Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 3 in Fiji- Meeting the Fiji Police

The visit from the Police Officers was almost beyond belief. About a year ago, the national police commissioner proposed a new strategy for crime prevention: To ensure that the entire Fiji Police Force has the opportunity to know Jesus, and then make Him known to every precinct in Fiji. Their goal- to have Fiji crime-free by depending on God's help by 2012!

The new “Jesus Strategy” was launched a year ago, and to date the crime has been reduced 12%! It is estimated that 70% of the Fiji Police Force are now born-again Christians! Many Muslim and Hindu police officers have been brought into the Kingdom as well.

The new “program” involves evangelistic crusades led by the police force in uniform in every precinct in Fiji. The police jazz band has now become the Fiji police worship team, and they march through the streets of communities worshiping Jesus and blessing the people. There is a monthly gathering for all police officers and their families in Suva!

The police department is also partnering with other government agencies to solve problems like unemployment, etc. The prison system is also involved by both rehabilitating prisoners as well as reconciling the prisoners to their victims and their families.

The commissioner shared the following convictions about why this dramatic change has occurred in the nation:
They have one strategy for fighting crime: JESUS!
The Jesus Strategy: To act as Jesus did, then the public will be helped. There was not a focus on criminals, but on the people.
No one wants to be a criminal, and it is the circumstances that turn them into criminals. The police now focus on the people and the good qualities of each individual, calling them to righteousness and lives that contribute to the well-being of society.
When there is a focus on criminal activity, the police officers turn into criminals.
The police officers have become counselors to the people, sharing the Word of God and seeing lives changed by His power.
The Hindus and Muslims do accept the Christian police because the reduction in crime is a blessing to them as well.
The Police visit the churches on Sundays to share their vision the members, and to present a new heart and face of the police force to the people. In the past people would see the police, and be fearful because of corruption and brutality, etc. Now they are surprised to see the police officers worshiping the Lord and caring for the people of the community.
The Police want people to understand that they are cared for and protected as friends.
When someone is arrested, they are given the opportunity to be born-again and allow Jesus to change their life. If they do go to prison, they are encouraged to grow in the Lord and attend prayer meetings.
Every month the officers and their families are bussed in for a worship celebration in Suva.

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