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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

PNG May Day 3: "An old very good friend"

Today was another action day - of meeting people.  This time I had a couple good hours with Greg (PNG missionary), talking about how God was working in his life.  

After that, and an hour and a half of waiting for taxis (2 failed, one succeeded), I caught up with Lillian (PNG missionary) and we talked about the staff team and the stinters and how everyone was getting along.  It was very encouraging.. but since you don't know them, I won't go into details.

But the surprise of my life came at dinner tonight.  During dinner, I thought I saw
out of the corner of my eye an old friend from the Solomon Islands (from when we lived there in the 90s) walk past me, but I looked up & saw no one and thought it must have been my imagination.  Then, after dinner, when I was talking with someone, Coxwain, our former Solomon Islands Director, snuck up behind me!
My good friend, Coxwain from the Solomon Islands!
During dinner, he was sitting at the opposite end of the dining room (with about 25 people in it).  He said "all of a sudden I heard someone talking about the Solomon Islands and Palau and thought that sounds like Dan"!  He stood up and saw me at the other end of the room.  After dinner, we spent over an hour talking.  It was great! When we left the Solomons, Nathan (our oldest) was 10 – now Coxwain's little boy is 10 and Nathan had 3 children of his own.  I showed him pictures of Kaylynn and the kids and the kid’s kids - He was surprised to hear that we have 6 grandchildren.   He is doing so well, and it was so encouraging to see him again!

Monday, May 18, 2015

PNG May Day 2: "16 hours"

This morning I had breakfast @ 5:45am (I try to stay on NZ time 2 hours ahead).  I then went to the office and had a great time with Elton (PNG), Lillian (PNG), Danika (Aust), & Emily (USA).  We had a good devotion and it was fun to see how they all interacted.  This is new - our team in a new office, running "office meetings" by themselves with a highly interactive team of 4 - they're figuring it out - it's very encouraging!  

And Emily & Danika add a lot!  Danika is great at thinking creatively, outside the box, and Emily is good at the practical and figuring out how to make things work.  They work amazingly together!  It's hard to believe that they didn't know each other just a few months ago!  And they work amazingly well with Elton & Lillian.

After our team meeting, I was to meet someone for lunch, but they couldn't make it - and I had scheduled to meet Elton at 3 pm, so I didn't have time to go out and get lunch.

I had a great time with Elton talking about so many things in his life and the ministry, and asking his opinion about things.  In fact it went so well that I didn't have time to go back to the guesthouse for dinner before the weekly meeting (called Splash) started on campus (UPNG) - so I went straight to campus.

To make a long story short, I didn't make it to the guest house to eat my dinner until 9:45 pm (hence the title of this post, 16 hours between my 2 food "book ends") - but I never really felt hungry being in the midst of seeing God work :-)

Here are a few photos of Splash tonight.  Thanks for helping to make this ministry possible!
Lillian, Emily & Danika planning
Beautlyn & Tanya finding their name
 on the Discipleship Chart

Emily teaching

Danika teaching

Lillian teaching 
Girls finding their names on the
discipleship Spider chart

Sunday, May 17, 2015

PNG May Day 1: "Eat and Greet"

I'm off to PNG again!  It's always hard to leave Auckland - my home, my family, my familiar, my comfort...  I know God will work everything out, but for some reason I'm more troubled this trip.  I cried out to the Lord and said, "what's wrong", and He said, "You're not trusting me to give you the words to say".  It's funny how I KNOW He promises to show me what to say, and I've seen Him be faithful hundreds of times when I open my mouth - But I still forget and run on my old fears.  So... here's my next adventure when I KNOW God will work!

This trip is different than most trips in that there is no event or occasion for me to lead.  My goals this trip are almost all people.  I have 12 people or groups that I will be having time alone with to discuss different things.  Our 2 girls (from Australian & USA) have arrived and I will spend time with them to make sure they're settling in okay.  I will also spend time with each of our PNG missionaries to make sure that they have a good plan for the middle of the university year (which runs from March to November).  Also, because Kaylynn & I are going to the States for 2 1/2 months in June, we're handing the oversight of the ministry to our colleagues Matthew & Tammy Anderson and I'll explain this to the group.  We also have to sort out a difficult situation with one of our missionaries - so a few of the conversations I'll be having will be difficult (please pray).  So, this could be why I'm more worried about knowing what to say :-)

First breakfast
Okay , on to the fun stuff: I had 3 breakfasts today!  My reward for having to get up at 2:45 in the morning (night?) is a Massive McMuffin at McDonalds. If I had a heart doctor, he'd probably be upset, but it's the only place I can get America breakfast sausage - 2 patties :-).  
Second breakfast (it's still dark)
Then because I fly a lot, I was allowed to go into the Air New Zealand lounge in auckland - which had lots of food - so I had a second breakfast (this one a little bit more healthy).  Then after my 3 hour flight to Brisbane, I went again into the Air NZ lounge, but because of the 2 hour time difference, it was still breakfast time.   So I had to get "my money's" worth" :-)

This afternoon, after I arrived in Port Moresby and settled into the guest house, I went to find the 2 STINT (Short Term INTernationals) girls.  What a great time we had!  I'm thrilled!  They are doing so well.  They are approaching their time here as learners and discovering this rich culture.  A few things they learned were that it usually takes about twice as long to accomplish any task, and that even when they're expecting a good group of people to show up, even more people will show up.  And social outings seem to take much more of their time (not a bad thing just different).  They're discovering many things about the ministry and culture that I didn't know because they are sitting down with the students and asking lots of questions.  I'll share more this week.  Their main goal this year is to help show the PNG students what a vibrant growing movement looks like.  Thanks for praying for them! 

Emily (L, from USA) & Danika (R, from Aust) - our help has arrived!