A complete, colorful double rainbow stretched across the deep blue ocean and over the dark islands in the distance. The white sandy beach next to the lush, deep green of the grass stood in breath-taking contrast. The aftermath of the near typhoon moved the leaves of the palm trees and they swished in the breeze. The small boat speeding over the vast waters of the ocean under the bow of the rainbow completed the scene and I stood in silent awe. It was a painting airbrushed across the sky to perfection as only God can do. This was Chuuk, Micronesia, a group of islands in the middle of nowhere in the Pacific Ocean. This was Weno, the main island of the islands. Even more beautiful than the scenery was something else, something easily overlooked, and something easily missed.
I had the honor of going to one of the outer islands, Parem, for five days. It was a beautiful, very primitive, tropical island. One night, I stood at the shore of the clear waters of the ocean as the sun began to set behind the distant islands. The sky and the clouds were at first a soft, fluffy pink. The sky then turned full of vibrant reds and oranges, as if the distant islands were ablaze with a dangerous fire. Then, as if it only wanted to intimidate and show off its glory for a brief time, the sky then turned soft once again as the last ray of sunlight flashed itself behind the islands in the distance. It was a gorgeous sight, unlike any other.
Early one morning, I awoke to the most beautiful sunrise I have ever witnessed. I walked onto the white balcony overlooking the small town of the main island. The ocean was right beyond the palm trees that stood aright in the still morning air. The sun shone right through these palm trees, highlighting them and painting a beautiful scene. I could only stand in awe and with a smile say, “Thank You, God.” It was a portrait painted for me by my Savior and I could not help but stand in awe.
Beyond the beautiful, breath-taking scenery of these islands is something even more beautiful. It is something that simple passersby will never see and something that many people do not take the time to notice. It is the people who live there. I still remember the faces of many of them vividly. I can see them even more vividly than I can see the colorful rainbow or the bright sunrise or the vibrant sunset. The dark, beautiful complexions of these islanders only highlight the true beauty of their hearts. I came back to America feeling as though I live in a poor nation who has turned all of its blessings of wealth and prosperity into a curse of dread and depression. The joy reverberating from the hearts of these people surpassed all of their dirty, poverty-stricken homes and towns.
I went to these islands with the intention of helping the children learn basic English and to teach them of the love that Jesus has for each and every one of them. And while I did help out with that, it seems the situation got completely turned around. On those beautiful, primitive, tropical islands I got taught some very important lessons by small island children. Walking hand-in-hand through the mountains of the island with a little girl, I was taught how to love. Playing with the children on the beach of the outer island, I was taught how to laugh genuinely and straight from the heart. Throwing a Frisbee with a little girl, time passing away, I was taught how to live and to enjoy life. Yes, I am sure that there is nothing more beautiful about these tropical Pacific islands than the people who live there.