This time last week, we had put Aaron on the Kosco and were waiting for a phone call from him to update us about the ship's engine trouble. Shortly after the ship left Honiara, it turned around and came back for engine repairs. Unfortunately, it never docked, so the kids and I couldn't go down and take Aaron some lunch. By early afternoon, the Kosco had once again putted away only to stall again at the end of Guadalcanal. Aaron finally made it to our home in Marulaon around 11:30 Sunday night.
He and the Lavukal translation team were super flexible and made the most of the time they had left together. While the team reviewed Ruth in Marulaon, our family made the most of America's Independence Day in Honiara.
With the help from a SITAG uncle, our SITAG family made our own fireworks with steel wool and kerosene. We call it "fireswinging".
The kids and I shared sweet books to celebrate the special day, too. One of my favorites is "The Star Spangled Banner" illustrated by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire.
We cut out sugar cookies, too. My mama's recipe, the one that tastes like home no matter where we live. The one she got years ago from the dear old lady who still lives across the street.
Another SITAG family was living with the dad in the village this week, too, so the moms and kids combined for a slam bang America meal to close out our Independence Day celebrations Monday night.
The rest of the week, we were busy doing normal things like school. We have now completed three weeks of the curriculum and feel settled into the routine of the new school year. The daily work of just living and cleaning up after ourselves takes longer when Aaron isn't here to add his strength, so we were super happy to pick him up at the wharf late Wednesday night and to stay up even later hearing the stories from his short time in the village.
This morning, we had the honor of practicing scruffy hospitality. Sometimes we forget that we work alongside spiritual giants. People like this sweet couple who have just completed the Roviana Bible. The full Bible. Thirty-three years of their lives invested. They'll be headed back to America soon for the typesetting. All of the coming and going here at SITAG is hard on our hearts, but we are incredibly grateful for the opportunities to rub shoulders with people who live out God's Word authentically.
"We live in a society that measures the worth of investing in anything by the return that will come back to us. The community that we strive to create in our homes doesn't calculate value by that standard. Living in radical community means that the fullness of our caring is not measured out according to how long people are going to stay or how much they can give back. We open the doors of our home wide, invite others in, and choose to love whole-heartedly, knowing that we will say goodbye to many of the people who come. And it may hurt a little, but it is still so worth it."