Wow, it’s been since MAY that I blogged last. They say it’s bad blogging etiquette to say “It’s been SO LONG. I’m sorry I’m a bad blogger. It’s been super busy.”
But you know what?
There have been more medevacs, which means both Josh and I work extra. From July 2016 to July 2017 we had 36; both in country and out. That’s a record for our center/clinic/program.
Besides the medevacs (not all of which Josh flew, obviously), there has been lots of other flying to keep him busy. You’ve probably heard about the newest tribal work open in Maliyali. They are first delivered to a staging area in the Kodiak, then shuttled in to their Maliyali in the helicopter. Josh was one of the main pilots helping with their allocation, as well as delivering them to their new home.
As is always the case with ministry work, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” You probably remember that in January, one of our pilots had to leave for an early furlough. Unfortunately, in the last two weeks before we left, one more pilot had to stop flying as well. That leaves the program at 3 Kodiak pilots and 1 helicopter pilot for the next 6 months at least. This is a heavy load for the team there, as it doesn’t take long to burn out.
While we can’t exactly change our plans, this is something that weighs on Josh and I. Will you pray with us that God would send some more pilots to help carry the program in PNG?
Apart from the ministry side of life there in PNG, is the personal side. The doing life side. For us, that has meant getting excited as Baby GIRL Verdonck keeps growing right on schedule and is doing very well, and so are we.
We also got the opportunity to move into a different house on the center, one that needed a little work before we could move. Luckily Josh had lots of help, so it didn’t take too long before it was ready for us to move in. We now have a beautiful home that we absolutely love, and a wonderful front porch that we make regular use of. This is the first time that we actually feel settled.
It was “candidate season” in PNG this summer, which brings on a whole host of drama in the country, as emotions run high and strong about their candidates.
So now we are in America, on our maternity leave. We’re living in our hometown of Florida, in a little house in a great location. Just a few days after we arrived in Florida, Hurricane Irma came right through our town. Being inland, we did not need to leave Florida as mostly hurricanes are just wind and rain for us; it’s the post-storm clean up that causes all the difficulty. Luckily there was no major damage to any of our friend’s or family’s homes, and apart from the annoying clean up, and no power for several days, all is well.
We’ve seen the OB/GYN, pre-registered at the hospital, and signed up for all the parenting classes we can. There’s an overwhelming pile of baby clothes and supplies in our living room, and a car seat in “our” minivan. But at 33 weeks, it won’t be long before we have to put that stuff to use!