First, we want to say thanks to all of your prayers! Andrea’s travels to Papua New Guinea (PNG) went smoothly. We very much enjoyed being reunited as a family and some of you may have seen pics posted to social media. There was a bit of fan fare as we celebrated mom’s return.
As a family we were able, with the help of many friends, to get the apartment cleaned and our things put away in preparation for our departure back to the USA. The kids finished the school term strong and were able to enjoy some school break with their friends. There were many tears as friendships at 8 are precious. Phoebe struggled the most, but has rebounded to her full name sake, Phoebe JOY Wilson. There are still moments and/or days of sadness as we think of dear friends still there on the support center holding things together under severe understaffing conditions and State of Emergency orders, lock-downs and all that goes with this current world situation.
Yes, COVID-19 has made it to PNG. Our last information indicated 8 confirmed cases. This is a global event and obviously affects both domestic travel and international travel. All this to say we are not sure of our return date to PNG. Our plans were to get back in time for the start of the new school year in August. However, we have been informed that that date may (and most likely will) be delayed. We have been provided with suggested material to keep our kids on track for returning to their next grades at the mission’s school, but no firm start date yet. The workload in the hangar where Paul works has decreased due to restrictions on all forms of travel. They have recently “loosened” those restrictions, but they change weekly if not daily. Sound familiar?
After self-isolating we are now settled into life here in Maryland but sure do miss being able to see folks. While Andrea continues to homeschool, Paul has been able to get many of the home improvement projects done as we prepare to rent or sell mom’s house. We are looking to the Lord to direct in this as there are many pros and cons to each. Then you add the uncertainty of the COVID-19 environment, and it leaves us with a very foggy forecast. However, we have grown accustom to traveling in fog lately and do trust the Lord with each step we take.
We are also able to be here to help encourage and disciple Andrea’s sister and son. She will be stepping into single parenting completely on her own when we return to PNG. She was living with her and Andrea’s mother and helping with doctor’s appointments and such while mom was helping her a bit financially. We have all now stepped into a new chapter and are trying to learn as we go.
Thank you dearly for continuing with us in prayer and financial support through these many turbulences in our personal lives as well as the current COVID-19 crisis. Our hope is still to return to PNG by late July or August but is obviously out of our control. Pray with us through this please.
Can You See God’s Hand In All This?
Maybe you don’t know this but we really don’t want to be back in the States. While we love being able to NORMALLY see so many of you and enjoy the amenities that come with a first world country, we want to be back in PNG, serving to see the Gospel go out among the least reached there. It was hard to come back in order to deal with Mom’s estate especially after only being back in PNG for a year.
A strange comfort to Andrea’s heart (a hug from God) is that even if we didn’t have to come back to deal with her Mom’s estate, we most likely would have still had to come back! YEP! You see our medical team in PNG, just days after we left, got the word out that anyone who might have a harder time with C-19 should probably go back to their home country. Paul not only has asthma but more importantly, he is on a special medication that we can only get from outside of PNG. So we would have found ourselves quickly making arrangements to get back to the States anyway. Some folks were able to fly out, some got stuck and had to reroute (some several times) and some had to wait for a US-reparation flight. We are so thankful that we were able to have a less-rushed (it didn’t feel like it at the time) departure from PNG and able to return to the States before borders closed and international travel became very difficult.
Like we said, we really want to be back in PNG but we can see God’s working in all this….and while these are hard times for many of us, we can find joy in the journey! (And thanks for journeying through this update!!)
Praise & Prayer Requests
- Praise: We had smooth travels to/from PNG. And while the separation time was hard, by God’s grace we managed. Thanks to all who were part of God’s answer.
- Praise: We were able to have a few days of much needed down time as a family during our trip back to the states. We left before we HAD to leave, all by God’s grace. (Much less stress than others who had to depart amongst COVID-19 restrictions.)
- Prayer: Strength and endurance for Paul as he prepares the house for sale/rent and for Andrea as she homeschools and closes out mom’s estate and disciples her sister.
- Prayer: Wisdom as to whether to sell or rent the house.
- Prayer: For the work load in the hangar in PNG as Paul stepped out unexpectedly. Reinforcements are scheduled come in July/August, when we plan to return as well (as restrictions allow).