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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 12 and beyond: "A Discovery!"

A last-minute meeting before heading to the airport, and then we were winging our way home.

Did you know that you can sing without being heard on board a jet?  I don't know if it's just true for people with my alto vocal range, but I've tested it out.  Amidst the background sound of the engine, I sang softly...undetected even by my husband sitting next to me.  Of course it's important not to move your lips in case someone glances over.  The secret is to have your mouth slightly open.  Although words may not be distinctly recognizable, the tune is there.

Go ahead...try it sometime.  You know you want to!

Thanks to all those who have prayed for this trip.  We depend on those prayers!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 11: "A Small World!"

You just never know who you'll meet at this guest house.

We had lunch with a couple and their 4-year-old twins, Jenny Beth and Jacob.  Not only were the twins interesting little people, but their parents know Jeff and Jane Pelz from our church in New Zealand.  Amazing.

Yesterday, we met a man named Nathan Miles.  We commented that his name was close to our son's name.  He said that it used to be a very uncommon name.  (He's about our age.)   Now, when he hears someone say, "Nathan," he always assumes it's him.  

After talking with him a while, he asked if we knew the Ashleys when we were in the Solomons.  We said, yes, and that Philip was one of our Nathan's best friends.  It turns out that Nathan Miles is Philip Ashley's step-father-in-law.  He told us that Philip and his wife are both studying medicine in Kentucky.  Amazing.

Who knows who will come through the door of this guest house next!

(One more sleep until a plane ride!) 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 10: "Celebration!"

Dan with girls that went on the Hisiu project

Dan challenging grads
Today was the Omega Celebration of the UPNG student life group.  Yesterday was there last day of classes, next week is study leave, and the next is final exams.  So today, we celebrated what God has done this year, said good-bye to the graduating students, and hello to the leaders for next year.

Dan & Eva signing certificates for grads
After the official, serious part, it was time for the mumu (luau) and games.  Thought you'd enjoy some pics. 
putting up volleyball net

Jasmine with disciples


PNG (Sept.) Day 9: "What the...?"

Hey, I though this was a 10-day trip!  Now I realise that it's 12 days.  How'd that happen?

This hasn't been such a triumphant day.  I had just determined in my QT that I need to work on choosing joy.  It's a choice.  Choosing joy means I don't doubt God's ability or His love for me.  Joy is the natural response when my view of God is correct.  Otherwise, I let circumstances choose whether I'll be joyful or not.  So the last couple of problem choosing correctly.

BUT - today went all catywampus...and so did my joy.  I guess dashed hopes and plans really have an ability to make me loose sight of who God is. So once again, I slowly turn my head from circumstances, to my God.  I acknowlege how big God is, and how much He loves me and those I care about...and whose ministry this really is:  His, not mine.  Joy is beginning to trickle, but boy to I have some growing to do is this area!

Friday, September 20, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 8: "Useful!"

An interesting phenomena of being a missionary wife is that you don't always have a job description, especially on a mission trip.  It doesn't mean that the wife isn't useful or needed at times, but it means there aren't always clear-cut tasks to perform or goals to achieve within her skillset.  The result is that often I feel like extra baggage and at loose ends when on a trip with Dan.  (He's the one that mentors the person doing the accounting and the staff trying to understand the reporting system, the business end of directing the ministry here.  He also is directly responsible for the people under him, helping them with their goals and personal growth.)  While I stand by and offer any insight and encouragement (which, I have to say, IS my skillset), it's all in a general, unspecific cloud of being a support.  I know this role is important, and that God doesn't waste people when He puts them somewhere...It's just that I feel a little at a loss to assist when Dan has a long list of jobs to accomplish that I am out of my depth to be of help.

That's why it's so fun when something does come along that is more in line with my finalizing the design of a student life brochure to be given out on Saturday, for the coming project in February. We gave some ideas to Greg (our PNG staff guy who is very artistic,) and he gave us back an attractive prototype of the brochure.  We just did the production work of alignment, consistant font...that sort of thing.  (I made suggestions, Dan did the computer part.)  FUN!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 7: "A Break -Through!"

You know the feeling when an "ah-ha!" moment comes?... The relief and joy when someone finally puts their finger on something that will really help?  That moment came today as we met with a couple of our staff.

We found out that, more than a place of their own to live, what the team really needs is a base on or near the campus.  Because none of the young staff live on their own, they have no group place, easily accessible, that they can call their own space...a space where they would have a key...a private place to share vision, to make phone pray together...a professional office...not to hide in, but to use as a base of operation...a place to begin their day before going out to their real "office", the UPNG campus. 

Now that we hear their frustration, their need...we can begin to work on the problem.  (Or rather, we can trust God together that He will provide for that need...and we can actively look for His answer.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 6: "Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!"

Staff meeting...Doesn't sound exciting, but it was wonderful sitting together with our staff team discussing the needs of our movement and upcoming events;  everyone contributing...everyone working together...everyone knowing how much we rely on God...It's a delight.

Board meeting - OK, this one didn't excite me so much with all the business details to discuss with the board members.  Who the cheque signers are isn't a thrill for me to know.  HOWEVER, we did hear some feedback from the village outreach we did with the students.  The church people in the village are following up 30 new believers from our visit there!  Yahoo!

Adding to the interesting people we've met here:  A church group of young people from Australia are heading the highlands of PNG today.  One young guy is a graphic designer and did all the illustrating for the computer game  It's a free game, so you can try it!  Another young guy from the group is originally from Portland, OR, went to OSU, and was active in Student Life.  Amazing!

PNG (Sept.) Day 5: "Happy PNG Independence Day!"

We decided to go on campus at UPNG to see the dancers from the different provinces and maybe see some of the students involved in our ministry.

Can you find Dan?
It turned out to be a very hot, dusty, colourful day.  The crowds were thick, and the smell of woodsmoke was ever present (from BBQs used to cook the chicken and sausages for sale.)  Many people wore traditional costumes and headdresses and body paint from there province.

It was too hard to see through the crowd onto the field where the performances were going on, but we saw some groups up close and personal as they practiced by the food stalls.

It was interesting and and dusty and tiring...and good to see some of the students we've gotten to know.

Where's Kaylynn?

Monday, September 16, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 4: "Just Another First!"

Dan forgot to bring enough of one kind of his pain medicine for his damaged nerve.  Uh oh!  The pills he ran out of are the kind you have to ease on and off slowly...not quit abruptly.  Challenging situation:  Sunday, when most stores close down in PNG, and a holiday weekend, and no pill for tonight.

After trying several phone numbers in the telephone book, we found a private hospital that had a related drug to the one Dan was missing...he had taken that particular one before.  However, he wasn't sure of the amount he should we went to the hospital, filled out a patient card, and waited to see a doctor.

I felt a little conspicuous.  There we were, two big white people, who seemed in fine health, waiting with at least 3-4 PNG families with very sick babies and small children. I felt like we should let all the sick people go ahead of was a long wait as it was.  But, I knew our turn to see the doctor would be very quick (just asking how a dosage for a particular medicine), so we simply took our turn.

Both Dan and I thought, separately, that we wished we could take some pictures so you could see what this experience was like, but ruled it out as "tacky."  The interesting thing about the doctor was that he had no computer or books or anything...just a small desk in a small room.  The other interesting thing was a compelling painted portrait of a PNG woman hanging on the wall in the waiting area.  (I have no idea who she is in relation to the hospital, but I'd be interested to find out.  I bet there's a story around that painting somewhere.)

When we got home, I felt like crying.  There was no reason because  Dan got his medicine and we were treated with kindness...  but it's sad to see hurting people...and stressful to be in a hospital in another culture.  However, the end of the story is that God is good.  He provided for Dan's need, we were helped by several kind people, and I saw a beautiful painting.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 3: "The Prodigal Suitcase Returns!"

Since this is a holiday weekend, it seemed urgent to find out about the missing suitcase.  We tried phoning several different numbers in PNG without getting through to anyone, then finally phoned the airline in Australia.  Australia said the suitcase flew to PNG the day after we did. (Yahoo!...Nobody claimed it by mistake or took it from the conveyor belt.)

After meeting with a lovely graduating student who is considering applying to work with our ministry, Eva took us to the airport to investigate our missing suitcase.  There was no one at the airline desk at the international we walked to the domestic terminal.  After making some inquiries, we found out our suitcase was at the international terminal...and they offered to get it for us.  Never had a suitcase looked almost like a family member before!  I was so glad to see it!  Eva, her daughter Gail, Dan and I went out and ate a "fatted" chicken in celebration!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

PNG (Sept.) Day 2: "Life at the Guest House!"

We're back at our home-away-from-home.  The great thing about staying at a missionary guest house is that your concept about the family of God grows.

I've met a young single girl from Spain who is studying anthropology (specifically the bureaucracy of Melanesia...) and who needs to find housing for one year in Port Moresby.  I wonder if her search will help us find housing for our own single staff women here?

I've also met two women my age.  One woman, from Germany, is a missionary in Indonesia and is on her way home to see her daughter get married.  The other woman is from Finland and she helps translate scriptures here into one of the many languages spoken in Papua New Guinea.

We met with our staff in the common living area here for a short meeting before lunch.  It's good to see them again!  We began making plans together for the next week as well as for the beginning of the next university year in Feb., when some folks from the Australia ministry will join us for a couple of weeks.

Who would ever think a girl like me would ever be here... in this very special house in Papua New Guinea, rubbing shoulders with these very interesting, and beloved children of the King.  What an honour!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

PNG (Sept) Day 1 - The Land of the Unexpected

Papua New Guinea is called the "land of the unexpected", and today we discovered it anew!

My respect for the apostle Paul and his missionary journeys has increased since starting out on my own 10-day missionary trip.  How can I possibly compare my mission trip to his? 

I was thinking about this as Dan and I were once again winging our way to Papua New Guinea...sitting on cushioned seat with headrests...having a drink served to me...walking to the loo at the back of the plane that had a flush toilet, was relatively clean, and I was able to wash my hands with running hot water and lightly fragranced, foamy soap.  Granted, I only got a couple of hours of sleep, as we had to catch the shuttle to the airport at 3 a.m....But I'm not sure Paul would have been impressed.

Then there was the matter of my lost suitcase.  Never lost a suitcase before in all the times I've flown.  Would Paul have felt sympathetic?  (After all it was the suitcase with the chocolate bars for our friends here that went missing.)  Probably not.  I remember when he was blessed to escape a hostile crowd with the clothes on his back.  Even though I, too, only have the clothes on my back, at least people around me are friendly and helpful...and I have a credit card.  Eva was nice and took us to a small local store to pick up essentials.

But, even though I feel like a tired wuss... God loves me just as He loved Paul. Now there's a thought to lay my head down on and rest there!

[Note from Dan: Kaylynn has done great considering we're going on 21 hours now.

Before Eva took Kaylynn clothes shopping, we visitied a conference centre where we should be able to have our summer project of university students from Australia come to help our UPNG students learn how to disciple.  One of our main goals this trip is to set up this project for February next year and to "recruit" 15-20 UPNG students to commit to come to Port Moresby 1-2 weeks early to work with and learn from these Australian students.

Tomorrow we meet with the staff in the morning, and I hope to go to campus in the afternoon and see the students!]