Reunited and it feels so good!
Monday morning, my four sisters returned from their Christmas break adventures back home in the states! Chris, Oscar, and I pulled out of the drive way at 5:20am to pick up the four from the Nadi airport!
We got there around 5:50 and began waiting!
Their flight got in and people started flooding in!
And waited some more…
6:30am rolled around, no girls.
Then Chris got a coffee.
And then we waited.
Then I saw a college-aged guy with a University of Illinois sweatshirt on! A university my twin almost attended and not even an hour and half from were I grew up! I got to talking with him and they were actually a whole team from U of I studying abroad for two weeks on the islands! Little things like that, they mean so much more away from home!
Then I went back to waiting.
7am came and went.
Besides the airport staff (that had left their posts at this point), we were the only ones in the terminal.
Readjusted and leaned against a different pillar on the floor.
Oscar finds an employee that he is somehow someway related to and begins pulling his chief-ly strings.
And then finally the adorable Lexi walks through the doors and is welcomed by a rib crushing Helena-hug! Slowly but surely Rainey, Emilee, and then finally the problem child herself Kirsten were all finally through! Nutella and all!
When the girls left, we still didn’t have our official Visa’s in the system. So immigration had provided us letters granting exit and arrival to the Nadi airport while the Visas are still being processed. When Kirsten had come through, they wanted to verify her letter. To do that, they had to have a certain airport personal verify it. Remember Fiji time? It took over an hour for one person to show up and verify Kirsten’s letter in a matter of minutes!
But, as always, it could have been much worse! And all four of my girls are back safe and sound!
The Fab Five Fijians are back together and ready to wreak havoc in Fiji for four more months!
-Please pray for my family back home along with the rest of Students International’s separated families.
-Please pray that scientist find some other means for the body to cool itself other than perspiration.
-As we embark on our second semester of school work please pray for motivation and the ability to see beyond the now.
-Please pray for the Fiji SI sites as we continue to develop and find new ways of spreading God’s love through missional sites here in Lautoka.
-Please pray that the Fijian sun moves back a few light years and stops burning off my top layer of my epidermis every time I step outside.
-Please begin praying for next year’s prospect Global Bridgers as we begin receiving inquiries and applications!
-Please pray for the postal system as I just sent out a rather large stack of thank you letters back home and would love if they all reached their destination!
-Please pray, as always, for health and safety for us five girls, the Garners, and the SI staff here in Fiji!
-Praise the Lord for running!
-Praise the Lord that Rainey, Lexi, Emilee, and Kirsten had refreshing memory filled Christmas breaks and made it home safe and sound on Monday!
-Constantly sweating and being in a perpetual state of sunburn may not be fun sometimes, but I take it over the -25 wind chill back at home any day!
-Praise the Lord that the Vice President and his lovely wife safely made it for a visit to Lautoka despite the scary conditions of Chicago!
-Praise the Lord for renewed hope and spirit!
-Praise the Lord for mail! Even if it is four months late!
-Praise the Lord for rain! It is currently 77 degrees! Time to light the candles and drink our chai tea!
-Praise the Lord for encouragement. Of every and any kind!
Thessalonians 5:28 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing!”
-Praise the Lord for Lautoka Mocha’s. And the hands that prepare them. :)
-Praise the Lord, friends. Praise the Lord!
Bible studies, homework, and movies. Three words that sum up week #20 pretty well! Every day we would drag ourselves out of bed somewhere between 6:30am and 7am and start off with our quiet time and journaling. Until about 9am, speaking for myself, I essentially searched for and completed any and every small menial task to which essentially meant I didn’t have to start homework for that much longer.
Every day this week we would head over to the base around 1pm, except for an earlier start at 9am on Friday and Saturday, to study the Beatitudes in Matthew 5!
The rest of our days we had a few short debriefs about the girls time at home and what this semester would look like and lots of time for the girls to readjust and to get ahead on this semesters homework!
We recently came into possession of a rather large number of movies and every night this week, I’m not kidding every single night, we all cuddled up around our 13 inch laptop displays for each night’s feature film!
Wednesday, two months late, I received a late (Or maybe it was early?) birthday present! On November 14th, Walker had sent a birthday package my way. I was walking through the post office to get some stamps when Sheri, the customs director, stopped and asked if I was missing a package.
My first thought was OMG SHE KNOWS MY NAME. #kivitistatus
My second thought was yup most likely, along with about twenty other promised letters…
It turns out that, because the package only contained clothes, my package wasn’t deemed important enough to go through customs. And because it never got to customs, a notice was never issued to our PO Box. And because a notice was never issued to our PO Box, I received my beloved Baylor Bears Spirit Jersey from my beloved twin two months late.
Absolutely better late than never. Thank you twin I love you very muchly. :)
Once I got back in the van, I also discovered I had a letter from September, one from October, two from November, and one from December waiting for me!
Saturday night, us five girls and Lowell, the SI VP, and Cheryl, his wife, went out for dinner in town! We got to discuss our experiences in Fiji so far, gain endless nuggets of wisdom from their years and years of serving the Lord abroad, and gain quite a bit more perspective on the Global Bridge program as a whole. We learned what the original vision for the program was, how everything matched up, and the ways SI intended to continue to build and prosper the Global Bridge Program.
I had began to loose hope. First semester was hard. Draining. Exhausting. All of break and January I have been fighting to prepare myself to dive back into the exhaustion and battle of first semester.
I loved first semester with my whole heart. Time and time again I have been told that it is in the uncomfortable that God does His greatest works in us. And never have I believed that more. First semester was full of lessons and memories and friendships that have literally changed my faith and, in turn, the course of the rest of my life forever.
But doing it all over again? How uncomfortable are you going to make me, God?
Our dinner with Lowell and Cheryl gave me hope. It reenergized me. Renewed me. Reminded me that God put me here.
He has not forgotten me.
He forgets no one.
Do good things, friends.
Helena Rose :)