Finding God in Hell: Helping to Make a Difference
Have you ever seen someone’s life change dramatically, so much so that they don’t even act or behave in the way they did before meeting Christ? I have. The following story is one such God-moment, where a man meets God in prison and it changes him forever. He changes from jealousy to asking, “How can I help others not do the same things as I did.” He is now making a difference for Jesus in Fiji!
Fiji Times Online: Finding God in Hell, article by Mary Rauto, Tuesday, September 30, 2008 Josefa Vudiniabola is sharing his experience with the youth of Solevu. The thought of serving a 15-year jail sentence scared him. He described it as a life sentence. For Josefa Vudiniabola, 29, the first thoughts that came to mind was to escape or take his own life.
Two weeks ago, he was released from the Naboro Minimum Prison after serving only three years in the maximum joint. “I thought it was the end of the world for me,” he said. “After two weeks my heart was still hard and I was angry with God.” I couldn’t accept responsibility for my action.” Like most people, and because he had a lot of time on his hands, Josefa decided to read the Bible. By chance, he came across Psalm 102 and what followed was an amazing transformation of a hardened criminal a new beginning.
Josefa is the youngest of three boys. He had it all, family, job as a traffic officer with a local airline firm in Nadi, friends and even a woman by his side. But things fell apart for Josefa, who said it was jealousy that drove him to commit the crimes he did. “I really regret the crimes I committed,” he said. “I had been to the police station so many times but I never thought I would go to prison. But I also did not know God until I found him in prison.” Josefa said he would like the 14 provinces to forgive him and others still serving their time.
During his time in prison, he began a little prayer group in the minimum prison called Breakthrough Prayer Warriors at minimum. He called on young people to heed the advice of their parents. “Once I found God I decided to make a difference instead of being a bystander and began evangelizing within the maximum prison,” he said. “A lot of prisoners did not think too much of it but I carried on.” Josefa also has some advice for the young. “Young people should never neglect the advice of their parents while growing up because they know what they are talking about even though there are times when they don’t come out right.”
Josefa is now in Solevu Village on Malolo Island serving his extra mural sentence with the Christian Mission Fellowship Church. “I came here last Sunday,” he said. “Right now I’m here with my family. When I got home that afternoon they were really surprised and very happy to have me back. “Even the CMF church, welcomed me back to the church and even the village of Solevu accepted me back.” Everything is going well.” Josefa said he has been sharing things he learned from his prison experience with the youths of Solevu so that they do not make the mistakes he did.
Amazing! A life totally changed, from a hardened criminal transformed by God for a new beginning. When I met Josefa, he was still serving Jesus and evangelizing Fiji. This weekend we’ll look at his life in 2016 in a short video and I’ll ask the question, “Would you be willing to help this man make a difference in Fiji?”
See you Sunday,
Pastor Mark Steven
THIS MONTH AT WILSHIRE
Brief Church Business Meeting
Sunday, April 10 @ 11:45am
We will be voting on the new Bylaws (click here to view) and Guiding Principles (click here to view), paper copies will be available at the Welcome Center on Sunday morning or if you would like a digital copy please email the office.
Church Angel Game
We will be going on Wednesday, June 15th at 7:05 pm to watch the Angels take on the Minnesota Twins. It is Beach Bag giveaway night and we have a limited number of tickets available. They are $12 each and you can stop by the Community Outreach Booth on the plaza or by the office during the week.
Saturday, April 30
Join us on Saturday, April 30th from 8:00 am-1:00 pm for the 3rd Annual LOVE FULLERTON Day. This year we will be serving at Orangethorpe Elementary School helping to renovate the library at the school. We will have projects for ALL ages to come out and serve. Please stop by the Community Outreach Booth to sign up or email Pastor Bryan.
Feast & Auction fundraiser
Friday, May 20 @ 6 -8pm
Save the Date! Formerly our Missions Gala, this big night of fundraising will help provide scholarships for our Camps & Mission funds. Tickets on sale this Sunday.
Sunday, May 15
Tickets for Springsation with Martene Craig are now available at the Prime Time Booth. Transportation included, $13.