Sunday, March 21, 2010

Translation please?

As a missionary to a foreign country it is absolutely necessary to learn the language. I have been trying for the past 2 years but have yet to be fluent in Tongan. Fortunately I have accidentally developed a technique that is working out - my Mother in law has been making me watch sappy Filipino soap operas and translate them to her in Tongan.
As the drama unfolds I try my best to read the English subtitles as fast as I can and translate in strong Filipino emotion. I try to explain who is marrying who's cousin while secretly embezzling money from the family business...and no one would have ever expected that Grandma was plotting revenge.
All the other Tongans in the house laugh and laugh at the whole new story I am inventing. In the end we all laugh and learn, praise God for creative answers to my prayer.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Keep your places

There is an old Tongan proverb that says "Holo Pe Tu'u He Ko E Ngalu 'E Fasi" - "Keep your places, for the wave will break."
This saying comes from the sport of surfing. It is important to stand and wait for a large breaker to come, in order to surf. Hence the inference that we should always be ready for the arrival of an opportunity, so that we will be able to make use of it.

I've been mulling this around in my head lately after seeing the importance of living our lives as best as we can; loving God, each other and our neighbors. The time will come when people have a crisis or the youth need advice and if we are known to be loving and available neighbors they will feel free to come to us for help.
If we are too busy creating waves we might neglect our family and our own relationship with God, it's better for us to spend enough time preparing our own heart. Then instead of chasing the waves, get ready for the waves to come to us.
Please pray that we can be good neighbors.

Irrational fear?

It's time that I admit my irrational fear of Tongan spiders. They are as big as my hand, hairy and scary. They always turn up in my shower early in the morning or evening when the light is dim and I can't see them until they are inches from my face. I hate them!
But they are completely harmless.
The Tongan even say spiders are lucky - at least that's what 'Osi says every time I make him remove it from the shower. In my mind I know spiders are good because they eat the mosquitoes, and they don't bite, but due to my longstanding hatred of the bug I can't bring myself to appreciate them.
Its a completely irrational fear and I need deliverance. But then again ALL fear is irrational right?

Bear good fruit

Tonga is like the garden of Eden because every tree bears fruit that blesses the people. Looking around me in the everyday jungle I count 3 papaya trees, 3 mangoes, 1 Tongan Apple tree, 1 Tava, 2 Breadfruit, 5 Bananas, 1 Fa (we use this for perfume and decoration), and 1 Tuitui tree (we use the nuts from this tree as a creamy shower soap).
This is a reminds me that we are all trees in the garden of life and it is to the Fathers glory that we bear much fruit.