|The practice of prayer -- of saying grace before meals, of asking for GOD's blessings when i awoke and thanking Him for the day's bounty before i slept, of sharing private thoughts with Him throughout the day -- especially when the realities of daily LIFE became seemingly overwhelming -- was but one of the wonderFUL graces GOD graced me with during my stay in Naselesele. Life in the village was simpler, with much less technological distractions (computer games, facebook, TV, etc). And yet i prayed often for the indwelling Holy SPIRIT to intercede in my prayer life, for with the seemingly endless chores to do without the modern conveniences, sometimes i neglected what was more important and dear to me -- intimate fellowship with my LORD JESUS.|
|Streams freely passing by Kuru and Katerina's house...after that tangerine-colored sunrise!|
|The overflow from that gorgeous tangerine-colored sky that only the Master Artist can do.|
|Na watiqu Vili with his catch from the night's line fishing...na watiqu vinaka sara ga -- because he caught the fish and cleaned and cooked them up! My joy was in the eating -- Psalm 103:5 says it all. Vinaka vaka levu, JISU!|
|Here we are enjoying the videos of the week's singing contest and soli festivities (a fundraising event for the village school), watched from the computer Cozette gave me in 2009. No high-tech HDTV, no lap-top computer for each child, no personal i-pods or i-pads -- electricity from 6pm to 9pm -- what a blessing this is!|
|Traditional Fijian way of sharing meals and very typical in our house -- picnic-style feasting. Here, we celebrated nau Tuvi's and Jotama's combined birthdays with our newly arrived school principal, Mr Ole. Sharing generously is still the way of life here in Naselesele -- simply say kerekere. Being raised in the USA (and being just a "half-cooked Fijian" -- a Filipino kavalagi), i had problems at first with this kerekere system. The word itself means "please, may i..." -- may i borrow this or may i have that? But typically, most of the time, the kerekere - may i borrow means the same as the kerekere - may i have. Most Fijians are generous givers -- and in the village, since ALL are somehow related to each other -- it's easy to gift the asked-for thing. Being an American-raised kavalagi, i still differentiated between lend and give. It took me a while to do the WWJD-- What Would JESUS Do -- in this kerekere world!|
WHAT DID JESUS DO?
CHRIST gave His ALL so that we may have...
|B&B with Goldie Boy, taking their afternoon siesta before hunting mice. GOD, who knows all of my deepest needs and desires, through His gracious Providence, provided these cats (from my dear friend Tila, of Beverly's Camping) so that i may be comforted during times of aloneness. Our heavenly Abba has proven His WORD to be my source of truth and strength and wisdom. Over and over, again and again and again -- He shows Himself faithFUL to His Word.|
All the promises of GOD are Yes! are Amen!
in His Son, CHRIST JESUS!
Seek first the kingdom of GOD and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
i've been back two weeks and two days already...back in the good ol' US of A, after living in Taveuni for more than 17 months. i experienced culture shock when i saw this 4-year old boy, his thumbs rapidly and expertly clicking away on the buttons of his electronic toy, intensely involved in his computerized game
, oblivious to the world around him
. And i remembered how Naselesele kids were "addicted" to swimming in the creek, how much they enjoyed pushing a wooden pole (or bamboo) with two wheels attached to it; or even a used tire, rolling it around the village grounds by guiding it with two sticks. And how expert they are at playing Jacks -- without the ball...just with pebbles. And that weird game of Sapo -- using candy wrappers or used bus tickets -- slapping them to make them turn over so as to get the biggest pile to win and keep.
i was without internet connection for these initial two weeks and did not fret over it because in Taveuni, i had no regular internet access (nor much extra funds for this extra). To get connected, i had to walk to Tovu Tovu Resort or take the public bus to Naqara (Taveuni's main town, a 5-minute drive-by) to use Shiven's computer at Zintec, his internet and video rental shop. But i finally got connected two days ago -- and whether it was the real coffee i drank in the late afternoon or the novelty of being connected non-stop -- i stayed glued to the computer 'til 3 a.m., bleary eyed and zombied out, yet unable to stop posting pictures for my Fijian family and friends on facebook. i experienced something like an fb-overdoze...and that lack of self-control warned me how easy to slip into this mode of connecting electronically, rather than actually.