Category Archives: Ukarumpa

Photo Friday: Sports Day 2015

Yesterday was the annual Sports Day at the primary campus. It’s a big community event, and school is canceled at the high school to allow teens and teachers to come and cheer or help.

Once you have a child at the primary campus, your family is assigned to Team Yellow or Team Red, and all your children will always be that color. We are Team Yellow!

DSC_8919Talia represents for her siblings.

DSC_8915Isaiah rounding the curve in one of the races. He’s in yellow with the hat.

DSC_9013Nehemiah had fun watching, but this year he refused to wear his yellow shirt. The yellow truck counts I guess?

DSC_9009Proof that we were winning at one point.

DSC_8996Isaiah in the sack race.

DSC_8931This picture is a little dark, but it was one of my favorite moments of Sports Day, and shows one of the things I love about Ukarumpa. Sports Day has some challenging moments for kids who aren’t athletic, and there is one event that is really hard for Makaylah. Several friends finished the event with her, and then everyone in her age group, even girls that aren’t close friends, surrounded Makaylah to encourage her.

DSC_8922DSC_8977Sophia (top) and Makaylah (bottom) running the distance races.

IMG_1405Sports Day ends with a big tug-of-war. Go yellow!!

IMG_1410It was Team Red’s turn to win this year.

IMG_1411Sophia with her friend Evie.

IMG_1414Isaiah and Shay. We have a picture like this from last year that I love.

At the end of the day, whether we are red or yellow, “winners” or “losers” we are Community!

Photo Friday: 18 September

This has been a full, busy, fun week!

Celebrating our one-year-in-PNG anniversary.datenightSunday we set aside some family time. David and Sophia spent time putting together one of the puzzles my mom shipped us. Sophia was a bit proud of their hard work.

IMG_1092Tuesday was Sophia’s TENTH birthday! Absolutely mind-blowing for this mom and dad. She is wild, intense, and amazing 🙂

10 years old. Be still my heart.

 

Her new favorite way to swing

IMG_1118She loved these earrings from Mimi (David’s mom).

A package!!! Boxes always make us smile. Thanks, AFA ladies!!

IMG_1122

IMG_1125 IMG_1131This school year Makaylah started choir. She has really been enjoying it, and Thursday night she had her first performance. Another one of our girls that is growing up too fast! We are thankful for the amazing community we live in that allows our kids so many options, even while living in another country.

IMG_1134It was a late night for the little siblings, but we had a great time, sleepy and in pjs!IMG_1140IMG_1146See you next week! Check out our facebook page for a video from Makaylah’s concert.

2014: A Year of Changes, Challenges, and Answered Prayer!

With the new year here, we’ve been reflecting on all that has happened in our family and our Wycliffe ministry over 2014. It’s amazing seeing how the Lord has worked!

January 2014:

We got rid of most of our “stuff,” loaded the rest up to put in a storage unit, and moved out of our home of three years. Then we packed up our van and headed to JAARS in Waxhaw, NC, for our Intercultural Communications Course.

February 2014:

Our time was consumed with the Intercultural Communications Course, where we were stretched, challenged, and prepared for life in a cross-cultural environment. We also got to know many people headed to PNG too, and this has continued to be a source of blessing to us!

During this time, the Lord led me to Isaiah 55, and reassured me with these words,

“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the LORD;
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Isaiah 55:12-13

March 2014:

We returned to Tupelo, MS, to finish preparations for Papua New Guinea and continue building our partnership team. We were at about 60% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget, and we were learning (slowly) to walk by faith, not by sight as we waited for 100%. God gave us immediate opportunities to walk out some of what we learned at our Intercultural Communications Course.

April 2014:

Tupelo, MS, was hit by a tornado, and our neighborhood was one of the hardest hit. We praised the Lord for sparing our lives. home and vehicle, and grieved with our neighbors for all that they had lost. We were incredibly grateful for every person on our prayer team!

May 2014:

We celebrated Talia’s first birthday and went to the mountains with my family. We spent the month in prayer, alongside many of you. We prayed over our children, our marriage, our Wycliffe ministry, those that would eventually join our partnership team, and Papua New Guinea. The Lord brought us to 75% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget during this month. We also accepted the PNG branch’s invitation to come straight to Ukarumpa once we reached 100%.

June 2014:

We continued to prepare for Papua New Guinea and ask God to complete our partnership team. We continued to share with people about the work of Bible translation and the needs of Bibleless people groups.

July 2014:

God brought us to 80% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget! We also traveled back to Waxhaw, NC, to drop off our household goods shipment. This shipment would later be transported by sea to PNG, and then on to Ukarumpa.

August 2014:

We were so close to 100% that we started praying earnestly for the Lord to provide it by August 15th. God moved in amazing ways, and by August 12th we were at 100% of our Wycliffe monthly ministry budget! The full weight of leaving our home, friends, and family started to hit us, even as we rejoiced at the Lord’s provision. We packed up a few more boxes to send to PNG, a few boxes to store with family in the States, and got rid of everything else! We said good-bye to our church family during our official commissioning service, and shed lots of tears.

September 2014:

We spent a few days with each of our families, and then on September 9th, we boarded the first of 6 flights on our journey to PNG! We arrived in Ukarumpa on September 12th, jetlagged, worn out, but overjoyed to be here.

October 2014:

Makaylah, Sophia, and Isaiah began attending Ukarumpa International School and we all began to settle into our roles here.

November 2014:

David began Tok Pisin lessons and we celebrated our first Ukarumpa Thanksgiving!

December 2014:

We attended the Melanesian Institute mentioned in our newsletter. We had a wonderful first Christmas in Ukarumpa and enjoyed some much needed family time.

Final thoughts:

It’s really hard to put into words just how difficult 2014 was. We wrestled with our faith in God’s provision. We waited and waited. And waited some more. Reading back through my journal this week I cried. I cried remembering how hard it was, and seeing how incredibly good God is, and how He did do everything He promised.

My journal is full of verses and quotes like these –

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

Oh Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.”
Psalm 130:5-7

“I will thank You forever,
because You have done it.
I will wait for Your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.”
Psalm 52:9

“I have thrown myself blindly into His almighty hands.” – George Whitfield

If you are reading this today, I hope you are encouraged to remember that even when it feels the most hopeless, we can hope in the Lord. We can throw ourselves blindly into His hands, because He is trustworthy.

As we enter 2015, we pray the Lord will continue to teach us to cling to Him and that we will remember all that He did to bring us here.

“In all the setbacks of our lives as believers, God is plotting for our joy.” – John Piper

“You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.”
Psalm 40:5

May He Grant: May 30th

May 30: Pray that the Lord will provide the staff needed to run Pacific Orientation Course (POC) that we were scheduled to attend in August.

If you’ve seen our newsletter, you know that we are no longer planning on attending the August Pacific Orientation Course, but will instead be heading straight to Ukarumpa, and planning for the January POC.

We do want to ask you to join us in praying for the August POC staffing situation, however. We have several friends scheduled to attend this session, and currently, there is not sufficient staff for the course to be held. There is still time for God to provide staff, and we are praying with our friends that He will do so!

May He Grant: May 23rd

May 23: Pray for healthy transitions for Isaiah as he says goodbye to friends, family, familiar places and ways of doing things. Ask for healthy grieving, and an excitement for what is to come in PNG.

Today is Day 23 of our May He Grant prayer focus. We are incredibly grateful to each one of you praying alongside of us!

We continue to have unreliable internet access during our time in the mountains.

Isaiah loved adventure, nature, and all things “boy.” He can’t wait to get to Papua New Guinea, and already has two friends that he met during ICC that he is excited to have movie nights with in Ukarumpa. Pray that he will maintain that excitement, and that as he says good-bye to friends, family, Tupelo, and our home church, that God will be with Him and give Him peace.

Checking out a "mud lizard" at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo credit: Star Noir Studios

Checking out a “mud lizard” at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo credit: Star Noir Studios

May He Grant: May 14th

May 14: Pray for wisdom on what to purchase, both for our Pacific Orientation Course (POC) and Ukarumpa.

It’s Day 14 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

We are downsizing a lot, as we shared here. However, there are things we need for our Pacific Orientation Course and life in Ukarumpa – good hats, hiking sandals, a water filter, a different kind of wardrobe, and much more. We want to be wise as we determine what exactly we need, the best brands, etc. We also want to be wise stewards of the resources entrusted to us.

Talia is already using her sun hat, thanks to a dear friend who sent it to us!

Talia is already using her sun hat, thanks to a dear friend who sent it to us!

We are thankful to serve a God who gives wisdom to those who ask Him!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

 

 

 

May He Grant: May 7th

May 7: Pray that the Lord would meet the urgent need in Ukarumpa for Children’s Home parents for the 2014‐15 school year (beginning in June).

It’s Day 7 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

Translators in Papua New Guinea spend part of the year in Ukarumpa and part of the year in the village of their language group. When they go to the village during the school year, their middle school and high school students are able to stay in Ukarumpa in a Children’s Home. Please pray that God would meet the need for “parents” for the Children’s Home quickly!

Here is a great video about this need: