During lecture phase of DTS we all read Loren Cunningham's book "Is that Really You God?" I would recommend this to anyone. We all have plenty of opportunities to practice hearing God's voice on a personal level. This story was a faith builder for our whole outreach team.
During a morning prayer session Aurore got the word Katawa. When she went ashore on Fanning Island that day she asked everyone she met through a translator "Do you know this word Katawa?" Someone told her Katawa is a man who lives in the next village. The next morning we did a program at a Protestant church. We asked the interpreter where Katawa lives. He pointed in the general direction then he went on his way. Four of us stopped to eat our lunch near the beach. As we were preparing to leave we began to worry, "What if he doesn't speak English?" We prayed and then asked two young boys to show us Katawa's house. We were led to a small shelter and met Katawa there. Katawa was sitting on a mat on a concrete floor. His right leg is amputated above the knee due to complications from Diabetes ( a common problem among the Islanders.)
Katawa spoke English and he was very happy to have visitors. We explained that we were with Youth With a Mission and told him the story of receiving his name during prayer. He told us that he had taken the ship to Christmas Island last year and had the surgery there. His kids stopped by to bring him food, but they stayed with his wife further down the road. We shared stories and sang some songs which he really enjoyed. Then we prayed for him. When we left he asked if we could get him some books in English so he could remember English.
Three weeks later I returned to Fanning with a new outreach team. After church on Sunday Christine went with me to visit Katawa. Bruno lent us two bikes and we enjoyed the ride on the dirt road alongside the lagoon. I found the place where Katawa had been and he was not there. We asked where he was at a nearby house. A man told us he is two houses that way -to the North. At that house a man said he is 5 houses to the south. At that house a man said he is at the house past the maneaba to the north. Finally we found the son and he took us to Katawa, who was in a new shelter near the lagoon. With his wife and kids. He said, "I am working now, helping with the seaweed." He was happy! His wife and children welcomed us and brought us drinking coconuts. I would like to think that our prayers and obedience to God helped Katawa to be reunited with his family. Katawa asked for some pants for his 20 year old son. I was able to drop off some clothes for the whole family a few days later.
I look forward to returning to Fanning and seeing Katawa again.