In March we had the opportunity to attend our first Sepik Conference. (For clarification: The Sepik is the name of the region we are living and serving in.) Every year, missionaries set aside a time to come out from their bush locations, gather on their support center, invite a speaker, organize childcare for the kids and partake in a time of encouragement, fellowship and fun. As a family new to the team, we were very thankful for this opportunity to meet our Sepik coworkers face to face and get to know them more.
All Checked Out
During Conference Andrew was able to schedule a language check. We are thrilled to announce that he has checked out of his pidgin study, attaining the necessary Capable High language level. Now that we have both completed our language learning time it frees us up to dive full-time into ministry here on our mission center.
For the next year we will be filling in for a family who is currently on home assignment, running the supply department for the Sepik Region. We are thankful for this opportunity to serve our coworkers in the bush as well as on the mission center in this way. This is also a great learning opportunity for us as we look forward to placing orders when we live in a bush location. Here is a list of our basic responsibilities:
- Airport drop-off and pickup (a 10 minute drive)
- Buying supplies in town for our store as well as for missionaries – This is a very involved task as you cannot find everything in one store. You can never be sure what is going to be available from day to day and the stock of every store varies greatly. One shopping trip can involve many stores and the market, all of which can be very time consuming.
- Packing and weighing supplies
- Loading supplies on the planes
- Coordinating with missionaries about flights, cargo weights and needs
- Restocking our small store on the mission center
- Running store hour twice a week
- Processing all the receipts from Andrew’s buying
- Inputting all store inventory in our system
- Coordinating buying of eggs, bread and tortillas with local vendors
- Ordering stock from our mission store in the highlands
Our current plan is to fill this supply role until March of 2023. Until then we will be working full-time in this role as well as continuing to work towards forming a full team of three units. The Fitzpatricks are hoping to return to PNG in August and we are talking and praying with some other families about joining our team. After the Fitzpatricks return we will be putting more time into team formation, including intentional visits with other potential units.
- Andrew checked out of Tok Pisin study!
- We have all been healthy the last few months.
- That we would be sensitive to the Lord as we seek to incorporate family and ministry together.
- We appreciate prayer as we look to the Lord and his timing as we seek to form a team and look toward allocating in a bush location next year.
- That we would continue to look to the Lord as we parent two very busy toddlers and point them to the Lord.
-Andrew & Rachel, Simeon & Hazel