The time has come-I can hardly believe it. Tomorrow I, along with our friend Aimee and my sweet little boy will be once again climbing onto an airplane. (It’s amazing to think that EXACTLY 5 months ago we arrived in PNG!) When we land at our destination I will be overjoyed to see Tom again and so will begin the adventure of the next 3 or more months of our lives.
Before I go I wanted to give you all an update on how Tom’s first week has been in our new location. First allow me to remind you why we are doing this (moving to Tigak) in the first place.
Recap: One part of our orientation process to our ministry here in PNG is something called “Bush Orientation.” Bush Orientation involves us moving into a tribal location that has already been reached with the gospel and has a church established. The orientation typically lasts for a period of about six weeks. This time “living in the bush” is intended to give us a glimpse into what it takes to live and work in a remote village. We will look at things such as house building and maintenance, the ordering of supplies, becoming a part of the community, as well as many other invaluable bits of information. This time of Bush Orientation for us will take place on a tiny island (1/2 a mile by a 1/4 mile) in the New Ireland province of Papua New Guinea. We will be living among 200 or so of the Tigak people.
Last Friday, Tom left for Tigak with our fellow missionary and friend Kim Walden to work on the house that we will be living in. They arrived safely and found that there was much work to do! The house we will be staying in along with our friend Aimee has been standing empty for quite a while so Kim really had his work cut out for him in getting the electric/solar system set up.
The first few days of Tom’s reports were pretty bleak regarding the scorching temperatures, the rough conditions of the house, the continued draught on the island as well as the difficulties they were having in getting the solar system set up. I will spare you all the details but lets just say that when you are working with old and incomplete equipment, things can get very complicated even for an expert (like Kim Walden)! The fridge wasn’t working, the twin tub washing machine was broken, there wasn’t enough power to run fans, etc. Naturally we spent much time in prayer and the Lord is surprising us daily with His unique ways of answering them.
As of today, the report is a bit better. We were able to borrow a generator, a fridge and a twin tub washing machine from the mission guest house on the main land. The men are now in the process of bringing it all by boat to the tiny island we will be living on! Wow, so much goes into it! Oh! Tom said it finally rained and the water tank now has some water in it! Praise the Lord! We are now praying that all the equipment makes it safely to Tigak and that it can all be hooked up and working properly!
The little 3 bedroom house we will be sharing with Aimee is a one story house up on short stilts. It is made entirely of wood and has a tin roof. All its walls are made of thin sheets of plywood. None of the walls go all the way to the ceiling (well, there is no ceiling-roof I should say) so you can stand on the bed and look over into the next room!
Needless to say the living situation will be quite an adjustment, but we are going into this with our eyes set on the goal, to learn all we can and see where God will lead us! Our Lord is worth whatever we need to live in or go through to get His truth to those who do not know of it!
Please keep us in your prayers over these next months. We will be spending time with the Tigak people as well as traveling to visit other works in New Ireland. Please pray that the Lord will use this trip and this time to make it clear to us where He would like us to go for our long term ministry. There is so much need here and the options can often seem overwhelming!
One last thing: We are not sure how often we will have access to the internet or e-mail for the next few months so if you do not hear from us – that is why. No matter what, we will do all that we can to keep you posted on how things are going and what God is doing!