Finding Grace: A Mission Trip to Fiji, Part 1

By Chris Cunningham
Local Outreach Coordinator  

fiji water

How Fiji Ruined Netflix for Me

I’m not sure if I’m looking forward to this.

Are we really doing this?

Is it too late to back out?

What if I just make myself sick so they tell me I can’t go?

They can’t let you on an airplane if you’re throwing up… right?

I lay in bed, eyes following the ceiling fan, pummeling my wife with questions, looking for some sympathy.

Neither of us had led a mission trip before, and this year’s trip to Fiji was sounding pretty exhausting, especially when compared to staying in bed for two weeks.

Not to mention, I hadn’t seen every movie on Netflix yet (which is a personal goal of mine), so how could I leave the country now?

In typical Christina fashion, my wife said something sweet, encouraging and insightful about how great the trip would be and how good it is to step outside your comfort zone.

“And remember, even if it’s horrible, we’ll only be gone for two weeks…”

Her voice started to do that weird echo thing and right away I started to shudder.

Twooooo Weeks
Two Weeks, Weeks, Weeks
Two, Two, Two, Weeks, Weeks, Weeks…
Two weeks?

Didn’t she know Netflix adds new movies daily?

Hadn’t she ever noticed that some of those movies could be gone, never to be seen by my ambitious eyes again?!

Eventually I fell asleep after coming to grips with the fact that Netflix would just have to wait.

“Fiji doesn’t sound so bad,” I thought to myself. “Who knows, there may even be some downtime so I can finish that documentary about the New York Knicks in the ‘70s…”

I was sitting on the couch with Christina, getting ready to a watch “The Butler.” I heard somewhere it was streaming so I came running (more like skipping).

I logged into my account and started to get all fuzzy inside when I saw my name under the little panda icon I assigned for my account picture. I logged into start my movie and the little loading circle popped up.


I stared in disbelief, and then frantically restarted my Netflix app, signed in and started the movie again.


Then that horrible message—the one from the mailbox of Hades itself—floated onscreen like the ghost of all my hopes and dreams:


My head flew off my pillow as sweat slid down my forehead.

A nightmare.

Just a nightmare.

It was going to be a rough two weeks.

Read more about Lopes traveling around the globe on mission trips by checking out our series, A Journey to the Philippines. Learn more about global outreach at GCU by visiting our website.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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