In 1973, while I was teaching in a school several miles away on New Ireland, my sister Arlene and her husband were missionaries living in a semi native-style house in the small village of Tufabi. Arlene was pregnant with her first child.
Arlene loved the house Michael and some of the villagers had built mainly from local bush materials. It looked out over the ocean to where the distant salt haze merged the sea into the sky.
Her first pregnancy was a good, healthy one. She glowed with well-being from her natural health and the enormous amounts of locally grown fruit and vegetables she ate. She also walked along the beach right beside their house, and swam in the limpid tropical water.
She had one concern regarding her lifestyle. She was getting very little protein in her diet. Gazing out the window at the sea, brilliant turquoise that day, she prayed, God, please provide more protein for me and this baby. Thank you for the occasional eggs the village women give me so sacrificially, but I feel I need more than they can give. She breathed in the tangy salt air.
One day as Arlene tidied the house, she heard a car purring in along the sandy driveway. It stopped outside the house. Who could be visiting? She hurried over to the window to see. Brown hair and a brown-bearded face peered from the car. It was Peter! He clambered out.
Peter was a Christian who taught in a nearby school. He had avoided them until recently and had just begun to visit. What could he want today?
“Hello, Peter!” she called from the window.
Peter reached into the car and pulled out two large trays of beautiful eggs. Dozens of them. “Hello. I’m the egg man at school and these were left over. Can you use them?”
Could she use them! All that lovely protein, waiting to be made into omelettes or boiled eggs or . . .
Thank you, God! She breathed. And as she thanked Peter, Michael invited him in for a cup of tea. It was the first of many happy times together.
Sorry the photos are old. Taken in 1973.