For those of you who have been following our ministry or who heard us share in your church, this timeline hopefully looks familiar! The Lord faithfully led us through the New Tribes training as well as through our time of partnership development (a.k.a. support raising). We arrived here in Papua New Guinea in December 2009.
We are excited to be able to share with you that we have now completed our field orientation as well!! What does that mean? Of course, there is always more to learn and we will continue to grow in our understanding about both the language and culture as long as we are here. However, we have finished all of our required culture investigation and have both reached the Capable High level in our speaking ability so our formal Pidgin language and culture study is now officially over!
So, what’s next?
We came to PNG with the goal of being part of planting churches among unreached tribal people. And that remains our goal. There are still so many needs here in this country and many places in which we could work. Our prayer at this time is that the Lord would clearly lead us to the tribe where He wants us to serve Him. On October 11 we will be taking a 9-day survey trip into the newest tribal work in the Madang region (the region where we are living). The team there moved into the tribe in March of this year and is in the early stages of learning the tribal language and culture. They are in need of another family to complete their team and they have asked us to consider joining them. We are praying that the Lord would make it very clear if this is the place for our family or not. Would you please pray with us for the Lord’s clear direction? He has faithfully led us up to this point and we know He will continue to show us the way. If He closes the door to this ministry, then we will wait for Him to open another!
Once we return from that trip we will be packing up our house in preparation for returning to the States in mid-November. For those of you who have yet to hear the news, we are expecting our third child at the end of January 2011!! After several miscarriages in the past few years, we are excited and thankful for this new addition to our family. So far, Emily has not had any problems with the pregnancy and the baby is healthy and growing. Because of the inadequate healthcare facilities here in PNG, it is not advisable to remain here for the birth of the baby. Our plan is to be back in our home area of Meadville, Pennsylvania until the beginning of May when we will return to PNG.
How you can be praying for us:
– For safety as we fly to the tribe on October 11 – apart from about 3 days of rugged hiking, the only access is by helicopter
– For wisdom as we interact with both the tribal people and the missionary team – and that the Lord would clearly show us if we should continue to pursue working in this tribe
– For strength as we pack up our house and then travel back to the U.S. – almost 11,000 miles and 24 hours of flying
– For all the details of our upcoming “baby furlough”
– For continued health and safety for Emily and the baby