We've been back a week in Ono from our 10-day trip to the neighboring 40-mile long island of Kadavu. There's so much to tell about our experiences in Nabukulevuira village at the western tip of Kadavu. We met some delightfully generous people with interesting lives and ways of living. We were welcomed to an annual feast celebrating the completion of the planting of the yam crop. The welcoming included being dressed properly in the clothing expected of the event, and then given the clothing as gifts.
I'm sad to have gotten behind on chronicling these experiences but am eager to jump back to fill folks in on our latest time in Ono.
It has been raining for 3 days. We had been filling our 5 gallon jug daily at each village we happened to be in. Two empty water tanks and one almost empty one had us on short rations. But now we literally have tanks that were overflowing. We've filled all extra receptacles, done a load of diapers, given some delicious drinking water away, and still have an overabundance. The only drawback to the rain is that we had done about 3 loads of laundry ashore, the day before the rain came. Now the clothes are still not completely dry. Also, I've had to postpone my weaving lessons with a local grandma, Tara.
I'm also grateful for the last week of teaching at the Bible School which is in full swing. Cecil Lowe, a YWAMer from New Zealand spoke about how unforgiveness and distorted views of God keep us from fully accepting the love of a Father that doesn't have any of the hangups of our earthly parents. For example, if a child has an angry or distant parent, they feel insecure and perceive God as judgmental, angry and unreachable. This teaching has been refreshing for me spiritually, and challenging me to love Eloise with God's help. Here is a verse that Cecil used, "So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behavie instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family - calling him 'Father, dear Father.' For his spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures…" Romans 8:15 - 17
Speaking of children and treasures…Eloise is happily continuing to explore her world, find humor in people and things, and practice eating with spoons and forks. Her sign language vocabulary grows by two or three words each week. She's outstripped what I know so we are making up signs for her, or she makes up her own. Her spoken vocabulary now includes "pah pah" for papayas or any other round green fruit, and "hah" for hot. She sings every day as she plays or sometimes in her bed. She's absolutely delightful. I'm looking forward to people back in the U.S. getting to meet her. The entire population of about 100 children in Vabea village know her name. Sometimes a child we've never seen before will ask us where is Eloise, or call out to her as we walk past, "Eloesi, Eloesi." If we are walking without her, the children want to know where Eloise is and when she is coming to land. She doesn't even know that there is so much fuss over her, and squawks if more than one or two kids surround her or try to corral her for kisses.
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