because the Hospital Emergency Clinic lacks everything that makes it comfortable for the person being sick? There are no chairs or beds to lie down on. Only four quite dirty concrete walls, neon-lights and a little table for the registering nurse. She will ask you about your condition and everybody waiting in the room will soon know all the details about why you´ve come. No wonder nobody has got AIDS or other not so glorious diseases... Sometimes she doesn´t have time to give the really sick ones first priority so they have to wait and hopefully the aid will come before it´s too late. We went to such an Emergency Clinic the other night, with our daughter.

Late one evening Linn developed a rectal prolapse. Maybe some of you already know all about this, but a short description of the condition is that part of your lower intestine comes out of your bottom and it sometimes happens to little children. This can be totally non-harmeless if the intestine retracts spontaneously back into its place, but it can also become serious if the bowel becomes swollen and the bloodsupply gets strangled. This could lead to severe damage and so, in other words, the bowel needs to be manipulated back in its place. In our "case" a big part of the bowel came out and refused, despite gentle massage, to retract. To further complicate the matter we had just eaten , which made it risky to sedate Linn during the manipulation of the bowel. So we had to face the risk of disturbed circulation contra the risk of sedating with food in her stomach...

We started to pray, quite intense I must say, and went to the hospital. Our "first" miracle was that Linn was so peaceful! Our little girl with her bowel slightly bleeding, discharging fluid like from a wound, became completely calm when we prayed and stayed like that for the next 3 hours... When we entered the hospital I couldn´t resist checking, to see if God had performed that wonderful healing. Unfortunately the prolapse was still there. After a few more hours waiting, being transfered from one pre-treatment room after another and with sick children and adults patiently waiting for their turn, we sat down outside the doctors office. My skirt was all wet from the discharge and blood coming from Linns bowel. For some reason we felt so calm. Everything was under His control!

So, suddenly, she sits up and starts to ask questions about the other patients. When will they be able to go home? Is the lady that´s receiving oxygen well now? The discharge from her bottom suddenly stops and I think "I have to check". So, we go to the Restroom and the prolapse is gone! The smile on Linn´s face when I tell her that now we can go home, is something I´ll never forget.

Yes, I know that this could have been a spontanous healing caused by her bodys capacity to heal. But Linn being so peaceful, her total lack of fear and the fact that it healed without her having to go through the stress of sedation and manipulation, is something I thank our Father for! That we got called in to the doctor just after coming out of the Restroom and got to say "Thank you Sir, but we don´t need your help anymore. God bless you!" was great. His smile was quite memorable too! We feel like our daughter became the first of many miracles that we hope to see in this island in the middle of the South Pacific. This little island with it´s people that in many ways have got so great needs. God is truly good!

Week 43-45 (24/10-2/11).

It´s difficult to understand that it´s November when the sun is shining and it´s 32 degrees (Celcius) outside. We´ve got a feeling that nothing is gonna be quite the same this year and nothing like we´re used to... We´re in Fiji and it feels fantastic! I´m not exaggerating! We didn´t come with a lot of ideas about how it was going to be. Maybe because we wanted to be open to everything - or maybe just so we wouldn´t get disappointed...(with food and housing - many of you know how it can be in YWAM when you don´t have a lot of money... :)

There will be more details about Fiji next week. (Bad news for parents, aunties and friends that wants to know everything about how the children are doing. :)

Our last week in New Zealand was great despite diarrhoea, vomiting and one-glass-windows, that makes being inside no different from being outside...(remember we´re Swedish). New Zealand is incredibly beautiful, as you already know if you´ve seen "Lord of the rings". It feels like traveling through the land of the Hobbits with mountains, beaches and hills. - some almost like being made in a different scale than you´re used to. We felt a lot being very British and yet very much like in an old Clint Eastwood-movie - if it´s even possible to combine those two things!?

Sofia had a brilliant opportunity to go Bungy-jumping but had to let go...(ha,ha). It´s not easy when the rest of the family is vomiting and running to the bathroom constantly, or needs about 10 diaper changes a day... Do you want more details?

We visited the Marine Reach office in Tauranga and met our international leaders. This felt important considering that we´re going to have a lot to do with them in the future and most of it´s gonna be through e-mail. The highlight of the day though came when visiting the local playground - if you ask our junior familymembers. Another favourite was seeing penguins and sharks in a giant aquarium in Auckland. We all had great fun there!

Week 39-42 (15/9-21/10)

We´re on our way!!

I´m sitting in our friends kitchen in New Zealand, writing this. I expected it to be nice but I never thought it would be so much fun, so emotional and so exciting to be back where I did my DTS ten years ago. To meet up with our friends Julia & Robbie, sit and share memories, what God is doing at the present and just laugh away has been such a blessing! Incredible sun-sets, beautiful bush walks, what more can you ask for in life..!

We left Sweden on the 2th of October and arrived in Bangkok the next day - 2 bags and 35-40 kilos lighter... Not so fun to stand at baggage claim and realize that half of our well-packed luggage, including everything we were gonna use on our trip and our most "valuble" things, had decided not to travel to the same destination as us...
We changed our plans and stayed in Thailand a few days longer. Just in case our bags would decide to show up and also because it´s a lot cheaper to buy new things there if they would not. They didn´t. So we had holliday in the south of Thailand. The kids loved swimming in the Ocean and jumping from the pool-side. Sunshine was a blessing after some cold rainy Autumn-days in Sweden.

Here are some clips from Thailand...
Linn tried feeding baby-tigers with a bottle. They had slightley worse table manners than her brother. We patted crocodiles of different size, python snakes, bears and cats. Linn liked the cat best. Jonathan charmed everyone, including prominent policemen, security guards and prostitutes (which tragically were outnumbering everyone else in Pattaya). Sometimes you´re ashamed of being a westerner, when you see all these white men that take advantage of the situation.
Finally, Sofia got robbed but got her wallet back and a thousand excuses from a 20-year-old girl who hunted him down and called the police. Fredrik jumped from Pattayas highest tower. Yes, he did use a safety-line, but as I was standing below with our children, I started to wonder if maybe I should pray a little...

Unfortunatelly, we (or British Airways I should say) haven´t found our suit-cases. Even though some things feels irreplaceble (like Bible, diary, swedish DVD´s for our kids), you realize that most things in this world is "excess-luggage".

We´ll travel in NZ for a few days, meet up with people on the Marine Reach-base here and see a few vulcanos before we´re flying to Fiji on the 30th.
Mr Jet Lag has been very kind to us this time and everybody has slept well, but we´re actually longing for this holliday-trip to end (no offense towards the lovely people we´ve met!!). Fiji is our goal and we can´t wait to get there. It´s what we´ve dreamed of, prayed adn prepared us for. We´ll keep in touch!


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