You are a pretty nice state. Lots of trees, great people, the right amount of lakes… And I’m not complaining about the white Christmases. I love those! But don’t you think it’s time? Just let go of the wind. And the cold. And the sleet. Just let it all go and give us some sun. Please! Keep the temps above freezing for a few days at a time. That’s all we ask! We want our flip flop tans to come back! We want to put our mittens and scarves away! You’re ready, I promise. I’ll help you through it. Just let winter go!
Love you bunches,
We have purchased our tickets to return to PNG! As more international routes have opened back up, we are going to try our luck with a trans-Pacific flight to shave off about half the travel time and hopefully come out less-scathed than we were after the 50 hours it took us to get here last summer. We plan to leave Minneapolis on July 12th, so you can be praying that all goes to plan and that none of the governments or airlines involved feel inclined to bring back any Covid restrictions before then.
People have started to ask us if we are ready to go back. For the most part, the answer is “yes.” For one thing, it will be nice to be warm again! And a year is a long time to be away from home, which is PNG for us, so we are all looking forward to being back. However, the kids have made lots of friends here this year, which is a first for them, so they are already feeling the sadness that will come when those friendships are left or lost. But they also know that they will soon be seeing friends that they haven’t seen for a year or more, and that makes them happy. For Chris and I, while it never feels like we had enough time with family and friends here in the US, we are anxious to return to our family and friends in PNG and get back to work.
The kids have about 5 weeks of school left, and then we will go on a month-long road trip through the eastern half of the country in June. We look forward to seeing many friends and supporters and family members on that trip and making some more good memories with the kids before we head back. When we return to PNG, we will squeeze in a family trip to the tribe before school starts again in early August. It’s been over two years since the kids have been back to the jungle house where they grew up, and we are all excited at this chance for a visit. It will be so good to see our friends and neighbors and to hear all the news. It will be good to worship with them again and sing the songs I’m starting to forget and to have them all laugh at how rusty my Pal is. Since we no longer live in the bush full-time, our main function going forward will be to encourage the believers and to teach and train the leaders, so I’m sure our time will be filled with meetings and visits and hikes through the village and people stopping by. I’ve told the boys to prepare themselves for the fact that everyone will want to come and see how tall they’ve become!
From what we hear, the church in Pal is doing well, but it is hard to get the full picture from so far away, so we continue to pray for them and work on the Pal translation of the Bible and prepare more teaching materials for them to use as we wait for the time when we can see them again. In the translation, there are only three New Testament books yet to be started, and the rest are either completed and printed or are at various stages along the translation process. Please pray that Chris and I along with our team will do a good job at this important work and that God will continue to use His Word to accomplish great things among the Pal people.
Lastly, if you haven’t already heard, we are raising money to purchase a vehicle for our family to use in PNG. Now that we live in town, everyday things like kids’ school sports and activities, doctor visits, shopping trips, and airport runs have become a part of life for us, and having our own vehicle will make it easier to navigate those things, especially for me while I’m home with the kids when Chris is gone on a bush trip. If you would like to donate specifically for our vehicle fund, you can click on the “give” link at the top of this page and follow the instructions. However you choose to give, don’t forget to make a note somewhere that it is for the Hostetter vehicle fund so we make sure it gets to the right place. If you need more info, reach out to us in the comments or by email at email@example.com.