Friday, January 31, 2014

Umu anyone?

On Sunday, we have a tradition in Tonga, to cook food in an underground oven. 
'Osi loves this tradition, and is pretty much the only one on campus who makes the oven every Sunday, then other families bring their food to throw inside too.  Its alot of work, but tastes great! 
   We gather our supplies on Saturday night, because the shops are closed on Sundays.  Also on Saturday we pick all the "Lu" taro leaves we need, and dig up the root vegetables, because Tongans are not supposed to break the Sabbath by doing this kind of farm work on Sunday. 
Early in the morning 'Osi digs a huge hole and fills it with big rocks, then builds a fire on top.  He lets the fire burn for at least an hour to heat the rocks.

  Meanwhile I layer about 6 taro leaves on a square of aluminum foil, and pour chopped meat, onions, and coconut cream in the middle.  We wrap it all up, and after putting out the fire we pile the foil packages and peeled root vegetables on the hot rocks. We cover it all with coconut stalks, banana leaves big old blankets, and a mound of dirt .
And an hour later we feast!

He gives good gifts to His children

I know its cliche but I can't think of a better way to say it  =)  "Life is like a box of never know what you're gonna get."  Right? 
Serving Jesus is like that - and in all the mystery you know He wants to give you something delicious.
We experienced this lately.  In our December newsletter we finally worked up the courage to ask our friends/family to consider giving toward a car.  We said we would need to raise about $3,000 U.S. for a reliable used car, because that is about the going rate in Tonga (almost everything here is as expensive or more than what it costs in America, including food and cars because it all has to be imported.)
So we waited, excitedly, full of faith...and then the days and weeks went by and we were surprised that, out of 70 or so friends and family we sent letters to, not a single person gave a donation for the car.  So we started thinking maybe it was presumptuous and wrong to have asked, after all its not a basic need.  And of course the enemy tends to kick us when we're down, and make us feel like we don't even deserve a car.  After all we were not even good stewards of our bicycle, (a thief came last month and stole the wheels right off our bike in the middle of the night!)
But then on Monday 'Osi said he wanted to visit a cousin in a far away village whom we had not seen all year.   So he did, and turns out the cousin had a mechanic neighbor who was selling a car super cheap because he's in a rush to move back to New Zealand!  He only wanted $250 U.S. for it, because the engine was shot, but the crazy thing is 'Osi's cousin happened to have the exact same make and model engine in one of his cars that had a beat up body! 
Apparently there were a few other people who wanted to buy the car too, but the owner still lives with his Momma  who laid down the law.  She said "You WILL save that car for the nice missionary kid with the pregnant wife."   So then we had to find the money, which God quickly provided in its entirety through my college roommate who had just recently heard from God that she needed to donate to our ministry.  (Another cool story)  Plus we also had some savings to pay for the mechanic's labor...  
So they swapped the engines out and we have a fantastic car now....and a great story to tell of God's goodness and compassion.  God is so good friends, so generous. 
Never give up praying, God loves to bless you and He is able....but often it comes in a way we don't expect.  So that He will get the glory for it.
"'Its not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." Zechariah 4:6b