“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; his love endures forever.” -Ps. 118:1
(Wyck working with Daddy)
“Mom, can you make me an alligator costume?” “Can you make me a sword?” “Can you make me some robot arms?” “Can you make me some grasshopper wings?”
Pretty much every day, I (Karissa) get requests like this from Ty, who is in a phase of loving to wear costumes and pretending to be things. So, I spend a lot of time cutting out costumes from an old sheet, forming costume parts from cardboard boxes and duct tape, and making swords out of sticks and tinfoil. To be honest, sometimes I feel very annoyed by doing it. I have a whole list of things to get done- taping antenna on top of a bicycle helmet wasn’t exactly at the top of it. However, I do it because I love Ty.
Sometimes he says “thank you” and runs off happily to play, but many times he complains that the costume is not exactly as he imagined it or wanted it to be. I gave him a good gift, but instead of being thankful, he is upset because it is not what he had in mind.
I think that we respond that way a lot to God; at least I know I do. We want Him to give us one gift, but sometimes He gives us another. Of course He knows what is best for us, but we can easily get frustrated when it is not what we had in mind.
We have felt that way about some things here in PNG. There are some things we expected to play out one way, and they ended up happening differently. There are things we hoped for that haven’t come to fruition. Everything we want to do seems to take more time than we’d like.
However, we are choosing to be thankful. We are thankful that God brought us to PNG and helped us to finish our Tok Pisin study. We are thankful that He has looked out for Karissa’s health and allowed us to be able to stay here. We are thankful that our boys have done so well being here. We are thankful for national friends. We are thankful for missionary friends. We are thankful for faithful financial gifts from supporters, and even extra ones when we have been in need. We are thankful for all the people praying for us.
There are some exciting things happening now, for which we are thankful, and we are starting to see glimpses of maybe what God had in mind. We are having talks with another family to see whether or not it might work to team up. Please pray for wisdom in this. Also, we live about 20 minutes from NTM’s main support center, where they have a school for missionary kids. An urgent need for an English teacher came up there. It was cool, because when the need was presented, the person sharing said, “unless one of you were an English teacher,” not knowing Karissa’s teaching background. So, we feel like this is how God would have us serve for a while. Karissa volunteered to fill that need for this next semester. This is a way that we can be supporting other tribal missionaries by teaching their kids and enabling them to stay in the tribe, even as we hope to be in their position someday.
We are thankful that God is in control of our future. Thanks for supporting us and praying for us.
Till All Know, Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck Long (Tribal Church Planters in Papua New Guinea)
Founded in 1942 as New Tribes Mission
Please Pray: – That God will give us wisdom about who to partner with
– That Karissa can do a good job teaching a grade level she hasn’t taught before
– For God to guide us as we weigh how to spend our time Praise God: – We had fun celebrating Thanksgiving with some friends (pictured above)
– For His provision of some new ministries