Tag 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: 9 October

Unlike last week, this week I had the opportunity to take lots of pictures! Because there were too many good ones to narrow it down, I’m just sharing from one unusual experience I had last weekend.

Saturday morning, bright and early, I headed out for my first “Lae in a Day” trip. Lae is a city a 3-4 hour drive from here, on the coast of PNG. Since we needed time to drive to Lae, shop, eat lunch, and get back before dark, we left early.

IMG_1259Yes. That’s what time I left my house. The moon was still up, people. I am not a morning person. If I hadn’t been going with several other ladies, and if one of them wasn’t a wonderful planner, this would never have happened 😉

IMG_1262The drive is an experience in itself. Windy mountain roads down the Kassam Pass, with spectacular views that are hard to capture, since there are very few pull-offs.

IMG_1271After a year spent in Ukarumpa, which has a population of around 1,000, Lae feels like a gigantic city. The traffic, sites, and people really overwhelmed me. Not to mention the stores!  But I loved these murals, found on a lot of the walls around Lae.

The selection in the stores was really impressive. It was a lot to process, after shopping at our store here on center. I couldn’t get any pictures because I was to busy not crying deciding what to buy. Turns out the stories I’ve heard about missionaries breaking down in the cheese aisle at Wal-Mart because there are so many choices are not. made. up.

I was very thankful that we squeezed in a calming lunch at the Lae Yacht Club between stores.

IMG_1266Cappuccino?! A real, beautiful, delicious, cappuccino. It’s true, I miss gourmet coffee….

IMG_1267

The closest I’ve gotten to the ocean since we arrived on this island. I confess to being more of a mountain girl, but it was amazing to see the ocean here.

IMG_1274 IMG_1277Speaking of mountains 🙂 These were taken on the trip home. The country side of Papua New Guinea is as diverse as her people. These pictures were taken in Markham Valley. I’m amazed at the flat ground, walled in by mountains. Ukarumpa is located in Aiyura Valley. Here, it’s almost impossible to find a flat stretch of ground. Instead the ground rises and falls and flows up and down towards our mountains.

My shopping was successful. You never know what you will find in “The Land of the Unexpected.” But I brought home lots and lots of cheese at a great price, olive oil, and some fun novelties we don’t normally find here.

IMG_1279 IMG_1285Talia loved the sultanes (raisins) and dried applies.

IMG_1288Nehemiah thinks saltine crackers go great with mom’s chili!

IMG_1296 IMG_1297Balloons. Because… obviously.

IMG_1323Shhh. I didn’t share these with the kids 😮

There are even more great pictures (and a video) from this week, but this post is long enough. Look for them on our facebook page soon!

Photo Friday

Today marks ONE YEAR in Papua New Guinea! We are overjoyed and overwhelmed. Our poor blog has been a bit neglected as we’ve worked to learn a new culture and settle into a routine. We hope to remedy that over the coming months. To that end, we plan to post at least once a week with “Photo Friday.”

We hope you enjoy these glimpses into our lives!

As we've mentioned on our facebook page, Papua New Guinea is in the middle of a drought. Some Papua New Guineans believe that burning can bring rain - the smoke rises and brings clouds. Whatever the reason, many Papua New Guineans aroun us are burning the grass. This week one of the fires was close to the portion of the perimeter fence near our house.

As we’ve mentioned on our facebook page, Papua New Guinea is in the middle of a drought. Some Papua New Guineans believe that burning can bring rain – the smoke rises and brings clouds. Whatever the reason, many Papua New Guineans around us are burning the grass. This week one of the fires was close to the portion of the perimeter fence near our house. It was hard to get a good picture of the scope of the fire!

raindrops

PuddlesAfter over a month with no rain, and asking many of you to pray with us for rain, we were overjoyed to see raindrops on roses and puddles on the road! We’ve had some sprinkles since then, but please keep praying.

DonutsOur market is full of lots of healthy produce, which we enjoy often. A few local ladies also sell donuts, and occasionally David will bring some home for the kids. It’s a well received treat!

Talia and our new puppy, Isia’, both enjoy when the “big kids” get home from school!

IMG_1068Isaiah and his buddy Shay love the high tech toys…. Sticks and rocks.

truckSince we arrived in Papua New Guinea, we’ve enjoyed walking to and from anywhere we needed to go. But recently, someone has been letting us borrow a vehicle. We still use our feet often, but it has been a blessing with all the trips to and from the school we do!

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 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 11th

Happy Mother’s Day! We pray you have a blessed day. Our prayers are with those for whom this is a hard day that reminds them of loss.

Our May He Grant prayer focus is below. Please also pray for my mom, Cheryl, and David’s mom, Marie, as they send us (and their grandchildren!) to Papua New Guinea. Pray for peace and comfort and many sweet opportunities to spend time together in the next few months.

Mom a few years ago with our oldest four. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Mom a few years ago with our oldest four. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Marie with all her grandkids a few years ago.  Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Marie with all her grandkids a few years ago. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

May 11: Ask the Lord for wisdom as we pack and make decisions about what to bring and what to leave behind. May we store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, not on this earth! 

It’s Day 11 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.

Stuff. We all have a lot of it. Our family got rid of a huge amount of possessions before we left for ICC. Everything we own now fits in a 10×10 storage unit, with plenty of room left over. There were things we put in storage that seemed very important before ICC. Months later, we are able to look at those same things and realize that they are just things.

We will be sending a shipment of household goods to Papua New Guinea. This shipment needs to be in JAARS, NC, by early July. From JAARS, it will be shipped via freight to PNG, and arrive in Ukarumpa in a few months. Please pray for us and our children as we finalize this process. May we keep our eyes focused where they need to be.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

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:

 

May He Grant: May 4th

May 4: Ask God to provide the right house for us when we arrive in Ukarumpa.

It’s Day 4 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.

Aerial view of Ukarampa Center

Aerial view of Ukarampa Center

Ukarumpa Center is where we will live in Papua New Guinea once we complete our Pacific Orientation Course. Ukarumpa is a small town located in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea.  With a population of 500-800 people, primarily missionaries who have come as translators or support personnel, Ukarumpa is the main center for most of Papua New Guinea’s Bible translation work. Housing availability varies depending on how many personnel are on center, who is home on furlough, and other factors.

We believe God cares about the details, and for our children especially, we know a house can be an important element of “home.”

By wisdom a house is built and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4