Here in Kona, we've been really busy preparing for the arrival of our students. I have the privilege of working alongside Adam and Chieko Little, who are my adopted Kiwi cousins, Samuel Brokenshire, my Aussie brother, and our new family member Caroline Wood. We've been hacking away at our extensive, pre-school to-do list, working on everything from writing and formatting our DTS syllabus to hearing God on outreach locations.
We also learned to husk coconuts in a base-wide effort to provide every one of the 200 students arriving on Thursday with a fresh coconut as a picture of communion and unity. Husking coconuts involves whacking them really hard with proper technique on a pointy stick and eventually shredding off the "husk." What you end up with is the round hairy shell that we find in grocery stores. The best part of husking, in my opinion, is the part when you accidentally puncture the shell instead of just the husk and have to drink the coconut milk before it all comes out. It's a perilous task with great rewards. As you can probably imagine, 200 coconuts is a lot! We've been harvesting and husking at all kinds of hours, and finally come close to the mark. Of the 200 students arriving, 16 (or so - some are still applying) are going to be on the school that I am staffing. And I simply cannot wait.
Yesterday, we had a 12 hour "burn"(12 hours of collective, unbroken prayer) and I asked God to give me His heart for our students. He has such love and such great plans for each one of them, and I am so honoured to be a part of releasing them into those plans. Some, I have already met because they are Mission Builders here on the base. Some, I will only meet on Thursday, the official kick-off day of the school. I can only imagine what is in store for the next five months, but whatever there is, I am getting excited.
Please pray that Adam, Chieko, Sam, Caroline and I receive continued energy from the Lord. Pray that we get everything done in time so that we start off our school on the right foot. Pray that we align our heart with God's, and are able to disciple our students by loving example. Finally, pray that each of us recieve a renewing of support. It's super important to have a solid support network behind us if we are going to pour into the student's lives as we intend to. I definitely can't do this without the words of encouragement, the prayers and the general support of all of you back home and in various part of the world. I love and appreciate all of you.
P.s. We HAVE been praying about outreach locations, and we know roughly where we will be sending teams. Only a few are privy to the details, but I'll be letting you know as soon as I have the okay!