Originally sent November 23, 2020
I found out a little over a week ago that the “mid-December” flight I had decided to try for, would actually be departing November 29 and arriving in PNG on December 2. As many of you know, I am a planner and that left me with two fewer weeks to complete my plans.
While that could leave me, and sometimes still does, in a panic, I am reminded that really God has it under control. He knew it would be earlier than I thought. He’s also in control of when my Covid test will come back (I need a negative test within 14 days of landing in PNG) and what the results will be. So, while I could hide away and try to avoid getting sick before I leave, I believe the Lord has purpose in the things that were planned for these two weeks. I will trust that if the Lord wants me back in PNG, He’ll get me there. It really is a reassuring surrender to allow Him to direct my path in His timing and be at peace with what comes, taking it one step at a time to get there.
One of the exciting things I was able to do last week was host a ladies’ debriefing retreat for two of my co-workers from PNG. I didn’t know either of them very well before this, so it was a blessing to hear more of their story and get to know them better. My role is to walk them through the story of their last term in PNG and the season that they’re currently in. We talk about the reality in life of there being good things and bad things at the same time. That both the good and bad are a reality and just because something good happens, it doesn’t negate the bad that happened. They both exist. So, in missions, there might be a tendency to say, “it was really hard when we went through the isolation, sicknesses, loss, missing home etc. BUT the tribe we were working with received the Gospel.”
The truth is, both things are true- it was hard AND good came from it, but you can’t minimize the hard because of the good. So as we process through that, we look at the stressors of living on the mission field (red dots in the ‘Everyday Life’ poster above) specifically in their lives, and then we spend some time looking at the losses and the grief that occurred in their story. We look at how many transitions they went through and adapted to. Through all of it we are seeking the Lord to guide us in healing and to show us the truths that He may be whispering that we aren’t always able to hear until we set the time apart to listen in this way.
I’m definitely growing in this process and how to facilitate this well while pointing ladies to Christ, but I really love when I have the opportunity. Please pray that I’ll get to offer a debriefing retreat in PNG when I return.