Goodbye Friends

Yesterday, for me, was one of the saddest days we have had in Papua New Guinea.  And it comes on the heels of some of our happiest weeks here.  It was sad because we said goodbye to 14 friends from the US and my mother-in-law. In the last two weeks, we sang together, laughed together, ate together, and built a house together. I’ll fill in more of the details of the house building and how it went in another post, but I just wanted to touch on a few highlights from this past trip for me: Drinking coffee every morning.  Smed brought real home roasted coffee beans, and a french press, and a grinder!  Every morning, we would grind some and make two pots of coffee to start the day.  It was sweet to stand outside the work site with everyone, drink coffee and have a meeting to start the day. Hearing John Dube on the “drums”, Jamin Dunn play guitar, and Omri rap.  Because our plans changed slightly, we all had more time together in Madang to hang out.  We ate lunches and dinners together Sunday and Monday, and one of those nights turned into a jam session with Omri, Dube and Jamin.  That was great.  If I had unlimited internet, I would so post that video online! Eating cookies at night (and 3 in 1s, 6 in 2s, 12 in 4s—an inside joke here).  After eating rice and green vegetables for lunch and dinner, it’s pretty great to finish the night off with some sort of desert-like item. We bought some cookies for each room and then I brought...

The Last Four Days

WARNING: This is a long blog post. It’s informative, it’s got lots of pictures…but it is long. Feel free to read as much as you want or skim through the pictures because otherwise, you may want to get comfortable. Before MondayOver here in Papua New Guinea, we as a team have something called the Big Picture and something called a strategy statement. The Big Picture is a 10-step plan of the work we aim to do over here and the strategy statement is a detailed breakdown of each of those ten steps. Let’s just take a moment and praise God for what we have completed so far: Training (going to linguistics school, learning Greek, and doing theology training through our church) Partnership Development (raising support) Arrival on Field and Orientation (begun December 7, 2014, ended roughly April of 2015) Surveys We are in the middle of step number four—surveys! Our strategy statement breaks this step down into quite a few sub-steps, but one of them describes the part of the survey process where the wives return to tribes that our husbands have already visited to see if we would be able and willing to allocate there.That is what we did this past week. MondayAfter several conversations, Matt and I decided to leave our kids in Madang for the second survey. There were pros and cons with taking them and leaving them, but in the end we decided to let them party for the week at the Lehman house (our co-workers stationed in Madang), along with the three Lehman kids and one of the Canns’ kids for a total of eight kids...

Church in Madang

We’ve gone to the same church for the past two weeks here and, in case any of our dear friends and family back home may be wondering, we thought we would share what church in Madang is like—at least, what the church we’ve been attending is like.To begin with, we’ll list the similarities: There is a worship band. That’s right-drums, guitars, microphones, amplifiers—the whole deal. There is no Josh Kellso, but still. We sang Ancient of Days last week and Celebrate, Jesus, Celebrate!’ today. So far, those are the only songs I’ve recognized. There is a worship band and people worship. There is a message with points—today, we heard eight things we can learn from the life of Abraham from a podium and all. The sermon lasts for roughly 45 minutes. There is a dress code. While women, it seems, wear very similar clothes every day here(longish skirt, long, loose blouse), you see the dress code most in the men. Three-piece suit and ties with dress shoes are common to the pastors of the church, while the other men wear nice slacks with collared, button-up shirts, and dress shoes with or without a tie. We weren’t exactly anticipating that, so Matt has worn the same outfit to church the past two weeks—minus the dress shoes—and will most likely wear that same outfit every Sunday for the rest of our time here. There is an offering during the service. People tithe here and while the structure might be different, the concept is still the same as it is in many churches back home. Now, for the differences. Men and women...

How to Become a Medically Trained Professional in 5 Hours

 The title of this post is, of course, a joke. An extreme exaggeration. An impossibility. Because–in case you had any doubt–no one becomes a medically trained professional in slightly more time than it takes to bake a Thanksgiving turkey.Some things you might actually become competent in in that amount of time. Hop scotch, perhaps. Or throwing a Frisbee.Definitely not the vast oceans of knowledge that are the medical field of study.But as we contemplate moving overseas and being without virtually any reliable medical care, we do want to be as informed as possible. Some dear doctor and nurse friends of ours volunteered their time (and one their medical office), to give us what they could. It was a day full of pig’s feet, long minutes discussing feces coloration, old wives’ tales being dispelled, and big, big words (think ‘acute cholecystitis’–which, when translated, means inflammation of the gall bladder).I’ll spare you the details (Seriously. You have been spared.), but here are some of the most helpful things we learned in the lecture and practicum.  Learning our ABCs – For those unfamiliar with the wonderful world of medicine, this acronym stands for Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. Basically, the air needs to keep going in and out and the blood needs to keep going round and round. Along with this very basic information came an incredibly useful lecture on the more major infections and maladies, along with tools we can use to diagnose and treat them. Really, the more we learned, the more I realized I need to learn.   A Crash Course in Medicine – Drugs, drugs, drugs. We were given a broad overview of the...

About Those Yellow Packets…

The other day, I mentioned that there’s usually some sort of something related to Papua New Guinea on Matt’s desk. This week, it’s been these yellow packets we’ve been putting together about our team’s mission to PNG for our pastors to hand out. Want to see what’s inside? One TeamPNG letter signed by a representative of each family explaining who we are and what we want to do One letter from our elders introducing us (not pictured) One dramatic, black and white team photo with all FIFTEEN of us One nine-minute DVD video of our team introduced by one of our pastors A giving envelope (just in case 🙂 ) This is part of what raising support looks like for the three families on our team; sending out these yellow packets and praying for God’s will to be done–whatever that might be.Sometimes it’s meeting with people, sometimes it’s writing emails, sometimes it’s talking to someone on the phone or having your grandparents talk to someone on your behalf. 🙂But always, it’s trusting in God alone and not finances. Always, it’s taking heart from Revelation 5 that people from every tribe, nation, and tongue will one day surround the throne of God, worshiping Jesus Christ. God will accomplish this with or without us. But we would love to be a part of reaching just one of those tribes and tongues. And so we send yellow packets and make phone calls and write emails.If you would like to receive one of these very special packets or would like to receive some to give to someone else, please contact us and let us know...

Companies Helping Us Get to PNG–and how you can, too!

In our team’s support-raising endeavors to raise ongoing, sustainable funds, we have discovered two extremely helpful programs which we would now like to pass on to you!Both Fry’s Food stores and Amazon.com have programs that allow participants to donate a percentage of their purchases to the charity of their choice, thus making it possible for people like you and me to give that percentage to the gospel mission in Papua New Guinea.If you’re not already signed up for the programs below, take a gander and see if it would work for you to participate! They are both companies which you may shop at anyway and take about five minutes (or less for Amazon’s program) to sign up… Fry’s Food Stores: STEP 1: Create an Online Fry’s Account (**NOTE: If you already have an online Fry’s account, skip to #2) -Visit https://www.frysfood.com/topic/new-community-rewards-program -Select ‘Create an Account’. -Enter your email and create a password. -Select ‘Use Card Number’. -Enter your Fry’s V.I.P Card Number, last name and postal code. -Under ‘Select Your Preferred Store’ enter your postal code. -Select ‘Find Stores’. -Choose your store then select ‘Create Account’. -After receiving a confirmation email, click the hyperlink in your email to finish creating your account. STEP 2: Register for the Fry’s Community Rewards Program -Visit https://www.frysfood.com/topic/new-community-rewards-program – Sign-In with your email and password -Select ‘My Account, then ‘Account Settings’ from drop down menu. -Click ‘Edit’ under Community Rewards. -Under Find Your Organization: Enter the NPO number: 80544 and then select ‘search’. *Under Select Your Organization: Select box next to your organization (University Bible Church) *Select ‘save changes’. *If you have registered correctly, you should now...
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