The plan is for Melissa & I to be in Papua New Guinea in the beginning of 2014. Our first assignment when we arrive is the Pacific Orientation Course (POC for short). This is one family’s snapshot of their 14 week POC which included 5 weeks of village living in Segar.
Life here has settled into a fairly steady pace of….. busy, busy, and did I mention busy?
January was an exciting month for us. We are looking at this year with different eyes as we contemplate and pray that it is our last year in the States before heading to Papua New Guinea! It is a year full of lots of firsts, and lots of “lasts for now.” We sent out our first newsletter of 2013 (if you didn’t get it and would like to receive future newsletters, just drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org). We had a great time celebrating our youngest child’s birthday the end of the month. It is hard to believe he is TWO! Nehemiah is definitely our most laid-back child, but he is also our most verbal at this age, so it has been fun hearing his perspective and numerous questions about the world around him.
We also had our first “home meeting.” Dear friends of ours from church hosted dinner for us and a few families that were interested in hearing more about what we will be doing with Wycliffe. It was an incredible blessing to be able to get to know these sweet couples and share what God is doing in our lives and around the world!
February got off to a busy start, too! We had the amazing privilege of sharing about Bible translation with our children’s ministry. It was exciting to introduce these kids to the need of Bibleless people, and the many, many types of people and gifts that God uses to meet that need. Maybe there were future translators, software developers, pilots, or mechanics in that room. Who knows what God has in store! It makes me smile just to think of it! We also traveled to my home town of Huntsville, AL, where we did a homeschool workshop and also shared at Living Hope Church.
God has been so faithful to us! Many of you may remember how incredibly nervous David and I were about the public speaking side of this missionary call. But the surprising thing about each speaking opportunity God has sent our way is that not only does He provide amazing peace while sharing….. We leave feeling blessed, encouraged, and filled up by the passion, interest, and genuine fellowship we have experienced.
There has been one aspect to all this busyness. We know how much we need to be covered in prayer, and how much we need to be covering every aspect of this year in prayer. It’s easy to get so busy doing that prayer gets pushed to the background. David and I are going to be spending Thursdays, starting Thursday, February 21st really focusing on praying for God to lead us, equip us, and bring together the financial and prayer partners we need to be able to serve in Papua New Guinea. We’ll be “unplugging” as much as possible, and striving to take every spare moment and free thought to turn it over to God and beg Him to move in a mighty way. 11 months will go by in a flash, and we are still a long way from the needed 100% of our monthly ministry budget to be able to board that plane the beginning of January. We are always honored to be part of your prayers, but we’d love especially if you would consider joining with us on Thursdays.
Do not be anxious about anything. but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God….
The Christmas season is upon us! Christmas trees, lights, decorations, music, nativities – they are everywhere we turn. I’ve always loved Christmas, and this year is no exception. The Christmas movies were pulled out Thanksgiving evening, and we officially kicked off the season Saturday by attending our town’s Christmas parade and going to a tree farm with David’s family to pick out our Christmas tree.
I’d be lying though if I didn’t admit that this year is a bit bittersweet. Knowing that the Christmases we will celebrate in the states with family are limited, at least for many years to come, I am seeing everything more clearly and cherishing each moment more. I’m being intentional about finding time to make the memories and experience the moments. But the moments are tinged with the taste of a few tears as a part of me mourns for the memories to come that we will miss.
I’m abundantly grateful that although we will be leaving friends and family behind when we go to Papua New Guinea, we won’t be leaving behind the One we celebrate each year at Christmas. God with us. Wherever we are. I’m so excited to think that we will be able to help bring others this “…good news of great joy, that will be for all the people.” (Luke 2:10b). Can you imagine what it will be like for people to hear the Christmas story for the first time? It is amazing to think we will get to be a part of that!
Mourning and rejoicing. Letting go and looking forward. Peace and joy. A beginning taste of what this life we are called to will be.
We appreciate your prayers, not only for us, but for the many missionaries serving around the world, far from friends and loved ones, so that God may be glorified to the ends of the earth…. An amazing privilege!