Sunday, July 29, 2001

Life on Molokai

Things have shifted into fourth gear on the island of Moloka'i. School starts here on Monday, July 30th. I cannot believe how this summer has flown by. This past week has been incredibly busy with a lot of emotions. Starting with last Sunday night, we had Aloha Sunday and Christmas in July for the summer team members and the church members. All of the summer team members were recognized and given plumeria leis and gifts from the church. After that we had our Christmas in July celebration. This included singing (or humming) Christmas songs and playing crazy Santa (sort of like a white elephant party where gifts are exchanged). With 64 people playing it lasted for a while, but it was a lot of fun.

Monday was pack up day where the entire team packed up and mailed out. That evening we went to the Manley's house for dinner and then up to the golf course to watch the sunset. It was so peaceful. We walked back to the Manley's for dessert. When I walked in the team started singing “happy birthday” to me. This totally caught me off guard. They made me feel so special with the cards and gifts. Thank you summer team!!!! By the end of the evening, I had shed quite a few tears and so had a few others. The next morning (July 24th), we got up about 5:30am to see the team off at the airport. It was very difficult to see the team leave, especially Jared. Lenny, Adele, Chris, Dan, Sarah, Jennifer, and I stood out in an empty field waving our aloha's to the team. As I saw the plane fly off I realized that I was out here by myself and I had to fully rely on God for comfort. It is a very strange feeling watching all of the people you have grown so close to fly away. As the day progressed it turned out to be a better day. God gave me the peace and comfort that I needed and I was able to concentrate on setting up my classroom.

Starting on Monday I will be teaching 5th grade- all subjects and 6th grade New World History. As many of you know, I graduated from Elon with a degree in Science education with a math concentration, so it is not exactly what I was trained for but God has given me lots of ideas and projects for this age group. I only have 5 fifth graders and I know 2/5ths of them! It has been so much fun setting up a classroom and getting everything in order for the year. If any of you have any ideas or lesson plans or materials that you would like to send, please feel free to. Anything is appreciated. The school I am teaching at is Molokai Christian Academy and it is funded through support from donations and contributions to the school. Basically it means that if there are no donations coming in the teachers do not get paid. Please keep this matter in your prayers. I know God will provide as He sees fit.

Life here on Molokai is so different than life on the mainland. Here are a few examples-

  1. The highest speed limit on the island is 45mph
  2. A traffic jam consists of two people in trucks pulled up beside each other talking story
  3. A small wedding is 2500 of your closest friends.
  4. A blizzard is someone dropping shave ice on the sidewalk
  5. A hailstorm is a strong wind blowing through coconut grove

Well that is about all on this side of the US! I would like to say a huge thank you for all of you that sent cards and notes for my birthday. They really brightened my day. Keep in touch and let me know what is going on in your corner of the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2001

New home

Well the end is drawing near with my new found friends from the 2001 CYMOH summer team. The team leaves here on July 24th and what a blessing they have been. I am truly going to miss all of these guys and all of the late night talks and the bread runs and the games and the laughter and all of the time we spent growing closer as a group and growing closer to the Lord.

As the summer comes to an end, I have started making my new home here. I started moving into my house today. Emily and Brooke set up my bedroom for me while Karen and Vicki cleaned the red dirt off of everything. It is a cute house and I truly feel comfortable there. Jared is going to be helping me clean up the dirt yard and put in clothes lines this week. My landlord gave us permission to do this and are buying all of the materials need to put the pipes in the ground. Praise the Lord. My next big project is to try to fix up the yard a bit. There is no grass whatsoever. It is all dirt, so it will take some work.

I will try to fill you guys in since my last letter. We just finished up a week of tent camp on Molokai. During this time, a dozen children asked Jesus into their hearts. What a blessing! It was so much fun to have the children all week but by the end of the week all of the counselors were worn out. I overheard a couple of the campers talking. One said to the other they wished camp lasted a year. It was a lot of fun for a week but could you imagine a year! Camp ended Thursday morning. By the time we all got back to MBC we were exhausted. Most of us laid down and slept for 5-6 hours. Friday we worked in the gym painting from 9 until 3 and then cleaned up and went to town to get dinner and watch the sunset down at the wharf. It was so nice to have some down time. Saturday was a busy day. We had breakfast at 7:15 and then cleaned up the church and the school. I headed into Kaunakakai to meet with my landlords and sign all of the papers for renting the house. I started setting up the kitchen with all of the kitchen supplies that a couple in the church gave me. By that time it was time to start heading back to the church to get changed.

A couple of friends were getting married at 3:30pm at Molokai ranch so we had to get dressed up for that. The thing about Hawaiian weddings is the wedding is small (this one had only 100 in attendance) but the reception is huge. Kala (the bride) told me that they were expecting about 1500 people for a sit down dinner (aka a luau). This was held at the yacht club down at the wharf because there is no curfew. They had Hawaiian music and dancing till well after midnight. Another interesting thing about this wedding is that Kala and Ikaika both had 10 attendants plus 2 ringbearers and 2 flowergirls. There were 30 people in the wedding party. The wedding was absolutely beautiful.

Today (Sunday, July 15) half of our team left this morning at 6:15am to fly to Kauai to be counselors at camp. We went to church and then I started packing everything to start moving. We loaded a truck with a bed, a desk, and my other stuff and headed into town to setup. As of tomorrow I will be staying at my house during the nights and working at the church during the days. Only one more week with the summer team. Wow the summer has flown.

Prayer Requests:
  • finances for the teachers at MCA (The last monthly paycheck that the teachers received in May was for $11)
  • comfort for me as I see Jared and the rest of the team off on the 24th
  • health and safety
  • I have truly been blessed through all of the people at this new church. God has given me the household furniture that I needed.
  • 12+ salvations this week
  • notes from friends
  • friends that love to jump in and help out... even if it means scrubbing toilets- Thanks Karen!