Recently we heard about a village in need of missionaries (one of many) that is high in the mountains. The weather almost every morning is clear, but then late morning the clouds roll in and the people live the rest of the day in the clouds, so thick at times that you can’t see a few feet in front of you. That is how life can be for all of us sometimes. The future can be very unclear or foggy. As we look ahead to the village that God would have us work in one day, we are learning that God will reveal His plan for our ministry little by little and we have to trust Him with each step and in each section of our journey.
These last few months have been full of classes and language learning. We have met many new friends and we have been working toward finishing up the homeschool year. At our first language and culture test, we both tested at “progressing low” which is the lower end of the second of four levels in the language learning process! We’re glad to be making the progress that we are! Ellen was especially surprised at this as she is home more helping the kids with school. Speaking of school, Ellen and the kids just returned (by plane) from the PNG home office for New Tribes Mission for a week of school testing. It went well, but please pray for us as we figure out how to approach some of the difficulties Emmanuella is still having with learning, especially with math.
What is the next step? In early May, we go back to the home office campus for more medical training. After that, each orientation family will be going in different directions. Our family will return to the campus we’ve been on to prepare for “bush orientation”. This will be an exciting time of staying in a village for a month and a half with missionaries and where a church is established and growing in maturity…not just in that village, but in surrounding villages in the same people group. We were already able to meet the elders from there and it is exciting to see how God is using them in leading their churches. During our time, we’ll be visiting with the people there, continuing to learn Tok Pisin (trade language) and learning more from the missionaries as well! We are very excited to be going to a village where we have some good friends all ready:) We are very excited for how God is preparing us and we look forward to all we will be continuing to learn…we love it here!
Something to think about: In PNG there is a large portion of the population that has fallen for Cargo Cult beliefs to some degree. Cargo Cult is basically the belief that if you have enough possessions, you will be happy. Also, it teaches that western countries have found the secret to gaining money and possessions (usually believed to be from God) and they are hiding this secret from the PNG citizens. Furthermore, America is heaven. In light of this, think as a family about how that would affect what you brought into a village if you were working here. Also, how does this false belief creep into western culture? Finally, is God sufficient in YOUR life? What are you willing to lay down for the sake of the gospel? Something to think about.