Friday, October 31, 2014
My friend, Mary, had a baby boy while we were in Honiara. She named him after her brother, Rodney, who died in June. Four baby boys have been born to Marulaon women in the last few months. One of them was just born Monday night, so I stuck my head in the door to find Melody feeding her new little boy under a pink mosquito net. I only stayed long enough to tell her I was happy for her.
School aged kids are all at school during the week, but lots of younger children are running around Marulaon. I found some boys playing in the shade and cutting kino (cutnuts) for a snack. Mamas and aunties are often nearby, and I really enjoyed catching up with friends I haven't seen in three months.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Some of our colleagues brought us a fabulous breakfast of cinnamon rolls, breakfast casserole, juice, and coffee. I felt spoiled rotten. Then everybody circled around, prayed over us, and disembarked. As we pulled away, several of them stayed on the wharf waving goodbye. We would not be able to go back and forth to the village if we didn't have the Body of Christ to help us through the transition.
Another ex-pat was on board the ship. He is a medical student taking several years to travel around the world and volunteer his knowledge and skills in undeveloped countries. We enjoyed visiting with him from time to time.
Hours of reading pleasure belonged to us as the boat chugged through the ocean toward Marulaon Village. The ocean was calm and glassy, very much an answer to the prayers of people around the world!
We arrived at Yandina and stayed at the wharf for about two hours while the crew unloaded bags and bags of rice, sugar, and flour. Watching the line of men tossing these huge bags like clock work made us smile. Yandina also has a nice market for hungry ship passengers, and Aaron picked up some pomelo, green coconuts, and ring cake for us to enjoy.
This trip was the first time we haven't unloaded at Marulaon Village. Instead, the Kosco bypassed our village for another village a little bit farther West. The sun was sinking rapidly by the time the ship slowed to a stop, and we were so thankful to see our friends in two motor canoes! Unloading everything into the small boats took a long time. Our drivers told us that we were running on fumes, so ten liters of petrol went into each engine - so glad we brought it! It was dark when we finally sped off toward Marulaon, Aaron in one canoe, and the kids and I in the other. The phosphorescence in the water glowed, but that was about the only light. A thin crescent moon hung low on the horizon, beautiful but not illuminating. I was really thankful that Sarah tucked her flashlight into her backpack, Benjamin and I took turns holding it up so our driver could navigate around the rocks in the shallow channels.
We pulled up to Marulaon to find happy neighbors waiting to help us carry all of our things up the hill to the house. I don't know what we would have done without all of them. It would have taken us all night long to carry each box up. We walked in the house just before 8:00, and the family split two apples with peanut butter while we took turns taking a quick shower to wash off the grime of the ship. Thank you for all of the prayers offered up on our behalf. When I think of the magnitude of the trip, the path that we and our cargo must take (SITAG to truck to wharf to ship to motor canoe to shore to house), I'm in awe of all that God does for us.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Please keep them up!
This morning I was absolutely delighted to see a blog post from Joanna in my inbox! She usually has to e-mail blog post components in batches, so I don’t have it all yet. But I’ll publish as soon as I do.
In the meantime, thank you for your prayers, and please don’t stop!
Monday, October 27, 2014
I just received word via the Gebauers that the Choates arrived safely in the village around 8:00 Sunday night after an 11 hour trip. Thank you to all who prayed for smooth seas!
- Continue to pray over the e-mail situation.
- There is water in the tanks, and it rained again overnight. But, the water need continues to be a prayer point…the balance of rain and sun, especially.
Thanks for the continued prayers!
Sunday, October 26, 2014
With lots of people pitching in, Team Choate is on the way to Marulaon. One of our colleagues told me the story of an ex-pat who bought tickets for a Solomon Islands ship. As everyone got on board, my friend overheard this man say, "I didn't know I was buying a ticket for a refugee boat!"
We plan to leave SITAG at 5:30 a.m., Sunday morning, so we can get our favorite spot among the many people who will be laying their mats and bags on the deck of the Kosco. The ship should pull out to sea around 9:00 a.m. (5:00 p.m. Saturday night, Central Daylight Savings Time). We would appreciate prayers for calm seas and no rain, especially since the ship won't stop at our village. We will have to take a motor boat ride from several villages away.
We plan to be back in Honiara around Christmas. If you need to get in touch with us before then, please e-mail the SITAG deputy who will be talking to us on the radio every day, Monday through Friday:
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Quite often, I run out of ingredients. In the last few days, I've had to borrow garlic, soy sauce, and eggs from my sweet neighbors. But thankfully, it's a two way street. I loaned out yeast and onions today. Part of the joy of living at SITAG is the sense of community it provides for our family. One of my colleagues dropped by with a cantaloupe she picked up at market because she knows I love cantaloupe. (They remind me of my grandparents who still keep a garden at their home on Lake Conway.) And tonight, another colleague mentioned that she had seen a 20kg bag of onions for sale because she knew that we were looking for a big bag to take out to the village. Aaron promptly went out and bought the onions!
My friend, Gayly, sends me the Urban Farm magazine. I think it's my new favorite. In the May/June edition, the magazine ran an article about living in intentional community. For most people I know, that concept would immediately be labeled "weird". But it's a Biblical concept! Loving your neighbor as yourself. God made us all different, and you may not want to go buy a house with three of your best friends and their families.
Our family likes to cook. So, for us, building community looks like taking cookies and thank you notes to fire fighters or the dentist or church staff when we are back in the States, and here we take banana muffins to the district priest and the catechists in the village. I have a friend in Mississippi who is gifted artistically, and she shares her skills to bless people with art lessons for children or with a keepsake for our children's librarian.
But might you be willing to use whatever gifts God has given you to interact with your neighbors? Could you adopt a widow? Volunteer at a food pantry or crisis pregnancy shelter? Run in a race that is fundraising for a good cause? I'm curious, what does look like for you?