International reports

A whale tooth in Fiji

02.07.2007

A Fiji Welcome (Photo: W. Ruppe)

Sydney. A blessed weekend in Sydney, Australia ended with a festive divine service in the Hills Centre on Sunday. On Monday, Chief Apostle Wilhelm Leber travelled onward to the Fiji Islands. Before going to the hotel he visited the village of Natalau, where a divine service is scheduled to take place on Tuesday. The Chief of the Village, who is Muslim, welcomed the guest of honour with a traditional “Fiji Welcome.”

The “Fiji Welcome” is a rather long ceremony which involves the exchange of various gifts. So it was that the Chief Apostle received a whale tooth, which possesses great value in this part of the world. The ceremony also included some traditional dances.

The Fiji Islands lie some 2,000 kilometres to the north of New Zealand. Of the more than 300 islands, only about 100 are inhabited. Approximately half of the population professes Christianity. The New Apostolic Church has around 2,000 members in 17 congregations here.