Finding True Home
A week later, Ledua entered the premises of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Nadi city and began a six-month journey of learning about how to walk with Jesus and how to be his disciple. It was here that he understood the depths of what Jesus did for him at the Cross, the incredible love of God for sinners, and the way of faith in the One who had rescued him from a life that was headed to destruction. It was here also that he realised that becoming a follower of Jesus did not mean that he had suddenly become perfect or that he would not struggle with his human weaknesses again. Even so, he was grateful for the understanding that the salvation that he had received from Christ was solid and secure, something that was sealed for good despite the ups and downs of life and those occasional moments of inner struggle and compromise.
Meeting Jesus changed Ledua completely. He felt like the hole in his heart had now been filled by the love and presence of God. He experienced an internal peace even in times of difficulty, something that governed his heart and mind even when some situations he found himself in were extremely challenging. During the training, he also realised that all through his life one of the things that he was subconsciously longing for was parental love, the embrace of a father, and the emotional warmth of a mother. Learning about the parental heart of God impacted him deeply, bringing to the surface the raw wounds of practical orphan-hood including the dark trauma of life in his grandmother’s home including the abuse he received from his two uncles there, and subsequently an inner healing as he was gradually able to forgive what was previously unforgivable in his mind.
As the months passed, he also understood that he needed to forgive more people that had wounded him as well as to humble himself in asking forgiveness from others for the wrongs that he had committed against them. Reconciliation with many followed as he reached out in humility, seeking as well as offering forgiveness. Later, he was also able to forgive his two uncles and he went back to his village in the island of Cicia to make things right with them but unfortunately they had already passed away by then. And finally, he was able to let go of the deep resentment against his mother for abandoning him as a three year old and leaving him with his grandmother and the uncles who were very unkind to him.
It was not long after his training that he met the lovely Vika, a lady from a background so different from his, whom he fell in love with and ultimately married. His romance with her that finally led to them exchanging vows one humid afternoon in the year 2007, is an unforgettable story of its own, one that should not be missed. The couple have two adolescent children, one who loves rugby and the other, her school work.
Never in his wildest dreams did Ledua imagined that he would fall in love with Jesus, let alone serve him. However, today, at fifty-two, he serves in the leadership of the missions organisation that he has been a part since his remarkable transformation in 2006, YWAM Fiji, training young people who are interested in Christian service including missionary work. He himself has been on several missions trips to other islands in the Pacific as well as other countries such as Turkey and the Philippines. For a few years now, he has also been serving as one of the ordained pastors of the Assemblies of God Church in Fiji. Outspoken and passionate about the values he believes in, he sometimes come across as blunt. But beneath the tough outward demeanour of this Fijian guy is a heart that has been melted by a love that is like no other.
Ledua has walked this new path for fourteen years now. The life of crime on the streets of Suva is a distant memory now. But there are days when he looks back at his past and wonders how could he have survived all of what he went through. There are old scars on his tattooed body that remind him of the violence that he was regularly a part of once upon a time. He marvels at the good health that he continues to enjoy till today despite having gone deep into activities that could have ruined his body organs and even his sexual health. As he reflects on his life, he knows without a shadow of doubt that it was Jesus who held him and sustained through all the decades of living on the edge of a destruction from which he would never be able to return from. There was a time when he felt at home in the streets of the city. Today he knows that he had found a true home in his Jesus, a home from which he has no desire of running away from.
Concluded. Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Ledua’s story on this blog.