Life is different here. If I had to choose one way of describing how it is different, I would say that you can’t really depend on very much being consistent.The heat? Yes. The sweatiness? Sure. But almost everything else, not very consistent. Thus, the outages.Power outages are common here, for one. While they vary in their duration, they occur frequently.A few things happen when the power goes out here:
- It gets hot.
- We lose running water.
- We lose electricity (our lights)
The first thing you notice when the power goes out here are the fans—they stop moving. You notice this because without the breeze from the fans it gets hot pretty quickly.Here’s our protocol for power outages: If the power goes out during the day, I rush to grab a couple of pitchers and fill them with water from the sink. Why? Because I know that I only have about a minute before the running water is no longer in the pipes and I want to have water for washing hands or drinking until the power comes back on.If the power goes out at night, we grab our assortment of LED lanterns/lights and flashlights and start setting them up in each room. (This arsenal of light–by the way–has proven to be completely worth the space and weight it took up in our luggage on the way over here). Then I fill up the pitchers.Things are harder when the power goes out.We sweat more, cooking dinner is difficult, washing dishes becomes quite the chore (sometimes an outside one if it happens to be cooler outside than inside at the moment), and staying sanitary takes more work.But we survive.In fact, God gives us everything we need to get through each power outage every time. The longest it’s been off at one time since we’ve been here is nine consecutive hours and for that, we are extremely thankful.
Another outage that happens here in PNG are store outages. For example, our favorite grocery store in town recently ran out of cheese…for three weeks. From where I hail, if this happened there would be about thirty other stores within ten miles I could drive to go get some.Not so here. The only other store that carries cheese carries it 5 or 6 months past the expiration date. Seriously.Similarly, we’ve experienced outages of powdered milk, rolled oats, canned beans, etc. Things that we rely on more or less in the meals we plan. We’ve learned that when we see something in stock at the store, we buy it! Sometimes, we buy four of them! Because it very well might not be there the next time.There are other outages here: internet, cell phone services, etc. all of which vary in their duration and inconvenience.All of these things are luxuries: electricity, running water, cool air, internet, cell phone service, cheese, milk, oats. And living here has made us infinitely more appreciative of these things. We don’t take them for granted. We are glad when we have them, but we know how to live without them. And each time we have to go without them, God provides. He gives us water and food and clothing and shelter—everything we need.If anything, whenever we are faced with one of these outages, we are reminded of the reason we came here. Whenever we see God’s provision in these things, we are reminded that—ultimately—our hope and our happiness are not found in things like running water or rolled oats; it is found in Him. And in that–in Him–we will never have an outage.