Our first Easter in Saipan was truly memorable. Our Easter weekend started EARLY Friday morning when we participated in the sunrise walk up Mnt. Topochau. Every Good Friday, hundreds of the Saipan locals hike the 2 mile walk straight up the mountain to thank God for His sacrifice for us. It is their way of participating in Christ's suffering and to show gratitude and love.
Many begin the walk as early as 3:30 in the morning, as a couple of my friends in my microbiology class, and their families, did this year. It was amazing to see so many local families hiking the hill, and cool to recognize many of our co-workers and friends from ME weekend.Another interesting part of the Topochau walk is the enormous wooden cross that is hauled up to the top. Each year, a new one is carried and erected at the top of the mountain. There were about 20 men carrying to heavy cross, and each of them were dripping with sweat.
On Saturday, my honey and I spent the afternoon at American Memorial Park, taking pictures at the beach and of the gorgeous flame trees that are blooming all over the park.
Bright orange flame tree blooms
We found tons of these little black and turquoise crabs- some had one huge red pincher claw in the front of their body.
On Easter Sunday morning, we once again headed up Mt. Topochau (driving this time!) with our friends Josh and Liz for our church's Sunrise Service.
Everyone sat in lawn chairs or on blankets on the grass while several local churches joined together to put on the Easter Sunday service. We were high enough up on the hill that we could look around us and see the ocean on 3 sides of the island. It was a gorgeous view!!
Really, really love this guy
In the afternoon, a group of our friends and us when over the Helen Ann and Dave Bucher's house for an Easter lunch. We all sat out on their patio and enjoyed yummy home-made American food.
Some of us girls dyed Easter eggs- I had forgotten how much fun it is!
Looking lovely in our Easter clothes :)
Thanking God for His sacrifice for us this Easter and that I have the chance to know Him personally. I'm spending this week, and every week, growing closer to God and am grateful that when I draw near to Him, He also draws near to me. Love you all and happy Easter from Saipan, Rachel