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Jan - Feb 2009 Newsletter

Jan - Feb 2009 Newsletter

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Published by: Craig on May 11, 2009
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06/16/2009

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MARCH 5, 2009 JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2009 VOLUME 4, NUMBER 1
Marriage
 
Celebrant
 “Everyone mustsubmit himself to thegoverning authorities…” Rom. 13:1Since April 2008 Iknew that I wouldbe performing awedding in January.Beginning in thatmonth I madeapplication to berecognized as alegal celebrant. Thenine monthheadstart did notprove to besufficient for mycolleagues at theoffice of CommunityDevelopment. Bothweddings that Iofficiated in Januaryrequired a judge tolegally sign for theweddings while Iserved as theministerialrepresentative.When working withthe governmenthere (and probablywith mostgovernmentsaround the world) Ithink it is mostappropriate to say ‘if’ instead of  ‘when’.
Wedding Bells!
On January 1
st
, 2009 and January 8
th
, 2009 I officiated twoweddings.Poni and Loraine, two young adults from church, opted for a ‘Western style’ wedding. This included a ceremony at a nicelocal restaurant and a reception for a couple hundred people atanother venue. In many ways it was a typical ‘Western’ stylewedding with two significant exceptions. First, the weddingstarted an hour and a half late – for no apparent reason.Second, the scantly clad tribal dancers are not usuallyparticipants in western style weddings. Interestingly, I wore atie for the first time in almost three years of living here.John and Siggy, a second young couple from the church, optedfor a simple ‘church blessing’ style wedding. The wedding tookplace at our house and was a very nice, yet simple event.Comparing these two weddings I noticed the beauty of God’sworking in the world. God does not require pomp and ceremonyto consider something a marriage. But, God also is not botheredby our celebrating something he ordained. In the midst of thesetwo weddings God opened a door for us to introduce/reintroducethe Biblical concept of marriage. My prayer is that these twoweddings plant a seed in the minds of young people as theyconsider a form a marriage that is pleasing in God’s eyes.
 
 Decision Making
 
in the Church –Alotau-Style
 
In a North Americanmeeting context theagenda item ispresented,discussed openly,and then resolved.In Alotau we have amuch more ‘roundabout’ way to makedecisions. After thetopic is initiallyintroduced there isoften a lengthydelay. Then eachindividual sharestheir thoughtsabout a certaintopic. While wemight saysomething like “Iagree with Craig’sidea”. They find itnecessary to retellthe idea, retell whyit is a good idea,and express why itis their choice. It isimportant for eachperson to fullyexpress theirthoughts. If oneparty disagrees weoften talk untilthere is a clearagreement. I stillfind myself usingexternal tools tomonitor my pace.For example, whenI think an issue hasbeen agreed upon Icount s-l-o-w-l-y toten and if no onecomments I knowwe can move on tothe next agendaitem.
Baptisms:
I
n this two month periodthere have been morebaptisms than I canremember in such a shortperiod of time. Marcuscontinues working outsideof town with several villagesto the west of Alotau. Theresponse has beentremendous with close to adozen people baptized Jan -Feb. Sorry I won’t take the time to list them individually.Especially rewarding for me personally was to witness thebaptism of Sonya Diosi (above). Her family has been staying withJoel Siropodi and Joel encouraged her to be baptized. After oneof the studies at our house she decided to be baptized and Joelbaptized her that very night. I think I feature a story aboutsomeone Joel converts nearly every newsletter. He is a joy towork with and truly a humble servant of Jesus Christ.I am currently having weekly studies with three non-Christians(Sally, Margaret, and Nick). Pray that God will be active in theprocess of redemption for these three people.Craig Teaching Tuesday Night Bible Study at our House
Furlough 2009:
I
wanted to pass along our travel plans for our trip to Canadaand the States. If we are going to be near you we would love tosee you. Also, we would enjoy having the opportunity to make apresentation at your church.May 13
th
– June 30
th
– Beamsville, OntarioJuly 1
st
– July 29
th
– Chyenne, WyomingJuly 29
th
– August 30
th
– Houston, Texas

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