Once again, the theme in our lives is waiting. Oh, how we love to wait (sarcasm). It is not like waiting in a line for which you know what service you are going to receive. That would allow planning. This is the kind of waiting where we really don’t know what to do next because the possibilities are so great as to what might come about at the end of the wait.
Following a “green light” message sent out by our field leadership in Papua New Guinea (PNG), we recently requested permission from them for our family to return. Unfortunately, we received a disapproval based on the Medical Clinic’s assessment, putting both Paul and Andrea in a high-risk category should we contract COVID-19. There is much that goes into their decision and we must trust that the Lord is at work in this too. Extremely limited medical facilities and no medical evacuations of COVID-19 positive patients are two of such factors.
Understand that the number of positive cases in PNG is growing. The number was at 11 for months but has been rising in the last two weeks. Expectations are for a continual and exponential upward spike like those of other countries back in March. PNG, like many other third world countries, are “at the end of the road” so to speak. People do not travel through PNG; they travel to PNG. This has allowed the national leadership to do an amazing job of controlling the spread simply by closing international and domestic travel. Essential workers and travel are only now being allowed into the country if strict guidelines are followed. Therefore, the “green light” may once again turn red if the numbers continue to climb as expected.
Nevertheless, we continue to ready ourselves for that much anticipated day of approval. We need to sell mom’s house (yes, that is the direction we are leaning). We need to get Andrea’s sister, Michelle and her son, another place to rent and settled once the house sells. Paul needs Robinson helicopter training, but we need to wait for the factory school in CA to start teaching the course again (shutdown due to COVID). We now have plans to visit with Paul’s parents in Kansas (KS). They have not gotten to see us, and more importantly, the grandkids for years. Connected with this road trip to KS we plan to visit some supporting churches, one of which is in Michigan. We just submitted Phoebe’s passport for renewal, so we are now waiting on that. The backlog of submitted passports is over 1 million! We then need to submit the new passport to get her visa transferred. How long will that take?
When we left PNG in March, we were hoping and expecting a quick return to our home and ministry in PNG, but then COVID-19 happened.
The sad truth is we are far from alone in this craziness. There are many of you attempting to work your way back to “normal”. As well, many folks are attempting to navigate their return to their respective mission fields, but COIVD-19 has turned things upside down.
Praise the Lord! He is still in control and was not surprised by any of this. He allowed it. Perhaps He sent it. Is God trying to get the body of Christ’s attention?
By all means, YES! Can we focus on Him in all this waiting and foggy planning?
Yes. Unfortunately, to confess, we are not faithful each day. For that we must confess and ask the Lord to help us to humbly wait yet serving all the while. Please pray for us in this craziness. Pray we follow the Lord’s leading while serving HIM wherever HE has us.
Other News: (The Good News)
Please continue to pray for the work in Amdu (ah-m do), Pei (pay) and Wantakia (wan ta key ah). Amdu specifically is in their final lessons: the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Many in attendance have commented in different ways that they have heard bits and pieces of this story of Jesus in recent years but have never understood it as a complete story like they are now. Pray they continue to attend faithfully as there are many distractions that try to pull them away. Pray they place their faith in the completed work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise & Prayer Requests
- Praise: We have accomplished much in getting Andrea’s sister a good support network.
- Praise: We have been allowed the experience of our nephew Caleb and our son Joshua coming to Christ as their Savior.
- Praise: The house is ready for sale and Andrea’s prepared for the new homeschool year (last school year finished well).
- Prayer: Wisdom as we move forward through the long list of things to accomplish.
- Prayer: For those attempting to return to the mission field.
- Prayer: For understanding and salvation of those hearing in Amdu, Pei and Wantakia.