Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"Noah is remembered as a man of faith because he built the ark, but to me, the real act of faith was lived out beneath that first rainbow.  Noah surveyed the empty, post-flood landscape and did not collapse under the weight of his to-do list.  Instead, he put one foot in front of the other and began, in faith, at the very beginning.  Sure of what he couldn't yet see, Noah cleaned up the mud.  He fed the animals.  He planted a garden.  He did this all by the light of God's colorful message." 
~Christie Purifoy
 
 
Last night's rain left diamonds on the banana leaves.  I discovered these jewels when I went outside to hang up laundry this morning.
 
 
The rain also cleared out the worst of the humidity.  Instead of the usual haze, I can see the nearby islands clearly.  And the fishing boats that congregate each night in the harbor like sheep herded into a fold.
 

Aaron called the Kosco's office yesterday morning before his meeting.  The ship still doesn't have the part it needs to run again.  Instead of calling and calling and stressing about the maybes and calling again, we've decided to delay our return to Marulaon Village until February 12.  That should give us enough time to know for sure and to proceed in an orderly, somewhat calm (if moving is ever calm and orderly!) way.


I'm so grateful for the extra week for Aaron to focus on the back translation of Ruth and Jonah and for me to keep chipping away at all of Sarah's paperwork for financial aid this fall.  Yay for the internet!  We refuse to "collapse under the weight of the to-do list" and commit to following Noah's example.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sweet Sabbath

 
"Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.  Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ -- that's where the action is.  See things from his perspective."  Colossians 3:2 MSG
 
We are thankful for a slower day today to restore our bodies and our spirits.  Some White Christmas tea, with its peppermint and ginger, soothed my sore throat this morning, and Sarah is on her second round of antibiotics for a staph infection.  So, focusing on Christ's perspective today provided an important weapon in our arsenal against being absorbed with temporary things.
 
 
Aaron is slowly but surely moving through the list of ways to be prepared for the consultant check of Ruth, Jonah, and portions of Matthew in March.  We're excited that the Lavukal are beginning to have portions of God's Word in their heart language.
 
 
I sensed God working in Benjamin when I heard pre-calculus and praise songs interspersed with each other during school.  And when the family spent time together to watch an opera this weekend, God's creativity shone as we marveled at the wonder and beauty of the music and the staging.
 

I saw a servant heart developing in Sarah when she chose to stay up late on Thursday night to do school ahead so she would be free to bake on Friday morning for a special morning tea for Pacific leaders from groups like YWAM and the Jesus Film who had gathered here at SITAG.


I want to start each day by putting on my Jesus glasses instead of getting caught with my "eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front" of me.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Homecoming. The Last One. Really.

 

A Canadian colleague arrived in Honiara today.


The only thing better would have been if his entire precious family had come.


Once again, we whooped and hollered for the arrival of another SITAG family member.


And there was some talk about how good it was for the cerebral translation types to be able to let loose and enjoy themselves.


Grateful for so many safe trips in the last two weeks and especially for this crew and the ways we support each other.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Homecoming. Again.

 
 
One of my favorite things about our SITAG family?
 

Togetherness.


Whether we are crying together or laughing together,
 


working together or playing together,


or even taking some personal space at the same time.


But yesterday, that "together" time was spent the time waiting for the plane with some good fellowship and fun.


At last we were rewarded by yet another SITAG member disembarking from the plane and walking through the orange cones.
 

 We've missed her sweet smile and servant's heart.


Our family, our microcosm of the Body of Christ, just keeps growing!



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Australia Day

 
 
To celebrate Australia Day, Sarah had some little friends to help her make lamingtons.
 

We made enough to share with some friends here at SITAG,




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Heavy Hearts

"Every word of God is pure; He is shield to those who take refuge in Him." Proverbs 30:5
 
Our week has gotten off to a rough start.  We discovered that some dear friends of ours had been killed in a head on collision.  I had just sent an email asking them to meet us for breakfast in May.
 
The Kosco is still waiting for a part so it can be up and running again, and the ship's office is telling us that it will be a couple of weeks before the normal schedule is resumed.
 
Several of you have offered wisdom and concerns about Olivia's cast needing to be on longer than three weeks.  We appreciate the concerns you've shared.
 
All of these things are driving us to take refuge in God and in His unchanging Word. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Sweet Sabbath


photo credit:  Benjamin Choate
 
"The rest of God -- the rest God gladly gives so we might discover that part of God we're missing -- is not a reward for finishing.  It's not a bonus for work well done.
 
photo credit:  Benjamin Choate

It's sheer gift.  It is a stop-work order in the midst of work that's never complete, never polished.  Sabbath is not the break we're allocated at the tail end of completing all our tasks and chores, the fulfillment of all our obligations.  It's the rest we take smack dab in the middle of them, without apology, without guilt, and for no better reason than God told us we could." 
 
~Mark Buchanan
 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Upstairs

 

For the last two weeks, the hard working Zabana language team has been consultant checking 1 & 2 Peter in the apartment upstairs.


We rejoice with them that yesterday the checking was finished, and soon two new books of the Bible will be available to people who speak Zabana!

Friday, January 20, 2017

They're still coming!


Aaron and I were recently discussing how very different our lives are in our two different Solomon Islands' homes, and how much we enjoy each of them.


One of the joys of living in Honiara is supporting and encouraging the teams here.  Whether we are making loaves of banana bread or picking people up from the airport, it's a joy to be part of the small Body of Christ here at SITAG.


This week has been, oh, so full!  Full of God's quiet slow, sometimes hidden work in the Solomon Islands and in the people who live and work here.


We're grateful to play a very small part of that work.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yet Another Homecoming


Practicing our noisemaking (I'm pretty sure that Boomwhackers weren't made to be blown into like pan pipes, but they sound great!) so our welcome will be heard...


stringing up the balloons so our welcome will be seen...


fencing with Boomwhackers...well, just because...


and finally the plane touches down...


and our friends (who also happen to be colleagues and fellow translation advisors) finally walk off the plane and across the concrete hot enough to fry an egg.


I think they are glad to be back in the Solomon Islands.


And I know that we are thankful and excited that they have returned.

 
The SITAG kids call this particular guy "Uncle Fudge" because he makes fudge with them and is really just a big kid at heart.
 

And SITAG continues to fill back up...



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Another Homecoming

 

Our crazy friends, Henk and Margreet, keep coming back to the Solomon Islands to serve.


The anticipation built...

 
 and there they were!
 

These two are such an encouragement to us, and we look forward to the next few weeks of working and living side by side.