We were in Micronesia for my sabbatical year from the Univ. of Hawaii to study intercultural communication, serve the Lord in order to get a taste of the missionary experience… and to be honest…. enjoy the clear waters, sandy beaches, and swaying palm trees of the islands in the Pacific.
We stepped through the fringe of ironwood trees onto the narrow sand beach. I looked out on the flat, calm, reef-protected water, and then down the tree-lined curve of the beach. As far as I could see, there was no one except a couple of naked children playing at the water’s edge several hundred feet away.
Betty squealed and jumped as the sand under her feet “moved” as hundreds of tiny hermit crabs in their tiny shells scurried across the sand. It was an overcast, grey, yet warm and pleasant day, Christmas Eve, 1979. We were at Tumon Bay, one of the WWII invasion beaches on Guam, which is now a US territory. We snorkeled in the fantastically warm clear waters where we could see “forever” underwater.
We were 3 weeks on Guam at the Liebenzell mission house. We toured using the mission van, met ministers and missionaries, had lunch with the Guam Ministers association at the plush officers club, conversed with faculty at the Univ. of Guam, and were “briefed” on Liebenzell mission activities in Micronesia.
Shortly after Christmas Day service at an open-air chapel, we were to fly on to Truk and teach at the Micronesian Institute of Biblical Studies. But, I was having physical problems and we made the agonizing decision to return to Honolulu to get medical help. My dream adventure for my sabbatical year was shattered!
In Honolulu, we stayed with a Christian friend from our church, Ray Jee, because we had rented out our home for the year. The Lord led us to a new doctor, a Naturopath, who finally got me turned around and feeling better.
After 2 months in Honolulu, we talked to the Liebenzell Mission Field Director in Truk by short wave radio and asked if we could still come. Yes!
Off we went again, headed for Truk. Our first stop on the way was the beautiful high island of Pohnpei, where we found a Kapingamarangi treasure.
Join us for the next Blog.