Lagoon side

At the southernmost tip of the island is a place called Beach Park.  At this point is where the Pacific ocean and the Lagoon waters converge at high tide. When it’s low tide, the waters recede enough that you can walk southward on dry ground all the way to Kwajalein (if you walk really fast!)  Otherwise, when the tide begins to come back in, you’ll be swept away.  I’ll try and return one evening to get some pictures of low tide so you can see the two extremes.

Today the Lagoon was stunning!  We have been on break so I’ve been taking time to explore more parts of the island.  While school is in session, it gets incredibly busy.  Sure, there are times when I’m looking for something to do – but not often.

There’s always something to be done between teaching, church functions, ministering, preparing lessons, and my next goal of arranging a library of all the teacher’s curriculum from Kinder to Fourth grade.  I will probably arrange this in a section of our library, and organize it by subject.  This should help the teachers coming next year to know exactly where to go to get the resources they need.  I will get this done before we leave next summer!  Amen!

A half-submerged photo – this waterproof case is cool:)

This section of Ebeye is the only place that we can really get into the water and swim Though there is still trash that collects on shore, the beauty shines through.  Hopefully this week we will all get together and go swimming – I don’t venture out in the water when I am alone.  Hallelu.

Oceanside

I took a short walk over to the other side of the island which is bordered by the Pacific Ocean.  This side of the island is quite beautiful (if you don’t look to closely) and I love to take taxi rides along this road which runs the entire length of the island.  The waves can get really big and they roll in over a fairly large area that only runs about four to five feet deep.  During low tide, you can walk (what seems to me) nearly 100 yards out into the ocean.  Though we don’t dare do that because of the sanitary conditions.  The children on the other hand dare to swim as far as the eye can see.

I found a quiet spot and had a seat on a dry rock (purposefully not scrutinizing the area around my feet) and the tide was just beginning to come in.  What a gorgeous day, and the blue expanse of the ocean and the sky is invigorating…a spacious place free from restriction.  The wind is incredibly high and never stops blowing into your face; it coated my sunglasses with speckles of salty water and nearly pushes the breath into your lungs (I’m not exaggerating).  It’s to bad those strong trade winds don’t make it farther over to Lagoon side.

My quiet time lasted about five minutes before I had the company of about 15 kids.  So they played; I watched the ocean; we talked a bit of English.  As the morning unfolded, high tide really started to sweep in and the kids got down into the water and played.  They play with all manner of objects: rusted cans, rotten floating lumber, corroded iron pipes and splintery boards.  As they played, I began noticing the area around me (which I told you I was purposefully trying to avoid noticing) and in doing so, promptly stood and moved back from the rocks when I saw some undesirable creepys crawling around near my feet.  I focused my attention again on the kids and the ocean which was truly breathtaking.

I stood in the sun, the wind blowing through my hair, the smell of warm salt water and the glistening of the sun across the ocean waves twinkling in my eyes.  He is faithful.  His grace upon me to do the impossible is evident – because truly with God, all things are possible.

Christmas Day Celebrations

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  from all of us here on Ebeye.

We have been in celebration mode for about 4 days.  The singing, dancing and music go well into the night and if they don’t finish with all the groups then everything is resumed the following day.  It’s a lot like Gospel Day except for this year, we had all the Christmas celebrations in the new church building (which is coming along wonderfully by the way – they received another donation which will take care of building the roof).  It rained throughout the day – it does that a lot during this season – but the dances kept going.  It got chilly at times when the wind would pick up after it rained so many people had on sweaters or jackets.  It felt great to me!

Lenka in her Christmas dress.  The women from the church made all of us, including Trinity, dresses out of the same material.

Ah, Christmastime on the islands.  Mrs. Grace bundled up watching the show.

Festive attire.


A show during the day.

Our Christmas halos!  Trecie popped some popcorn for the festivities.

Lenka’s performing a Marshallese dance with the youth group.  Go Lenka!

A night scene.

What’s Happenin’ in ‘Little New York’

Great news!  After a meeting was arranged between Colin’s parents and Mrs. Grace, I am now tutoring Colin everyday after public school lets out.  Praise God!  What God had planned is coming to pass.  Once I get Colin speaking good English, writing and reading, perhaps God will somehow get him into one of Ebeye Gem’s classes.  Public school is free and his parents don’t have the extra funds to pay for a better education.  Praise the Lord Mrs. Grace has allowed me to spend some time with him to teach him.  God will have His way.

We are practicing for the Christmas program with the kids.  Oh my goodness!!  It is going to be huge!  We have about 160 kids, Kinder thru Fourth Grade, learning Christmas songs in Slovakian, African, Marshallese and English.  Each song has movements to it.  Praise God!   The grace is available for everything He asks us to do…so along with Nyasha, Lenka and Twyla, we’re directing a concert choir and I can tell you, we are having a wonderful time!  Anything done in the anointing is awesome and these individuals I work with are dedicated, reliable and fully anointed.  When we step out on faith, God shows up in a big way.  You should see these dances…I wish I could download the actual video to this blog.  It’s going to be awesome!

Gospel Day

The Marshallese Celebrate a holiday called Gospel Day.  It is the celebration of the first missionaries coming to the islands and sharing with them the life giving gospel of Jesus Christ.  Gospel Day starts at 2:00 Sunday afternoon and finishes in the wee hours of the morning…say around 4:00 am.  Many of the dances and songs are in an ancient Marshallese language but from what I was able to glean, dramatic dances depict huge ships coming into the islands with missionaries aboard; the islanders ready to fight with sticks and spears; a realization that they needed knowledge; the gospel being shared; a way of life changed; understanding of love and learning to live at peace with one another.  Once I knew what the movements meant, I was able to follow along and it is a powerful story of their ancestors and the sharing of the gospel.

The man of God.  Pastor Hone is never without the anointing resting on him.

Here come da Youth!

What a celebration!  The Marshallese don’t take it lightly but they have plenty of good times during the 12+ hours of festivities.  There’s food, candy, gospel, singing, dancing and fellowship.  Then some much needed kiki:)  (sleep)

A Thanksgiving Celebration

Mrs. Grace and the staff at Ebeye Gem School gave us a ‘surprise’ Thanksgiving Day dinner.  It was a great time of fellowship and food:)  We had ham, potatoes, fresh tuna, crab salad, corn on the cob, steak, bbq chicken among other things.  Some people sang songs and others did a few dances.  It was very thoughtful of everyone to do this for us.  We were truly blessed!   Here are some pictures from the evening.

Lenka.

The Nyembas.  Nyasha is giving everyone an enthusiastic Happy Thanksgiving!  It was soooo funny!

Me, Trinity and Baili.

Baili and Cherold.  They look like their up to something don’t they;)

A group pic.  Pastor Hone and Mrs. Grace are in the front with Trinity.

Machines

Thought I’d share this interesting view from our classroom.  As you peer through the window, there is a giant metal machine; it rests in this contorted stance.  To me it’s reminiscent of the Star Wars battle machines that had the four really long mechanical legs.  Except this creature sits quietly on big rotten wheels.  Anyway, maybe I just have an over-active imagination.

The island is littered with junk like this.  It insults the beauty of the place.  The water is so pure, so crystal clear you can see through it like a swimming pool.  But more often than not, what you see is rusted metal, machinery and junked rubber tires that rest on the ocean floor.  It can be frustrating at times because you really want to enjoy the beauty, but with it comes all this junk no one bothered to remove.  Hmmm…I think there’s a spiritual connection here…and in all seriousness there is.  I think about it often.  It takes work to remain a vessel for God to use.  And it’s so worth it.  The more junk we get out of our heart (some pastors refer to it as uprooting the weeds) then the more of God’s pure beauty can show through us.

Another view.