The church may be a foreign import, like so many other things in the islands today. But it is just about the oldest of the imports–older than the store, the government office, the pool table, the baseball diamond, or the bar. The church today has become one of the foremost institutions in the life of Micronesians. It all began in 1852, when a small sailing vessel dropped off five missionary couples on Pohnpei and Kosrae. It was these men and women, sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions–the same group that christianized Hawaii 30 years earlier–who would first plant the church in the islands. They soon passed on, but they left a church that would became a permanent part of Micronesian society