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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 10: Home Again!

Finishing up in Papua New Guinea, was a real challenge!  We met with the staff in our guest house.  Dan checked us out, paying our bill, while others of us were still meeting.  We did tie up most of our loose ends (yahoo!) and caught our flight. In spite of a little trauma in a delayed flight causing us to miss our connection in Australia, we made it back to New Zealand.  The lights of our adopted country shone like jewels as we flew over it!

Thank you so much to all you who partner with us in this phenomenal adventure of ministry!

Day 9: Celebration!

At last...the Omega Party Celebration!  This is the time to celebrate what God has done during this hard year (in which we experienced the loss of our dear George Puipui, the director of the ministry here.)

Dan got to speak, renewing our focus and providing vision for next year.  There was a worship time, several other speaches and testimonies.  I was even ask to speak (which was never in the plan that I knew of!)  Then it was time for feasting and games:  3-legged races, sack races, eating contests, volleyball, etc.)  Here are some pictures we thought you'd enjoy!

Jasmine (center) with disciples

Day 8: Tag Teaming!

Peter and Candy arrive in Port Moresby from our office in New Zealand.  They will be here for the next few days, encouraging our new staff as they find ministry partners to invest in their ministry on campus!

On the drive back from the airport, the crowds were still out celebrating independence!

(Sorry for the delay in posting this, as we had trouble with our internet connection.)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 7: Independence Day Weekend!

tour guides decide on route

It's a 3-day weekend here in Port Moresby as they celebrate their Independence Day.  Eva, Gail, Elton, and Greg took us around to locations where there was ceremonial dances (from a variety of different provences, or people groups).  There was a carnival atmosphere, lots of colour, lots of food and flags for sale...Here is a glimpse of some of the sights:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 6: Elton!

Today we did a preliminary interview with Elton to join our staff team in PNG.  He still has another year of study, but his desire is clear and we thought we'd get the interview accomplished while we were in the country.

 Because there is a whole list of questions to go through, it's a wonderful opportunity to see how God's been at work in a person's life.  It was a joy to hear how God has grown Elton into the man he is today.  While joining our staff team may be in his future, right now we're thrilled to have him involved in our ministry at the university as a student leader!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 5: Building friends!

The whole missionary idea is built around relationships.  The great thing about us being here is that you find out so much more face-to-face with people than you do over the phone or Skype.

I found out that Eva used to enjoy playing field hockey.  In fact, she had two sticks.  George asked her what she needed two sticks for and she said, "In case you want to play."  Of course, George did.

I found out that Jasmine's brother is going to university this year.

I found out that the two PNG board members are funny guys!  One man, a retired pastor, had an outreach to a crime-ridden area...and 30 new believers were born. (former druggies and drunkards).  He is now involved with feeding them and following them up.  (God seems quietly at work in small pockets of society...without me knowing anything about it.)

We met a young girl staying here that lives in a village right by the Irian Jaya border, studying their language.

We've talked about special "friendships" with at least 3 of our staff members.  (It's great hanging out with this age group for a romantic like me!)

While building relationships is key...communication has a big when the lock on our door was stuck.  I was inside the room (not knowing the problem) and Dan was outside.  He tried the knob a couple of times, but since it was locked he thought I was in the bathroom.  Quite a while later I came out of our room (locking myself out)...found Dan (who was getting quite nervous about what was taking me so long), and we got the lock problem sorted!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 4: Encouragement!

We all need encouragement...but some days more than others.   

As a staff team today we all wrote our names on top of a piece of note paper. We passed the paper to the person on our right.  That person wrote down a quality that they admired about the person whose name was at the top.  Then we passed to the right again, and so on, until the paper arrived back to the person whose name was at the top.  I don't think these folks had done something like this before, but what  power there is in uplifting words!

 This exercise came at a good time.  We're getting tired already and we're not half-way through our trip.  You could say Dan is a little "slap-happy" in fact!  Today he was going through the office and found a special magnifying glass George had for his eyes.  Dan was trying to demonstrate it to Eva, Gail (Eva's daughter), and me.  He held it one way and said, "Look it works, but it's upside down."  Then he turned it around and said, "It's still upside down."  Then he discovered the magnifying glass was was the paper he was reading that was upside down!  Early to bed tonight!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 3: Hugged!

After a full morning of meeting with our staff team, an afternoon being with Eva while Dan continues his computer repair adventure, and a shared dinner with fellow borders at this guest house...this introvert is exhausted!  But, on the up side...Jasmine (one of our precious new staff women) said when leaving, "I just feel I'd like to hug you!"  Now that's worth a little "tired," don't you think?

Many things got marked off on our list of things to do...many more yet to accomplish.  (At least according to our plan.  God may have other ideas on our priority list.)  Tomorrow is another group meeting, then Thursday is meeting with our PNG board of directors...OK. I think it's time to read my book a little!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 2: Settling In!

Here we are at Mapang Guest House.  I don't know what missionaries used to do before, but I'm glad to be here at this point in history when this place is invented... enjoying the meals provided, hot showers, and internet.  There's a sitting room with comfortable chairs that we've used to meet the staff as a group yesterday, and this morning we had another meeting with a promising young man who maybe wants to join our PNG staff team here.  Yahoo!

The only drawback to staying here is that there are multiple rooms down a hallway...and if you come here enough you have experienced being in a number of them.  My embarrassing confession to you today is that I've walked into the same wrong room twice already.  (Luckily nobody was in there changing clothes or anything!)  Dan made me repeat our room number to him out loud a couple of times to get it firmly lodged in my head!  (It's room # 1 for Pete's sake!)  Oh well...God even uses the absent-minded! 

I had a wonderful time with Eva while Dan did computery stuff at her house.  Thanks for keeping her in your prayers.  She's a remarkable woman and I admire and love her.  She's trusting God, but misses her George!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 1: Off to PNG!

I feel such a stick-in-the-mud!  It's always a wrench on my heart to pack and leave home...but adventure awaits!  The most difficult leg of our journey to Port Moresby is wheeling our suitcases up our STEEP right-of-way (shared driveway) to catch the shuttle for the airport at 3 a.m.  I was reading Caleb a book about a train yesterday and was struggling a bit with the sound effects.  If he could have heard me dragging my suitcase up the hill, it would have been a perfect imitation of huffing and puffing!

Dan and I are in the Brisbane airport awaiting our final leg to Port Moresby.  We are loaded down with chocolate bars, books, and letters for our staff well as anticipation to see them in person and hear how they and the ministry are fairing. 
I wonder what I forgot to pack!