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A boatload of answered prayers

March 8, 2012

From Sunday, February 26

We wrote this while we were away in the village and are posting it now that we’ve returned to the capital.

Hello from the village of Marulaon! We’re now in the Russell Islands area of the Solomon Islands, enjoying the wonderful hospitality of our colleagues, the Choate family. We left Honiara this morning at 9am and arrived in the bay here around 3:30pm.

People boarding and saying goodbyes at the ship we took (a different day)

view of downtown Honiara from the ship

We asked you to pray for a number of things for the trip, and God answered many prayers today.

Several of the Solomon Islanders who were at last week’s translation principles training workshop in Honiara took this same ship back to their homes. I was able to ride to the wharf with them early this morning to save a spot on the boat, while Lori and D came later. We also chatted with them some on the ship.

The ocean was very calm, so the ship ride was smooth. No seasickness for me, D seemed to be fine, and Lori thinks that most of her nausea was due to the cigarette smoke of surrounding passengers.

We had this spot on a bench the whole ship ride

It was a beautiful day. It clouded up a little in the afternoon to help temper the heat.

clouds on the way

When I was trying to find a place to put our mat, I didn’t know what parts of the ship were for our economy tickets. I tried asked a few other passengers when I got on, but received varying answers. This may have been due to my unfamiliarity with ship terms in Pijin. I finally found a young man named David, who I thought was a boat employee. He helped me find a place on the upper deck and waited there with our bags while I brought the other bags and boxes. When I talked with him later I found out he didn’t work on the boat–he was just being helpful. What a blessing to have his assistance when I felt very lost!

David helped us find this space on the deck

Along with our bags, we were carrying items for the family we’re visiting, including 60 raw eggs, 4 kg of carrots, other perishable items, mail, and packages.None of these were lost/stolen/broken along the way. The family was very excited to receive some of these treats that they can’t get out in the village.

Since the trip took most of the day, we weren’t sure how D’s nap would work. Thankfully he did fall asleep for a brief nap.

nap time on the ship

A friendly man named William sat near us on the ship. He works as an education director in the Western Province of Solomons. He told us the names of the islands we passed and gave us some history of their history. He also helped us carry our luggage once we arrived in Marulaon bay.

the ship we took, arriving at the village (a different day)

Many people welcomed us when we arrived in the village. It felt a little awkward, but we were thankful for the excitement about our arrival.

to get to shore, we took a rope ladder from the ship down to this motorboat

We’ve probably mentioned that D seems to dislike sleep despite our best and varied efforts to improve his naps and bedtime. The night before we left Honiara, he cried for over an hour before going to sleep, and we worried this would happen in the village. The village house only has curtains on the interior doors, the interior bedroom walls don’t go all the way up to the ceiling, and many other houses are nearby, so any noises are easily heard by others. We were very thankful he fell asleep quickly tonight while I was still singing to him.

We didn’t ask you to pray for this, nor were we worried about it not happening, but we’ve been blown away by this dear family’s hospitality. We were really looking forward to this trip, and we are even more excited to be here!

welcoming sign on the front door

-John

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Joy permalink
    March 9, 2012 2:20 am

    Wow! Loved this blog post! How cool for D to be having so many amazing experiences. Had either of you traveled on a ship before? I have not. I’m glad you got there and back safe and to see that you had a life jacket close by (nice pillow John 😉 Lori you make for such a beautiful expecting mother!

    • March 9, 2012 6:48 am

      Joy- I’d been on one long ride on a larger ship (not a cruise), but besides that we’d just been on short rides. I think this was D’s first boat ride of any kind. And thanks, it’s a bit harder to feel beautiful in the tropics 🙂

  2. March 9, 2012 4:23 am

    Praise God for your safe trip! May you be blessed with many more. (PS — Nice Action Packer. Aren’t they the bomb-diggety?) (PPS — 4kgs is a LOT of carrots!)

    • March 9, 2012 6:59 am

      Plugers- We LOVE the Action Packers! They’re also good seats and things for D to climb. And yes it was a huge bag of carrots because they’re so rare here. I was super excited to find carrots and apples in the store on that same day.

  3. Mom H permalink
    March 10, 2012 10:08 am

    Hi, thanks so much for posting all the pictures! It certainly helps visualize what is going on in your life and what you talk about!

  4. Denise permalink
    March 10, 2012 1:11 pm

    I agree with Mom H! I also appreciate the detail!

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