month out on The Islands, as we call them. Specifically, this time he was on the islands of Saipan, Guam and Pohnpei. There he held a week of Bible classes, mostly for the Micronesian people. It was three hours a night for a week on each island and then six days traveling -- three there and three back. It is sort of like seminary or Bible College for these island people who mostly have no more than a sixth grade education. After they have finished a certain number of courses, they are granted a diploma. They can then return to their islands and in turn teach their own people. We have three or four missionaries who teach these classes on various islands, under the name of the Morning Star Institute, each for two or three weeks a year. In the photo below you can see MOTH in the blue shirt and missionary Alan from Australia standing next to him. They are both wearing mar-mars, the traditional island gift of honor. This particular photo was taken a couple of years ago. This trip MOTH went alone. He has been conducting classes on the islands of Micronesia for close to 25 years.
The islands look spectacular. They are very beautiful, but very hot and humid and not very healthy. They are located just 6 degrees above the equator and there are hundreds of them, some with only one or two families living on them. I used to go and help teach the teachers in the Christian schools, but not any more. The climate became too much for me. Women are not allowed to teach men, in the churches. That is their custom handed down from the 1800's when these islands were first visited by the missionaries. When we first used to go there, women could not wear shorts or pants -- only the Micronesian style dresses. Even now it is more respectful for women to wear this style of dress.
There are very few sandy beaches on these islands and for most of us to go swimming, we have to go an hour or so off shore to a small uninhabited island where the water has not been contaminated by drainage. It rains a great deal, heavy tropical downpours --300-400 inches a year in some parts.
This is a reef around one of the islands, probably Chuuk, which used to be known as Truk. It is famous for its diving and wrecks from WW ll -- not to mention sharks.
This is a typical island church. There is much poverty there, especially now that they are no longer a trust territory of the United States.
The Islanders are suffering because of the high price of gas -- everything has to be flown or shipped in. The price of rice, their staple food, has
On approach to one of the islands by boat. Boats are the main form of transportation. Most islands have no roads or one main road, with lots of potholes.
The people are wonderful-- generous, kind and happy. Sadly many of them suffer from diabetes and health facilities are very scarce.
FOR MORE INFORMATION READ MY BOOK :
"GOOD NEWS COMES TO POHNPEI"
"GOOD NEWS COMES TO POHNPEI"