Guadalcanal: Island #1

So I’ve been in Honiara on the island of Guadalcanal for over 2 weeks now and I’ve decided I like it.
The weather is hot, super unpredictable and switches between rain and sun faster than Melbourne does, but I’m glad I’m not in Adelaide winter right now!
It’s very dirty here and the ocean is basically a rubbish tip. Everywhere else is jungle kind of stuff with lots of lizards and butterflies and malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
I was living in a double story wooden shack/house thing, but I moved last weekend. I now live in an $8000 IKEA house from China. Underneath is the classroom for the Bible school. They built the whole thing in almost a week.
Right now my house has no water and electricity only at night when the solar panels have charged, but it does boast beautiful sunsets and a pretty view. (That’s our team leader, John.)

It’s a very long walk through the mud to the toilet or shower or to get water. I try not not to step on the cane toads or the skeleton puppies that wander around. And I swear all the ginormous, ‘friendly’ Solomon spiders on this island have banded together to create some club where they try to appear everywhere I go.

Once the Discipleship Bible School started Monday week ago I thankfully got upgraded from garden weeder to teacher.
It’s so weird that I would be a guest speaker who gets REAL coffee AND cookies.
It’s true in Australia we did take a 3 week crash course on teaching and preaching, but it didn’t seem real. Last week though, I learnt for real how to teach 3-hour-at-a-time lectures.

If anybody would like to sit down for 6 hours I could talk your ear off about the book of Exodus but you probably don’t want to do that. And I don’t really want to do the talking.

My friend Brinnah, who is Samoan, -but married to a Solomon Islander- is teaching me all the things. Just like I am teaching her how to be a total hobo and things like that the dump is a perfectly good eating ground.
I think I learnt these kind of things from my youth group. It’s good to know that the Blackwood Hills way of life is spreading across the world and that life is really just everyone teaching each other.


This week Brinnah’s taught me how to cook in a weird -but GENIUS- sawdust bush kitchen and how to make 3 packets of 2 minute noodles feed 43 people.
Also, if I happen to go hiking with you and we find a coconut, I can easily start you a fire. I don’t think even Bear Grillz can do this.
I cannot, however, get mangos down from a 15 metre high branch. YET. I’m working on it.

This is my baby Darlene.


Now I understand why all parents think their kids are the new Einstein. Darlene is definitely the smartest 2 year old ever. And the cutest.
I’m practicing being as good a mother as her (actual) mother, Hilda, is. Hilda is almost as good a mother as mine is. Love you Mumma! ❤️
Hilda’s other kid Esther, actually does look like Einstein. I hope my future kids have hair like her.


Or like Baga. 

 

My favourite thing we’ve done -of course- is teach at youth group. We also went to the church there and I love all my new friends. I’m not sure if it’s just because we’re white, but they really seem to love the Inductive Bible Study classes we’ve given and learn a lot from them.
(The Inductive Bible Study Method is what our outreach is all about- teaching people to read the Bible in its original context and not read it or create theology through the lenses of our culture or time period or preconceived ideas.)
Hopefully my Pigeon (their language) improves because, obviously, it’s very frustrating not being able to communicate properly. But somehow it works. It’s definitely all Holy Spirit.


Last weekend I got to go to the Western Battlefield where they now have an outdoor museum-type thing. The Western Battlefield is where the Japanese actually held their camp during World War II! There were left over US and Jap planes and tanks but Sylvia, the historian (pictured below) promised me they don’t work anymore.

She is missing one battleship though -‘The Canberra’- so I promised her I would go for a scuba dive and get it for her museum. Now that I know there’s no crocodiles in the ocean, should be easy. Although I just found out that the creek of Burn’s Creek (where we’re living) is infested with the salt water crocs. Now I am so glad to be taking a ship to Malaita tonight. I’m not that sure what we’re doing there, but if I survive I will write.

Love, Taylor.

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update: SOLOMON ISLANDS

In 5 weeks, myself and three others will be heading to the (900!) Solomon Islands to teach islanders to teach themselves the Bible.

By the end of next week (on my 21st birthday!) I will have finished the final 3 books I have yet to study and then VOILÀ I will have completed my own, personal commentary of the Bible! (Available for sale on eBay afterwards for $29.95 😉 ).

Then, the majority of my friends/the other students will continue on their journeys in life and the few of us left will spend 3 weeks preparing for this outreach.

We will be flying onto Honiara -the only island we can fly onto (lol)- and living with the new Youth With A Mission base who are just pioneering their ministry there. We will help them run their first ever Discipleship Bible School – a 12 week intensive crash course that takes students through the entire Bible.

(If anybody wants to escape winter I would totally do this Bible school!! Who wouldn’t want to go to the Solomon Islands!?)

Aside from helping them out where we can, we will spend our time taking boats out from Honiara to churches on the other 300 inhabited islands that have asked us to come. Although around 90% of the Solomons population are Christian, many churches are made up of false teaching and cults, especially on the more remotes islands.

After spending 9 months in the Word ourselves, we want these churches -especially the pastors, elders and leaders- to actually know what’s inside the Book they believe in and the true words of Jesus.

The heart of our outreach is not to preach what we’ve learnt but to encourage the churches of the Solomon Islands in teaching them how to study the truth of the Word of God for themselves.

We plan to fit in as much ministry as we can in the times where we aren’t specifically asked to help/teach/speak. Although there’s not too much we can do in terms of materially helping on a short-term, bible-focused mission trip, we hope to spend time hearing people’s stories, visiting slums, digging wells (yeah I know, no comments please) and praying for people.

We believe that He is choosing us to help Him with what He is doing in the Solomon Islands and I am so excited that He wants to use me, a scared, not-yet-21 year old girl from Adelaide.

If you pray, please, it would be amazing if you could pray for myself and our team if we ever pop into your thoughts. And if you would like to literally help us get there, the Solomon Islands are so remote that this trip is extremely expensive! None of us have worked since we began Bible school (or began YWAM! haha), so we are trusting that God will provide the finances through people partnering with us.

If you want to know more about Titus Project (the outreach) or the Discipleship Bible School in the Islands, there’s some links below. 🙂

All the blessings!

Love, Taylor

http://www.titusproject.com/

http://www.dbsinternational.org/solomon-islands/

Christianity for Real

Hey friends! I’m stoked to update you all on what I’m doing! But I also really have on my heart to share about the lives of a Pakistani couple that visited our base the other week, who are currently pastoring a church persecuted for their faith. I honestly didn’t realize the reality of what’s happening to a fair amount of Christians in 2016, but I just wish that it had hit me before now how real it is and how I personally can help.
If that kind of thing doesn’t interest you at all, no worries you can just scroll to read the 411 on my life. But otherwise, I would really love if would join with me in  Continue reading

The 411

So, this is what’s up with me 😊 ;

I’ve moved to Mooloolaba (Queensland, Australia) to do the School of Biblical Studies (or SBS – another acronym to remember 😊 ) for 9 months at the YWAM base on the Sunny Coast- which is probably the most amazing, relaxed base in the world.
I was so sad to leave my home, but I’m so glad that I listened to Jesus because there is no place I’d rather be. He knows me so well. Classic. Continue reading

A VERY LONG BLOG POST

I know that whenever you come into a time of intense spiritual learning you are going to be met with equally intense spiritual warfare. So I’m not surprised to say that the past month has been really hard. Eye-opening and life-changing and uber-exciting and all that jazz but also really challenging. I guess if I had to choose one word to describe how I feel about everything right now it would be amazed.

The best way to visualize where I currently live would be to picture Hobbiton blended with the ex-hippie commune it began as Continue reading

Rockin’ in the Free World

I feel like I often hear that no one in this day and age wants to -or has time to- sit down and read an 800 word blog post. But it seems I still am confusing some people with where I am and what I’m doing. And therefore it seems I have no other option if I am to communicate with everyone across the globe. ..Well, except for a vlog (i.e. a video monologue for all you non-hipsters out there) but honestly, nobody wants to hear my voice on camera and I am sometimes prone to word vomit (see Mean Girls). So, an 800 word blog it is. 🙂

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Christian Ministries with the University of the Nations Continue reading