Tonga to Hawaii

Like just about everyone in the world, we had our lives interrupted due to COVID-19.  We were really getting into a good groove with our life in Tonga. We acclimated to the heat and humidity, we made some good friends, we were making progress on our living situation, had some fun on awesome beaches and we even learned how to shred fresh coconut! 

This photo is the prettiest place in Tonga!

We didn't provide any updates on our blog while in Tonga because, first of all, we were trying to slow life down and simplify things, but a very slow internet connection with limited data helped us stick to that plan.

Now we are posting this update from the island of Oahu, Hawaii. This is Olivia on the deck of our rental house with the landlord's gift basket of the two main food groups in Hawaii...chocolate covered macadamia nuts and pineapple!
We are currently under a 14 day quarantine for any travelers arriving to the we have plenty of time to catch up on some things.  Hawaii has a stay at home order, but we'll see what happens after our 14 days.  There are still a lot of people out and about. Hopefully we can get out and enjoy some outdoor activities while we are here. 

All things considered, we are very blessed! Hawaii is not a bad place to hang out - even being stuck indoors.  We are luckier than most of people all over the world in this very challenging situation and we are counting our blessings. We are in a very comfortable home with a view of the ocean, we have plenty of food, and a stock of toilet paper - Sam's club ran out here, but we brought 24 roles with us from Tonga.   

You may be asking, "Why did we leave Tonga??"  Even though Tonga is one of the 16 countries of
the earth without COVID-19, we were admonished to leave the island to be close to better healthcare facilities.  If the virus does show up there, with Simon's heart condition, that would not have been a good place to be if he was exposed and contracted the virus.  

We plan to be here in Hawaii for at least 2 months.  By then we hope for things on a global scale to take a turn for the better and the virus numbers diminish enough to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe even to the extent that travel becomes safer and airlines start flying again and we can return to Tonga.  

We thought about going back to Kansas City to wait it out, but the idea of going back home just didn't feel right.  God made it very clear that that was not the right thing to do.  It was weird to not feel good about going home when the world was crashing in a little more every day. We actually didn't know really how crazy things were and the thoughts people were having until we were flying to Hawaii and read the newspaper. It made sense logically to be back to our home with the familiar environment, family, friends, our food storage - including our supply of toilet paper! The thought of flying on multiple airplanes and traveling through multiple airports increasing our chances to come in contact with the virus was a big concern.  But Hawaii just seemed to be the place the Lord wanted us to be.  Hopefully we will know why very soon and have a clear direction on what we should do next.  Our hope is to be able to get on a plane and go right back to Tonga within 3 months.  That may take a miracle, but we believe in miracles. We all need one!

We are told from our church leaders to have peace during these turbulent times. We know our faith in Christ, the Prince of Peace, offers solace from all earthly cares. That is obviously easier said than done! It takes effort to demonstrate enough faith from deep within our souls to truly feel peaceful and calm when our life takes unexpected turns - when paychecks stop coming, we and those we love are affected by a life threatening illness, and everything about our life seems to be wrapped in uncertainty and turmoil. 

We have a loving Heavenly Father who knows us personally and will sustain us through our trials.  Even if He does not take away the trial, our faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice with give us
power to heal and overcome. We will have the eternal perspective and meaning to understand the purpose in all things and look forward to a brighter day.  In Christ we have peace.


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