Journeys of hope, not fear

Friday 20 November 2020 | Written by Supplied | Published in Church Talk, Features

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Journeys of hope, not fear
Another 55 years of political history and discovery of potential seabed manganese minerals, widely spread and scattered not beneath, but above our seabed ocean floor, writes Bishop Tutai Pere. IDW/20111901

The global economic standards are at the mercy of this viral demonic pandemic but the God we believe and worship is always in the business of Restoration, Reconciliation, Redemption and Restitution.

“These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Numbers 33:1. Before Israel could enter into the Promised Land, 12 spies were sent into the land to determine the strength of the enemy and to determine the wealth of the land. Ten spies returned with negative reports, saying that the people in the new land were like giants, too tall and strong for Israel to fight, they were like tiny and little grasshoppers in their sight.

At first sight they were defeated by their fear of the size of their enemy than on the size and greatness of their God. Due to the consequence of their unbelief and fear, God’s people, the Children of Israel, ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 long and dreadful years. All of the old and the over 20 years old died and perished in that circling wandering wilderness.

Only two spies namely Joshua and Caleb returned with a more positive report – because they focused on God’s power and His promises of victory, conquest and prosperity than fear and defeat. They insisted and maintained that they could easily match the strength of their enemies as they pursued even further, rather than returning with empty hands. They brought back visible evidence of the fruits from the newly discovered promised land, bundled and hanging down on a stick as they carried, to show huge bunches of grapes and all kinds of fruits of the land. They kept insisting and persisting that Israel has every strength and power and with their God on their side to defeat, overcome and conquer their enemies and able to reap a bumper harvest and great prosperity in the new land. They proved so by bringing down the Great Wall of Jericho only by marching around seven times in seven days; and once they called upon the name of their Almighty God of the Bible, maker of the heavens and the earth and all that is within, the wall came tumbling down and all their enemies within perished. They, in the end prevailed against their enemies and settled in the new land, described as ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’.

This lesson is encouraging us all, the people of the Cook Islands, that when we are faced with challenges, learn a lesson from Joshua and Caleb and respond in faith and not rely only on our human intellect, abilities and strength. Focus positively on God’s power and His promises rather than negatively on the problems and challenges at hand. Sure, and yes, the enemy is powerful, but God is all powerful.

Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce chairman Melvin Fletcher for the awesome privilege he gave me to share this message at the official opening of their new Chamber of Commerce head office on Tutakimoa road. I also included a footnote reminder to all present to beware of the unbelief of others, which can be contagious, just like the 10 coward and fearful spies of Israel that took the majority of the population to perish in the 40 years of endless and purposeless wilderness wandering.

Similarly, our nation and people of only a mere and tiny 16,000 resident population, compared to an over 80,000 – 100,000 living in the dispersion or diaspora locked both within and without by this demonic and spiritual Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic that no vaccine is yet ready to totally eliminate nor control. On Sunday November 8, we as a nation gathered to pray against both the continuous spread of this Covid virus and also against any diverse weather throughout our five month cyclone season.

Is it any wonder or marvel why the worship of the economic ‘god of mammon’ is becoming the prioritised global greater concern than patience for just a little while yet, to continue observing strict quarantine and lockdown precautionary measures in order to avoid and control the more rapid and re-incurring humanly spread infection of the virus with greater value and priority on saving more human lives. We feel blessed so much about our Marae Moana EEZ fishing potential and prosperity yet without a single national fishing fleet, even just two to start off with, to bring in fishes to feed our own population (if it wasn’t for the Ocean Fresh fishing company), while countless and unscrutinised foreign pirate vessels sail in and out for free and easy catches.

Another 55 years of our political history discovered of a potential seabed manganese mineral widely spread and scattered not beneath but above our seabed ocean floor, from north of Aitutaki to our northern group of islands, not to be dug, blasted nor mined as falsely postulated by some, but only bucket scooped and collected with evidence already on display in our seabed mineral office. We already seem to have apocalyptic doomsday prophets, like we didn’t already have enough end of times doomsday false prophets who had predicted and failed so many times the imminent end of the world.

The Bible teaches plainly and clearly of certain things that lies squarely at the will and discretion of the beholder only, like the end of the world, and those that lies in the possible and capable God-ordained custodial reach of man for humanity’s economic gain and livelihood benefit. We have more than enough lessons and examples to learn of failed mining industries to put in place policies and viable cautionary regulations for corrections or avoid those past mistakes altogether. While all global economic standards are at the mercy of this viral demonic pandemic; though tiny and vulnerable we may seem to appear, but the God we believe and worship is always in the business of Restoration, Reconciliation, Redemption and Restitution.

Let us embark upon our many ‘Journeys of hope, not fear’ to keep discovering more and more of our God given privileges to prosper much than deprived, both in the physical as well as in the spiritual. For every adventure that we holistically and wholly involve God will never fail. Jesus in Mathew 19: 26 says, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible”.  The Apostle Paul in Romans 8: 31 also declares, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”.

God continue to bless and keep our paradise Cook Islands Covid free, cyclone free, economically prosperous and self-sustaining!

Kia Manuia rava I teia openga epetoma. Amene!

  • Bishop Tutai Pere is also the chairman of the Seabed Minerals Advisory Committee.