“Change” is a scary word. As I (John) discussed the life of the apostle Paul with my Jr. High Bible class last week, I asked the students about changes in their lives. Many of these missionary kids have experienced changes you wouldn’t believe. Being a missionary kid is fun–I don’t think any of them would give it up–but, it can be tough as well. Most of my students have moved dozens of times already, many have to switch cultures and languages between home and the classroom, a few are living in a dorm away from their parents. But they are resilient. As a class we talked about relying on God as He, alone, knows the future.
It was a good reminder for me, as well, as Amber and I go through some major life changes. Amber is due in February, so we’re making our plans for a return to the U.S. Due to the complete lack of western emergency medical care in PNG, New Tribes requires their missionaries to leave the country to deliver. And since pregnant women can’t fly internationally after 32 weeks, it will necessitate an extended absence from our home and job here. Our plan is to leave at the end of the semester in December and spend approximately five months in Kansas City (until the baby’s passport and visa arrive).
In preparation for the expansion of our family, we will also be moving. We have just finished the paperwork to purchase a house just down the hill from the apartment where we’ve been living. We’re excited to have a little more permanent residence here at the mission center.
In the meantime, of course, our lives are filled with the day-to-day excitement of being missionary teachers. Lesson plans and grading are thankfully punctuated by lock-ins and volleyball tournaments. Preparation for a Sunday sermon is interrupted by the arrival of some fresh grubs that “you just have to try!” As the fall break approaches, we’ll transition to teacher meetings (John) and running a vacation Bible school (Amber).
We love living in Papua New Guinea. We love hearing the reports of new people groups receiving the gospel for the first time, of lives changed by the power of a Living Savior, of tribes receiving the Gospel in their own language for the first time. Thank you for being a part of our lives and our ministry. Many of you pray regularly for us and support us financially–that makes this your ministry as well.
- Amber and the baby are doing very well.
- We’ve been offered a free apartment in Belton for our time in the US.
- Preparations: for our time away from PNG.
- Finances: we will need to raise additional support with the addition to the family.
- School: as they adjust to losing two additional teachers when already shorthanded.
- Rain: this country is in the worst drought since 1998–malnutrition is common and a few cases of starvation have been reported in our province as the gardens are drying up.