Tuesday, December 10, 2013

There IS Beauty All Around

After we received our mission call to the Marshall Islands, we spent considerable time researching the area on the Internet.  The ONE place that concerned us as we dug deeper and deeper was Ebeye Island.  We read MANY unsavory comments about the island. That it is the slum of the Pacific.  How there were no trees, no flowers, nothing except people and row upon row of lean-to structures that housed 14,000 people.  We also saw pictures of children playing in the dump, with comments that said "that's where the children have to play as they have no where else to go!" Yikes, what were we getting ourselves into?  In our mind we had created the worst-cast scenario of what the island was going to be like.  I thought, how can they send us here, where there is NOTHING?  NOTHING!  How will we ever survive?  Where will we live?  Boy, were we surprised when the ferry approached the island. We could see trees! Coconut trees swaying in the wind! And trees with flowering buds!  What a pleasant sight that was!  I will admit this island is not exactly what you would think of when you picture a Pacific Island in your mind.  But it has become beautiful to us. WE LOVE IT HERE!  There is plenty of beauty to be found on this island.  The people are actually the most beautiful aspect of this island.  You will not find a more friendly, humble, giving group of people anywhere.  We have felt nothing but love ever since we set foot on this island.  But, before I posted some of the images of the less than perfect parts of the island, I first wanted to implant into your minds of some of the beauty that can be found here.  Some of the flowers here are as pretty (hah, I used another word) as any you will find anywhere.  The trees are also interesting with their leaves and visible root systems.  I also love to watch the tall palm trees blowing in the winds.  The flora here is evidence of our Heavenly Father's hand in the creation of so many plants and flowers that beautify this earth.  Proof to me that no matter where you go, you can find beauty on this earth.  I have to admit, maybe I have become numb to some of the less savory bits on this island because I often don't even notice the bad.  When we walk around the island my eyes are focused on finding the beauty.  That small flower that covers the old fence, the little flower next to the ocean, or a spot of greenery amongst the brown huts.  These are some of the tender mercies that help me LOVE this island.  Next to the people, the flowers are what I love most about this island. Oh, and maybe the ocean waves and the sea shells, too.  See, this island has so much to give if we will just look for it! 

Adorned with some of the beautiful flowers and leaves from Ebeye (inside the church chapel)

The view from the ferry upon arrival - yes, Ebeye does have trees!

Beautiful greenery protecting an old home (yes, it is occupied)

A most interesting evergreen tree next to the grocery store

Pandanus tree with most interesting fruit (no never tasted it yet)

Interesting roots on the Pandanus tree

Coconut trees and bushes hidden inside the gate

One of the nicest homes (and probably the biggest) on the island.  Most homes have gravel or sand surrounding their space.  This home is nicely landscaped and maintained, and fenced (a rarity). 

beautiful yellow flower hiding along the rooftops and antennas


God's creations and beauty can be found in the unlikeliest of places on this small island.  Tucked down alleyways, behind fences, along the ocean.  You can find beauty if you just look for it.

 Flowers of all colors - yellow, red, pink, purple and white.  Each unique in it's own way.
the red flowers used on Sister Becker's crown

the white flowers used in Elder Becker's lei - my favorite!

gorgeous pink flowers
my favorite flower, again

dainty red flowers

purple impatiens flowers

Small hibiscus flower hiding along the ravaged coast line grasses

beautiful yellow flowers

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