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Fiji Mission Trip Provides Medical and Emotional Support

The recent mission trip to Fiji, led by Dr. Randall Goodman, provided much-needed ophthalmology services and dental care to those living near the Vatuvonu Adventist School, which is located in a rural area on the southern shores of Buca. This is about 40 miles from the nearest town of Savusavu, on the second-largest island in Fiji. 


The group of 13 dedicated medical professionals traveled to Fiji April 19-28 along with another team of eight, which included five students and three chaperones from a private academy in San Diego. This team provided community services alongside the medical team.


The medical team attended to over 100 patients, offering ophthalmology and dental services that are difficult to access locally. Many basic medical services are accessible to locals in the urban areas of Fiji, but in the rural areas they can be difficult to access, and services such as ophthalmology and dental can be even harder to access. 


“Many people awoke at 2:00 in the morning and got on a boat to come be treated, and some of them had to wait 5-6 hours to be treated,” explained Carlos Garcia, pastor of the Santa Maria Adventist Church. Garcia added, “While we were there, a pre-med student at UCLA came a few days late and brought with her a prosthetic eye.” Someone had made this prosthetic eye for one of the kids in the community who was seen last year on the previous mission trip. 


His eye was measured and calculated, and an artificial eye was made for him. “The prosthetic eye was given to the young boy, and the smile on his face when he was given a mirror to see his new eye was just the absolute highlight of the whole week for the medical team,” said Garcia.


Creating connections through medical care


Dr. Goodman, a member of the Santa Maria Church and a practicing ophthalmologist, has been visiting Fiji for eight years, building a connection with the local mission clinic in Natuvu. His dedication to providing medical care has been instrumental in establishing this mission. 


This year he invited Pastor Carlos Garcia, who joined the team to conduct a week of prayer at the local boarding school. The primary focus of the mission was medical care, but the spiritual and emotional support provided by Pastor Carlos and Pastor Jong Keun Han was equally impactful. 


“It was absolutely phenomenal!” said Garcia. “The school has 250 students, and of those 250 students only 20 percent are Adventist. And of the staff about 15-20 percent are Adventist. But 250 students were in attendance every morning.” The theme of the week was taking a stand for God. Garcia told stories about Daniel, Joseph and Elijah. “The highlight of the week was that on Wednesday I made a call to commit to God and his leading, and the first person who stood up was the principal. It shook me.”


In the evenings, Pastor Han, who specializes in emotional health, spoke to the students and staff about dealing with stress and maintaining emotional well-being. His meetings were powerful, and the staff were very open to his insights and practical advice on handling emotional challenges.


At one of the altar calls, Garcia noticed a young man who came forward was missing an eye. “He told me the story,” said Garcia. “In the fourth grade, a boy poked him with a pencil and blinded his eye. I took him to the clinic and we put his name down for next year. I showed him the picture of the boy whose prosthetic eye was placed the day before, and in tears he said, ‘I want a prosthetic eye.’ So now a boy who came forward and gave his life to Jesus Christ is also going to get a new eye next year.”


The teams that travel to Fiji each year continue leaving a lasting impact on the local community. This mission trip—which usually happens in October each year—continues to build relationships with the Adventist community in Fiji and help those in need of medical and emotional support. Dr. Goodman’s dedication and the team's collective efforts are a testament to the power of compassion and service, demonstrating how a small group of committed individuals can make a significant difference.



Written by Brennan Hallock 


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