Saturday, March 29, 2014

God's Creation at the Beach

This morning, many of our SITAG family piled into the SITAG truck and spent the morning at one of the beaches just outside Honiara. 

Sarah and one of her friends found several beautiful blue starfish.

I think two of my favorite things about the trip were the fabulous company of our SITAG family and the creatures God made to live in the ocean.
Sarah's friend found a different starfish that really wanted to stay attached.  Watching the suction cups work fascinated me!

Some of the kids collected tiny hermit crabs in a coconut shell.

Then one of the guys found a nasty crown-of-thorns starfish.  These critters eat the coral reefs, so there was some talk of leaving it on the beach to die.

But in the end, we tossed it back into the ocean.

So, God's creation of sea creatures is awesome, but His creation of our colleagues just blows me away!

 On the way home, we stopped at a road side stand for some lunch.
 Fish and cassava on a disposable leaf plate - perfect ending to a perfect Saturday morning!

Friday, March 28, 2014


We are ABSOLUTELY loving having these two families back in Honiara, even for a very brief time.  This morning, we had four extras in our house (yay for the flexibility of homeschool!), so we made play dough together.

For two hours, we read books and stirred and pounded play dough and cemented friendships. I was reminded of the sweetness we experienced a year ago the last time all of our lives crossed so briefly.

"Exhaust the little moment, soon it dies.  And be it gash or gold, it will not come again in this disguise."  ~Gwendolyn Brooks
This is such a "gold" little moment.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


When Margreet and I went shopping for all the new arrivals coming earlier this week, I found that a fresh load of mud crabs arrived with our friends on the ship.
The crabs were a good price, so I picked up two of them, and today we introduced Margreet to the wonders of mud crabs.  Growing up in Arkansas, I didn't know what to do with seafood when we arrived here in the Solomons.

But my friends here have been gracious to teach me how to cook and eat the creatures God put in the ocean.

Picking out all of the little pieces of crab was a team effort that took a long time for only a small bowl of crabmeat, but we're looking forward to sharing our seafood gumbo with some treasured company tonight.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Road Works, or Does It?

This sign cracks me up.  "Slow Down Road Works Ahead".  Actually, the potholes around here are really bad, and the road doesn't work well, that's why you are fixing it.

During this morning's shipping report, the Kosco reported being almost to Marulaon, so I quickly flipped the radio back over to the SITAG frequency and told Aaron to pack his bags and get into the canoe.  Unfortunately, this afternoon's shipping report said that Kosco was still in Marulaon.  Aaron finally called around 6:30 from Yandina, the first place he can get a signal.  The ship loaded copra all day in Marulaon, so it won't arrive in Honiara until after midnight.  Thoughtful Henk and Margreet have offered to be the ones to wake up and drive down to the wharf in the middle of the night.  We're looking forward to waking up tomorrow to Aaron in the house!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Airport Bounty

Eleven people headed for SITAG arrived in Honiara today.

The first airplane arrived from Fiji around 11:30.  I love that the planes still unload onto the tarmac and we can stand on the roof and cheer as some of our favorite people get off.

We're looking forward to celebrating with this family at the Kwaio New Testament dedication next month.

And we're super thankful that a volunteer "computer guy" also arrived on the plane. 

We drove back to SITAG, got the first crew settled, and turned around to pick up the next load of wonderful people arriving from Australia.
This silly friend wore her hot pink "thongs" as flip-flops are called over here and in Australia.  She started quite a conversation about the different uses of the word.  She also didn't know that her SITAG colleagues had stuffed her awaiting car full of balloons to welcome her back to Honiara.
The next two weeks present a very small window of wonderful people living in Honiara for a very short time.  We intend to take advantage of every spare moment to spend time with these funny and intelligent people who love the Lord and are here to serve Him.

Maybe it's building a sound studio and typing handwritten notes from a language you don't know, like Henk and Margreet, or maybe it's fixing computers like our friend who just arrived on the plane, or maybe it's hosting new families for supper.  All of those things support Bible translation and build up the body of Christ here in the Solomon Islands.

Our SITAG caravan pulled out of the airport led by our colleague (and several SITAG kids) with pink balloons on her car, followed by the truck full of kids and luggage, and my vehicle brought up the rear.  It's like a great big family with the bounty and beauty of people and the unique way God made each one of us!

Monday, March 24, 2014


Are we not like two volumes of one book? ~Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Twenty-four years ago, Aaron and I were sitting in a movie theater watching "Hunt for Red October" with a bunch of friends, when he mysteriously reached over and held my hand.  That was the beginning of the great journey God had planned for our lives.  Today, I don't get to hold Aaron's hand because he is still out in Marulaon Village waiting for the ship, and in this culture, I can't hold his hand in public. I'm so thankful for the man God has given me and look forward to many more years of holding hands!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Weekend Wonders

 Yesterday afternoon, Sarah and I were walking down to deliver groceries to a SITAG apartment that was about to be inhabited by some of our favorite people when we saw the LC Phoenix pulling into the wharf.  We hustled because we knew that our friends were on that ship!
The kids rode down in the SITAG truck, driven by Henk, and we arrived at the wharf to find it a swarming mass of people.
One little door was the only way to get in or out, we think it was an attempt to help keep theft to a minimum.
Can you find my friend in the photo above?  She's trying to find all of her cargo.
Finally, every piece was accounted for, and some of us begin to load up the truck,

while some of us were just happy to see our friends again.

And in typical style, both of these huge signs were ignored by the vehicles around us.

The skies were beginning to grow dark by the time we finished loading everything into the truck.

And this wonderful woman is such a blessing. See this grin?  Can you tell that she has been on the boat for more than 30 hours?  And it's not a cruise ship, folks.

Finally, we begin the drive back to SITAG with a load of precious cargo.

The umbrellas I handed out didn't do much good, so we ended up with a very damp load of precious cargo.

When we got settled back in, we ate a quick supper (yay for the freezer!), and then we went to talk to Aaron on the radio.  He gave a great report from the meeting in the morning.  Eight villages from all over the Russells showed up, and he was really encouraged as he reconnected with people he hadn't seen in a while.  Aaron said they even caught a nice tuna on the way home in the motor canoe!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


One of the things I get to do while we are in Honiara is go shopping for teams who are arriving in Honiara.  Today, we have a family of six arriving on a ship, and Tuesday, we have eleven people arriving on two different flights.  So, I get to have fun putting the requested "welcome food" in several houses over the next few days.

My first stop was at Honiara's Hot Bread Kitchen to buy six loaves of bread.  As Sarah and I stood in line, I glanced at the large list of options.  Most of them aren't available regularly, but I found one type that made me smile on this hot, sunny, and humid day.

Anybody want a "plain sweat bun"?