Saturday, November 3, 2007



The most remote area of the world I've ever visited was an island known as the Republic of Kiribati. Two years ago my wife and I arrived on this island that had no electricity, no running water, and no sanitation. The people were unaware of most advances in the world.

Kiribati lies 228 miles north of the equator. That's 153 miles northwest of Christmas Island, 260 miles a little east and north from Jarvis Island, 75 miles southeast of Washington Island, and 200 miles southeast of Palmyra Island. That didn't help you with its location, did it?

Try this. The first dawn over land to begin our new Millennium just sevens years ago, was to break near remote Dibble Glacier in icy Antarctica at 12:08 a.m. local time, but Kiribati was to be the first country to witness the sunrise of the third Millennium at 5:43 a.m. on January 1, 2000.
Sometime on Saturday, a group of people on the ship learned that I was a minister and asked me to conduct Sunday services. I made the necessary preparations. When we arrived for service, I was surprised to see the island was filled with activity by the local population, but the church was empty. The problem? We had crossed the International dateline the night before. That was the first time in my 70 years that I lost a Sunday because we had docked on Monday.
After a day on the island, we started our trip back northward and re-crossed the date line. We left on Monday and the next day we had another Monday. It appeared unusual as I recorded in my notebook the notes of my journey: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday, Monday, etc. But, no Sunday! A day I will never regain. However, they did get a Sunday service. But it was on Monday.
Since I have traveled much of the world, I have a hobby of always mailing myself a card. So on Sept. 26, 2004 I mailed it with a Kiribati stamp, but did not receive it until Feb. 26, 2005. That means it took 153 days or just over five months to arrive to me in Farmington, Missouri where I now live.
This caused me to remember that every day passes and what we have done cannot be redone or relived. This should remind us that we should live everyday like there is not going to be a next day.
Psalm 113:3 “From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the Lord's name is to be praised.”
The Lord’s Prayer below is in the language of these little islands add to the remoteness of this area of the world:
Tamara are i karawa, a na tabuaki aram. E na roko ueam: E na tauaki am taeka i aon te aba n ai aron tauana i karawa. Ko na añanira karara ae ti a tau iai n te boñ aei. Ao ko na kabara ara buakaka mairoura n ai arora ñkai ti kabara te buakaka mairouia akana ioawa nako ira. Ao tai kairira nakon to kaririaki, ma ko na kamaiuira man to buakaka; ba ambai te uea, ao te maka, ae to neboaki, n aki toki. Amene.

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