Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today I met with Olivia in my break. It was lovely that she could just sit in the commons with me while my laptop charged. She's so nice. Also, her last class was at 12 so she stayed in for 3 hours so we could hang. I felt so special.


I have written out this post once already and I only just realised it never posted so here we go again.

This morning it seemed like nothing would go right at Promiseland. Leaders called up sick at the last minute, technology didn't agree with me, DVD's didn't play, we didn't have the right leads. But in all that I discovered that making the service run the best or look the best didn't matter. What counted was that the leaders bond with the kids and that the kids know that they are loved and accepted when they come.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I love going to the theater. I saw Broken Embraces at the Civic tonight. I've never watched a film with so many people before. It was strange. But it was great. The screen was massive. It was such a cool experience. I kept getting distracted by the clouds that were being projected onto the ceiling. But yes. The film was long but good. I've never seen a Spanish language film and this didn't disappoint.


I'm trying out this thing where I only wash my hair every second day because it's better for it.
This is the second day so tonight I washed my hair. It was such a relief. Oh my word I could not wait.
It had got so yuck and it made me feel gross.
Blow drying it after my shower and seeing it all clean and shiny was a fantastic feeling. It's just so nice to have good hair. That's why bad hair days are such an issue.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Two remarkable things happened to make up for the lack thereof yesterday.

1: Mavis called! She's one of the girls from the church in Tonga. I really connected with her so it was so cool to hear her voice. It was so strange cos she was so quiet and I was on a bus, yelling into my phone in English scattered with Tongan. People must have thought I was insane. A lady did come sit down next to me though. Can't have been too bad.

2: Tonight was very rainy and very windy. I was driving, which was no mean feat, you can ask Sarah. It was a tad scary. Anyhow, I dropped her off at her car in the parking lot and the rain was doing something very cool on the tarmac. It looked kinda like a smoke machine but 50 times more exciting. The wind was sweeping it along the ground making ripples and waves. I would have loved to catch it on camera. I loved the way it swirled and moved. Freaking cool.


This day seemed pretty unremarkable.
I did allow my mother to purchase me a new item of clothing. At full price too! And from a real shop. It's been a while.
I love wearing new things. It makes me feel all fresh.
It's always a good day when you are wearing something brand spanking new.
That's a weird saying.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


My remarkable moment for today is having the remarkable moments from the past three or so weeks done.
I'm up to date and it feels amazing.
Updating was such a daunting task as I had so many to do and the longer I put it off the more I had to do.
But it's done now!
Isn't accomplishing things such a fantastic feeling.


I have been dreading this day for three weeks. It was the day uni started again.
It wasn't as bad as I thought. I was pleasantly surprised.
I had a two hour theology lecture. It was like being in media but then he'd drop in something about God and I'd remember where I was. Pretty cool. We saw the opening sequence of Romeo and Juliet. The one with Leo. Such a fantastic film.
Anyway, yes. This course will be interesting. Liberal as. I dunno what to do. Oh well. Should be a challenge.


This morning was the leader's meeting for Promiseland.
I made the best caramel slice which I took.
It was scrummy.
So scrummy there was none left to take home.
That was sad.
Each bite was a little bit of heaven.
You wish you could have tried it.


I woke up bright and early this morning to get to the first training I have ever been part of running.
It was a bit scary seeing as I'm the youngest on the team at Promiseland (kid's church) and I'm in charge. I've got a great team though and their experience helps heaps.
It was so encouraging that the training went well. I got them all to fill in feedback forms and it was all so positive. Also, there were only a few people not there. It was such a great turn-out, even from the band!

Afterwards I took the band out to get dye and t-shirts to make new band ones. Tie-dying is high on my list of favourite activities. It was heaps of fun. We all worked together and made mess then cleaned it up and everyone's shirts look great. I love teamwork like that. Ahhh. Great day.


I hung out with Mum today.
We went to the mall.
I hate malls.
But hanging with Mum was great.
She's cool.
She's fun.
Especially when she's in one of her moods.
The silly ones.
And she giggles and giggles.


I went back to work today.
It was kinda cool to be back.
I liked to be thinking about NZ kids again and all the stuff that I needed to.
I think they missed me a bit too which is also a very nice feeling.
Ana texted me a few times and even said she wanted to see me. I miss her too.
Warm fuzzies all round.


This evening three great people graced my house with their presence, Esther, Michael and Jonathan. They were the first people outside of family I had seen since Tonga and it was fantastic to see them.
We watched One Hour Photo. It had no red though so when blood gushed out it was green. That was sort of frustrating. I'm glad the world has red. It would be too boring without it.
Also, I made dinner. The rice turned into one globby mess. They ate it though, without too much moaning. I appreciated that. the stir fry part was yum though. It was just the rice was mush. Oh well. It's cool to cook for friends. Even when it doesn't turn out quite right.


Climbing into my bed last night was amazing. I couldn't believe how soft it was. The sheets were clean and Mum had put the electric blanket on for my return. I felt like a princess. Those two factors make for a remarkable moment on a normal day, but having just shared an uncomfortable bed with Amy for two weeks, I really appreciated it ten times more.
Not that sharing a bed with Amy was a horrible experience. It was actually strange not having her there. It's a good thing I was so tired I just fell asleep straight away otherwise I may not have been able to drift off without out a few jokes and coughing fits.


It was definitely a bittersweet goodbye.
On the one hand I couldn't wait to get home and get better and have good sleeps and relax a bit but then I LOVE Tonga and everything that goes with so it was so hard to say goodbye.
I know I'll be back soon enough though and I can't wait.


We went to three churches again today. I don't know how we got through it all but we managed somehow.
The last church was an English congregation. We did our same programme there and it made me appreciate the outgoingness of the Tongans we had performed to previously because they were just so reserved. It was quite a disappointment.

I got talking to someone who had got her teaching qualifications in NZ and moved over to Tonga to teach primary kids. I think that would be so cool. Something to pray about.


This was a day of rest for us and oh man was it appreciated.
We just relaxed in town in a cafe and then headed back home to chill some more.
It was so nice not to have to do anything. I even wore shorts to town which was a tad scandalous now I think of. I showed my knees! Oh dear.
Oh well.


We had a chance to do some door knocking today. Willie (one of our hosts) took us to one of the poorest villages, Popua, which is also where the holiday club was. We went from house to house chatting with them about God.
It was amazing. I was a tad nervous because I wasn't sure how it would all go down. Willie told me I was sharing my testimony first up so when the young Tongan guy opened the door I racked my brains to think how I could make my testimony apply to him. Praise God for giving me the words to speak because at the end of it he wanted to give his life to Jesus. Oh man that was cool. And at the first house!
It really made me feel like God was working through me and using me to share the gospel with this young guy. It was so awesome.


Today we had a jam-packed day but the thing that really impacted me the most was the thing that we did for the least amount of time.
We visited the special needs school for a little while and just hung out and painted faces. We did some songs and things but we wanted just to be friendly and interact personally with the kids. They were so gorgeous. It was such a happy place. Such a great environment.

There was this little girl called Lola-Katie who went straight for the microphone and picked it up and started swaying on the spot. In her head she was performing the biggest concert of her life. It was so sweet. After we finished the songs she did three great bows and looked very pleased with herself. As we went to leave she bolted out the door and jumped in our van. I'll never forget her expression of utter joy and mischief.


Today I came down with the flu. It's no good.
Anyway, Amy, Dan and I stayed at the house while everyone went to the bible study. We were meant to go to bed early and get better. However, there was a big concert being put on by the YWAM team on the field outside our bedroom window.
We got a little curious and decided to rebel and sneak out. It was fun. We wrapped up warm and sat and watched. It was really awesome but then...
The rest of our team came home early and decided to watch too. We got caught out.
It was fun though.
It was better that we were being rebellious on a mission trip.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This morning we caught a boat to a gorgeous little island called Pangaimotu. It was so pretty. The main island is nice but a tad polluted and rubbishy so this was amazing. There's something about the beautiful blue water. It's a colour which is so difficult to reproduce.

It wasn't all play and no work though because afterwards we went to Patangata which is a poor village right by the old rubbish dump site. I saw a little girl who I had made friends with a couple of years ago. It was so cool to see her again. She didn't recognise me at first but I think she did by the end. Oh man it was cool. I've been thinking about her and praying for her all this time so to see her again was just so awesome. I really hoped I would and it happened!

Me and Sionipa:


Wow. Wow. Wow.

Today we got to go around the island like tourists and experience a bit of the beauty and wonder of Tonga.

It was amazing.

We stood right on the edge of a cliff at the topmost part of Tonga and nothing (not even a barrier) was between us and the vast ocean and the massive drop below onto freaky rocks.

It was beautiful.

We also went to a cave where you could jump off one of the tope shelve things into the deep fresh water. I wasn't brave enough so I got in a more conventional way and perched on a stalagmite at the perfect height to sit on in the water. It was amazing. There was no natural light so the lanterns were reflecting off the water. I could see right down to the bottom it was so clear.

Isn't God so cool how he creates such beautiful places. That cave would have been sitting around in all it's glory for ages before people saw it. It's like God just made it for fun. How awesome is he!?


By this stage in the trip everyone is feeling quite weary. It's been all go the whole week and we haven't had too much time to just relax.
Today was no different. We had two church services to present at and a third to just attend.
The third was at the Tongan Revival Church. It was so refreshing just to be at a church with a bit of passion. It's cool that everyone worships differently and there's not one particular style but it was cool to be free to sing and pray and jump and worship without restraint. We all just needed it to revive our spirits.
God is so good how he knows just what we need and when and he just provides it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Tongan choirs send chills down your spine. It's amazing when they sing.
We went to the prison this afternoon and they sang for us. Oh man. It was beautiful. The guy could sing so high. Flip it was cool. There was one guy who was the hugest man I have ever seen in my life. He was frightening. It's like all he has done his entire life is work out. On top of that he must have some giant blood. Crazy. I should have taken a photo of him.


We had our first night of the youth camp tonight.
Once again I have been blessed by the Tongan people.
They are so hospitable.
They put on massive feasts for us. I don't know how they afford it.
The best thing about this trip so far has been getting to know the girls from Touliki Gospel Chapel better. Last time I came it was like an initiation of the relationship but it's really special to be building upon that.
They are so gorgeous. They make us laugh so much. They have decided we are all fat and they have delivered a few of our babies so far. Even Amy! And she's tiny.


This morning we went to a little secluded beach called Secret Cove. It was stunning. White sand, crystal clear water...
We took a picnic breakfast and sat on the sand.
It was such an amazing feeling to be eating paw paw on a little beach with sand under my feet and looking out at the waves hitting the reef.


We did a programme at Lavenga Malie High School today. It was really great. We could have sung better but the drama went really well.
At the end one of the teachers got up and thanked us. We're talking a big Tongan man. He cried in front of the school. It was so touching. I'm not gonna lie, I welled up.
He said that the drama really moved him and the other aspects of the programme.
Praise God! May he use it powerfully each time we do it.


The kids here in Tonga are totally different to NZ kids. We did our first holiday club and it was just so awesome.
They are so open and just want to touch you and hug you and have your attention.
We did our programme in this beautiful woman named Toa's house. There is swamp literally a meter from the back door. The living conditions were so shocking and yet the kids who all lived in the same area were so joyful.
It blew us all away.
When we brought out the craft stuff and the lollies you should have seen their faces. It was amazing. It was as if they'd never seen anything like the colourful pipecleaners and pom poms in their lives.
They made me think that I should be so much more grateful for everything that I have. Flip.