Nobody in the village anticipated the Kosco chugging around the corner at 5 o'clock yesterday morning! We had boxes of school books (and a few pineapples from our garden to share with our SITAG family) waiting on our porch to go back to Honiara on the ship. In December, we had the same books (for the 2017-2018 school year) boxed up and ready to go back, but then the ship canceled its trip, and we ended up coming back in the motor canoe with limited cargo. We didn't want to get caught again if the ship decided to change its schedule, so it was important that we spring into action when we heard the ship's engine chugging and all of the motor canoes revving to go out to meet the ship.
Aaron went down the hill to find somebody with an available vehicle, and I started the kettle with water for coffee. When he came back up and said that Leonard would paddle out in his dugout canoe, I woke up Benjamin, told him we needed his muscles, and handed him a flashlight to navigate the path in the dark while carrying big, heavy boxes. The canoe filled up quickly, there was only room for the boxes and Leonard, with Benjamin wedged up front in the canoe. Aaron passed money to pay the cargo charges to Benjamin, and Leonard paddled like crazy to get the heavy canoe out to the ship. I'm so proud of Benjamin and the way he handled the responsibility. I had the coffee ready by the time the adventure was over, and the sun was rising to give us a beautiful start to the day.
Eta and I were supposed to meet on Monday afternoon, but Barnabas's death postponed our fun. She is gifted in working with young children, and she wants to hold a kindy to teach little ones basic school concepts in their heart language. I took over some of our watercolor paints and had fun teaching her how to paint and how to make self correcting puzzles out of index cards. We garnered lots of questions when people walked by the mogea/bush apple where we were working in the shade. Especially when we started making paper bag puppets of Adam and Eve with glued on googly eyes! I always have a hard time finding the balance of the best materials for a project like this - do we stick with materials that are readily available here in the village, or is it okay to bring in outside resources (like fun googly eyes!)?
As we worked, we talked about the books of the Bible that are almost completed in Lavukaleve - Ruth and Jonah. Eta is excited about using them for story time in her kindy. Because of the way the Scripture readings are set up in church here, we rarely hear the Old Testament stories that I grew up hearing in Sunday school every week. Ruth and Jonah will be new information for the kids in Eta's school.
This morning, Aaron printed copies of Ruth, Jonah, and the first four chapters of Matthew. The translation team will be meeting today, tomorrow, and Saturday in Nono Village for the final preparations for the consultant checking which begins March 19. Aaron got good reports from both Ezekiel and Simon that the village checking of Ruth and Jonah went well and generated lots of excitement. I'm so thankful for these men and for the time, hard work, and energy they spend to get God's Word into their own language.
Please pray for protection, spiritual insight, and good mental clarity as the team meets together for three days. The kids are big enough now that Aaron's absence doesn't create quite the hole that it used to, but we still miss him when he's gone.