We've been in Marulaon for a week, and it feels good. Aaron working hard at the translation desk, kids and I digging in to school until mid-afternoon when we enjoy going out and interacting with our sweet neighbors. I've been struck yet again with the kinds of requests we've received this week: glasses, band-aids, cold water, needle and thread, antibiotic ointment for "red eye," change for a $100 bill, medicine for an upset stomach, money for fuel for the church leaders. They are all requests for physical things. When Aaron and I were taking education classes in college, we learned about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. "Maslow identified several levels of human needs, the most basic of which must be satisfied before the next levels can be fulfilled." (World Book, 2009)
On this rainy Sunday afternoon, I'm pondering spiritual needs. I watch my neighbors make poor choices that have deep consequences for themselves and for their families and friends. We enjoy helping people here meet their physical needs, but their spiritual needs are so vast. I understand not being able to move past the most basic physical needs. Somehow, we want to help them understand God as Somebody who is interested in their everyday lives and longs to have a relationship, not just a far away, impersonal being that spouts lists of "dos and don'ts."
Aaron is meeting with Edwin this afternoon to work on the back translation of Ruth. We had high hopes that both Ruth and Jonah would have finished back translations in Honiara, but that didn't happen. So Aaron made some tea, and the two guys are working together in the church. I'm praying that as the scriptures begin to be used and as we have more and more spiritual conversations with people here, our neighbors begin to see God at work in the Bible and realize that He wants to work in their lives, too.