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Thursday, February 28, 2013

PNG (Feb) Day 9: Flying home

It's exciting coming home to see Kaylynn & the family, but it's sad to leave our PNG friends. It is so much fun to see our national staff stepping out and seeing God work through them in the lives of the students @ UPNG. But they are the ones whom God has called to be there full-time. I'm just thrilled to be able to be a part of what God is doing there!

I went with Eva to the computer shop & then to her house on the way to the airport in the morning to do some last minute tweaks to her computer (so she can get her email).

Here are 2 pictures taken as I was headed into Immigration leaving PNG (one of Eva & one of me).

And here's a picture of the Virgin Australian plane that I was on from PNG to Brisbane (I love the way they light it up).

Oh, it was raining in Brisbane and shortly after we took off for Auckland, the plane dropped a significant amount (everyone's heads popped up in the air in front of me), and continued to drop for 8-10 seconds!  I had never seen that before, and I assume not many in the plane had because it got very quiet in there. :-)

And speaking of quiet (or not so), I have an app on my phone that produces a very loud sound of an airplane taking off whenever I get within range of cell towers nearby.   It's great fun when I'm driving to the airport...  but it went off after we landed just as everyone was standing quietly waiting for the front door to open!  Oh my, I was trying to ignore it as everyone was looking around to see where the sound was coming from :-\   Kaylynn said later, "I didn't have to pretend not to notice you."

I've also included a picture of the full sign that I posted a portion of yesterday.

Thanks for praying for PNG!  Until next trip...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PNG (Feb) Day 8: A great day with my PNG friends!

What a great time we had this morning discussing how the ministry has been going, what corrections we needed to make and planning the next 5 weeks until I return before Easter (this is my last day here).  All the staff were here at my "house" except for Elton who had to be at the university (UPNG) today.

We did many things and tried not to labour too long on any one topic. Sorry, no pictures (they would have been boring anyway).

As I have been seeing all week, the new staff were taking responsibility and owning the ministry - this absolutely thrills me - they are men & women whom God is going to use mightily to reach this extremely diverse country!

After our time together, Jasmine, Lily and I walked down to a local fried chicken fast food (KMC) for "lunch" - at 3:30 :-) While eating my chicken, I saw the local wildlife scurrying from behind a storage box - 2 (or 3) little mice darting out, grabbing a piece of food from under the tables, and zipping back to "base". It was quite humorous :-)

I am attaching a picture - it's a sign found in the bathroom here in the local "pidgin" language. You should be able to figure it out, but I'll post the translation tomorrow anyway.

I head home tomorrow - it's been a satisfying 8 days - can't wait to see Kaylynn & the kids!

Monday, February 25, 2013

PNG (Feb) Day 7: A day in the city

The plan today was to meet with the staff, but our 2 guys needed to be on campus in the morning - so Eva & I drove around and talked with hotels in town trying to get a good deal for our Easter conference coming up. We talked with 3, and have received 1 quote so far which is not all that great.

Then we stopped at the bank (not for "just a few minutes"), caught up with one of our staff girls at Eva's house, and caught up with one of our staff guys at my guest house. I caught my breath for 30 minutes then off to campus for our weekly meeting.

I spoke again to a relatively small group of about 25.  Our staff did great, so great that I hope I didn't spoil it all :-)

Here are some photos that I did remember to take (during the prayer time - shhhh, don’t tell anyone).

Thanks for reading my rambles :-)  And for praying for this budding ministry!

Dan

Sunday, February 24, 2013

PNG (Feb) Day 6: The day after...

Since today was Sunday, I planned to take a rest day and stay put at the missionary guest house. The staff also needed a rest day and to attend church.

But Elton & Greg (our 2 staff men) came by the house this afternoon for a couple hours & we had a great time together :-)

For the blog today, I thought I would post a few extra photos from last night.

The Alpha Party was held at the Drill Hall at the security base on the edge of campus and to get there everyone had to walk through a gate with a warning sign on it, as shown in the photo below.

There were no signs saying "Drill Hall" anywhere, and I asked our staff if the new students could find it and he said, "oh sure" - and 22 of them did! :-)

I added a photo of 4 guys standing still (looking bored) - they illustrate 4 generations!  From left to right, Julian will be discipled by Isaac, who is being discipled by Stanley, who is being discipled by Greg (our staff). You may remember that we talked about Isaac last year in our letters - he became a Christian at our Easter conference last year.

So, here are 2 pictures of the students decorating the hall, one of registration, and one of refreshments afterwards.

Tomorrow & Tuesday I meet with the staff for most of the day to work through how the ministry will run this year (pray for wisdom and good communication). I also need to find time to visit some hotels and find a place to hold our Easter conference.  Thanks for praying!

Dan

Saturday, February 23, 2013

PNG (Feb) Day 5: The Alpha Party

What a big day we had today getting ready for the Alpha Party without power and with rain most of the day (~6 hours).  God was faithful as He helped everyone involved - and He stopped the rain 30 minutes before the start time!  I went to the hall 3 hours early & it was great to see so many students working on setting up & decorating :-)

And the Alpha Party was a great success!  We had 22 new students come (~18 were 1st year students).  And they all wanted to join a discipleship group!

For me, it was most exciting to see our staff take charge and shepherd these new students - introducing them to their new Discovery Group leaders (7-8 new groups added)!

I've included a few pictures, but since I'm posting via my phone, I can't position them or add captions. There are 3 photos that show our staff incorporating the new students.  Please ask me if it's hard to figure out what a photo is showing. Thanks for praying!

Dan

PNG (Feb) Day 3 & 4: Forming Discipleship Groups

Hello again! We call Papua New Guinea the Land of the Unexpected, that has been true this week! The people part of my trip (the eternal part) is going great... but the tech part has been a real struggle :-(  After having great difficulty getting Internet (for myself and for the office), my computer crashed [As far as I can tell, it's the mother board since it's not the RAM or the hard disk]. So I'm writing this from my phone - yahoo, my phone works!

On Thursday, my 3rd day here, we spent a lot of time with the uni student leaders from last year to form the first three generations of discipleship groups. Many students have come up to our staff saying that they are excited about this year and want to seriously build their disciples!  Here's a chart (somewhere on this page) showing some of the groups already formed.  After talking with most of the 18 group leaders, we have about 38 students wanting to be discipled this year! This is very exciting!  Yay.

We've also been planning our Alpha Party for Saturday (day 5, tonight) when the first-year students arrive. So please pray about that!  And pray for wisdom as we pull them into groups, and for the new group leaders to see God's faithfulness!

Well, I'm off to see the staff & help them finish preparing for the Alpha Party tonight - and I promise that I'll take pictures :-)

Dan

Friday, February 22, 2013

PNG (Feb) Day 1 & 2: On campus at UPNG!

Hello friends - it me, Dan, this time.  I don't imagine that the blog will be as fun to read as it was when Kaylynn writes it, but she's not with me this trip.  So, I'll try my best! Gung Ho!

Day 1: flight from Auckland to Papua New Guinea on Tuesday 19th

After 2 1/2 hours sleep last night (18 Feb), I woke up at 2:45 am and caught the shuttle to the airport at 3:30.  On our last trip to Fiji, my suitcase handle broke, so I was walking like a gorilla dragging my suitcase up our right-of-way hill (almost 1/10 of a mile) - I'm glad it was dark so no one could see me.  I was moving fast because I could hear the shuttle at the top of the hill and i didn't want it to drive away without me.  I was so hot (on a cool night) that I opened the window and let the cold air blow on me for 30 minutes to the airport.

My two flights were both about 3 hours long (with a 2 hour stop in Brisbane, Australia), and I slept at least 2 hours on each flight - so it made it go quickly.

I had a great visit with Eva (the wife of George who passed away last May), our PNG team leader, and made plans for the next 7 days.

I'm staying at the MAPANG Missionary guest home which is where I usually stay in Port Moresby (here is a link: http://www.mapang.org/).

Day 2:  On campus at UPNG

I spent 3-4 hours on the campus at UPNG today and saw each of our other 4 staff missionaries (I'll get a picture tomorrow).  Since this is their first year
 of being responsible for the ministry after their director, George, passed away last May, my goal is to help them make decisions and own the ministry for themselves.  We had great discussions that we will continue throughout the week.  I'll explain more later so that I don't bore you now :-)

At registration last week, they handed out 606 First-years (Freshman) gift packs that contain things to help them get settled into life on campus as well as a copy of the Jesus Film on DVD in 8 PNG languages.  In these gift packs, we include a response card inviting them to our Alpha party (this Saturday).  In the past we have had up to 50 turn in cards, but this year we only have 4!  The staff don't know why, but they are thinking of alternative ways to invite the first-year students this Saturday.  Please pray that 40-50 will show up on Sat. and that we can put them in discovery groups led by upperclassmen.


I also had another good hour+ with Eva.  She's our team leader and it is truly amazing that we are on the same page as each other.  She tells me what she told the staff and every time it's exactly as I would have said.  it's almost like we're both listening to the same God!    :-)

Note: after i wrote this, I ran out of credits for the Internet, then it took me another day to get reconnected - thanks for being patient :-(

Dan