September 13. It’s a little after 8:30 p.m. I just finished studying the lesson for ladies’ meeting tomorrow.
It has been a wonderful, busy, happy, sad, joyful, tearful blessed day. After breakfast and quiet time, I got the students’ benches and foot locker covered with blue and white material. Then I practiced the music for the program once again and went over the short welcome and introduction to the program that I would be giving to the guests. Heard the students outside decorating the entry way to the meeting place. Students’ parents and families had been up since 4:00 a.m. preparing food for the fellowship time.
It was a nice sunny morning. Daddy didn’t have to start a fire today.
We knew that the students and their families had invited relatives for the graduation program, but we had no idea how many would be coming -- many more than what they had invited. Shortly before 10:00, we opened the front door. Daddy asked David to take care of the door and seat people as they came in. We were certainly thankful for his help in that. People started coming right at 10:00. Some had been waiting outside for a while before that. They just kept coming and coming and coming. Matthew started the service with prayer and singing about 10:10. We sang three songs, and he was about to turn the program over to the school, but people were still streaming in so we sang a couple more songs. Then Matthew decided to give announcements before the school program so he did that. I came into the house and got me a piece of cheese for snack and a drink of water. I didn’t want to get a headache or migraine or feel too faint while I was playing keyboard.
I think it was about 11:00 when the school program started. The students sang six songs and recited four verses. Students’ speeches were interspersed among the singing. I had told them to make their speeches only two or three minutes (at the most), but some of them were much longer. Most of them expressed their gratitude to God, to their parents, to the church, and to their teacher. There was a lot of sobbing throughout, and by the time we got to the young ladies’ quartet, they could hardly sing because of sobbing. So the song didn’t exactly sound like it should have. Daddy wants them to sing it again sometime in another meeting when they aren’t so emotional. They really do sound nice when they sing together.
After the last song, I gave a little thank you to the students and the church. Then Daddy gave a challenge to the students, and Matthew (whose talk was to go to the church) had a few words for everyone - the church, the students, and the unsaved. Yes, there were many unsaved there. The whole time the program was going on, people kept coming in. They were packed in like sardines in a can. Over half of the people from the other church must have been there. A few SDA’s were there. Teacher John was there and so was the new doctor. We weren’t able to get a count, but we estimated about 300 visitors. Many people were standing outside because there was no room. Everyone, I’m sure, got a good taste of the Gospel - through Matthew’s talk and through the songs. May the Word bring forth much fruit for eternity is our prayer.
After the preaching, I presented diplomas to the students and with each presentation, parents and other family members presented the students with gifts. Many of them (both students and parents) gave gifts to me as well - bilums (seven of them) and monetary gifts. Many handshakes, hugs, and tears were part of the giving.
After that, Matthew was about to close the meeting, but the students had said they wanted to do something at the end. I had told Sosthenes to let Matthew know, but obviously he didn’t. So I whispered to Matthew that the students have something else, I don’t know what. So he gave the students the go ahead. They all stood up and faced me. Several other youth came and joined them. (We wondered why several others had yellow shirts on today.) They sang a farewell song to me in English. Don’t know where they found the song, but it was about all I could handle. I wept and they all had a hard time singing because they were weeping. I went over and gave hugs or handshakes to those I could reach. Then they started singing “We’ll Never Say Good-bye in Glory,” and I joined them in that. Then Daddy closed in prayer. It was about 1:40. The meeting had lasted about 3 1/2 hours, much longer than we expected.
Then Matthew announced the food fellowship. He didn’t know quite how they would do in feeding all those people as only 12 families (the families of the students) had prepared food, but they would do what they could. After prayer, people started on their way out. Many of the ladies stopped to give me hugs and cry with me. It seemed like the Lord must have multiplied the food as there was plenty for all of them and even more. Praise the Lord!
Then Daddy and I had our lunch – it was about 2:00 – and went for nap about 2:30. The skies were changing to cloudy by this time. We hadn’t been in bed a half hour when we started hearing the rumbling thunder. Soon the cold winds started blowing from the east and south, but mostly from the east. And soon it started to rain. And soon it was pouring rain. The poor people who were enjoying their food and fellowship together all had to run for shelter somewhere. What a rain it was! The Lord had given us showers of blessing in the morning and showers of rain in the afternoon. We were grateful for both.
After nap, I got busy right away taking down the decorations in the meeting room so we will be ready for the meetings tomorrow.
After supper, I put the easel in the meeting room and made sure all the materials were ready for children’s classes. Mike and his helpers had said they were going to come practice this evening, but there was no sign of them. Then I made another visual for the ladies’ meeting before reading over the lesson. Should have time in the morning to go over it again. The first meeting (for the whole church) will be somewhere around 8:00, and the ladies’ meeting will follow.
And the greatest graduation gift of all just came a few minutes ago. Steve came to tell me that he had just gotten saved. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! I wept tears of joy. Now all twelve of my school children are safe in the fold.
Obet had come a little earlier this evening to let Daddy know that he had gotten right with the Lord. Praise the Lord for working in his heart too!
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26