of the family, PROTEACEAE.
Again, note the long extended style so typical of this family. See the same feature in this Banksia, the Mountain Devil, and the Crinkle Bush; all different genera from the same family.
"Now that's a funny thing," said Mrs Piggle-Wiggle. "I mean your hating to wash dishes so much, because you see, I like to wash dishes...
"When I wash dishes, Mary Lou, I pretend that I am a beautiful princess with long, golden, curly hair (Mary Lou's hair was jet black and braided into two stiff little pigtails), and apple-blossom skin and forget-me-not blue eyes. I have been captured by a wicked witch and my only change to get free is to wash every single dish and have the whole kitchen sparkly clean before the clock strikes. For, when the clock strikes, the witch will come down and inspect, to see if there is a crumb anywhere. If there are pots and pans that have been put away wet, if the silverware has been thrown in the drawer, of if the sink has bot been scrubbed out, the witch will have me in her power for another year."
Pastor Ndugu, a godly African church elder, first made this truth real to me, some four years afer I started my missionary service in Congo. Things had gone wrong at Nebobongo. I was very conscious that my life was not what is should have been. I was losing my temper with nurses, being impatient with the sick, getting irritated with workmen. Everything had got on top of me. I was overwhelmingly tired, with an impossible work load and endless responsibilities. Suddenly I knew that I had to get away from it all and sort myself out and seek God's forgiveness and restoration, if I was to continue in the work.
The pastor had seen my spiritual need and made all the arrangements for me to go to stay in his village for a long weekend. I felt crushed by my own wretchedness and oft-repeated failures. I knew I was quite unworthy of the title 'missionary' and I yearned to know the secret of a closer walk wit God and of a new in-filling by the Holy Spirit. On the Sunday evening, I went to the pastor and his wife, as they sat together in the palaver hut by the embers of the fire, and asked him to help me. I did not have to explain what I meant. He knew.
Opening his Bible at Galatians 2:20, he drew a straight line in the dirt floor with his heel. 'I,' he said, 'the capital I in our lives, Self, is the great enemy.'Stillness reigned.'Helen, ' he said quietly, after a long pause, 'the trouble with you is that we can see so much Helen that we cannot see Jesus.'Again he paused, and my eyes filled with tears.'I notice that you drink much coffee,' he continued presently, apparently going off at a tangent. 'When they bring a mug of hot coffee to you, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, you stand there holding it, until it is cool enough to drink. May I suggest that every time, as you stand and wait, you should lift your heart to God and pray...' and as he spoke, he moved his heel in the dirt across the I he had previously drawn,'... Please, God, cross out the I.'It was very still.There in the dirt was his lesson of simplified theology- the Cross - the crossed-out I* life.
"Good girl, Mum!"
It's almost exactly a month since his last attempt at a compliment
(see post on 14th Jan), and he seems to have learnt something
important in that month!
First, there was a spill on my computer which put it out of action for
a while. When I returned to Vanuatu Glen was able to fix it so now
it's even better than it was!!
Second, ever since an electrical storm a few weeks ago, our phone line
has been completely dead. There is only one phone on the whole of
campus that works and so while we have access to email through their
phone line, we have no access to internet (it is too slow and
expensive to use on someone else's line). If you want to contact us,
email is the best option. Comments to the blog come to me via email,
(thanks for your recent comments Bec and Alan. Alan, your comment was
helpful and I'll post a response as soon as we're online again). I
can post via email, like today, which I may do every now and then.
The formatting never quite works as well that way... and I can't post
Thirdly, correspondence school has begun for the year. Bethany has
started so it's taken me a while to get my head around supervising
school for both of them. Kindy is quite intense and while much of
Sophie's work is directed by a tape, there's only so much self-
directed work a six-year-old can cope with!!
So if you're hanging in there to find out what's happening... thanks
for your faithfulness!! We're doing well back here in Vanuatu. It's
raining a LOT and that keeps the place cool. The three weeks
intensive Greek course Glen was teaching with Pastor Shem for the
inaugural class for the bachelor program has gone really well. It's
orientation this week for the students and the big opening service and
feast this coming Sunday. Term One begins on Monday. There's a new
family from New Zealand come to work on staff at Talua, with five
children, and our girls are spending much of their spare time with
them at the moment.
I'm hanging in there for the satellite internet which is on the way...