LAUTOKA has been blessed. Thousands of visitors and locals converged into the Sugar City to praise God, entertain the masses and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ's eternal message of infinite love, redemption and forgiveness during the Arise Fiji Festival over the past seven days and ends today.
"The blessing that Lautoka has received is simply amazing. People from all over the Pacific and all over the world came to our little island and praised God," said Lautoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry administrator Mohammed Salim.
"The success of the festival and the accompanying trade show has been very good and we are working on making this an annual event, with next year's festival promising to be bigger and better than this one."
Mr Salim said, as far as the LCCI was concerned, the festival and trade fair achieved what it had set out to do and discussions were being held to gauge the possibility of hosting the event on an annual basis.
Arise Fiji Festival chairman Reverend Viliame Naivalu said the organising committee was looking at having another festival annually or biennially if possible.
"Everything we had planned for happened and the number of people that came every day and night and participated was more than we had bargained for.
"The question of having another festival next year will be discussed tomorrow (this) evening but all I can say at the moment is that it looks very positive. If we can't have it annually, then we will look at having it every two years," Mr Naivalu said.
One of the biggest drawcards to the festival was a special appearance by world renown Bollywood comedian and born again Christian Johhny Lever who gave his testimony to the jampacked crowd at Churchill Park.
"Johnny Lever was a big hit and a lot of people were surprised to hear that he was a born again Christian. Again, Arise Fiji Festival has been different from festivals held in Lautoka in the past.
"People enjoyed the spiritual side of things just as much as they enjoyed the entertainment. People enjoyed praying and worshipping together and the power of the Holy Spirit was at work with a large number of people giving their life to the Lord and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal saviour," he said.