Thursday, February 15, 2007

Be an Oreo

What a day! So many different things happened; it’s hard to put it all into perspective. I was awoken this morning to knocking on my door... 7 seconds before my alarm was set to go off. Have you ever had that experience? You knew that this morning was going to be long, and so you wanted to have some semblance of control, and someone throws it off? It’s like falling off a log into the water, exhilarating and aggravating all at the same time.

But God is faithful, even when I am being petty. The drive down to Sigatoka was filled with wonderful surprises in the form of my ‘back of the van buddy’ Jackson. Every Thursday morning (please pray for rain next Tuesday night, so that I can get some decent sleep =) ), we get up at some unearthly hour of the morning to drive to the SPEF camp and work on the cabins there. Jackson and I draw the short ends of the stick and ride in the back together.

Today was an encouragement, however, as we got talking about church, about how to related to you, and especially about how to make faith real to people. He is a native Fijian who is soon to be pastor of Nadi SPEF church. In many ways, he feels completely unprepared, because all he has is Bible training. And as I learned during my internship, that means absolutely nothing. So he’s hungering to learn more about pastoral ministry and coming up with dry wells. So I have a new friend!

Later in the morning, he was collecting coconuts to bring home with him, and as I inquired (as all good Canadians do), he taught me how to husk and open a coconut! Fascinating stuff. You sharpen a stick and put it into the ground, and drive it into the soft part of the shell about 1/3 of the way up, driving it nearly all the way through, and then use it as a lever to force the nut away from the husk. Repeat until the nut is free. Then, you take a reed or straw, etc and hollow out the small white hole (God has it all prepared for you!) and drink out all of the milk inside. Then... between the ‘eyes’ of the coconut, half way down the coconut, you strike it with a blunt object, and it will split evenly, opening it up for you to eat the white nut inside. It is delicious and MUCH better than the stuff you get in the stores.
When we got back, I ran into town to get on the internet, and had an hour to talk to Jordan. Back where all of you are, it is Valentines Day, and I arranged for her to get some flowers, so I was eager to make sure they arrived and what she thought of them. Hehe, Lorelei, you drilled it into me too well, I quite enjoy having surprises like that!

And tonight the young adults got together. I taught from Matthew 5:13-16. Being salt and light in the world around us. Very practical, but very hard to live up to. Fascinating stuff when you get deep into it, and extremely relevant to everyday life no matter what culture you are in. I encourage you to spend some time studying the passage... you’ll discover some interesting Jewish cultural connotations that go over our ‘modern’ mindset that at a new dimension to the passage.

And the title of the entry refers to the different types of cookies here in Fiji. You can buy the real Oreo... which is crispy, sweet and just a wonderful bundle of goodness; or you can buy an imitation brand, which is mushy, and tastes like paste. If we are supposed to be salt and light in the world, I also propose that we are to be the ‘oreo’s’ in the world. Be the real deal, and show people who Christ really is, not a cheap imitation that will turn people off!

God is good, always providing for our needs.

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