Sunday, February 10, 2008
Managaha Island Campout & Eagle Rays
I love camping on the beach! I really look forward to the SDA School's yearly retreat to Managaha Island with the kids. Managaha Island is just a quick 15 minute ferry ride away from Saipan.
Every time we come out here we ALWAYS say we need to come out more often. It's just really peaceful and beautiful out here.
The times that we did camp out here we were the only ones on the island besides the security guards. Where else in the world can you have a whole island to yourselves?!
The kids set up their tents on two sides of the Pavilion. The boys are on one side and the girls are on the other. I felt like I was in junior high again! Amy and I ended up sharing a tent. It rained sporadically throughout the night. We didn't have the right tarp to cover our tent so we ended up a little wet in the morning. We still slept better than we both expected.
Our tents were lined up right along the shoreline close enough to hear the waves crash at night. Like our tree decorations?!
I woke up early on Sabbath morning for a sunrise walk on the beach. Sometimes I think I must be crazy to leave all this beauty and my life here behind. I'm trying to savor the time I have left here. Life is simple and so meaningful out here.
Some of the best memories of my childhood were from my school days. My mom worked really hard as a nurse to put my brother, sister, and I through SDA private school for all twelve years at Loma Linda Academy. At every SDA school we have something called a Week of Prayer. The school schedule is modified to accomadate a special hour in the day that focuses on God. This past week was Saipan SDA's week of prayer.
Jammed together under the Pavilion we would listen to Rikki and Joy jam on their guitars as we sang praise songs to start our worship service.
All week long I heard about a pastor coming out from Florida to preach to the kids. When I arrived I introduced myself to him. We looked at each other and he said " I think we've met before!" I didn't recognize him at first because the last time I had seen him was in junior high. His brother, Greg, was my classmate and Glenn was my younger sister, Gin's, classmate. Small world!
Pastor Glenn talked about how he never thought God would call him to a Pastor. He said, "I wanted to be a dentist, but I never could pass Chemistry!" Funny how you plan your life out but God has something better and greater than you could ever imagine. I really feel that Glenn touched these kids lives. Towards the end of his sermon he invited those who wanted to give their lives to Christ. Many of these kids wanted to give their lives to Christ. Glen currently is a pastor at the SDA Church in Miami, Florida. We hope that he can come visit us again someday.
Amy planned a lot of the team building activities for the kids. She's currently the preschool director and has been a real blessing to us. She's so creative and you can really tell how passionate she is about teaching and being around kids. Here's a picture of Amy and Rikki setting up for a game called Shadow Charades! This was fun. Here's some pictures of some bible stories the kids were trying to act. I just love abstract art!
Creation! God creating the world.
Jesus hanging on the cross.
The Israelites worshiping the Golden Calf before Moses came down and broke the Ten Commandments.
Some snapshots of the SDA teachers and the kids cooking our lunch.
Pastor Glenn and me
The funniest kid, Noah and his mom, Carol Paez.
During down time I walked over to the dock because I heard a rumor that you could spot Eagle Rays from the dock right before sunset and just after sunrise. Its true! I saw these three Eagle Rays around 7 am Saturday morning just hanging out around the dock! I wanted to jump in the water to get a better picture but I didn't have my underwater housing with me=( I'm really excited to see them because there's a good chance I'll see them again at the dive site Eagle Ray City on President's day weekend!
Here's a bird's eye view of the three Eagle Rays!
And to top off the camping trip I went snorkeling! I spotted an eel and tons of fish! Just love how the water is like 82 degrees=) Ahh, what a great weekend!