It has been 2 years since our family has departed Vanuatu. I don’t say we “left” Vanuatu, because even though we physically departed Vanuatu, our 7 years spent there engrained the people, places, custom and culture so deep in our hearts and lives that in many ways we never “left”.
The countdown: Cindy and I leave on June 23rd to return to Vanuatu to help the Christians in Yatekun and Loun villages. We lived near Loun and would go there several times a week, but this trip takes us about 2 hours driving time to the village of Yatekun to visit Tom and Margaret.
Less than two weeks to go until our departure, so how are we doing? Here goes…
First, we would love to take the girls, but it’s expensive. Plane tickets for one adult are $2,000 from St Louis to Los Angeles, Fiji Port Vila, then Tanna. Children’s tickets are cheaper, but only by about 10%. Right now, we can’t afford it. So, they’ll stay with grandparents for 2 weeks and have a great time and we’ll miss them like crazy
Second, we are busy packing. I tease Cindy and tell her that she packs everything, except the kitchen sink. She claims she’s “just being prepared” but my guess is we won’t need half the things she’ll pack. In all fairness, if anybody comes down with pneumonia…Cindy can give them a chest x-ray. Infection? I’m sure there’s medicine for that! Sprain your ankle? She’s probably got crutches in there somewhere.
Third, we’re going to teach, so there are always lessons to prepare. If I’m not preparing my own lessons, then I’m translating lessons for someone else. I’ll be teaching Matthew, Mark and Luke and one of my co-workers teaching with me will teach Genesis to Deuteronomy (commonly known as the Pentateuch). Always busy…
Last, we’re brushing up on our Bislama. We want to hit the ground running and not lag behind. We want people to know we love them, miss them, and care about them. Losing the language would indicate we have lost some of our care, concern and love for them. Don’t want to lose that. So, we’re practicing at home to see if we can stay sharp on the language.
OK, gotta run. LUKIM YU! We’ll report as the day of departure gets closer.