Imelda showing off her certificates (pic taken at our house)
Then an hour or so after church on Sunday (about 3pm) Imelda came to our house and asked if we could come and join her family and friends in a gathering to celebrate her graduation and good results. So off we went as family for a big meal of greens, rice, kaukau, cooking bananas and chicken and 3:30pm (and that only an hour after eating our own lunch at home!!)
receiving our food!
It was nice to be part of the gathering! Of course, being the weekend there was a lot of drunk people wandering about. So, so sad to see their hopelessness. One man was extremely drunk and he was some relative of Imelda. Her poor family was so determined to get him away from us, but he was determined to be loud and noticed. He stumbled and fell and shouted and carried on. Then suddenly he saw us sitting there and he got a cheeky kind of smile on his face. He came up, shaking hands and repeatedly saying, “sorry, sorry pastor, sorry”. Then he shook hands again and said (well here’s the translated version for you anyway): “sorry, pastor. I can’t lie to you. I did have a little bit to drink. Sorry pastor.”
Even in his drunken state – and believe me he was out of it – he still had some recognition that a pastor had something to do with God, and that drunkenness wasn’t a good thing. Sad to know though that he and many others like him, waste their lives away in beer and drugs, often to the point of destroying their brain and becoming permanently “longlong” (Tok Pisin word used to describe someone silly, stupid, foolish, or mentally retarded…in this case I mean that they sustain permanent brain damage). May the Lord work among all the drunkards in Biwat settlement too!
There’s one little girl (about 5 I would guess) who lives near Imelda’s house (some relation, though I am not exactly sure what relation), who I just adore. She is also “longlong”, (as they call her, which means in this instance that she has a mental disability. She is not majorly disabled, but you can tell that she is not normal, just a bit retarded). She is just so cute. She is so happy and full of smiles. She loves to hug all our girls and just loves to sit on my lap. She is so affectionate! It’s interesting to watch the reaction of the people, however. When she comes to sit on my lap, their instant reaction is to try and tell her to get off (they think that she would bother me!!), until I repeatedly tell them that I don’t mind at all. Imelda is so kind to this girl and it heartens me to watch the way most of the family treat Mercy (that’s the girl’s name) with love!
a group of kids enjoying the entertainment - watching the whiteskins eat! The girl in the green shirt on the far end (not on the left, but on the right) is Mercy!