Thursday, July 31, 2014

One Last...

Green coconut...

Katherine kiss...

Olivia squeeze...

Benjamin dimple...

Sarah smile...
Thanks, Mama, for traipsing around the world and enduring our heat, humidity, rough boat rides, and mosquitoes.  We're so glad you came!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

We couldn't take pictures inside the Solomon Islands National Museum's Blackbirding Exhibit, but just outside we found a Polynesian outrigger canoe. 

We also found several booths where carvers had set up their wares.  One man was crafting a beautiful walking stick,

and another man demonstrated how to use an old drill that created holes in shell money.  So many beautiful things that we wanted to buy so we could hold a little piece of Solomon Island culture!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Early morning gathering

"For where two or three
gather in my name,

there am I with them."  Matthew 18:20

Monday, July 28, 2014

Honiara Woman's Daybook

Just for today... Monday, July 29
Outside my window...a beautiful view of the ocean.  We are back in our favorite SITAG house right in the middle of our little campus.
From the learning rooms...the kids are still on school break this week, enjoying their grandmother
From the kitchen...the Choate Bed and Breakfast is trying to take good care of our guest, so tonight it's beef fajitas with peach cobbler (my Mama's recipe) for dessert.  When we're in town, we have so many more options for our meals!
One of my favorite things...listening to people pray in their heart language.  Saturday night, several us joined with a YWAM team here in Honiara for a potluck and sharing about our ministries. 
These two lovely servants kept waving the flies away from the food while everyone went through the line.
The gathering was quite mulitcultural, people from Australia, Fiji, the Philippines, Samoa, the United States, and the Solomon Islands.  I was in the kitchen watching dishes after the meal while others were speaking.  All of the sudden, my ear picked up a language I didn't understand, and I realized that one of the men was praying.  The sound was so sweet.
Pondering these words..."Growth in holiness, then, is not a matter of personal discipline plus God's work.  It is a matter of dependent discipline of recognizing that we are dependent on God to enable us to do what we are responsible to do.  Then it is recognition that even when we have performed our duties, we must still look to Him to produce the growth."  ~Jerry Bridges
A heart of thankfulness...for my mama.  She didn't know she would be helping me label cleaning supplies for the SITAG supply closet.  And later this week, I'm going to drag her over to the Educational Resource Center to stamp and card some new books.  Having her around has meant lots of extra laughter in our house, too!
A few plans for the rest of the we've got to get my mom's flights rearranged in the airline saga with Fiji Airline, Solomon Airline, and Air Niugini, and we also have to take Benjamin to the new eye doctor in Honiara.  Saturday night, he ducked and hit the corner of a table square between his eyes.  We think his glasses saved him a broken nose, but his glasses snapped in half.  We're also hoping to go visit the Solomon Islands National Museum's exhibit on "Blackbirding" since we were in the village on National Museum Day when the exhibit opened.
On my bookshelf..."Give Me This Mountain and He Gave Us a Valley" a two-part autobiography by Dr. Helen Roseveare

A peek into my corner of the world...Olivia loves animals, especially dogs and horses.  While we were in Marulaon, we thought Kira, this sweet old dog, would have to be put to sleep because she's not been doing well.  Olivia was happy to have another chance to get some snuggles.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Wednesday, July 23

We're so thankful that our neighbors are willing to help carry our cargo down the hill, and even more thankful that we got to move everything in the daylight!

As soon as morning prayer was finished, we began carrying boxes wrapped in red plastic bags to waterproof them. 
We also had a big gas cylinder, lots of backpacks, and an ice chest with food for the journey and for our return to Honiara.  Aaron kept an eye on them down at the beach.

We still didn't know what time to expect the ship, so the kids made a coconut leaf ball and began playing shella coconut with the neighbor kids while my mom and I visited with my friends. 
My mom loves children and had no problem staying occupied while we waited for the ship.
At 9:00, I went back up to the house to catch the shipping report which was being relayed to me by another colleague on a different island.  She said that the Kosco didn't report!  But my neighbors had heard that the ship should arrive between 9 and 10.   Sure enough, on the way down the hill, I heard, "Koscoooooo, Koscoooooo!"  And the adrenaline kicked in.

My mom, the backpacks, the kids, and I went in the first canoe load, driven by our faithful friend, Belza.  Aaron and the heavier things came in the second load.  The ship's captain had the crew move all of our things into a cabin that could be locked.  And everybody soon settled in for a long ship ride.  However, when the Kosco left the Russell Islands and hit open seas, the waves kicked up.  I've often read in books about ships shuddering under the impact of the waves, well, now I've felt it. 
We always felt safe, but we also felt very sick.  Two of us lost our lunch, and the rest of us fought hard not to!  My awesome husband let down the tarps surrounding our upper deck and tied everything securely.  I was really thankful for the tarps and also thankful for the cabin where our things were stored.  The spray was soaking everything, and we were sliding around as the boat rocked back and forth.  Our boxes would have been soaked through if the captain hadn't thought ahead and put our cargo in the cabin.  When we reached the tip of Guadalcanal, the waves calmed down, and we began to feel better.  Just after sunset, we pulled into Honiara's harbor and found our SITAG colleagues waiting for us.  We had to wait a long time for our cargo to be released and for the receipt to be checked, but we finally made it home to SITAG and sat down to a hot supper of spaghetti (lovingly prepared by our SITAG family) around 9:30 p.m. 
Thanks for all of the prayers offered up on our behalf as we transitioned back to Honiara!

Tuesday, July 22

While Aaron is away teaching on the other side of our language group, the rest of us have been busy sorting and packing.  The news from the Kosco keeps bringing it back sooner and sooner, and now we are hearing that it should be coming back tomorrow.

But in the midst of the packing, a break is a wise thing!  So, we took my mom over to the point of our island, past the pig pens, through the bathrooms, and over by the cemetery.  The best way to walk to the little strip of sandy beach (most of our beaches are broken coral) was to walk across a fallen coconut tree.
When we finally arrived, Leku came over to tell us that we needed to wait just a little bit longer because someone was using the facilities.  But the starfish and the view we found were worth the wait.

The camouflage on these starfish is so amazing - I love the way God made them!  They just bury down in the sand and you hardly know they are there until you almost step on them.

We had to hustle back to the house to listen to the shipping report on the radio in hopes to find out more about the Kosco's schedule.  But we made some sweet memories during our brief break.

We couldn't hear the shipping report well because of static, but one of our colleagues was able to contact the ship's office to let us know that the ship expected to be in Marulaon about 3:00 a.m.  So we doubled our packing efforts!

Aaron came home late in the afternoon and gave us fresh energy to get everything packed up.  And Kiko stopped by to get a pair of reading glasses after supper. My mom (and several of her friends) generously donated glasses, so between what Gayly brought and what my mom brought, we have lots to share with our neighbors.

Monday, July 21

Aaron putt-putted over to Louna village this morning to meet with the four Lavukal translators again.  Communication and coordinating schedules among five different people on five different islands continues to be a challenge.  The best way to get in touch with each other?  Paddle over yourself! 

While I was snapping photos of Aaron getting ready to leave, I looked over my shoulder and saw Soima sitting on top of her daddy's busted canoe.  I shouted her name and she turned and grinned just as I took the picture.  Her smile is sweet, just like her grandmother's (Ofoaen) smile.
Aaron finally got off, and the rest of us dug into packing.  Yesterday, the ship's crew said they anticipated returning on Thursday, so we're trying to get ready.  One of the things we needed to do was to transplant tomato seedlings, a perfect job for a grandmother with two able granddaughter assistants!