When God Gives You Cancer

For those who may not know what’s going on, here is a recap of how God has sovereignly–and unexpectedly–altered the trajectory of our lives. We have largely documented the last 12 days of our lives through Facebook posts, so we thought it perhaps the best summary to just list those.We are grateful and thankful for God’s kindness to us in the midst of this difficult time and know that we can count on His steadfast love and faithfulness only continuing as we walk this new road He has laid out before us....
The Cat Came Back

The Cat Came Back

His name’s Hawaii.  Sometimes we call him, “Hawaii, the comfort kitty”. Mary calls him “Karate”, but we think she’s just hearing us wrong. Many of you probably never even knew we had a cat, much less that we lost him, but for those who have been worried sick about where he might be — he’s back!  Ok — technically he didn’t come back of his own accord.   Three weeks before we left on our break, our cat mysteriously disappeared.  Some said he ran away, others said a dog ate him, others said he was killed. We waited for him to return. But when we came back from break and found a family of mice living in our house, we could wait no longer! (Hawaii was really good at catching mice and eating them). Our thought was to perhaps get another cat–until someone said they saw Hawaii down at the soccer field below our house (about a half mile hike away). So, I and the four children ventured down and, sure enough, we found our cat!  I tucked him under my arms and hiked him back up to our house. His second night back, we heard a ruckus on the front porch and there was Hawaii playing with a mouse (apparently cats actually do play with mice just to be mean before they put them out of their misery).  Since he’s been back he’s eaten at least two mice…and a grasshopper…I’m not sure what else! That might not sound like good news to you, but for us it’s very good news because every mouse he gets rid of is one less mouse in our house....
Thankful for Breaks or It’s Good to be Back

Thankful for Breaks or It’s Good to be Back

August 1st, we returned to Mawarero from our first break. When we flew in on the helicopter from Madang and disembarked, our teammates the Canns hopped on and headed out for their first break (they return tomorrow). Before we came to Papua New Guinea, we did training with our organization (Finisterre Vision) for cultural awareness and practical strategies for living and doing ministry in Papua New Guinea.  Some of the things we learned about, we planned on implementing, but I didn’t completely understand why we were planning on it…figured it would make more sense once we got there! One of the things we planned on implmenting as part of our long-term strategy for living in Papua New Guinea was to take a break out of the tribe every 6 months for two weeks. Stateside, it’s hard to imagine what it will be like to move your family to a helicopter-access-only location in the middle of the jungles of PNG.  My theory was that coming from a place where there are millions of people all around you and where you can drive anywhere you want to, that moving to a place where there are only around 300 people around you, and where there is no where to drive, if you want to go anywhere you have to hike — that would want to take a break because we’d get lonely or feel too isolated. But this actually hasn’t been the case.  For our family, probably the biggest difficultly we’ve found living in the jungle for the last six months has also been one of the sweetest things about living here....
Goodbye Ahane Josh

Goodbye Ahane Josh

A few days ago, I said good bye to my cousin Josh outside of a hut near the beach. Technically, he’s Cameron’s cousin, but I call him my cousin too. In tok ples Ndo, I call him ‘ahane’.Two weeks ago, a helicopter came with six-weeks-worth of supplies for us, and with those it brought Cameron’s mom, Josh, Zach’s mom, Zach’s sister, and their family friend. Everyone else is still here, but Josh could only stay for a little bit.We had good times while he was here. He came with the goal of encouraging us, and helping us out, and those things he definitely did!While he was here, Josh worked on a couple household projects with us. He filled in many of the cracks in our floor and near the roof. This may have been bumped up in priority after seeing how many bugs like to come into our house at night.I think the number of bugs that live inside the house is perhaps a little shocking for guests, so this task benefitted Josh as well as us, since sealing the cracks will hopefully decrease the numbers of the insects.He organized our mudroom a little, putting tools together which belonged together.He put together a chair that we were missing screws for. This may not sound like a big task, but Madang only had some of the hardware we needed to assemble it, so it has just been sitting unused since we got here. But even without having all the hardware, Josh improvised and made it work!He also built a shelf in the bathroom, shower room, and nightstand in our bedroom! When you live in the jungle, and...
Wild Animals of Papua New Guinea

Wild Animals of Papua New Guinea

Someone recently asked us if we have seen a cassowary yet (Don’t know what that is? Feel free to Google it!).  I answered with the disappointing no.  I was about to send them a few pictures of the animals that we have seen so far–and then decided to share those with the world!   The first thing you have to understand is that Papua New Guinea, while a rainforest, is not like the Amazon. In all of our travels, we have seen actually very few animals, birds included. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist–they have just become very adept at hiding since the reality here in the mountains is that there is so little meat that if someone sees a bird or any kind of an animal, they are quick to kill it and eat it for dinner.  Conversations with my language helper about animals in PNG usually go something like this: Me: ‘What kind of animals do you have here?” Language Helper: “We have this kind of animal.” Me: “Can you eat it?” (it’s usually close to lunch, and I’m hungry…seems like a natural question) Language Helper: “Yes.” (that’s usually the answer.  There just seems to be a lot of things you can eat here) Me: “I’d like to see this animal…and maybe eat it.” I’ve heard from him about snakes that can swallow animals whole or sting you with their tails, birds that build elaborate houses or that lay eggs big enough to feed a few people, lizards that are the size of a leg, fresh water shrimp and eels, the list goes on.    Here are some pictures of the animals we...
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