Daniel Afu, Tongan Wesleyan Mission to Fiji

DANIEL AFU (Fiji, 1873)

In our Fijian Mission there are new 634 chapels and 354 other preaching places, making in all 988, or nearly a thousand pulpits to supply every Sunday. What are called our paid agents in Fiji, are paid by the Fijian Churches and not by the Missionary Society. It is a principle in our Fijian Mission to make this native agency self-sustaining. In addition to a large number of local preachers, who are called “unpaid agents,” we have 883 catechists and 52 Native Ministers, who “preach the Word” in the Fijian tongue. God has greatly blessed these native preachers and given them fruit to their labours. In our Class Meetings and Lovefeasts it is astonishing to find how many attribute their conversion instrumentally, to the sermons of native preachers.  They have great power in sympathy, in local illustration, and can follow the Fijian mind in all its twistings. They are generally fluent and impassioned speakers; and after careful training become “workmen that do not need to be ashamed,” –and of whom we, as a Church, have no need to be ashamed, “rightly dividing the Word of Life.”

Daniel Afu, whose portrait is given you in this number, is one of the best of our native ministers in Fiji. He was ordained nearly ten years ago, and had long been useful as a catechist, before he entered the ranks of the ministry. He is a Tongan by birth, and is one of many Friendly Islanders that live and labour for the salvation of Fiji. He is a strong advocate of total abstinence from intoxicating liquors; and would condemn smoking by a Missionary in the most polite and gentlemanly manner, but as boldly as he would condemn it in young native local preachers. He is frank and fearless; and on hearing that some brandy had been shipped on the “John Wesley” he protested at the District Meeting against the Mission Ship being made “unclean.” On hearing the explanation, that the brandy was part of the baggage of one of the passengers, he said, “If the Mission Ship cannot bring passengers without such baggage, let both passengers and their baggage be left to other ships, and keep our own ship clean of that which is the curse of Fiji.” The Committee in Sydney respected the bold protest of the native Minister, and the captain of the “John Wesley” received instructions to allow no spirits to be taken on board the Mission Ship as freight or passengers’ luggage. Daniel has always been a leading spirit among our native agents, and happy is the Missionary who has Daniel for a colleague. He will see that the instructions of the Missionary are carried out in every school and chapel in the Circuit. He is what is often called a “generally useful,” man. He can preach a good sermon, or steer a canoe through a difficult passage. He can give a lesson clearly in the school or do the work of the architect and builder combined in building and beautifying our large new churches. Some of the best native churches in Fiji were built under his supervision. He is in his day-school or teaching dress in the portrait given. He has a powerful voice and his appearance gives you the idea of combined mental and physical strength. He is now stationed at Rewa, where he has been very successful.

Daniel Afu, The Wesleyan Juvenile Offering, Vol. 7, 1873, p. 114-116.

Background: In the 1830s, Tonga had undergone a Christian revival. Tonga was now sending Christian missionaries out to surrounding nations – like Daniel Afu to Fiji.

The Lord rescued drover Richard Jakamarra ‘blind’ drunk to see the Lord’s goodness

“I turned away from the Lord because grog was available. I became an alcoholic. I knew that I was doing wrong things, and I’ve done wrong things in my life, but I couldn’t stop. I tried to give up the drink many times, in my own strength, but I couldn’t do it. I was a slave to alcohol. I had jobs – droving and in the army – but I couldn’t keep them down. It was a big problem.”

In one night of drinking, a home intruder attempted to kill Richard and he almost died. He could not defend himself properly. The Royal Flying Doctors airlifted Richard to Alice Springs Hospital.

“While I was lying there, all those things that I’d heard in Sunday School came flooding back to me. I knew about the Lord, and I knew what would have happened if I’d died. I was that far away from the Lord. But it was there that the Lord began to touch my life. He began to speak to me… ”

“I gave my life to the Lord, and everything changed from then – the grog, the work, everything. ”

“I had no desire to drink anymore, ever again. It was good.”

“But then two years later, in 1986, I went blind…. I can’t preach anymore, so I’m no use to anyone. It’s all over. That’s what I thought.”

“From the beginning, my favourite Bible verse was Proverbs 3:5-6. It says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.’ I first read that Bible verse after I lost my sight. It helped me more than anything. It helped me cope with the blindness. Lean not on your own understanding, it says. ”

“We both smiled as Richard talked, and later that evening, as I said goodbye, I thanked him for the glimpse into his quiet, humble story, lived out in the red dust of central Australia. He wasn’t waving a big flag, saying look at me. He has been just looking to the Lord daily, and memorising Bible verses, and blessing his people, for decades. It made me want to do the same. ”

Naomi Reed, 6 Sep. 2018, Eternity News, “I was a slave to alcohol”


Perry Anderson homeless alcoholic to sober Salvation Army soldier. Thanks to Jesus!

“Perry Anderson was near the brink of death when he first walked into Salvation Army hostel The Beacon. At 29, he had been battling alcohol addiction for more than a decade and had lost everything, including his marriage and home. “

This former carpenter had lost his job after a back injury. He drank and lost everything else. He nearly lost his life. Alcohol greatly aggravated his problems. Alcohol could not help him; only Jesus can give hope! Only Jesus gives meaning to life – even for people who never even started drinking.

But now at 20 months sober, Perry has become a Salvation Army soldier and is helping to rescue others from tampering with drink. Hallelujah!

Claire Tyrrell, 11 May 2018, The West Australian “Perry Anderson saved from alcohol addiction thanks to Salvation Army”

“Christians should set an example of personal responsibility in their daily lives. The Salvationist’s caring includes helping people for whom alcohol has been a problem. It would be inconsistent for any Salvationist to drink while at the same time seeking to help others to give it up. “

Salvation Army, Positional Statement on Social Drinking (1990)

“Mother” of the Salvation Army, Catherine Booth wisely warned against running into temptation to drink: “God has nowhere promised to keep the man who needlessly, and for the sake of his own indulgence, runs into temptation. How fearful, then, the responsibility of those Christians who tell the reclaimed inebriate, aye who tell any man, “You may safely tamper with the drink! You may play with this fire of hell, and trust in God to keep you from being burnt.” Alas, how do such counsellors unwittingly play the part of Satan in his cunning approaches to our Lord. “Cast thyself down, for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” [Matt. 4:6] Oh, that all our brethren and sisters would ever bear in mind the memorable answer, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” [Matt. 4:7]

Catherine Booth, Strong Drink Versus Christianity, Total Abstinence is a Valuable Ally of the Gospel, as a Conserving Power

“envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God… Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Gal. 5:21; 6:1) (NKJV)

Ravi Zacharias rejected hotel industry to preach the Gospel

‘… as I was working in banquet management, I felt the hunger to speak for the Lord. I was a new Christian, and wherever I spoke things would happen. People would ask if I had ever considered that God had gifted me in the role of evangelism. It was natural to me, whether I was behind the pulpit or speaking with someone one-on-one. So I started taking part-time courses at a theological seminary in Toronto.

The more time I spent studying, the more I became restless in the hotel industry. This was especially true because liquor plays such an important role in the catering life. I had never even held a glass of it. Even before I was a believer, I had some disciplines that I kept, and for me personally, avoiding alcohol was certainly one of them. And when I saw the effect drinking had on some people, I thought, Is this what my life is going to be reduced to—dealing with something that I don’t even want to be responsible for on the other side of the counter? As I wrestled with that reality, the burden to preach grew greater and greater.

Indeed, as God would have it, preaching opportunities came from hither and yon. So with this struggle in my heart, I informed my parents that I was going to give up my career in business. It would have been a very good career, for I was working for a major worldwide hotel chain. But I felt God’s increasing call on my life—the pressure in the soul, as it were—to proclaim and to preach the gospel, although I didn’t know what shape this call would take.’

Ravi Zacharias, The Fingerprints on Your Soul, 15 Dec. 2003

H.G. Guinness grandson of brewer endorses abstinence from alcohol

God and H.G. Guinness

credit: onsizzle.com

Henry Grattan Guinness stated: “It is, I trust, temperance, in the Bible sense — that is, the government of the passions — which is leading to the careful abstinence from intoxicating drinks; they avoid them as temptations by which the inhabitants of this province have been led into terrible evils; and this revival has cured many drunkards, who have stood out against all temperance societies.”

(Henry G. Guinness, 1860, The Revival In Ireland)

  • Henry’s grandfather Arthur Guinness started the Guinness brewery.
  • Henry’s step-brother John Grattan II Guinness was dismissed by the brewery for “drunkenness and mixing in degrading company.”
  • But Henry himself endorsed abstinence from alcohol. He was delighted by the evangelical revival God brought to Ireland.

How Graham Kerr quit cooking with alcohol

Graham Kerr, celebrity TV chef of the 1970s. Before his conversion to Christ, he was previously known for crude jokes, cooking with alcohol and constantly guzzling it too. But then in 1975 he became a New Creation, and what a difference!

“He became famous for his one show, the ‘Galloping Gourmet.’ 455 episodes were filmed in all.” (Cooks Info – Graham Kerr)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Here is the new Graham Kerr in his own words… Continue reading “How Graham Kerr quit cooking with alcohol”

Mr. Eternity: Alcoholic converted because Christians were UNLIKE him

Eternity, Arthur Stace

‘Well look at them and look at us. I’m having a go at what they have got.’

—Arthur Stace “Mr. Eternity”

Alcoholic Arthur Stace repented when he saw how Christians at St. Barnabas Church were NOT like him. The church’s Anglican rector, RBS Hammond, was a total prohibitionist, and Arthur was a drinker of methylated spirits.

Arthur then warned about ‘Eternity’ by writing this word in chalk and in crayon on Sydney’s sidewalks. He wrote it repeatedly for 37 years.

Think of the Arthurs of today

What do today’s Arthurs see in your church services? Will they still see a fair-dinkum Christ-like contrast? Continue reading “Mr. Eternity: Alcoholic converted because Christians were UNLIKE him”

Don Bradman: I Don’t Drink

Interviewer: “Mr Bradman, you must have a wonderful physique to be capable of endurance required in your amazing world’s record.”
Don Bradman: “Well, I don’t think so. I don’t think my physique is any different to anybody else’s. I think one of the main reasons why I am able to carry on so long is the fact that I don’t drink, and I don’t smoke. I don’t do anything to get myself out of condition. Consequently, I haven’t got to train to get myself into condition to play a match.”

Don Bradman informal interview (1930)

How George Foreman Quit Drinking

George Foreman says: how I quit drinking – former heavyweight boxing champion

On my nineteenth birthday, I got so drunk that I couldn’t remember what happened that night. The next day, I ran into my friend who had been badly beaten up. He had a swollen eye and other bruises. I asked what happened.

“Don’t you remember?” he asked. “You beat me up last night!”

That stunned me. It shook me so much that I decided to never take another drink of alcohol. And I never have since then. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t quit smoking and drinking.

George Foreman, God In My Corner, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007, p. 169.