Our last outing in the States…climbing mounting like in Papua New Guinea.
As I write this I am sitting on the last row of the airplane surrounded by my wife and girls and all or our “personal bags” with our five carry-ons hovering in the bins above and we hope the suitcases are somewhere beneath our feet. Everyone is in a good mood, check-in was easy, the attendants have been helpful, and the trip has gone smoothly so far, but this is only our first flight of seven.
It has been a great couple of months back home in the States with friends and family. We have so many memories for such a short time. Now we are ready to head back to our other home in Papua New Guinea to be with our Patpatar friends and family. We will have much to catch up on and do when we get there, but this time we will not be the only missionaries in the tribe. Our co-worker Madonna has been given the “cancer free” signal and is already back in Papua New Guinea. Here are some excerpts from her recent email:
“I am now in town waiting for the Luses return, getting back into a routine and doing some planning for the months ahead. The heat and humidity does make my body ache in parts affected by the surgery and radiation treatment, which is what my doctor said would happen. But on the whole I am feeling well and getting stronger each day.
On the weekend my friends and I travelled to the village. It was only for a brief visit, but such a joy filled one. I think I shocked people with my arrival. People were very ‘sorry’ for me and I think surprised that I was able to come back. Imagine if they had seen me 6 months ago, I looked much worse then. It was so good to see everyone looking so well and that all the old folk are still with us. I was able to see many of my friends and explain that I would be back in March with the Luses.
Many folk are very excited about the next literacy classes. There has been some really good feedback from the first class and the interest remains high. The Bible school continues to meet every Wednesday and the believers are finishing off Romans. Please pray for the coming weeks that they are fruitful weeks as I review and consolidate what Patpatar language I know. Going back to the tribe has made me realize how much more I need to learn to be proficient enough to translate God’s Word effectively.”
We were so excited to hear that there are many who are interested in the next literacy class and are waiting for us to return. It was also good to hear that the church is continuing to meet in our absence and are studying God’s Word. In addition to that we have heard some exciting news from our long time co-workers who have been in the States for an extended amount of time. Here is what the Kunzers had to say:
“We believe the Lord wants us to press on toward heading back in July so we are working hard to see that happen. Although we have set a goal date we do not have the funds that we need to purchase our tickets or supplies. We have lost some support and we have acquired a bit of debt living in America. We can’t tell you how excited we are to have a date to shoot for. We have lots to do; sorting, packing, visiting, purchasing supplies, getting Ellen moved and settled. Please pray for us! We are very excited to get to work with all of you again.”
Our first flight is nearing its end and the pilot just announced we would arrive 10 minutes early (still going smoothly). Soon we will be on the ground and I will send this out. So with good news from our co-workers and from the Patpatar people we have reason to look forward to the next six flights.
Fact – There is no word in Patpatar for airplane, they just use the trade language word balus, which simply means bird.