Monday, October 08, 2007

Paddle your own canoe!

(June/July Newsletter)
This week I was sitting in the YWAM Samoa office and happened upon a copy of the latest International YWAM’er magazine. I was thrilled to see my articles and pictures in there. Hopefully the missionaries in India and Thailand…will be excited to see God receiving glory for the great things He’s doing in their ministry. That makes me eager to graduate from this DTS in six weeks and get back to my ‘real job’! Right now we’re entering our outreach phase, where we put all of our head knowledge of God and ministry into practice by serving outside of our camp. Lord willing we’ll go to Australia, but we’re still fundraising and praying for God’s direction.
Speaking of direction I learned a great new Samoan proverb this week: “Paddle your own canoe”. Ha. Basically it means mind your own business.
Living in community we can get in each other’s business sometimes which isn’t healthy, but I told my brothers and sister here I hate conflict and especially confronting people with problems, so this week I had to do something extremely difficult. I was called to a meeting with my leaders and a few of my fellow students about some trouble they had been getting into and they needed me to “testify” about what I saw/knew.
It was a tough spot for me and I hated it but I had to tell the truth. After the meeting I started crying, I was so worried that my brothers would hate me for snitching on them and I am not a backstabber.
But as I sat crumpled up and crying in my fale that night they came to me one by one and apologized again. They said they didn’t want me to feel bad or go to bed hating them! So we humbled ourselves in love and honesty towards eachother – it hurts my heart I love them so much. We talked about the situation again, and about our feelings and concerns.
One of the guys explained to me a Samoan proverb “Paddle your own canoe” =) and I said “Eoi, (yes) but I need you to watch me and help me stay on track because we’re all trying to paddle our canoes in the light toward Jesus. If you see me paddling backwards or drifting away please call out to me, and if I can’t hear you get one of our canoe chief leaders to go and help me too. Because the cross-current is strong and there’s whirlpools and rocks in my path sometimes….plus there’s a strange magnetism between my canoe and Pana’s and if we’re out of line we’re gonna capsize.
I’ll just be honest with ya. =)
So if you ever see us doing wrong grab my paddle and beat me over the head please!”
Anyways, the night ended well, we all decided to keep each other accountable in humility. God was glorified, we all love each other,
and we’re trying to grow and learn - isn't that what being a disciple is all about? Viia le Atua!

1 comment:

Alissa said...

Oh Jenn, how I miss the beautiful island of Samoa.... I hope you continue to add your thoughts about Samoa. And if I haven't said it already Congrats on GRADUATING!! I hope you are enjoying friends and family, talk to you soon, Alissa