Eat from the sweat of your brow

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

BY Ilaitia Turagabeci

THE Coronavirus crisis has brought the world down on its knees and  left people in reflection of the damage they’ve done to the planet.

And it has given Christians the chance to evangelise and put into practice the word of God.

Members of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma have been urged to return to basics – a prayerful life and stewardship of the Earth.

The head of the church’s Suva Division, Reverend Iliavi Tuiwai  said he had noticed a positive outcome during the crisis – that members in and around the city were facing a renewal of life and farming in the little backyard spaces they had to ensure their survival.

“These challenging times has halted globalisation and stopped secularism,” Reverend Tuiwai said, adding that Christians must shine the light to the world with their actions.

“We need to return to how things were before development came into Fiji. We need to toil the land and eat traditional foods our ancestors used to. We don’t need the foods that globalisation has brought us. Foods that have affected our health and well-being.”

He said when Fiji was ceded to Britain in 1874, Fiji was a Christian state but globalisation brought about secularism apart from unhealthy foods.

“The word of God is never wrong. When God told man that he will toil the land for his survival. We now see that happening again. COVID-19 has brought a renewal of life,” he said, citing Genesis 3:19, where God told Adam “By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken, for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

Reverend Tuiwai said it was important that people looked after their environment.

“We have to be good stewards of creation. We have an obligation to do this for our future generations.”

The crisis, he added, had forced Methodists back to the doctrines of the church founder, John Wesley.

“John Wesley had preached about social justice and the need for members to earn more and save for tomorrow. Today our members are planting more for their tomorrow.”

The head of the church’s Indian Division, Reverend Abel Nand, said it was encouraging to see a change of mindset as members started toiling the land for their own food.

“In urban areas, there is little land, whatever space there is, there is a resurgence of life in the environment. Those who don’t have planting spaces can use buckets and drums to farm, but we need to review the way we treat life. It’s important that we give and treat the environment with care.”

“COVID-19 has brought us to our knees, in reflection and prayer as we strive to survive these trying times.”

The ministers’ sentiments follows an announcement by the World Food Programme yesterday that the world was at risk of widespread famines “of biblical proportions”  caused by the pandemic.

Last night Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said while restrictions on sea and air travel will lift on Sunday, citizens must not be complacent. “COVID-19 is still enemy number one,” he said.

Curfew will remain, from 10pm to 5am.

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