Wednesday, April 15, 2015


           The cool season is beginning and with it comes the millipedes.  One of the advantages of having a semi-bush house is the constant flow of critters.  The millipedes are harmless (though some say if one falls into your drink you could be poisoned and die) but annoying.  At night I start sweeping at one end of the house and when i'm finished i have big mound of curled up millipedes and more have already slithered back to where i started.  They crunch beneath my feet as i walk barefoot around the house, but are preferable to the occasional big slug that squishes between my toes.   Frustrating, but just apart of life.   Dishes are done everyday but the sink (I love having a sink! so grateful to not be squatting in the mud!) always is refilled with dirty ones.  Hours are spent doing laundry (also love having a washing machine now!) just to have the laundry basket refilled in a day or two - especially in the bush.   Love, time, patience, money, etc. are all given out just to be needed again and again and again.

            Mind numbing at times and I catch myself becoming hardened and unfeeling towards others.  New people are constantly introduced into our lives along with old friends and I struggle with wanting to be selfish and keep everything good for myself.   So grateful for the grace and mercy God gives to us everyday.  The battle is always there; to wake up and see the world as God does instead of the way I want to.  To not get hardened against endless requests and to love and forgive those who constantly are offending.  To eat what is put before me with thankfulness, knowing it may cause stomach problems later.  To spend time with people when all i want to do is chill out with a good movie.

 Patience is key in Tonga and although our prospects of obtaining land for One Love inc.(our non-profit geared towards helping youth and deportees)  seems unlikely,  we are looking forward the possibility of leasing a huge warehouse to accommodate the tools for the  wood and mechanic workshop, skateboarding, and Wing Chun.  The cost to lease it for a year would be about $4,800 USD which $1,300 USD would be needed before we leave to secure it for the months we will be gone.  Having a place in Tonga to keep the tools we have in storage in the US is extremely important. Without it, it is useless for us to ship over tools and then have them stolen or ruined because of the being improperly stored.  We are getting prices on the costs of shipping over a container from Boston to Tonga so we can figure out the total cost of shipping plus the duty and fees when they arrive here.  This will help us get our projects to train the youth and deportees up and running.  We would love your help, support, and prayers in this area.

           Meanwhile, we have started our first informal church meeting with our friend Nguae and his family!  Although we all don't know the same worship songs and some translating is involved it's great to sit together on mats singing and encouraging each other through Scriptures.  I'm excited to see what God does in the coming weeks!

Monday, January 12, 2015


       I hope everyone enjoyed there Christmas and New Years!  The Holidays here always bring sadness to me as this our 3rd year away for Christmas.  So i thought, this year we could rent a car and our family could go to the beach for the day!  Just kind of escape and not have to deal with other people!   Ironic as it is, since we live on a small island, our kids have only gone swimming 3 times since we've been here and not once at the beach, just off the wharf in town!  

      God had other plans for our holidays. All vehicles were already rented in Tonga.  We brought in a piece of a tree, put it in a bucket and covered it with a string lights.  Two of the boys from the land we live on slept over and sat around the tree with our kid opening up presents.  We spent the day with all the kids here (there's about 14) hanging out with them and sharing ice cream cones.  That night a few more kids slept over and i sat and read them stories as they went to bed.

    New Years was similar.  We were able to buy a big box of fireworks and shoot them off with all the kids here screaming and enjoying every second.  Then of course ice cream!  We wouldn't have been able to do this without the generosity of our friends and family.  During these moments i'm reminded of how much more of a blessing it is go give than receive.  Parts of me want to use the money on something else but seeing the excitement in these kids eyes is so awesome.  They will have memories they will never forget!

    So now i would say we are settled.  Chris has been doing tons of work on the house!  Booyah!  We have a sink! New shelf windows, painted walls, mosiacs! And my life is ten times easier with a washing machine! Now if i could just get it not to rain when i want to dry the clothes on the line.

     It's also the rainy season, which i thought wouldn't come!  It was cool and dry when we first arrived and i hoped it would last forever!  Now we battle the rain on our bikes to do our shopping and keep buckets around the house to catch the drips.  I always remind myself that it is only for a time.  It's like only seeing the bugs and missing a gorgeous sunset.  I must remind myself to remember, "why are you here?" and to choose.  If it is for me...then it's stupid and not worth it.  But, if it is for the benefit of others and out of obedience to God, then it is good.  

      Chris has a few jobs coming up that will help bring in a little income and also provide a friend of ours with some work.  Chris asked one of our friends to do the work with him which is great since we can help someone else provide for their family in an honest way and Chris can spend time with him while working.

      We are still waiting to hear about the land for the camp.  But, we are not going to sit around on our butts doing nothing!  Chris has been very busy working on the house and now with some work .  We also decided to start reading Bible stories to the kids here once a week!  Although they understand maybe half of what i'm reading they listen well and we discuss it after.  We have also been very blessed by the people stopping us to encourage because they saw the documentary of us.  So crazy how God is using that!

      One of the hardest things in Tonga is finding a trust worthy person.  Every Tongan warns of this and they are right.  The weight of lies can be very burdening to the soul and it is hard not to take it personal.  But, when you do find those few people they stand out like stars on a moonless night.  That it why it is so important to us to do this One Love camp right.  We want to do it honestly, not giving our bribes in exchange for favors (expected), and not giving out false hope.  That way when we accomplishes what God wants us to do, everyone will know it was God and not us.  


getting ready to weave the Tongan mats