Friday, September 19, 2014

A Day in the life of SITAG...

Teamwork.  Life here is all about teamwork.
Between 3:00 and 4:30 this afternoon, SITAG was full of teamwork as I walked around poking my nose in different places.  Sarah was scooping ice cream to serve to the participants at the close of the Trauma Healing workshop.

More than twenty church and community leaders completed the course held at SITAG this week.

I walked downstairs and found the Baeggu language team checking portions of the New Testament.

Then I walked back up two flights of steps where some of our precious employees were using their gifts to help Bible translation.  Frida was sweeping and making everything clean outside,

and sweet Betsy was mopping and cleaning up inside.  Love these ladies!

Only a few steps away, the Gela team was hard at work on their final read-through of the New Testament,

making changes on the screen as they edited.

When I walked through my own door, I found my husband hard at work in the little space he has created for himself.

My kitchen was full of girls cooking, giggling, and creating with their own sort of teamwork.  I think this is exactly how God intended for our lives to be lived - working together and depending upon each other.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Both of my guys were way overdue for a haircut.  I haven't cut hair with scissors in a really long time (I just use the clippers and buzz away), so I warned Benjamin that his hair might not look exactly the way he wanted it.

So, my Sarah decided that now was a good time to learn how to cut hair, and who better to practice on than Benjamin?  And what better place than the Solomon Islands, where nobody really cares how your hair looks?

She did a great job cutting his hair.  And then we all laughed at the size of the two piles of hair:  Benjamin's hair on the left, and Aaron's pile on the right.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From the other side...

Usually, I'm the one taking pictures from the top of the airport, but this afternoon, I was the one returning to Honiara on the plane.
It's good to be home.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Brisbane Woman's Daybook

 Just for today...Monday, September 15

A heart overflowing with thankfulness...for whomever made the extra donation to our account last month in a church in Texas.  We have no idea who you are, but your obedience to God's whisper means that this month I can make a very quick trip to Brisbane for an eye appointment to relieve my perpetual headaches.
One of my favorite things...old houses.  This beautiful old Queenslander house was divided up into apartments long ago, and somebody from Wycliffe Australia had the foresight to buy it when it came up for sale a few years ago.  The apartments provide a lovely place for Wycliffe members to stay while they have doctors' appointments or are in between flights.  And for an old house lover like me, ahh, the smell alone is enough to send me into ecstasy.  Did I mention the stained glass?
Even in the bathroom?  And the beautiful architectural detail throughout the apartment?  Being here in Brisbane is reminding me of how different our little world in the Solomon Islands is compared to what most of our friends and family experience.  In the heat & humidity, with the very slow internet, surrounded by filth, trash, red betelnut spit, and smoke, I often forget that those things aren't a part of everyday life for everybody!
On my bookshelf..."Age of Opportunity:  A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens" by Paul David Tripp.  Big thanks to my friend, Julie, who knew this book was exactly what I needed and mailed it to me as a surprise!
From the learning rooms...Aaron is substitute teaching while I'm gone, but I'm looking forward to being back in Honiara on Wednesday afternoon and jumping back into school with my awesome kids.
Pondering these words..."If we are to be his instruments, we must deal with our own idolatry and bring a robust biblical faith to each rocky moment, a faith that believes that God rules over all things for our sake, that he is an ever-present help in trouble, that he is at work in every situation accomplishing his redemptive purpose, and that his Word is powerful, active, and effective." 
~Paul David Tripp
From the kitchen...strawberries.  And milk in a jug.  These are my guilty pleasures while I'm in Brisbane.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Selwyn College Fundraiser

Last year, we got to attend Selwyn College's fundraiser to support a couple of students from Marulaon.  Now we have three students who attend this secondary school.  Sarah's friend, Harris, will be graduating from Form 3 in October.

So after the race yesterday, we drove over to the fundraiser where we found all kinds of good things to eat.  We also found a couple of guys from our village.  We tried to buy our food from the Central Province stalls, since the Russell Islands are a part of the Central Province.

Theses two lovely ladies served us the fish and panna (a root crop) with coconut cream that our family chose to eat for lunch. 
On the way home from the fundraiser, Hiva, our translation committee chairman, called to tell us that our family's big rain tank had run dry.  This is the first time we have opened it up to our community.  We felt like having a big tank full of water locked up wasn't the right thing to do when the rest of the tanks in the village were dry.  The woman tending our yard has a key to the tank's lock.  The tank was bulging and full when Aaron left the village a few weeks ago.  Hiva has asked us not to return to the village until the tank has plenty of water in it.  We would appreciate prayers for wisdom in how to utilize our water well and for when to return to Marulaon.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

G'Day Solomons Fun Run

Bright and early this morning, Team SITAG drove down to participate in the G'Day Solomons Fun Run.


We discovered that running on a flat paved surface is much easier than running on a pitted, gravel, hilly surface with dogs and drunks running after you. 

But a chilled green coconut is still a nice way to cool down after you've just run your heart out to cross the finish line.

I was super proud of my kids!  Both Sarah and Benjamin had their best times yet on the 5K,

and a couple of our colleagues won prizes for being some of the oldest people to participate in the race. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Basketball and extended family

God continues to provide the extra grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that our hearts so desperately miss while we are far away from our "real" extended family.

For the next few weeks, we get to enjoy another auntie who comes to the Solomons from time to time.

She is a brilliant translator and consultant, but she used to teach Physical Education, and while she is here, she is sharing her knowledge and skills with the SITAG kids.

So every morning, our kids get a mini basketball clinic.

Their adopted auntie could be spending her time on "important" things like preparing for her upcoming checking session on 1 & 2 Corinthians.  But she is choosing to take a few minutes each day and invest in eight children instead.  Wow, what a great example for all of us!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Double Birthday Party

Tonight we stayed up way too late celebrating two of our favorite people who happen to share a birthday. 

So thankful for our SITAG family!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Honiara Woman's Daybook

Just for today...Monday, September 8
Crafting in the kitchen...tried some black bean and roasted pumpkin goodness for lunch today and some apple oat muffins for breakfast tomorrow morning.  Feeling like Autumn around here!
On my bookshelf...Boy's Passage Man's Journey by Brian D. Molitor
From the learning rooms...Sarah and Benjamin had a really fun experiment for Biology that finished up this weekend.  They soaked an egg in vinegar to dissolve its shell, and the egg swelled because it absorbed the vinegar.
Then they soaked the egg in corn syrup, and the liquid moved from the egg into the corn syrup.  The egg shrank!
Finally, they immersed the egg in water, and the egg swelled back up again.  Each time they measured the egg, and the amount that the egg changed was staggering!  I never had this much fun in biology. 
Pondering these words..."Relationships can't be popped into a microwave oven and zapped to life.  Good families are the products of years of nurturing, seasons of sacrifice, months of sometimes mundane attention."  ~Bob Welch
A heart of thankfulness...that when my very, very careful Benjamin lit the broiler with a match held very far away in tongs, the ensuing fireball only singed his hair.  He was overdue for a hair cut anyway!

A few plans for the rest of the a double birthday party on Tuesday night, enjoying the company of our Pacific Area director and his wife on Thursday night, and running in the G'Day Solomons Fun Run on Saturday morning (you can even follow it on Facebook).
A peek into my corner of the world...some MAJOR bed head.  There's a reason we call her "Troy"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekend Wanderings

Saturday morning, I enjoyed grocery shopping at Honiara's Central Market with a couple of my SITAG friends.  The market is always so beautiful.  Saturday mornings are packed, and we have to elbow our way through the aisles as we carry heavy baskets on each arm.  I often end up with bruised arms the next day from the handles of the baskets.  We've joked about making a video game based on weaving through the market, encountering people from your language group and trying to converse with them, and finding the best deal on produce.

Sunday morning after the 6:00 service at church, we stopped by the wharf to check on two rain tanks who were donated by friends.  Things always move more slowly than we think they should here, but we are really excited to send the tanks out to Fly Harbour School.  School is often dismissed because the kids don't have any drinking water, and this school serves Lavukal kids from seven different villages in grades K-6.  Aaron was able to find the headmaster on the ship and give him the hardware needed to get the tanks up and running quickly.
One of the best things about going to the early morning service (besides the cooler temperatures) is that we get to come home, make another pot of coffee, and enjoy some slow and thoughtful "Jesus Time".  The kids are great about being quiet when they are finished with their own personal time, and this is the one day of the week where we can truly slow down and savor some time along with the Lord.  Sarah often makes a special pastry for breakfast, too, which helps make Sunday morning even more special.

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than enjoying sweet fellowship with our colleagues and practicing a few swimming strokes at the same time?  I love my two teenagers, and I think they are just about the neatest kids ever.

The afternoon was made so much sweeter by the addition of friends.  What a gift from God!  And on this side of the world, today was Father's Day.  In fact, when I bought some ground beef yesterday, a Lavukal lady asked me if I was buying it to celebrate Father's Day!  So watching two amazing daddies play in the pool with their kids was like the cherry on top.