Word of Life first began with Judy Nimo from Fiji. She was living in Nelson and waiting for a permanent visa. She lived with Ross and Jan Grant who had been missionaries in Fiji and were like parents to her. Judy worked in our new Zealand office in Stoke and helped with camps during the months she was waiting. The visa was denied so Judy had to return to Fiji. She took some old club material with her and in Lautoka (Fiji), she and David Simpson used the material for a couple of months. It made a big difference to their youth group and they saw growth. They wanted to get more material and a few of the other churches wanted to use it also. In 1986, Johnny Jones came from New Zealand and held leadership training and started a couple more clubs. Within 12 months there were almost a dozen clubs. Judy Rokomasa (Nimo) is our local contact in Suva, Fiji where we are a registered company. Pasikali Bali, a long time friend of Word of Life Fiji, helps Judy. As yet, we do not have any full time Staff ministering here, so WOL Fiji comes under the leadership of Word of Life New Zealand. There are 8 Bible Clubs functioning in local churches today.
Fiji is a small island group in the South Pacific Ocean about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Fiji became an independent country in 1970, after almost a century as a British Colony. The country is only about 18,000 sq km or slightly smaller than New Jersey but is home to more than 850,000 people. Fiji is blessed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, and it is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies. The Fiji people are very open to the gospel and about 53% of them are considered Christian (37% Methodist and 9% Roman Catholic).