Through the years, the idea of celebrating a holiday has changed. Before PNG, it usually included traveling to one or more relatives houses to spend the day/meal with them and enjoying the company of my extended family. Living in PA, it often included snow and dressing warm, even for Easter.
For the past 8+ years, it means fixing part of a meal, walking to someone's house for dinner and enjoying the company of my mission family. Easter has typically included a sunrise service since I have been to PNG. It has often changed porches and locations, but the mission family usually gets together to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior. This year was no different, with all of us gathering on the Pringles porch, with the reading of the Easter story, songs of the hope we have in Christ and the celebration of the Resurrection. The sunrise wasn't much to look at this year, but the kids didn't seem to mind, as the breakfast and the hope of an Easter Egg hunt kept them awake and excited about the morning.
After the Sunrise Service, I went to the hospital and saw some of the patients on the pediatric ward on rounds. I talked to some of them and their parents about Easter and the hope that we have. There is a little boy who has had a number of seizures and who was still not fully back to himself again after the seizures. As we have talked about his future and the recovery we hope he has, the story of Easter has been encouraging to me and to them. Knowing that there is hope, there is life, there is something beyond this world and the disease and illnesses that we have here.
After rounding, I worked on some of the Easter dinner preparations and enjoyed a nice afternoon with the McCoys, Radcliffes and Don. I have shared many holiday meals with the McCoys and Radcliffes and have been thankful to have them as part of my mission family here in PNG these last 8+ years.