Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Greetings from Yap, Micronesia!

Greetings from Yap, the country of stone money (called Rai)!  Our first week of teaching on Yap, Micronesia, is over (the first week we stayed at a hotel with hot showers – a gift from a Canadian work crew!). We are amazed at the Lord’s blessings and enablement. You may have heard by now that the tsunami from Japan never reached the Micronesian islands. Our thoughts and prayers are still with those thousands of people who have to face such destruction, death, and suffering.

The Yap Teaching Facility of Pacific Islands Bible College had been destroyed in 2004 by typhoon Sudal. Irene and I are now "pioneering" the re-opening of the TF as part of Pacific Islands University. We are going to be here from March 6 to May 8, 2011. 
Irene has 10 students in her English class (Mon.-Fri, 10:00 to 11:15 AM), and still more are interested, mainly because she offers preparation for the TOEFL-test (to be taken at the end of April), necessary for college and university entrance. Interestingly, she has two young students from mainland China in her class. The girl was very interested in reading through the children’s Picture Bible to learn more about Christianity. Irene is really energized while teaching, giving it her all. She gave the students one test already.

Hardy has 15 students so far, with only 4 guys of college age; the others are all older. He teaches Mon., Wed., and Fri., 6:00 to 7:15 PM. The days in between he needs for class preparation, as he can’t teach the original 3-credit course for free. He also needs to prepare for other engagements, such as preaching and giving special seminars. He has been asked by the elders of the church to present a seminar on forgiveness and reconciliation on
April 1st.

Again, we marvel at the small world we live in. One of Hardy’s students is 28-year-old Simon from Germany, working here as a car mechanic. This is his 7th year on Yap. In conversation it turns out that Hardy taught his parents at the Brake Bible School (northern Germany) over 30 years ago! They had been missionaries with WEC in Africa and are now in pastoral work in the Stuttgart area, Germany.

Last Sunday (March 13), Mark, our former students from Guam, took us to his village to observe a Yapese bamboo dance – a stylized depiction of ancient battles; very colourful. Mark gave Hardy one of those baskets, woven of coconut leaves, and carried by the men. They call it their "little household", containing money, license, Kleenex, keys, screwdriver, beetle nuts and other paraphernalia. For us, it is a strange sight as it looks just like a lady’s handbag. When they go through a village they have to carry something in their hands; it indicates peaceful intentions, with no mischief in mind.
We have now lived in the church’s guest apartment for a week (cold showers only!). The stairs up to our house have 26 steps up from the street – for good exercise, although we also try to walk around the lagoon (1 mile) at least once a day.


From our verandah, we have a beautiful view over the lagoon. Because of special visitors (Pacific Islands University teachers and Liebenzell missionaries), we have already had two fellowship suppers on our verandah. The island foods include fish (tuna, parrot fish), taro, yams, chicken, spaghetti, lobster, coconut, water melon, various salads etc. 

The night of Thursday to Friday (March 17-18), we had spates of rain. The torrents were so great that water came through the roof into our bedroom and bathroom. And this is supposed to be the dry season! Doing laundry in this humid weather is a science in itself. By the time clothes start to get dry, they may already smell. So we found we need to use bleach to rinse them out.

Today, the church people came to clean up the grounds around here – really hard work in this heat. Some of them also helped with the special children’s meeting this morning.

We are very happy to live next door to Pastor Asael Ruda and his wife Techimy from Chuuk. They used to be our students on Guam in 2001 and 2002. Their daughter Charity is the PIU secretary here and a big help to us.

We’ll keep you informed of further developments. In the meantime, let’s keep looking to the Lord for His faithful blessings in our lives!

With our love in Him,
Hardy  and  Irene

For more information or to donate to the great work being done here, please contact:

Liebenzell Mission of Canada
RR # 1, Moffat, Ontario  L0P 1J0
Phone: (519) 822 9748

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