Friday, June 1, 2012

Its A Wrap!

We are five hours away from jumping on a plane. It is hard to believe that our time in Kosrae is over.

See? Lots of food!
This week has been chalk full of blessings.  We have had a boat load of parties with our family and extended family, all of which consisted of them filling us up with words of encouragement and prayer for the next season in life - such sweet community we have here.  Oh yea...and we have been eating lots of FOOD. Kosraean soup, turkeytail, lobster, crab, tuna, breadfruit - you name it, we had it!

We've also had a lot of quiet, rainy days.  This has given us time to reflect on our time in Kosrae.  We've had a lot of time to think and pray, along with mediatiing on the work God has done in and through us.  God is good, isn't he? Growth, maturity, peace, joy, and thankfulness would be a few words to describe our experience.  

We plan on jumping off the radar for a week while we are in Hawaii.  We are thankful God has given us this time together, and time to chill before we jump back into the hustle and bustle of the States.  We arrive in Michigan on June 10th.

Talk to you in a week, friends!  Thank you for your support and love!  We so so sooo appreciate it and you!

Some pictures of our final days in Kosrae!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Final Distribution

We did it! Can you believe it? We delivered 240 Grace Packages to the people of Kosrae.

We went back to Utwe earlier this week to finish them off, but it turns out we hit every house in Utwe! Can you believe it?!  That's pretty cool. As we looked at each other in awe, we questioned what we were going to do with the rest of them.  We opted to deliver them to the people of Fomseng, which is in our neck of the woods.  Because we were running low on time to distribute the packages, we opted to deliver them at night.  See, the community is different here...if they know you and you give them a gift, they feel obligated to give back - it's very much a give and take community.  We didn't want that.  That's why we opted to give them away during the night.  We wanted the people to wake up to a little surprise strings attached.

Around 1:00 on Thursday morning, we set out to deliver the packages.  Frankly, we were both terrified. The dogs...the dark...the unknown! (Okay, maybe we are being a bit dramatic...)  Everything went smoothly with the delivering.  We managed to hit our entire road, which was roughly 45 houses.

As we woke up the next morning, we set off to Bully's to grab some coffee.  The moment we arrived one of the waitresses yelled, "SHRUE! (Sarah's island name) There was a package on my door this morning.  Do you know who it is from? My mom said it might have been you because you are Christian."  As we gave each other "the look", we opted to play dumb.  Sarah responded, "Really? A package? What was in it? Who was it from?"  She proceeded to tell us everything that was in it - she was thrilled!

Last night we had a huge family get together.  As we sat down to eat, we could hear our family discussing the packages, speculating who could be.  The Mormons? The Baptists? We both asked curiously what they were talking about and all of them exclaimed in explanation about this mysterious package.

HA! Needless to say it was fun for us to watch and hear.  We think they all know it was us...or at least have a good idea that we are somehow tied into the equation. Last night someone said, "Kun! (Craig's island name) They used the same brown bags as you." We totally breezed over that comment.

We want to say THANK YOU to all of those that participated in the Grace Project.  We ask that you continue to pray for the people of Kosrae.  This is when they are going to need you most - God is going to come into their lives and start working.  If people write, please write back - be faithful and intentional in your writing.  This is a golden opportunity to water the seed that has been planted.

Some prep work pictures...amazing that this is what we started with!

Organized choas

Doesn't this stress you out? Yea, us too.


Thousands of termites ate through half of our bags.
Good thing we ordered extra!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Reflection By Christina

One word to describe our final week in Kosrae would be "reflection".  Our dear friend Christina wrote a beautiful blog post that perfectly describe the sights, sounds, smells, and over all feeling of Kosrae.

We thought we would share... Enjoy!

Srackna momong...

I remember the very first time that I rode my bike alone at night here in Kosrae. It was the first time I went to Bully’s for movie night and I was biking home afterwards. The movie was an action-packed thriller, so my nerves were already a bit on edge. Things were going fine and then I started to hear strange scurrying in the trees and I let my mind get away from me and pretty soon I was booking it as fast as I could on my bike. Heart racing, legs pumping, booking it fasthoping I wouldn’t bike off the road… Ah, things have definitely changed since then.

Yesterday, I went for a run on my own after sunset. There was still a bit of light when I was running out to the pool, but on my way back it was definitely night. I felt completely safe running by myself in the middle of the night with no flash light. No worries, total comfort. I feel so safe here. Now the scurrying of crabs in the bushes or the occasional crash of a coconut or palm frond falling down from the trees doesn’t freak me out. It is all a part of the comforting soundtrack that has been my life for the past year.

I am definitely going to miss the sounds of Kosrae.

The laughter of my students and family that just bursts out with no restraints. The “wheeee!” of surprise. The click of annoyance sometimes followed up with a “tiohk!”. The “efuh?” or “kom meh?”, “Christina meh?” or even just “meh?” The encouraging “kompare!” and “nais kom!” when I am going for a run. The curious "mataytah? Lia Frank?" The sexy “na pwacye”.

The high voices singing in church. The cheers, pot banging, and songs at sporting and community events: “ding, ding, ding…” “kompare, kompare, kom-pa-ree!”. Christmas songs: “mwet na kewa engenan kaksak…”

The bumpin’ base of cars as they drive by blasting music. The victorious singing of sports teams as they drive by packed into the back of a truck. The “tuoh!” or “lenwo!” coming from a friendly face. The enthusiastic “hi!” from the naked little kids on the hill as I bike to work. The celebrity status “hi christina!” from the kids in Lelu. The random “high schooool” from people I don’t know.

Axa and Heisey telling/acting out stories. Deciding who is stronger: batman or dinosaurs. Aliksa’s jokes. Cia and Leah chatting. Pelma’s contagious laughter. Heisey’s “oh really?” Axa’s “how was your day?” Ruth Ruth’s “Distina!!!”

The sound of the rain on a quiet Sunday afternoon. The rhythm of the ocean. The waves rolling the coral pieces onto the beach. The sound of the fish when SCUBA diving.

The wind rushing past my ears sitting on the roof of the Phoenix. The scurry of gravel when Padma and Chubs come to greet me. The occasional crow of a rooster.

The sound of Axa and Heisey playing.

There are also a lot of sights that I will miss.

My living room full of the people I love. Axa and Heisey dancing around the living room. Picnics filled with all my family and ridiculous amounts of yuc na pwacye food. Generations of family members all taking care of each other.

All the kids at Yat running around. My beach. The bench. Bonfires and s'mores (snores?). Frank’s facial expressions. The clear night sky filled with stars. Leah, Pelma, Axa, Heisey, and I searching for the glowing stuff in the sand. Shooting stars. The evasive little dipper. Sunrises and sunsets. Chubs and Padma following me wherever I go.

Hesiey, Axa, and I skipping stones (ikshosho) when the sky and ocean are tinted pink from the sunset. Having someone climb a coconut or tangerine tree for me.

Alicia’s yacyacs and smiles. Leah holding Alicia. Axa dancing with Alicia. Me and Alicia eating our assit pancakes.

Talutson’s priceless smile. My students strumming ukuleles and chatting before class.

The ridiculously cute kids --pushing laundry baskets around on the Laundromat floor, heads hanging out of car windows, mouths stuffed with candy at church.

The rainbow of muumuus and sparkly hair barrettes. Older women waving over little kids at church to give them candy. Kids and older women competing for Christmas marching goodies.

Walking out at low tide and looking back at the island. The sparkling blue water -- so many different shades. The sleeping lady in all her moods. The brightly colored fish and coral. The shell scattered shore in Phinnapes.

The herds of crab crawling on the roads during a full moon. The stray land crab that manages to sneak into our house and the crazy broom hunt that follows. Leah palming a roach like it’s no big deal.

Our fruitful papaya trees and new vegetables (and our one lime!). Our now well-used cook house. Women orekma mongo in the kitchen. Men BBQing and playing checkers. Prayer and speeches during family gatherings.

Me and my family napping on the living room floor.

I will probably be adding more random thoughts in the next few days, but for now I just need to reflect and process. I only have one week left in Kosrae. Leaving here is not going to be an easy thing to do. 

A part of my heart is in Kosrae.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Final Distribution

Today we are going to deliver a few packages and reconnect with some our people in Utwe.  This will probably be our last time in Utwe.  A bitter-sweet occasion, but so excited to see what God has for that tiny village.

We are driven and inspired by Romans 3: 21-24:

"The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Land of Muumuus and Hair Clips

We had our last Kosraean church experience today.  

Photo Credit: Christina - The Sunshine Traveler

I gotta say, I'm gonna miss wearing the muumuu. Not only is it reeaaalllly comfortable, but quite cheerful, wouldn't you say?  Maybe I'll start a new fashion trend in the States.

And don't worry friends, my hair is growing! In no time I'll be rockin' the hair clip as well - bling bling, baby!

Friday, May 25, 2012

:'( ---> Words Cannot Describe

Nina Lordina: "Saturday Kun Shrue wacngihn Kosrae."  
(Craig and Sarah are leaving on Saturday)

They know it. We know it. Reality is starting to hit all of us. We are leaving in exactly one week. How are we doing? One word: terrible.  

Pray for us.  We knew this week would be tough, but we think its going to be a lot harder than we anticipated.

The week of goodbyes starts today with the WorldTeach crew.  Best of luck to you all! It was a pleasure serving the people of Kosrae with you.

This week we will be celebrating Jun and Robena's birthday, SCUBA diving, hiking (well, more like walking up a hill), and spending sweet, sweet time with our family. 

Oh yea...annnnnd we need to deliver 45 Grace Packages...(island mentality has hit us hard this year...)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yea, Yea Yea. 
They kicked our butts, but they had home court advantage.

That's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it.

Thank you for your assistance!