In order to become better acquainted with the people who live in the area we will be ministering, we (our family, and our partners the Stanleys and the Hansens) will soon be flying into a neighboring people group, the Mesi , to fellowship with the missionaries there and meet with the church that is planted there. These are the people whose lives changed to such a degree that the Koval people not only noticed, but wanted it for themselves.
To that end, we have been packing, weighing, medicating, repacking; all of the fun stuff that comes with a 2 ½ week trip with kids. The unique thing to this packing experience is the very strict restrictions- 61 kg for all three of our families to share (12 people!) for food, and 40 kg for our families’ personal things (clothes, school materials, etc). This number seemed so large to me at first, but trying to fit over 50 meals for 12 people within those parameters was way more difficult than I imagined! In the end we were rebagging precisely measured packages of rice, lentils and dried beans, peeling our produce to save the weight of the waste, and even weighing spices (I now know that 1 chicken stock cube weighs 10 g- information I never thought I would need to know)! Once we arrive in Mesi-land we will be unloading all of these provisions into our kitchen (singular, because we are all bunking together in one house!) By the end of this trip we should all consider ourselves thoroughly familiar with each other!
All joking aside, though, we are all so excited for the opportunity to meet with the Mesi church, see how God is working in this area, and get a better idea of what our area will be like. Following our time there, our guys will head out on an allocation survey, where they will spend a week or two hiking around the Koval land and getting a better idea of where to build our houses, meeting the people, etc. Though it will be several months before we’re able to move into our yet-to-be-built houses to really begin the work there, the time up to now has been absolutely flying by, as God guides all of the details into place.