Friday, August 31, 2007

Odds and Ends this Week

Did you ever wonder how much work goes into writing
a book? I cleared out my desk this week to get rid of
all my rough drafts of my book "Good News Comes to
Pohnpei" Probably about 4 or 5 versions in this pile of
papers and that doesn't count all the hundreds of sheets
I had already thrown away. These were the drafts from
when I thought I was getting close to finishing!

It's so hard to get a photo of Bailey looking at me.
He doesn't like the flash. So I was pretty pleased to
get this shot especially because the flash come on a
split second before the photo is actually taken -- just
enough time for him to turn his head.

He may not like looking at the camera but he spends
endless hours watching the birds just outside 'his' window.

I spent at least an hour trying to get this photo of one

of the house finches Bailey sits and watches. This one
is not in finest color, since it is no longer spring. But now
I have figured out how to operate the macro component
of my camera, so hopefully this week I will get some really
good close-ups of various things.

I will post them in a day or two. We have company for Labor
and Saturday and Sunday are busy days for our house.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Handcrafts from Micronesia.

Here are some wall hangings made by the people from the islands of Micronesia.
Beautiful, intricate and skillful work. The people from Kapingamaringi in particular made these.

I have stood and watched them in their little village as they deftly wove strands of banana tree leaves, and incorporated the small shells into their designs. Most of these people now live in a poor shanty town on the island of Pohnpei near the mangrove swamps. They moved from their island to Pohnpei because it was devastated by a typhoon a number of years ago.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Update on Neosho

My husband returns from Neosho today after 5 days of very draining and worthwhile ministry there. The funerals were Saturday. Kohne flew in from Saipan (long journey!) on Friday and he and Barry have been spending these last couple of days visiting relatives of those who were slain. There were over a thousand people at the funeral and again at the special Sunday service. The Micronesian population in Neosho itself is about three hundred. You may wonder why there are so many in this little Missouri town.

Apparently there was one Micronesian lady who worked for a company in Neosha, and when she went home to the islands for her vacation, her employer begged her to bring back a dozen more like her. So she did! The Tyson Chicken Company is located near Neosha and they and another company have provided employment for these people. There are no problems with illegal immigrants because the Federated States of Micronesia have had a long standing relationship with the United States and no visas are required.

This photo was taken on the islands in February this year. My husband is standing with a lady and her three children who just lost her husband from diabetes. The right treatment was not available on the island and they could not afford to send him to Guam or Hawaii. Unfortunately we did not find out about their need until it was too late. Jonathon was an extremely talented young man, gifted musically and played the electric keyboard for the church.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Church Shootings at Neosho, Missouri

(Courtesy Fox News)

So what does this tragic incident have to do with me?
Actually quite a bit.
The people of this church are from Micronesia, (not to be confused with Indonesia, see map below), the place where my husband has been visiting every year for the past 25 years. (I have been there three times). His task has been to teach Bible classes for the Islanders, on the islands of Pohnpei and Chuuk. The Islanders would then return to their own islands (there are close to a thousand of them, not all of them inhabited), and teach their own people what they have learned.

Micronesia, Pacific Islands

In addition to these many islands in the Pacific, there are a number of Micronesian communities here in the United States. Neosho is one of these.

This is Kohne and Elsie who are from Pohnpei,
(actually Pingelap, to be more accurate, but you won't find Pingelap on many maps) They are dear friends of ours. They went with us to England in May and June. They now live on Saipan where Kohne is a pastor to a Micronesian church. In recent years he has been teaching Bible classes to his own people, and then after they are trained, he sends them out to various Micronesian communities. It so happens that Neosho was one of the communities to which he sent one of his graduated students. In fact, after our trip to England, Kohne and Elsie went to Neosho to visit the church there before returning to Saipan.

The senior pastor of Neosho was killed. The assistant pastor, the man Kohne had sent there
, was also killed. He and his wife had attended one of my husband's classes when he was on Pohnpei. Another man was shot and six of the congregation are in the hospital.

Because all these communities and islands are so small, everyone seems to be related to everyone else, so you can imagine how this news has shocked the Micronesian communities throughout the world.

These dear people need our prayers as they try to navigate the next days and weeks. With their church leaders gone, it will be more difficult for them to make the necessary decisions. So please pray for them.

To learn more about the Micronesians, read my book "Good News Comes to Pohnpei"
written by Birgitt Gehring, edited by Christine Jones.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I Spoke Too Soon!

That beautiful lush, green jungle that I said was on the north side of our patio is no more. My husband decided that it was way too overgrown and the ivy that had overtaken a yucca tree was a place for rats to nest. (I'm sure he's right! Did you know they like palm trees?). But alas, half of it was 'thinned out' yesterday and the rest will go next week! I'm told it will give other shrubs room to grow. In the mean time my patio chairs will face south! And just to console myself, I bought a plant at Vons-- a hibiscus! And just look at the color!

That was yesterday!

And this is today!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Our "New" Deck

We replaced the wood on our old deck (after 30 years) and Barry has been working very hard this week refinishing it (stain) and planting many pots of flowers around the patio. This is the view from the patio. If I turn around 180 degrees there are just bushes and trees -- very lush and green. I call it my jungle. You would never know we are surrounded by other houses. We have just planted some more bouganvillea and a cape honeysuckle in that bare patch by the fence in this photo. There is no where I'd rather be, than sitting out on our patio in the summer.