Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Campfire Time


Work This Week-This week we did our usual cleaning of rooms after the group left.  As special project this week we cleaned and then painted the rails and post of the Peterson house.  As usual we did some yard work.  One type of the trees here grows what looks like a giant bean but it is only rubbish.  However they are heavy and were weighing the tree limbs down so Andy pulled them off while we cleaned them up.  They will be ground up for mulch.  We had a new group come in on Friday. Both of us got the privilege of ringing the dinner bell letting our guests know it was meal time.


Around the Camp-Each of the storage containers here on the campgrounds have been painted.  They look so much nicer and also have a biblical message on them.  We had a  group of young people here learning leadership skills.  They invited us to their camp fire meeting on Saturday night and we’re so glad we went.  Several of the men leaders are very talented on string instruments and have great voices which they used to lift up praise to GOD.  They had “open mic night” and many of the youth and adults gave testimonies through words or music.  It was a blessing to be a part of this service.  One young man in particular impressed Ann with his testimony.  His name is Kioni and he feels God is calling him to start a church in Korea.  The little girl in the bottom right picture is Ari, Ann’s new friend from the Food Pantry.


Time Off-After we finished work on Sunday afternoon we met John & Lorrie at Christ Church in Kailua for a community sing along of Handel’s Messiah. The choir actually did most of the singing and they were very good.  We had copies of the music so we could sing along but the only song we really were familiar with was The Hallelujah Chorus.  Billy wasn’t all that impressed with this type of music but he was a good sport and didn’t whine.

Afterwards we went to John and Lorrie’s house to spend the night.  On Monday morning we saw a large group of children walking up the hill on the street by their house.  Lorrie said they were from the nearby school and it was a tsunami drill.  Lorrie also let us pick oranges for breakfast from one of her trees.  

Later they treated us to a early Christmas gift.  We went to the Kualoa Ranch and took the Ocean Voyage.  We first crossed a fish pond in a flat boat where the small fish come in through small holes to eat but as they grow they can not get back out so they continue to eat & grow until harvested. Then we rode out about a mile on the catamaran.  When we turned around the island had such a different view.  On the way back in we stopped at a reef and watched the sea turtles.

Now it’s time to get back to work.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Early Thanksgiving Celebration


This week started out slow with not a lot of work to be done.  We had a group stay Sunday night so we had one cottage to clean on Monday afternoon.  Billy started the week off watering, cutting grass, changing light fixtures and picking the garden (which is one of his favorite jobs).


Ann worked at the food pantry on Tuesday morning helping to get things organized and on Wednesday Billy joined her and others to help pack the food bags and boxes.  The bags are for singles and couples and the boxes go to families.  We both helped serve the breakfast meal that is prepared by Richard & Barbara.  Many friendships are being formed here.  May is in the picture with Billy and Anna is with Ann.


Since Wednesday was our day off, when we finished at the food pantry we headed to Honolulu.  Our first stop was the  National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific also know as the Punchbowl, an extinct volcano.   It serves as a memorial to those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces and many who gave their lives for us lay at rest there.   It was a very beautiful and moving place especially the chapel with all of the flowers for Veteran’s Day.  Afterwards we went to the Puu Ualahoa State Park and Rain Forrest which is just on the edge of town.  There we found great views of Diamond Head, Honolulu and Waikiki and lots of green trees and plants.


On Thursday afternoon 120 Hawaiian Baptist Academy 9th graders and their chaperones joined us for two days.  Very well mannered group of youth.  For Friday supper we served Thanksgiving dinner.  Billy was privileged to be asked to offer the prayer for the meal.  After each meal different groups were assigned to help with the clean up.  Billy and Andy are having too much fun washing all those pots & pans.  Looks like they are up to something.


The group left mid morning Saturday and we finished our cleaning early (well we didn’t finish it but saved some for Monday) so we went to  Ko’olina Beach Resort area.  It is just a few miles away but what a difference regular watering makes for the grass and plants.  It was lush and beautiful.  After a walk along the beach on the walkway that goes to each resort, including a Disney resort, we continued to the Ko’olina Yacht Harbor and saw big boats, little boats, everyday boats and yachts.  Afterwards we went in to Kapolei to do some Goodwill and grocery shopping.  We decided to eat supper at En Fuego.  It was delicious and not too expensive either.  Billy had the Grilled Mahi Mahi and Ann had the Ahi Stir Fry.  We will be eating there again.


Friday Ann went to the grocery store and when she went back out to the car there was a group of about 60 young men and women across the street protesting.  Their signs read things like “Stop for pedestrians” and “Share the Road”.  Evidently there have been some close calls and deaths with people being hit by cars that are not giving pedestrians the right of way.  The center left picture is Tony & Paula, our cooks, on the  left,  Lindsey on the right who is the secretary, and Andy & Ramona in back who are the camp co-directors.  Sunday was the pastor’s wife’s birthday and lunch at church.   After a little rest we went to Gary Reed’s home for an art show and reception.  Gary has a beautiful home and yard (and the art was nice too).

We are missing our family back home but feel so blessed to be able to serve God in this beautiful place.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Week Two in Paradise and Our 29th Wedding Anniversary

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On Tuesday  morning  Ann went to help sort food at the food pantry at Waianae Baptist Church. On Wednesday morning she went back to help serve breakfast, listen to the message that was shared and then helped give out bags & boxes of food.  She is making lots of new friends.  That afternoon she helped deep clean the K cottages and then disappeared to the prayer garden where she weeded the flowers and cleaned up.  Billy spent Tuesday and Wednesday moving beds so Tony, Paula & Ann could clean.  Billy & Andy moved 12 (heavy) drawer cabinets to the storage shed.  Billy also repaired many screens and pressure washed the Peterson cottage porch.  On Thursday Ann & Billy painted the porch with a sand based and very thick paint.  It was kind of like painting with red clay.  There are many geckos here and many of them live in the cottages and we have to clean up after them.

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We were able to slip away early a couple of days to go to the beach.  Ann also found a great place to take pictures from the 2nd floor of the main house.  We are on the dry side of the island and this (bottom left) is about as close as we get to rain.  There is a public park across the canal.  Friday & Saturday were our days off for the week so our way out we went to Walmart to get a few items.  Ann saw some sweet potatoes that were definitely not from Nash County.

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On Friday we went to John & Lorrie’s.  They live on the wet side of the island in Kaaawa  (yes it has three a’s and is pronounced Kaʻaʻaʻwa) Their house is on the side of a mountain with a beautiful view of the ocean.  After we got settled in they carried us to Kualoa Ranch , right down the road, for lunch and a quick look around in case we wanted to come back to do some of the activities they offer.

After lunch we traveled south along the shoreline stopping at several scenic points.   The last picture is the four of us in front of a calm ocean and the famous and much photographed Chinaman’s Hat at Kualoa Beach.  For supper we went to the officers club on Kaneohe Bay Marine Force Base where we ate Mongolian style.

On Saturday morning we had pineapple, mango and dragon fruit for breakfast.  The dragon fruit was pretty but not all that tasty. 

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Saturday John and Lorrie took us to Waikiki Beach to celebrate our 29th anniversary.  Before dinner we took a walk on the beach and around the hotel area.  We saw four weddings (no funerals).  We had dinner in the KoKo Café at the Hale Koa Hotel.  The Hale Koa Hotel on Fort DeRussy Armed Forces Recreation Center is a resort serving members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.  Click on this link to read it’s history.  It sits right on Waikiki beach and is beautiful.  For dinner we all chose the Grilled Citrus Mahimahi.  For desert Billy had Coconut Cream Pie and Ann had Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate Syrup.  It was all delicious.

On Sunday morning we went back to Waianae Baptist Church.  We feel very welcome and at home there.  Pastor Bryan talked about how even though the candidates he voted for did not win, he was at peace with it because God is still in control and He can use good and wicked people to accomplish His purpose.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Aloha, We’re In Hawaii!!!!

We arrived in Hawaii on Wednesday afternoon to start our tour of duty at Puu Kahea Conference Center in Waianae, Oahu.  It is part of the Hawaii Baptist Convention and offers a place to have adult retreats, seminars, meetings, training events, worship experiences, children’s camps, youth camps, and prayer retreats.  We will be here for two months doing cleaning, maintenance, yard work, dining room duty and other projects.  We plan to have some fun too.

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John & Lorrie, friends from home who moved here 13 years ago (middle & top right) met us at the airport to welcome us to Hawaii with beautiful flower leis.  Andy & Ramona (top left), the camp directors, were in route to pick us up but were in heavy traffic due to a wreck on H-1.  They gave us beautiful sea shell leis.  After we got our baggage we all went to eat supper while traffic cleared up some. It took us approximately an hour to travel 5 blocks to eat.  We were scheduled off on Thursday (our 1st day) so we could rest from the flight and look around.  So we walked to the beach (6 blocks) for a beautiful view. Yes I wore my jeans and shoes but I took my shoes off so I could stroll in the water with my bride.  We are way out in the Pacific and on this side of the island (west) the waves are very calm. 

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On Friday & Saturday we had to report for work. But before we could leave our cottage Billy had to show Ann how a golf cart works (now she’s a pro). Billy started the day off weed eating while Ann went through some of the rooms and made sure they were ready for arriving guest. She also cleaned the porches off from the grass cutting. After lunch and a little break we helped in the kitchen serving supper.  Ann is working the serving area getting it stocked and then keeping check on it. Billy is in charge of beverages and dish washing.  After a day off Sunday we were back at work on Monday morning.  We cleaned the rooms that were used on Friday night as well as the main house.  It didn’t take Billy long to remember why a mop is not his friend.  But he is sure they will be on first name basis by January.

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After church on Sunday, our day off, we road to the North Shore beach area.  We made several stops.  At the first stop (center and center left) the beach was so beautiful and folks were also surfing the big waves. Then as we wandered a few feet over this little girl keeps talking about seeing the turtles. On the beach were 12 LARGE turtles resting or sun bathing.  Several more were still in the water.  What a sight. 

Then we went to the north end where we stopped and got shrimp & rice off a food truck. While eating Billy noticed an issue with the van. It had a pin hole in one of the radiator lines so we began heading back just in case.

We headed back south (top pictures and bottom left) and stopped at an area that had a coral wall around it. The water was calm inside and rough outside and suddenly the rough waves would break over the coral with amazing sights. Then it would run off the coral and into an area people were swimming and snorkeling.  We saw several sites where waves were big and lots of surf boards but only a few in the water.  It is amazing how calm the waves are here on the west side and how big and rough they are on the north.  But hey “That’s the way GOD made it.”

As we are here in Hawaii serving GOD as we feel called, many of our friends and many more people we don’t even know are serving GOD in the north east following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.  We know they are doing it because they feel it is where GOD is calling them.  We lift each of you up in prayer each day and say THANK YOU for serving.