If Life is a Highway…
Then missionary life is the Highlands Highway
We arrived back home and immediately flopped onto the couch and didn’t move for several hours. We all were exhausted! From what? A “simple” four-hour roadtrip.
I should explain. Earlier this month we had the opportunity to go on our first member-care bush trip. We went out to a village where some other missionaries are serving as church planters. The purpose of this trip was to be an encouragement and support to them. This seemed like an easy place to start, because it is a drive-in location. We’d hop in the car, and in four hours we would be there.
However, driving on the Highlands Highway is not the same type of road trip that it is in the States. It was extremely bumpy, driving over rocks, avoiding giant potholes in the road, and trying to stay close to the rock face as we swerved around the mountainous road. Occasionally we would get a few seconds of a smooth road, and then we’d go back to being jostled. In addition, there was the stress. You just never know what could happen on this road- we prayed and kept our eyes pealed for road blocks and rascals, knowing that bad things can and do happen in an instant.
Now, thankfully, the travel went just fine, and the view was incredible. We had a really good time with the missionaries who lived there, and I think we were able to be an encouragement to them. They are for the most part living in the village on their own, since their coworkers now live out at one of our centers, and they are working hard on the ministry of discipling, so I think they appreciated some fellowship time. Visiting missionaries out in their villages is something we hope to continue to do in our role of member care.
As we were driving home, I reflected on how missionary life is like the Highlands Highway. It is overall a bumpy road, but even when you have brief periods of rest and smooth sailing, there is still an underlying stress of always wondering what may happen, whether it is safety concerns, ministry struggles, or cultural uncertainties. However, even amidst the constant culture stress and ministry trials, the view is amazing- you get to see a first-hand view of what God is doing.
Our hope is that we can come alongside people, understand their bumps and stresses, and remind them of the view.
Till all know,
Matt, Karissa, Ty, and Wyck
Our kids playing in the village
The view from the highway
– We had a great trip to the bush!
– God kept us safe on our travels
– Karissa’s headaches have been much better
– We found someone who will do speech therapy with Wyck via video chat
– For God’s continued guidance in our ministries
– We found out that Wyck’s vision is slipping a bit, so we need to go back to patching and try to get him in to an eye doctor in Australia this summer
– Matt has an upcoming trip to another area of PNG to help some missionaries through some conflict. Pray for safety, wisdom, and God to be at work
– For the new support missionaries that just arrived in PNG
What are we supporting? This month’s tribal focus: Pray for the Kuman church. Pray for the believers, that they would grow in their faith, keep away from sin, and catch a passion for the gospel. Pray that God would change their hearts and help them to love Him fully. Pray for the missionaries, that they would be encouraged and have the perseverance to continue discipling, and the wisdom to know how best to go about it.