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.