Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! The New Year, 2018, has just begun here in Papua New Guinea! The fireworks have been shooting for hours and the celebrations are well underway with music playing all around us! But, on the other side of the world, where most of you live, it is still 2017… a strange phenomenon. It is strange to think that we are in different years at this moment and for the next few hours!
Here in Papua New Guinea there is so much we don’t understand in the little things and the big things. The country is filled with people whose customs and ways seem incredibly different to us. Just in the little things, like why do our neighbors set off fireworks from their porch and sometimes in the middle of the day? The way people choose to live their lives here in PNG sometimes seems so crazy, destructive and random to us. There are so many mysteries about people and places and even time that seem confusing and hard to wrap our minds around. And the word ‘random’ continues to stand out to us as we sit and watch the fireworks all around us. There was no planned fireworks show here, yet everyone has fireworks (even though they are illegal) and everyone shoots them off at random times throughout the night. It is random but in the end it is beautiful, looking out over the ocean to see the beauty of the fireworks displayed all around us for hours!
This reminds us of God’s plan… PNG and the things happening in the world may look random and crazy and mysterious to us, but God has a plan and in the end it will work out for His glory and we will be amazed by the beauty of it all! So we are thankful for our faith in a God who understands and guides us in all that we do each day. God can enable us to face these sometimes daunting, (talking to someone who is so different than me) and sometimes funny (living in different years) problems. May the peace of Christ be with you in the new year and sustain you in all your funny and daunting problems.
-New beginnings of a new year!
-Justin Rees, missionary in the Pei tribe, is doing well after an emergency medevac to Australia for appendicitis.
-Chad and Martha Earl arrived to join the another team in planting a church!
-Naomi, is now 14 months, she is healthy and walking everywhere! No side effects from her NCM condition!
-Naomi is now sleeping through the night!
-A God who sent His Son to die for our sins and rose him up so that we could have daily life abundantly and REST in Him!
-God’s continued provision for our needs moment by moment!
-Dentist is working at NTM in Goroka and Beth (with teeth pain) and the kids have appointments for Jan 11th.
-Enjoyed celebrating Christmas with yummy food, wonderful family times and many blessings of gifts!
-Chen family, co-workers an island nearby, as they recently found out that Gail Chen’s cancer has returned and it is worse this time.
-Chris Jones and family, missionary in the Pei tribe, as he was medevac’d to Australia for a serious cut on his foot and now after many surgeries awaits an Achilles tendon transfer surgery in the US.
-Amdu team as they teach literacy classes and prepare lessons for teaching the good news chronologically.
-Two teams teams as they continue on in the long process of learning the language and culture.
-Missionaries in the Yifki tribe – George family as they head home for a 1 year medical to get help for Jessi; and the Kopfs as they return in a few weeks and settle back into life ministering to the people and their ongoing translation project.
-All will go well as Beth and the kids fly to Goroka in the Highlands for their dentist appointments.
-Wisdom as we start Jonathan’s education
-Jacob at work… ability to balance work with rest, and prioritizing all that needs to be done.
– That we would remember that God holds everything together including us! And He is working all around us!
-Rest in God as we enjoy being parents of two children!
-God would continue to raise up more missionaries to come to the Sepik and bring the Gospel to those who have never heard it their own heart language.
-More laborers to minister to the Bena people.
-That the fireworks and music will stop sometime before 6:00 am and we get some sleep