They Said Yes!


Two weeks ago, we received the email we have been waiting for for five years: an email from our agent in Papua New Guinea telling us that our work permits had been approved.


After years of preparation and months of applying, Team PNG has been approved to work in the country of Papua New Guinea.

This, my friends, is good news.

It’s interesting when you receive a piece of news that you’ve been waiting for and hoping for and, yet, at the same time, know will change the rest of your life. Minutes after hearing it, we walked outside-husband and wife- and sat on the front porch swing. As we swung back and forth, we calmly reflected on the fact that a week at a Wycliffe TOTAL IT UP camp in 2008, two summers at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Canada, three years of Greek through our church, and years and years of talking, praying, and planning had culminated in approved work permits…and an imminent departure date.

It was joyful and heavy and serious and encouraging all at the same time.

Our kids took the news with slightly less gravitas.


Way back in 2008, I heard a couple speak about how they had spent the last thirty years of their lives preaching the gospel and translating the Bible into the language of a group who had never had it before. In God’s mercy, the tribe had believed and were saved and are today going to the villages around them.

I sat there listening in awe. Thirty years. That is a long time. This couple, I thought to myself, had not wasted their lives.

It was then that I began thinking seriously of going somewhere. I thought to myself, even if I live the longest life I could ever possibly hope to live on this earth, that gives me…what? Another forty or fifty years here? And then I’ll be gone. And what will remain of my life?

I know I could stay here and put my kids in soccer and enjoy the good things that God gives people to enjoy under the sun. I could do that. Someone certainly has to or else there would be no one to send missionaries!

But I could also go.

I could go and spend my life laboring in doing something that will never get old or fade or wither or die.

One verse in particular from the book of Isaiah has been a bedrock in my conviction to go. The day our work permits were approved, I thought of it again as I’ve done so many times in the past and will most certainly continue to do in the days to come.

“All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field…The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:6,8


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