HE HAS RISEN!!!! HE HAS RISEN INDEED!!!!
What a blessing to be able to celebrate our Savior’s resurrection with our missionary family here on the Kudjip compound. It started out with a very early get-together in a backyard overlooking the “cow banis” (cow fence/pasture) and mountains. Everyone trickled in around 5:45AM. Seats were set up and people talked as they waited for everyone to arrive. As the sun started to rise over the mountains we were led in a service where we “heard” from Peter, John the Beloved, Mary Magdalene and Thomas. We listened to their feelings and thoughts from before the crucifixion, the crucifixion and after Jesus rose from the dead. It was amazing to hear this story put into their perspective when celebrating our Savior’s resurrection. Even more amazing was realizing that these people thousands of years before had heard the birds early in the morning and they watched the sun come up, just like we were doing. After the devotional we were able to sing songs together and praise the Lord for His triumph and glory.
After the service we held a potluck and laughed and talked together. There was definitely a lot of great food! After the potluck the highschoolers hid about 100 eggs for the younger kids to find. Benjamin did not know what to make of it at first. He went to get the eggs we helped him find but did not want to put them in his basket. After he handed me the eggs I tried to put them in his basket, and he went running in the other direction with the basket. Oh well, it was only his first Easter Egg Hunt. Once he finally realized what was going on though he was willing to put the eggs in his basket.
The rest of the day was spent with family and eating a lot of great food. It was a real blessing to be able to celebrate Easter with my family. It has been a while since I have been able to do that. The best part is that Lukas and Benjamin were able to experience some of the traditions I have talked about. We really enjoyed the making of “Resurrection Cookies” Saturday night. Each ingredient has a message behind it and different Bible passages. For instance, we beat the pecans, just like Jesus was beaten and read a few verses on what the soldiers did to Jesus. We add vinegar (which we smell) and are told that that was given to Jesus to drink. Salt is tasted for his tears. An egg white is whipped for the purity we have after accepting Jesus’ forgiveness of our sins. Added to the “adult” Bible reading, we also read about Jesus being crucified in Benjamin’s Bible. After the cookies were made we plopped them on a cookie sheet and stuck them in the oven overnight. We then taped the oven shut (resembling Jesus being sealed in the tomb) and then came back on Sunday morning to see what happened. What is supposed to happen is that the cookies become hollow on the inside like an empty tomb. In all the years my family has made them we have never been able to make them work(maybe due to the altitude of Ecuador and now PNG). But hey, they still taste great and have a story full of significance. Lukas and I have decided that even when we are not with my family we are going to continue this tradition since it is meaningful and easy to do regardless of age.