It's been a while since I've done a general update on us, so I've decided to do something about that! Steve and the girls have been back from Fiji for a couple of weeks now. They had a really great time there. The girls very much enjoyed catching up with old friends the first week and working alongside the team that Steve led the two weeks following.
One of the highlights of the trip for them was being part of the first group with women in it to be allowed in the Maximum Security Prison. Steve had organized for a group from New Zealand to donate solar powered radios preset to Chri*tian radio stations in Fiji and the team went along for them to be presented at the prison. They were surprised to find that the Commissioner of Prisons had organized for a ceremony where the prisoners performed Fijian dances, etc, there was a formal 'handing over' ceremony, and a meal.
The experience at the prison meant a lot to the girls for a couple of reasons. One was that they got to meet George Speight, the 2000 Coup leader, who already knew about them from Steve. They said it was very strange to see his face, remember all of the emotions tied to the coup, and then realize how he has changed since then. Another reason is the people who kept coming up to them telling them that they loved Terry and had appreciated work in the prison as well.
The girls also joined the team in min*istry in squatter settlements, schools, etc, and spent time in the interior of the island of Viti Levu in a village situation.
They came back obviously having had some good bonding time with Steve. They are both joyful and excited about the future of our family together in min*istry. And they are both obviously closer to our Father, whom they would tell you themselves they haven't always been on speaking terms with over the last couple of years!
We will have a few weeks of just being a family here before we make a trip to Oklahoma and Texas to catch up with friends, partially in preparation to head overseas. Then, Steve has to make a final 4 week trip to Fiji in mid-September to finish out his role with the organization he worked for in New Zealand.
We still tentatively plan to head to New Zealand near the beginning of '09 where we will spend some time getting to know Steve's family and culture and have more needed time bonding as a family ourselves.
We will be taking a road trip of over 2000 miles (to Tulsa, Dallas, and Midland) at the end of the month to see many of you as we prepare to leave the country.