Friday, 28 September 2007

Eve! Eve!

I have just been reading an article, Confessions of a Recovering Feminist, and it has encouraged me to share a song that was written in the course of a subject I taught in "The Women's Program" at Talua last term (Women and the Promise of God; an Old Testament Overview). This song reflects on how each one of us is just like Eve, and each one of us relies on her (that is, Eve's) offspring, the Lord Jesus, for redemption. It is a song written for women to sing to women.

Eve! Eve!
Bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
You were perfect together and lovingly made.
And you walked and you talked with Yhwh your God,
In the garden of beauty, the Tree of Life there.

Eve! Eve! What have you done?
You're out of the garden and death has begun.
Yet I know the answer to "what did you do?"

For I am your daughter, and I'd have done it too.

Then came the snake and he caused you to doubt.
You no longer trusted God's good word to you.
You saw and you touched and you took and you ate.
For you wanted to be like him, to be god yourself.

chorus

And then came the Lord and he called out your name.
But you and your husband were hiding in shame.
Then He spoke and he judged, how we've suffered since then.
Pain, anguish, death, disease; all deserved for our sin.

chorus

Now do not despair, God is sovereign in all,
He promised salvation, life eternal with him.
One of your children has crushed the snake's head,
He can no longer harm us, Christ's victory is won.

Daughters of Eve, you must trust in the Lord
He has paid for your sin, he has died in your place
Daughters of Eve, put your trust in the Lord,
He's ruling in glory, and will come back soon.

What a cutie!

I went into our room the other night and was surprised to find Matthew
standing in his cot. Isn't he cute?

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Why Jesus really turned the tables...

This was a conversation during a family bible study on John 2:13-25

Glen: Where did Jesus go when he entered into Jerusalem?

Sophie and Bethany: to the temple.

Glen: What did he see there, Bethany?

Bethany: People.

Glen: And what were the people doing?

Bethany: Changing money.

Glen: And what else were they doing?

Bethany: Um... making playdough?

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Learning to Draw 5

After the lesson on still life, the lessons take a big leap
conceptually and we have decided to wait a while before we try these
ones. So now it is a challenge to find projects that are interesting
and keep working on what we have learnt.

We tried the level 2 project in the second lesson and drew some
tropical birds. Here is Sophie's parrot.

When I first showed Sophie what we would draw she said, "No, Mummy, that's too hard." She flat out refused to try. So I drew one as she watched me. She coloured in that one. Then I drew some more for Bethany to colour. After all this, Sophie was ready to try, and I think she did very well.

Baked Beans and a Dirty Loo?

I've been trying to think through what it might have meant for Martha
also to have "chosen what is best".

When Jesus comes to her home, Martha is busy preparing his meal.
She is busy. The King of Kings has come to her home, he really
deserves the red carpet treatment. It is no wonder when she is a
little miffed that Mary is not helping her. She is really letting her
down and being slack. Doesn't she care about making sure every-
thing is just right for Jesus?

Martha appeals to Jesus to tell Mary to come and help her. But
Mary is sitting and listening to Jesus. Jesus commends her. Mary
has chosen what is best.

Now I imagine Martha felt put out by this answer as she really was
working hard for him, to give him their best.

What would it have meant for Martha, like Mary, to have chosen
what was best? What would it have meant for Martha to have not
been busy in the kitchen, but also sitting at his feet listening to him?

This was brought home to me recently when we had some guest
lecturers at Talua. They had come to give the annual lectures. As is
custom here at Talua, a roster is made for hosting the guests in our
homes. Large meals are prepared, always including meat. While meat
is usually scarce in meals (even our own now) a special trip is made to
the sea or to town in order to acquire meat to serve a guest. We were
planning to host these guests and I wanted to go to town that morning
to buy meat. A trip to town is quite a saga, especially now as the bus
isn't running. One has to go and wait on the road for a transport,
hoping that one will come by soon, and that it will have room for you.
Fortunately as I usually have Matthew with me I get to sit in the cabin
instead of on the back. But, going into town would have meant missing
the lectures. In order to get meat for the meal, I would NOT have
listened to what they had to say. The irony of this hit me while waiting
for the truck (which in God's sovereignty was taking a long time to
come) and I went and listened to the lectures. We had lunch without meat.

Is this what it would have meant for Martha? Would she have had to
serve Jesus less that was expected? Would she have had to have been
content with dinner being late? What if the room wasn't spotless? What
if it was just baked beans for dinner or the loo was dirty?

I guess what all this means for us is that sometimes other things won't
get done if we are going to listen to Jesus. Sometimes the house won't
be tidy or the children's hair won't be done, or it will be baked beans
for dinner and the loo is still dirty. And what if our reputation
suffers??

We will have chosen what is best.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Earthquake!

At the beginning of August we experienced an earthquake. Although it
wasn't big as far as earthquakes go, it was much more frightening than
the usual tremors. Overall there was very little damage, the Anglican
Church in Luganville suffered the most. It didn't come down in the
quake but the walls buckled enough to render it unstable so that then
it had to be demolished by hand. This was probably more distressing
for the parishioners than if they had found a pile of rubble. Here are
some photos.

Glen spoke with the minister (pictured above) who is a recent graduate from Talua, who held back tears as he spoke of the disappointment the congregation is feeling. Please pray for him as he encourages his people and seeks to give them comfort and hope through the word of God.

One of the shelves in our library at Talua fell down.

Apparently many churches were full in the days and weeks after the quake as people were reminded of their own frailty and the power of God. May they not forget!

A Pot Holder

This Pot Holder Craft was a kit that Grandma sent for Sophie's
birthday. It was just the right level for her and she did it all by
herself.

The first stage involved hooking loops of what looked like coloured
pantyhose across a plastic frame, and then the second step involved
weaving more loops through these. Sophie is quite familiar with
weaving as many things are woven here in Vanuatu. You can see
in the photo the small woven square that was made in this way. The
second stage was to join all the loops at the end together. She used a
crotchet hook to do this, as you can see in the picture.

Here is the finished product. It took less than an hour to make and works very well. I use it every night in the kitchen.

How many three year olds does it take to climb a tree?

Confused about Time?

See if you can work this out...

Bethany said,
"Daddy, if you don't put pyjama pants on me when I go to bed then I'll
talk to you yesterday" (talk as in scold)

and then she added,

"When I grow up and you grow down, if you're still Daddy, I'll give you
a smack".

Perhaps Alice in Wonderland hasn't helped.

Monday, 17 September 2007

A Time of Fighting

Yesterday was Talua Sunday. This is the day where all Talua students and staff divide into small groups and visit churches all over Santo. We help out by running the service for the day. Our family with a student went to Narango, a village of about two hundred people on top of the big hill a little inland from Talua. The service went well and afterwards we shared lunch in the Nakamal (sort of like a village Town Hall) with the Elders and the Chief. While we were eating, I had an interesting conversation with one of the Elders who was in fact, elder.

We began by talking about his family of five boys and two girls, all of whom are married with children of their own. I asked if the girls were still in the village. When girls marry in Vanuatu, they leave their families and join to their husband's family. This practise is very strong and means that if their husband is from another island, their daughter will leave them upon marriage, and often they will never see her again. Both this man's daughters were now living on other islands as they had married men from other islands. And his sons also had married women from other islands who were now living in this village, Narango. I wondered if it had always been like this, people marrying people from other islands. His answer was interesting.

No, he said. The Time of Kaston (Custom, or Traditional Ways) was different. That was the time of Fighting. We didn't marry people from other villages, we fought them. We didn't travel to other islands because we were afraid of what would happen to us when we did. But he said, the Gospel changed that. The Gospel brought peace.

I thought perhaps he was saying this just because I was visiting from the Bible College.

He went on. My family is not from here. I'm from the East (the East Coast of Santo). But they killed my Grandfather and my Father had to flee for his life. He fled here, the gospel came here first. It was safe here.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ brought peace. I often hear this, particularly from older christians in Vanuatu. It is a challenge to the 'anti-missionary' and 'anti-civilisation' doctrines I absorbed growing up in Australia, to the extent that I still struggle to call myself a missionary. There is no doubt that life has changed irreversibly for the indigenous people of Vanuatu upon contact with Western Civilisation. The word of God came, and so did the word of Rum (as Jack London speaks of Trade in one of his short stories in the collection, Tales of the South Pacific). Undoubtedly, some of these changes have not been for the best. But in the minds of many who really know what Kastom Times were like, the Gospel brought peace, and it was good.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Learning to Draw 4

We attempted still life in this drawing lesson. We had a kettle
and a "vase" of tropical flowers. In this lesson we both struggled to
follow the instructions in the bo ok and instead worked from sight alone.
It was interesting the effect of the different aspect on our drawings
(I have included mine for comparison). Sophie was down at eye level
with the kettle while I was higher. At one point I said "not like that" (I
have to work at holding my tongue) "you see it's like this" only
to get down to her eye level and realise it actually was exactly as
she'd drawn it. Sophie practiced artistic license and decided she didn't
like our flowers and drew her own.

This is Sophie's:

This is mine:

Learning to Draw 3

The next lesson was a drawing of a lion inspired from an embroidered
picture of a lion (reproduced as a print in the book). After
discussing and sketching various options for background, Sophie decided
to draw her lion on the back of a truck.

Bethany decided that she would like to have a go at drawing the bird. She is only three and could barely draw a circle when we began the lessons mid-August.

Learning to Draw 2

In this lesson we practised recognising and reproducing the five
elements of contour shape (dots, circles, straight lines, curved lines
and angles). Sophie drew some of the characters from the Maisy books;
Maisy, Cyril and Charlie.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Learning to Draw

We have begun learning to draw. Sophie colours-in constantly and draws
prolifically. When back in Australia earlier this year we talked about
wanting to be able to encourage this interest of hers but lamented our
own lack of ability. My sister gave us a book by Mona Brookes called
"Drawing with Children". It has been fantastic. In the first
lesson we learnt the elements of contour shape (dots, circles,
straight lines, curves and angles). Then we attempted a simple bird in
a tree. This is what Sophie, almost 5, managed to draw.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Merry Month-day, Matthew!

Matthew is six months old today and we all love him very much.

Bethany's Bear Bag

We have had great fun making this Bear Bag together. A good friend sent a kit to us and we have been working on it over the last month.
Initially Bethany needed help with every stitch but by the end, she
would pick it up herself and work on it for ten minutes or so.
Here she is doing the final touches.



Here is a close-up of the bag. She did all of the stitching on the strap herself.

She is very pleased with it. Thank-you Carmen.