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IMG_2621I’m sitting in church appreciating the artistry. The colors- green, pink, red, orange, yellow, purple are at their brightest, most true hues. It’s not a stained glass window I am looking at; it is the beautiful outdoors and the artist is God.

Beyond our little clearing I see lots of green- short banana trees, tall leafy trees and bush. It makes the perfect background for the colorful blossoms, flowers and shrubs, some planted in rows and others popping up randomly. The meri blouses of the women arriving at our gathering reflect the bright colors of nature. (A little black meri blouse? Never! The more colorful, the better.)

We sit in rows of bright green plastic chairs. The wind blows the big blue tarp that gives us cover, threatening to unfasten it from the frame it is tied to. Two of the men get up and tighten the ropes and all is well. The children dressed in their Sunday best sit quietly all together along one side of the gathering. They sing along and pay close attention during the message

Our song lida leads us in the first song, How Great Thou Art. How fitting! It begins, Oh Lord my God When I in awesome wonder, consider all the works thy hands have made…..

Enjoying the bright, colorful, amazing creation surrounding us, it is with joy, awe and worship that we sing the chorus, Mi litimapim nem bilong yu;Yu antap olgeta….

Reminding us that that we live for now in a fallen world, a pesky rooster crows somewhere behind us. A red ant bites my toe and I move my feet to escape it. We sing a few more songs. Then the message starts and I jot down some points to remember.

1) Dispela world I gat troubles, says the pastor. We see evidence of this every day. The devastating loss of a loved one, a child with malaria or even the small annoyances of an ant bite remind us that this is a world full of troubles large and small.

2) We do not have to navigatim dispela life without Christ! Nogat! ‘I have told you these things so in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble but take heart. I have overcome the world’, says Jesus. And,’I will never leave you or forsake you.’ Oh, blessed relief, we are not alone as we navigate through this life!

3) Life is olsem a puff of smoke. Life is short; live it to glorifyim Papa God. Great biblical advice! Fulfillment and joy can be found in this short life as we follow God – and then there is heaven!

As the last verse of ‘How great Thou Art’ says,

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation, to take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.

Then I shall bow with humble adoration and there confess; My God How Great Thou art!

Yu Nambawan , Yu antap olgeta, Yu wanpela, Yu Bikpela!