Greetings from Kona! We can hardly believe its only been a week and a half since our departure from the mainland(or, as Ryan says, the Motherland). What an incredible adventure this has been already! So far, this week has proven our perceptions wrong about so many things. Originally, we had a lot of preconceived ideas about what this time with YWAM would look like. Thankfully, most of our doubts and concerns have been put at bay. It has been, overall, an incredible almost-two-weeks. Currently, we’re listening to Andy Cloninger’s “Search Me, O Lord”…and that song, those lyrics would maybe be an almost perfect description of where we are now. “My heart is longing for the God who knows my name; lift me up and make me whole again. Make me whole again.” We want to know God in such a big way. What a place to be!
Being at the University of the Nations in Kona has its perks. For example, this weekend, we were asked to volunteer for the Ironman Championship. For some people, this was their first time seeing such a feat. Thanks to Ryan’s brother, Hunter, we have seen a few triathalons and even a half Ironman in New Orleans. These people are not playing around–they’re nuts! We were placed at the finish line to “secure” the lines and also offer our cheers to the participants. It was crazy… Chris McCormick is officially the Ironman Champ!
We have had a heck of a week- super intense teaching and living in very close community. So much is learned outside of a classroom, in the relationships we have and the things we share. Already, we have met incredible people from across the globe– inspiring us and encouraging us. There are 14 different nations represented in our small school of 55 people! One interesting thing that we encountered this week was a seminar on health care and nutrition. We have an option to choose a focus of missions-water purification, health care or education…and we will hear from all of them before we make our decisions. This week we learned about how important primary health care is to the developing world. It was sincerely eye opening. One of the reasons we enjoyed it so much is that they did a whole twenty minutes on malaria-what it is and how it works. We learned that Ryan’s malaria (he had it in Tanzania two years ago) is not one that remains with him forever. He actually should be fine now! Its sad and strange to know how the world lives outside of western health care and how a little bit of knowledge can go such a long way. Steph also enjoyed learning about nutrition, and how malnutrition kills so many a year.
Another highlight of the week was that two really amazing folks at the base took us aside and asked us if we wanted to debrief from Tanzania two years ago. They said that we had mentioned in conversation how difficult it was to be back In the US without anyone to walk us through what happened in Tanzania. Over lunch, they asked some great questions and we were able to verbalize how we felt after returning. It was so good and it meant a lot to us that they had seen a need and desired to council us in that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNlVNhTBu-A We’ll leave you with this video that was shown at one of our training days. A little corny, but we’ve been learning about our “monsters” so to speak and have really enjoyed being here this far. Miss all of you, though. Come see us!
Until next time…!
Ryan and I…early morning to watch the start of the Ironman– 5:45 a.m.!