There are many reasons, some of which are far too lengthy to explain, that we decided to accept the offer to teach in rural Tonga. Yet, the one answer that always comes most readily to mind is our desire to experience and be immersed in "community living".
I, along with many other young Christian folks, am fascinated by this idea. Countless books have been written and countless conversations have been had about the need to rediscover God's heart for communal living. So much can be said about damage that our individualistic lifestyles have done to prevent us from living out God's vision for our lives and our churches. Human beings were designed to live in community.
Truly, I am the first one to jump on that bandwagon. I would tell you that I want to live in a rural, underdeveloped village because I believe that "true community" is much more attainable in a place where people actually need each other. The thought of living and working in an intimate, inter-connected community is admittedly, so attractive to me.
But at this point in my life, these are merely just ideas and hopes. I could argue that I've experienced this in some way in college and living with Nick and Beth. I could say that I've experienced small tastes of this in my brief experiences overseas. But the truth is that I have no real idea what I'm in for.
We're about to move to an remote island and live in a village with about 50 families. The vast majority of people won't speak English. Internet, reliable electricity, and our only source of most fresh foods is a one-two hour boat ride away.
Without a doubt, we will experience "community". We will need our neighbors. We will work side by side with our neighbors. We will know them deeply-I'm sure at times, more deeply than we'd like to.
I am unbelievably excited for this. But I know that my idealism will be tested. I know that we'll learn more than we can imagine. Much more on life in the community of Nuapapu to come, I'm sure.