By Karina “Keeky” Smith
So many people have asked, “What’s a normal week like for you?”
Our first answer is, “Uuhhh; what’s a normal week?” So this last week, I tried to catch some of the happenings with photos. If you would like a glimpse of life on the island, this is for you!
SUNDAY, FEB 11TH, 2018
As we sat in church from 9:30-1:30pm, I often wished you could have been seated next to us on the hard benches. Your heart would have rejoiced as Pr. Brainerd quoted the story of David and Goliath (all of 1 Sam 17) in Luganda. He explained how David was despised because of his size, his status, and even his skills – or tools. I hadn’t thought of that one before. Then he encouraged the church and the new students to rely on what they have experienced of God’s faithfulness and to use the skills God has given them, no matter how juvenile they may seem to others. Certainly, children and “villagers” are most despised here.
Maybe that thought is what made my heart rejoice all the more with the special choirs. Shalifa, a young teenage girl in 6th grade from a Muslim family, led a choir of kindergarten age children, “Little Angels.” These children, often neglected and abused in the community, sang and danced vigorously as the church cheered them on. Shalifa and her agemates were up next. As I looked at these bright-eyed little ladies, I thanked God for Prossy, Peace, and Ruthie, who pour love and affirmation into their lives, praying they will escape the clutches of the fishermen, and of their own mothers, who often push them into using their developing bodies to gain money or “sugar” for their family. Even the adult choir brought happy tears to my eyes as I watched some of my friends from the village, who used to be so shame-faced and reserved, now singing in English!
As this was the first Sunday of the school year, many new students introduced themselves. Two of those chose to start the new year as a New Creation in Christ Jesus! Amen! Speaking of students, the two who led the service, Jimmy (Price) and Francis, were full of enthusiasm and zeal. Francis has finished Highschool, but came back to help until God opens a door for him for further education.
“When the enemy comes in like a flood, they Spirit of the Lord raises up a standard against him.”
After church we had lunch with Ruthie, then we disguised a detailed inventory of the SHIM island base as a “Family Hike.” As this was Andy’s first free afternoon on the island since we came back from America, we were able to check which projects had been done in our absence, and what now needed to be done. We also did a preliminary review of the Dairy Goat Program. While I made dinner completely from scratch (that’s almost the only way you can do any cooking here!) Andy met with the base manager and one of the village boys who requested permission to use some of the SHIM land for gardening. We finished and were able to eat by about 7 or 7:30pm. Afterwards, the boys washed their very dirty feet and legs…playing and working bare-footed on the island all day does amazing things to skin-tone from the knees down!
Don’t go away yet! The week has just begun – keep on reading!