The difference between the two is just a little plastic tube. Recently I (Karissa) got the opportunity to go snorkeling in the ocean. I got to see beautiful coral reefs and fish I’d only seen in aquariums. It was an experience, but I can’t say it was a fully enjoyable one. As I was swimming, I couldn’t shake the feeling like I might drown at any moment. I knew that I could breathe through the snorkel, that it was my connection to the vast supply of oxygen above, but it wasn’t how I was used to breathing. I really wanted to just pop my head up and breathe, but whenever I did, I missed the beauty below. So I tried to keep swimming, gazing on the beauty and trusting my snorkel to bring me air, repeating to myself, “Just keep breathing. Breathe in, Breathe out.”
Our time in PNG has been a little bit like that. We know it is an incredible privilege, with opportunities to see God at work in ways we’ve never seen before. But it’s been hard, and different. We don’t know our next steps- we don’t have partners yet, and we don’t know for sure where we’ll move to in a couple of months. We are having to depend on God for our sustenance and His provision in a moment-by-moment way. Jesus is our connection to the vast supply of all God’s power above. When we wonder what God is doing, we have to remind ourselves of His past faithfulness and Who we know Him to be. We have to keep saying to ourselves, “Just keep trusting. Trust Him today. Trust Him tomorrow.”
[Matt with his language helper, eating food he taught us how to make with wild greens they collected in the bush]
Our time in Madang region is rapidly drawing to a close. We will have our last week of classes next week, clean our house, and say goodbyes to the wonderful people we’ve met here. At the beginning of May, we will head to a New Tribes center in the highlands where we will do a week of medical training. After that, we will begin our “bush orientation.” At that time we will get to live in a village in the highlands where there is already a church planted. We will spend a month there, getting to learn from the missionary there about all kinds of things, like how to do life in the bush, and we will continue our Pidgin study.
We are so thankful for you. We couldn’t do this without knowing there is a team of people behind us, praying for us and rooting us on.
[Look who I found in PNG! A highlight of our month was having my (Karissa’s) brother come visit after his trip to South Asia.]
Till All Know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck Long
(Tribal Church Planters in Papua New Guinea)
– That God will provide the perfect partners for us (This is our biggest prayer request right now!)
– That we can trust God with the unknowns
– That we can love others well even in the midst of high emotions
– That God will continue to be at work in the lives of our language helpers after we leave, and that they can get connected with other people who can continue to speak truth to them.
– Matt’s language helper came to church twice now!
– We have loved the Madang region area
– We have had great leaders here
– We are making progress in Pidgin, slowly but surely. We scored Progressing Low and Progressing Mid at our last evaluation. (There are 4 levels- Basic, Progressing, Capable, and Proficient, with low, mid, and high in each.)