Wednesday February 1
Up at 5:30am to get the kids ready to go to the refugee camp. LeRoy had permission for only 3 gulowah (foreigners) to go into the refugee camp, so it was James, Lilyann, and Mary Ann. Memewah was to drive one bike as guide and James the other. Memewah is 13, and a newer driver, so we have extra reason to pray.
We threw together a breakfast of PBJ sandwiches and leftovers, forcing them to eat. "It's too early to eat," their bodies were telling them. They ate a little anyway.
We bundled them up, even borrowing LeRoy and Lisa's coats, and, praying with them, sent them off in the dark.
God keep them safe. Help them to see with Your eyes. Teach them.
After some devotional time, our day began with singing around the piano, worship, and a yummy breakfast of potatoes, rice, and orange-coconut-cranberry cookies.
Then another group of village ladies arrive! One lady had come the day before with several new ladies. A lady from a far away village, is visiting her mother, had a crippled son, had been sick for 8 years, the doctor gave her a barbiturate, nothing helps.... she wants Lisa to help. Natalie and I are praying. Meme is trying to translate but she prefers not to, she doesn't always know how to explain what they are saying. Lisa is asking questions. It's not clear, does her son need help? Does she need help? What does she need? How can we help her?
Lisa begins to examine her. Figures out she is severely anemic. At least we can help with that. We could tell her to stop beetle nut, quit eating meat, do the all the "right" things. But she can't change a lifetime of bad habits over night. So we give her some multivitamins, a bag of vegetables, brown rice, some herbal tea and a refillable water bottle. Telling her to drink lots of water and tea and eat more vegetables, and cut back on the beetle nut and meat is a good place to start. Please God help her to do what Lisa said. Please God help her to feel better and learn how much You love her.
Good thing Jon was there. He got some good video and pictures of these dear ladies!
Meme, Sarah, Luke, Hannah, Destitny and I walked home with the ladies. That way we would learn where they lived so Lisa can visit them in a few days.
They stopped at a small store to buy our kids shrimp snacks. They gratefully accepted them knowing very well they wouldn't be eating them.
Then we got to a house. A bamboo hut on wooden stilts with a leaf roof. Pigs, chickens, puppies under the house. She invites us in. A pig just walked past our legs. Take off your shoes, ignore the smell, climb the bamboo ladder. It's very dark inside, a small fire smokes, everything is covered with soot. We sit down on the floor. We can't communicate. They give us pomelo and a pumpkin. Then after a few minutes we figure out that it is their midday nap time. We leave.
That was an experience!! I felt like I fell right into a mission story book. But this is real. This is where they spend their lives! What can I do to show them Jesus? How?
Many people in the village greeted us as we walked in and out.
As soon as we got "home". We started making a fruit salad for lunch with mango, pomelo, strawberries, and pineapple. Lisa made corn bread. It was so good!
Jon and Natalie walked into the village with Meme to borrow the "Christian" man's truck.
Finally the kids got back safely!! About 10 minutes later, LeRoy arrived, having left about an hour after they did. Clearly he knows the roads!
They had learned a lot while at the refugee camp, and saw a very different life from any they had seen before! They were privileged to eat lunch in one of Lisa and LeRoy's students' homes.
We load ALL our stuff and ALL of us in the truck and on the motorbikes and head to Sunshine Orchard. It was a long trip on steep curvy mountain roads. Once we arrived, we were happy to see the Hamiltons. Daniel Dreher took us to the guest house where we could sleep so we could settle in for the night.