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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PNG May Visit - Days 9-10: "Awkward Moments!"

Getting gifts ready to present


The new university year has begun and our party to introduce the first year students to Student Life was last night.


It was a wonderful time of songs, games, testimony, vision...and a devotional talk by me.  Usually I just share what I'm learning in my own "quiet time" with God, but I was having trouble making a talk out of it this time.  I was a little nervous, so my hands were sweating.  It was hot and humid, so the rest of me was sweating as well.  I was wearing a PNG top and slacks, both made out of non-absorbent fabric...therefore, it did no good to wipe my moist hands on my clothes.  I was a little worried about dropping the microphone!  However, since God answers prayer and can do wonderful things, the devotional went as well as it could.

 
Another awkward moment came at the end of the evening when students introduced themselves and we shook hands or hugged.  I saw one girl approach who either "high-fived" or hugged people around me.  When she got to me, I lifted my hand for a "high-five," while she leaned in for a hug.  I almost hit her face by accident...but danger was averted, and a successful hug was achieved!  

What amazes me about ministry is that although a million things could go wrong and everything could easily fall apart...in the midst of it all, God can work. He's the One who holds all things together and changes lives.  And...He can use even the awkward!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

PNG May Visit - Days 7-8: "From the Sublime to the Ridiculous!"

The other day we had lunch with an alumni to both the university and our ministry.  This young woman is on our board here in PNG and helps us out with her musical and teaching skills when needed.  We met for lunch right outside the high-rise building where she works for the Red Cross.  My-oh-my!  We discovered the NICE part of Port Moresby.  
The sign in the background!



The high-rise building was on the waterfront, surrounded by a security fence.  Withing the fence was another tall building and several trendy eating establishments.  (We didn't notice until we were already inside that there was a dress code.  Flip-flop footwear wasn't allowed.  Oops!



Contrasting with that was our day yesterday.  It was the day to sort through our storage room at George Puipui's old house and move everything we wanted to another facility.

One of rat's 3 babies on red plastic
The first box Dan and I peeked in, I saw a shadow running around...Eek, a rat!  I jumped back and let Dan take care of the situation.  He tipped the box to rid it of the rat, but the rat run right towards me and bumped into my foot!  (Pause for a shudder!)

Needless to say, it was a dirty, sweaty day.  On top of that, the truck we hired (and paid for) didn't arrive to pick up the saved boxes.  After several phone calls, we discovered the truck was broken and wasn't coming.  Elton eventually found us another truck, and we finally got home.  
After sorting, our student crew helped with loading

A very different dress code was required.





 

Friday, May 5, 2017

PNG May visit - Days 5-6: "Taxi!"

We've reached the half-way point of our visit.  We've met up with folks, had office times, campus time...and today we ran errands!  Anyone from Port Moresby knows that errand running should be an Olympic event.  It takes a lot out of a person.

Our friend and most treasured taxi driver hasn't been available this trip, so we've branched out to some new ones.  My favorite so far is a mild-mannered, careful driver (the most cautious driver I've experienced) who is middle-aged.  This man has a son who selected his ringtone for him... the sound of a police siren.  It starts out softly, then gets louder and louder.  Every time this man's phone would ring (and a taxi driver's phone rings pretty often), I'd look over my shoulder, thinking we were being pulled over! 

The man we had drive us around today took us to about 8 different places all over the city.  One time neither he nor we knew how to get to where we were going, but we got there in the end.  He was nice enough, but probably my favorite guy's polar opposite in the caution department.  It's the end of a long day...but we met up with and got an evaluation from our former staff girl, paid money at the Fiji High Commission to help clear a visa issue with one of our staff, picked up a donation for the Fiji student conference from the travel bureau, went back to the High Commissioners office to get our change from the fee we paid earlier (They didn't have it before.), drove to a church where we hired a truck for tomorrow (We're finally removing the rest of the ministry things stored in our former director's house, now that the family has sold it.), went to a stationery shop...then back to the church were we left something.  Finally we went to the bank. 

The day is done.  It feel like either crying or watching a movie on my computer.  I choose...MOVIE!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

PNG May Visit - Days 3-4: "Success!"

Success in ministry is hard to measure.  There are so many intangible things, as well as circumstances that cause discouragement.  So much depends on simply walking with God with faith and joy...letting Him be my life. (Col. 3:4)

I wish encouragement was liquid in a bottle I could pour on our staff here.  With so many responsibilities and the red tape involved in getting anything done, the need is great. They are doing a wonderful job, and we are so thankful for them and are filled with admiration for what they've taken on...but in ministry, it's easy to be disheartened.  The evil one sees to that.  I want to protect our staff from that.

I guess this is an old and continual problem, because when Paul prayed for the churches, he frequently mentioned the need for encouragement.  Maybe that's why there always seems to be the temptation to give up and go back to something familiar...something the world can point to and say, "My, what a success that person is!"  I think that's why Peter went back to fishing after the crucifixion...until the resurrected Jesus had a little talk with him.

Following Paul's example, I guess prayer is a form of liquid encouragement.  One way of being successful myself is to keep praying for the hopeful hearts of our staff. (2 Thes. 2:16-17.)
 



 

 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

PNG May visit, Days 1-2: "Humble Pie in the Eye!"

It's pretty much a day of adventure getting to Papua New Guinea.  After about 3 hours sleep, Dan and I caught an airport shuttle at 3:30 a.m. and began the trek to Australia, then on to PNG.  You know you're getting old when on the plane you both look like bobble-headed dolls, napping to the beat of some silent drummer.  By the time we arrive at the guest house, we're not much good for anything but...maybe another nap?

I told Dan I'd be fine the next morning.  I just needed a good night's sleep.

I awoke with one of my eyes swollen and itchy.  The eyelid seemed to be the affected area, not the eye itself.  I think some cheeky mosquito bit my eyelid!  I looked like I got socked in the eye...and no, I'm not including a picture here.

After being upright and taking an antihistamine, the swelling localized a bit, but still...I looked funny.  What a way to meet people whom I haven't seen in a while.  Oh well.

Notice Tanya's necklace!
We had a meeting with our staff in the morning, and then went on campus and met some of the students in the afternoon.  There's quite a buzz of excitement about the Fiji Student Conference coming up in June.  Students are raising money for their airfares, filled with faith. Please God, let them go!