Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Psalms 19:21
Its taken me a few days to digest this experience......humbling, energizing, flat out amazing!
First, for those of you who asked for specs on Yap here are a few facts:
- The state of Yap is one of four island state groups making up the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), others being Chuuk, Kosrae and Pohnpei. Yap is on the extreme western end.
- Yap is made up of 4 large islands, 7 small islands and 134 atolls, with a total land area of 45.6 square miles. We were on the largest island, Yap proper.
- Figures from the 2000 census give the approximate population of the FSM to be 107,000, with Yap proper at 5,500 and the outer Yapese islands at 4,800.
OK, no more specs! As many of you know , despite my own, and the prayers of others, I had some anxiety going into this. There was little advance info other than a request for counseling skills at a foundational level. We had some discussions when I got to Guam about the Yapese culture, and also about a clear mandate from PIU that this was a very important "first" in connecting to Yap in a new ways. It seemed a huge undertaking.
God came through in a big way!! Whew!
We were welcomed, and for three days we presented what was requested, and folks participated, discussed, laughed, and taught us as much as we taught them! I also got a chance to give an in-service at College of Micronesia and Marci spoke at a church youth group meeting. Things went amazingly well on all fronts!!
Most amazing in the conference, was something that hit us all on about the afternoon of day two. Because changes have come to Yap, folks felt counseling is something that is definitely needed. But, many of ourwestern concepts were a "stretch" and this led to great exchanges regarding what is/is not culturally appropriate and what it will mean to appropriately adapt concepts and skills. At one point we all found ourselves contemplating that, if not now, then perhaps the next generation, or the one after that would be using these new re-creations. The people in the room beginning this work, were the ones who are turning the soil.
I slipped out of the room shortly after that discussion for a moment and tearfully thanked God for allowing me to be a tool to plant seeds.
Jonathan, our host, a PIU graduate, who took the risk to set this thing up e-mailed me after I returned to Guam and he acknowledged this as a "groundbreaking project." He added: I have things in mind but God’s timing and ways are always best. Remember us in your prayer. He signed it: "Your Yapese Brother, Jonathan.
Once again I am blessed, and I too ask for each of you to remember those courageous folks in Yap in prayer!
God bless and enjoy this video on Yap...... ok one more spec.....I saw enormous clams some 5-6 feet across while snorkeling......wow!