Expect the unexpected. . . I feel like this theme has come up a few times in the past several weeks, even before I got here. They call PNG the land of the unexpected, which is hard for someone who likes to plan and prepare and be structured. But it’s been an amazing lesson in where our peace is found- not in being super prepared or in control, but in knowing the One who is and trusting that everything that happens has passed first through His capable hands. Hard to do sometimes. But for me in this season of transition, I know the peace I have is from Him and from the many prayers of all of you.
I was extremely blessed in the weeks before I left by beautiful time with family and friends and such meaningful moments. My sister even showed up at 4:00 a.m. at the airport to see me off. Which anyone who knows her knows, is not a time of day she likes to see! The lady at the counter seemed to conveniently forget that 50 lbs is the weight limit when I rang up at 51 lbs, 51 lbs, and 52 lbs- even though later I heard her charging an extra $100 for someone else at 51 lbs.
All of my flights went very smoothly and actually went by quite quickly. I would advise that anyone traveling on multiple flights not take a carry-on without wheels- that’ll definitely weigh you down as you trudge through the airport! I was able to listen to WCC’s prayer for me from the airport in Atlanta and that was a beautiful blessing.
While my luggage did not make it to PNG from Australia for several days, it was a major lesson to me of how little I actually need. In all my preparations and planning, I did not plan for not having “my stuff” for 4 days, but people were generous in sharing clothes and helping me retrieve the luggage, since I can’t drive here. I also didn’t have to pay any customs fees.
So now I’m here! I’m fortunate enough to be staying in the home of someone on home assignment for the year. It’s a nice house with lots of space and it already has almost everything I would need. I’ve enjoyed adding my own decorations to remind me of home. The beautiful thing is that it has a porch so I can sit outside and listen to the birds sing and be in the fresh air (sorry for all of you in Indiana right now. Come visit and I’ll share my sunshine!)
I am going through an orientation called E2- E stands for equipping. I am learning about how to live here at the support center for Papua New Guinea, about the culture of PNG and will start learning the Tok Pisin language this week. Part of our E2 training has been to hear more about the work being done among the tribes from some of the missionaries who are currently in from the field. I have loved hearing more about that process (if you’d be interested in learning more come to Interface) and the lives that are being impacted by hearing the Gospel. And these are the stories I’m excited to tell.
I’m living on a support center with 65-75 units also serving as support missionaries to the church planters in the field. There are so many opportunities to serve in seeing thriving churches established here. Teachers, maintenance workers, business admin, IT. They’re all needed.
There’s so much more to say about life here and what I am learning but I thought I’d do that in a few pictures as I experiment with this new program I want to encourage people here to use. January 2019.
I’m grateful for all of your prayers and support and emails or WhatsApp texts. I’m so glad we can keep in touch. As I hear the stories of people here and what has connected them to missions, it so often happens with a relationship- missionaries in their church growing up or friends they visit on the mission field. That is one of the reasons I am here- to connect future laborers with what God is doing here so that we can meet the needs of all those needing to hear.