We are back in the USA! We arrived July 31st and met our little grandson, Gideon James, at the airport. Our daughter-in-law, Katie, picked us up and took us to the apartment where we are staying. That evening after Darren got off work we all had a wonderful time together. Little Gideon is such a joy.
For the first time in our history at our current location in the Dom, the church gave us a farewell. We wonder if they thought that we are not coming back. They thoughtfully held the farewell on the Monday before our departure on Wednesday as they knew that we would be busy the day before. They had a whole program and provided their own power and light. We mention this as usually they are seeking our help. They had different ones stand up and share how our ministry has impacted them. It was very moving to be reminded that our labor was not in vain and that your prayers and support have also produced such fruit. So many shared how they hadn’t been able to read before, but they learned to read through our literacy program and were able to read God’s Word for themselves. Then they had us stand and they all including outsiders of our church came and hugged us or shook hands and put some money or gift in a bag. We live amongst the poorest of the poor, but they gave to us. We believe that their actions were another sign of how God’s Word in their language has changed their lives, to looking at others rather than being so self focused.
After we left PNG, we spent three weeks in Australia and New Zealand visiting old friends including two former coworkers in the Dom, Cheryl Davis and Phil Samuels. Everyone was so gracious to us. Some of them we hadn’t seen in many, many years. It was so good to catch up on life with them. What a blessing! God’s people have been so good to us.
Since arriving in San Diego, CA we have been busy getting settled. Clothes shopping, chiropractor, groceries, driver license renewal etc. We are really enjoying the nice paved roads and freeways. I, Jim, didn’t have any trouble switching over to driving on the righthand side of the road.
August 10th, Jim flew to Dallas to pick up a Righteous Rides Van and drove it back. It is a comfortable van and we appreciate Righteous Rides’ ministry.
Some things have changed in the last four years but mostly all seems the same. Coming from a PNG perspective gives us much to take in and wonder at regarding life in America.
We are thankful to our home church, Shadow Mountain Community Church, for their mission apartments. It is like coming home. Please note our phone numbers and mailing address for our time home.
We will be in El Cajon, CA, until the end of September. We were able to get a cheap rental truck and go up to Yucaipa for the day to get all our things that friends over the years have so graciously stored for us. We need to down size and store what’s left in a local mini-storage, unless there is someone in the area with space that we could put up a storage shed.
At the end of September, we will leave El Cajon and start our road trip up to the Northwest visiting friends and reconnecting with a few supporting churches. Eventually we will settle in Boise, ID for three months to spend quality time with our son, Brian and his two boys, Andrew and Ethan. Once again, the Lord has provided a very nice place to stay through the generosity of His people. Only ten minutes away from Brian and the grandsons!
If any of you in the Northwest would like a visit, please let us know now. Would love to share what your prayers and support have and are doing in Papua New Guinea. We are also working on our travels out East for next year, so please if you are interested in us visiting, please let us know soon. We will be on the road a lot this time and away from California so will not be here when Darren and Katie leave for Thailand. Hard when our family are scattered all over the US.
We have two projects this furlough if anyone is interested in donating towards them. One is replacing our battery bank for our solar system and two is building a little house at our original location to train literacy teachers and access how that church is doing. If you have any questions, please ask about it.
We are so blessed by you, God’s people, your generosity, prayers and love are such an encouragement to us. Thank you.