Well we’ve been at Talua for 3 days but it feels like a week! It’s very different here. Hot, sweaty and tiring! People are friendly and life is relaxed. Great to catch up with Dean again who was at DPC in 2009. A welcome banquet for us last night with all manner of strange foods, the team were very adventurous, Cameron and Dan tried all sorts of strange colored and textured food.
Today we split up into 4 groups and went to different churches around in the surrounding villages. Quite varying experiences. Dan and Dylan hiked 20km barefoot with Dean to a small remote village. Cathy, Kay, Jacob, Ben, Tim and myself went to church via canoe to the island of Tangoa. Others walked and some went by truck. It was good to see faithful young pastors preaching the bible in various churches. Some services are like a time-warp out of the 70’s – 3 hymn sandwich complete with 3 fold amen and the Lord’s prayer in King James English. There’s something surreal and scary about being in an isolated remote place, surrounded by volcanic terrain and jungle and black people, and walking into church and experiencing a traditional Australian Presbyterian service! Maybe one day they will be so bold as to introduce their own string band music and style of worship but I guess it’s up to the locals to work that out.
A highlight for me so far has been just sitting with some of the local kids and learning Bislama from them and asking them what their favorite Bible stories are.
Tomorrow we start the kids club at the local Tata school, we had a practice run yesterday, it went very well.