I Want to thank you for your prayers and support during this past year 2009 and looking forward to a great year ahead.
Christmas in The Solomon Islands:
This year we had District Assembly up until 12 of December and had a house full of people until the 17th. Then we left on the 19th to attend a Christmas camp on Makira Island. We returned on 26th December. Since we were so busy during the Holiday period we did not even get out our Christmas decorations this year. In some ways it did not feel like Christmas, at least not the traditional Western Christmas, but it was awesome anyway.
So you want to know; “How did we celebrate Christmas in the Solomon?” I’m glad you asked. Even if you don’t want to know I’ll tell you anyway. In the Solomon Islands, most people travel to their home island during the holiday period. Schools are out for the “Summer Break” in early December and do not resume until mid-January. We held our district meetings the first week of the break 8-13 December.
Zion Christian Academy, ZCA, held their closing Christmas program and graduation on Thursday 3rd of December. George was the guest speaker, but found out about it the day of the event. He sensed that this would happen so had something “on the back burner” ready to share. It worked out fine. Pray for Nancy as she leads the school for another year. Pray that our students will be well equipped to meet the challenges in the future. So I suppose the Christmas celebrations here began December 3rd. But actually 3 weeks earlier they began making preparations for the closing program.
December 19 we boarded the Solomon Airline flight to Kirakira on Makira island. Then we took an outboard motor boat to Nukukaisi village. This was Nancy’s first time to visit this village. It was a joy for George to have his wife along. Nancy and George were both involved in teaching and preaching. The camp was a combined youth and women’s camp. I wasn’t sure how that would work out, but everyone enjoyed it and they chose to have the next district camp combined in 2011.
Sunday we had our opening service and we had a big feast and we were full of pork, fish, sweet potatoes, greens, and all kinds of Solomon Island delicacies, complement of the Tikopian (Polynesian) people at Nukukaisi village can fix.
Christmas Eve, we held a combined outdoor service, on the beach. It had rained everyday while we were at camp, but even with the clouds threatening rain they decided to go ahead as planned. There was no rain during the outdoor service and it was in the middle of the night, well after all the equipment was safe at home before the rain began falling. The rain was always a welcome sight and provided us with fresh drinking water. The rains always came at the most opportune time and did not interfere with the services.
Christmas morning we had a baptism and baptized 14 children and youth. Then after the early service (7:30 a.m.) baptism at 9:00 a.m. they held the village combined Christmas service. All the denominations met in the Nazarene Church to standing room only. They expanding the church building by extending the roof and removing the side walls to accommodate the attendance. I would estimate 300 in attendance. We had an excellent service, with Bro. Dickson Manongi preaching complete with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.
Now today as I write this is New Years Eve and I expect to have the ship ferrying the campers to return sometime today. Tonight we are planning a church fellowship and service welcoming in the New Year.
1 January 2010 - HAPPY NEW YEAR
Well in the Solomon Islands as I get around to concluding this letter, 2010 has officially begun. We are looking with great anticipation toward the future.
Last night we had a fellowship meal followed by a service at Zion church. People shared their testimonies and we had communion together. The ship arrived at 3 a.m. this morning returning with those who attended the youth and women’s camp. The sea was rough and the ship they were fortunate enough to catch has a tendency to roll from side to side even when the sea is fine. It is good to have them back and are looking forward to their sharing about their camp experiences.
As I heard the revelry and the parties going on around the church. The beer was flowing and many were celebrating the New Year in this way, the thought of it all just made tears well up in my eyes. When I think of the price that Jesus paid for these people in spite of their addictions and sins. “Lord please help us to make a difference, to be the Light and Salt of this dark world” was my prayer as I sat teary eyed praying and weeping over the challenges faced in the Solomon’s. It is overwhelming, and to think this is in the Solomon Islands which claims to be a “Christian Country”.
Many things have happened recently which have intensified my passion for souls and has given me an urgency to be about the Masters business. I have no time to play games with the Lord, souls are hanging in the balance. Continue to pray for the Solomon Islands and Nancy and I as we want to make a difference this year.
Your Partners in His Ministry,
George & Nancy Miller