For the last 50 years, the Department of Christian Citizenship and Social Services has continued its status as the out-stretched hand of God in serving the society through its four-pronged responsibilities, namely:
1. Social Ministry that includes Hospital and Prison Ministry, Poverty Alleviation, social problems among the youths, drugs, and health problems. We continue in the running of the two orphanage, Dilkusha Girls and Veilomani Boys Homes.
2. Christian Family Ministry.
3. Because of Military Coups and Conflicts in both Church the two major races and the Vanua, a special Ministry was set up to cater for Spiritual Renewal and Reconciliation. Close to 100 of our ministers and lay trained in conflict resolution, Peacebuilding and Counselling both locally and abroad. They utilized their knowledge and skills well within their placement areas.
4. Christian Citizenship. The Department stands in the forefront to be the prophetic voice in the nation where the unyielding Word of God is taken as the measuring line of society in upholding the dignity of humanity through justice and righteousness in the individual, the family, the community and the state.
The New Challenges
1. Although no world war broke out in this past 50 years but at home we were faced with the Military Coup of 1987, 2000 and 2006. These military coups brought with them new dimensions of problems, as they caused havoc, poverty, unemployment, brain drain, imprisonment, physical and mental illness.
2.HIV/AIDS broke out in Fiji in late 1990s but by 2012, the deadly disease has claimed many lives. The Church had worked hand in hand with the Ministry of Health in awareness programs over the years.
3. Non-Communicable Disease is one that challenges our way of life, the way we think and act in regards to what we consume, how we rest our bodies and minds and how we deal with our daily chores. The disease claims thousands of lives each year, most of whom are church members.
4. New Technology
While we welcome the advent of new technology through internet we are also threatened by its side effects in society where old and young easily access pornography that may contribute to sexual violence against women and girls. The Department is working with Police, Women Advocates and churches in ways to combat the problem.
In addition to the above, we are faced with many more challenges which include Climate Change, Global Warming, increase in squatter settlement because of the rush to urban life, unemployment, family breakdowns, sexual orientation, abortion, human trafficking, corruption, etc.
The Way Forward
The Department will be guided by our objectives as outlined in the Connexional Plan but at the same time will continue with most of the integral responsibilities of the department.
We are looking forward to engage more with government ministries after the election in the area of health, poverty alleviation, community empowerment and reconciliation. Both the government and NGO’s will be the main source of funding in most of our programs.
We intend to reclaim our role as a Centre for service to the community at large, thus we will enlarge our horizon in terms of resources, staff recruitment and reach out programs.
Read Sermon on Na Soli-Ka Vakarisito / Christian Giving (in English and iTaukei)