To Fiji and Beyond

By Rachel Greco

Like stars scattered in the middle of the ocean, Fiji’s 300 islands dot the water—and 100 are inhabited. God sees and knows each soul on these remote islands, longing for them to know him. Hinrich Kraenzlin, the founder of Yachts for Life, also shares the Lord’s heart for Fijians.

After visiting the islands in the Pacific in his role as regional director for Youth with a Mission for 13 years, Hinrich identified thousands of precious people who live in the smallest communities.

The two vessels that Hinrich and the Yachts for Life team use to reach people in the Pacific.

Christian churches are everywhere in the Pacific region, but Christianity has become cultural; many of the people don’t understand how God’s Word applies to them or that they can have a relationship with Christ. Hinrich longed to serve these people, to show them Christ and the importance of his Word, and so, in 2017, Yachts for Life was born.

Hinrich and his team can reach the people of Fiji only by boat, and the local transportation is not safe. Thus, they have acquired two yachts, which are less expensive and safer than some ships yet still capable of crossing the open sea.

With funds from people like you giving to JAARS Maritime Solutions, JAARS helped Hinrich and his team pay for one yacht and its maintenance. “JAARS has helped us tremendously to keep our yachts afloat and sailing. Vessels are always in need of repair and maintenance, but beyond that, you have also helped us with the purchase of one of the vessels, called Seahawk,” Hinrich said. “We would not be able to do what we are doing without the help of JAARS.”

Hinrich and his team take the Word of God to these remote communities via yacht six months out of the year. The other six months, the boats are moored, waiting out hurricane season. The Yachts for Life team teaches BELT seminars (Biblical Education and Leadership Training)—one for children and one for adults—in each village where local churches extend an invitation.

Through BELT, the villagers look at who God is, who we are, why we’re on earth, what sin is, and how we can relate to God—all using Fijian Bibles. “Over the last four or five years that we’ve done [these seminars], we’ve consistently seen many pastors go to the Cross first to give their life to the Lord,” Hinrich recalled. For the first time, the pastors understand the true meaning of redemption and that they don’t have to bear the weight of their sin anymore.

“We have seen with our own eyes time and again how application of the truth about God has brought significant changes to the lives of the precious people in the islands.”

A few years ago, at a remote village on the island of Vanua Levu, the team observed a high level of teenage pregnancy. Using God’s Word, they provided a teaching on sexuality. The Lord worked through his Word to transform this village! “The next year when we came back, there were no more teenage pregnancies, and consistently over the last three years, [there haven’t been any] more teenage pregnancy,” Hinrich explained.

Some of the students who took the child’s segment of the BELT seminar

More recently, at the beginning of May, a team sailed via the Seahawk to the island of Galoa. The people were voracious for God’s Word and had prepared to host the two-week BELT seminar in a shed erected next to the church. “Over 50 adult participants, plus as many kids, experienced the transformational power of the Word of God by entering anew into a relationship with God,” Hinrich wrote.

Residents of the neighboring village community heard about the seminar and urged the team to bring BELT to them. So off the team went to serve the community on Tavea Island. Through cooperation with the Bible Society of the South Pacific, they were able to transport that team as well as distribute many Bibles in the local language to the Galoa community.

Praise God for the work he’s doing in Fiji and throughout the Pacific!

Pray with us that God’s Word continues to transform lives in Fiji and beyond.