68 Returning Missionaries Left Their Luggage Behind in Kiribati. Here's Why the Fijian Prime Minister Is Grateful for Their Sacrifice


Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama expressed his gratitude to missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for an act of kindness they performed in Kiribati.

According to The Fiji Times, 68 missionaries were on a regional flight prior to boarding an additional flight that would take them across the Pacific to Salt Lake City. These missionaries opted to leave their baggage in Kiribati, an island between Fiji and Hawaii, in order to lessen the cargo weight of the plane. This act of service allowed 11 Fijians to return home.

“Thanks to their sacrifice, these Fijians are all safely back in Fiji, where they’ll be reunited with their families after a mandatory two-week quarantine,” the prime minister said. “[While] this virus can shut borders, keep us at home, and even take lives, it cannot rob us of our humanity. It cannot diminish the love we hold for others, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the faith they follow.”

Fiji, a nation made up of 320 islands, was one of the stops on President Nelson’s ministry visit to the Pacific in May 2019.

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Missionaries were first sent to the Pacific islands in 1843. Total Church membership in Fiji is 22,154, with four stakes and 51 congregations, according to Newsroom. In Kiribati, there are 20,946 Latter-day Saints, two stakes, and 37 congregations.

READ THE FULL STORY AT fijitimes.com.

Lead image: The Fiji Times screenshot
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