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.

Increase drinking age from 18 to 21 to save lives in Tonga!

“The House was unanimous in their support of the Bill to Amend the Manufacture of Intoxicating Liquor Act to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21 years, with votes of 15-0.”

Cook Island News, 28 July 2014, Tonga raises drinking age

But in New Zealand (where the drinking age was lowered from 20 to 18 in 1999),
“A study found that after the drinking age was lowered to 18, there was a significant increase in traffic crashes among youth affected by the law change. The study found that the rate of traffic crashes and injuries to 18- to 19-year-old males increased 12 percent and increased 14 percent for males aged 15 to 17 comparing 4 years before and after New Zealand lowered the MLDA to 18. For females, the effect was even greater—rates increased 51 percent for 18- to 19-year-olds and 24 percent for 15- to 17-year-olds. The study estimated that 400 serious injuries and 12 deaths could be prevented each year among 15- to 19-year-olds if the nation raises the MLDA back to 21.”

“NHTSA estimates that minimum drinking age laws [in USA] have saved 26,333 lives since 1975 [till 2007 inclusive].” [In USA, the minimum age was increased to 21.]

Examination of the Criticisms of the Minimum Legal Drinking Age 21 Laws in the United States from a Traffic-Safety Perspective“, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Oct. 2008

NHTSA’s New Zealand source:
Am J Public Health. 2006 January; 96(1): 126–131. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2005.073122 PMCID: PMC1470436
Minimum Purchasing Age for Alcohol and Traffic Crash Injuries Among 15- to 19-Year-Olds in New Zealand
Kypros Kypri, PhD, Robert B. Voas, PhD, John D. Langley, PhD, Shaun C.R. Stephenson, BSc[Hons], Dorothy J. Begg, PhD, A. Scott Tippetts, MS, and Gabrielle S. Davie, MBios

“Several studies in the 1970s found that motor vehicle crashes increased significantly among teens when the MLDA was lowered.”
Australian Family Association, 21 Nov. 2011, Revisiting the minimum legal drinking age
AFA source: Shults RA, Elder RW, Sleet DA, Nichols JL, Alao MO, Carande-Kulis VG, Zaza S, Sosin DM, and Thompson RS. (2001) Reviews of evidence regarding interventions to reduce alcohol-impaired driving. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 21(4 suppl 1): 66–88.

Note: Old men must set the example of neephalism – teetotalism. Old men Noah and Lot got into problems because of the cruel drink. Old men must be blameless, and old women likewise; young men must be blameless, and young women likewise.

Kava drinking: serving a holy God yet practising a dirty habit

Kava: the drug ruining the Pacific

The drug has been introduced to Australia – as if Australia did not already have enough problems from alcohol and other drugs.

Kava: psychotic effect clouds judgement

  • People ignore kava’s horrid taste, and unfortunately drink it for the sake of its psychotic effect. The drug reduces inhibitions and clouds judgement.
  • It is sedative, relaxes the muscles, slurs speech, and causes the mouth and throat to become numb. The kava-drinker becomes dizzy or unable to stand up.
  • It is harmful to the liver. The liver damage has symptoms of severe scaly skin. Continue reading “Kava drinking: serving a holy God yet practising a dirty habit”