Madang: Here we are!

We made it to Madang! We will spend the next 4 months here and will learn a lot about PNG and its people! It will be an incredible time full of excitement and new things to learn! Our boys are already having a good time here even though it was quite hard to say goodbye to their old friends. They are excited to explore our new home and already made some new friends! We appreciate your prayers for the next couple months!

 

Independence Day

Exciting days here in Papua New Guinea! Right now we are learning to work in a lot of different areas we’ve never worked before! It is exciting to learn to do carpentry, transport crates, fix computers, work on bath rooms, etc. But even more exciting then just learning new things is working among national believers here! Here is a little story about how the PNG Independence Day went down.

On Friday 09/16/2016 was the National Independence Day for Papua New Guinea. We and some friends went by car to the town of Kimbe, the Capital of West New Britain. While we were driving to Kimbe we saw countless people walking to other Independence Day Celebratios as it seemed. Most of them dressed in the National Colors of Papua New Guinea (Black, Red, White?, Yellow) and carried flags.

There seemed to be some kind of celebrations in a lot of places where we went by. All the stores were closed.

We finally arrived at around 10 am in the city of Kimbe and after waiting in the car for about 10 minutes (because there were just speeches going on) went to a big field where a lot of people had gathered.

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There was a stadium on the side where some people where sitting. The stadium was kind of fenced in with an open gate.
We were standing in the crowd trying to see what was going on.
The people next to us were very kind and one of them even offered to share her umbrella with us to protect us from the sun.
Then the signing and dancing started. It seemed like that they had separate groups that took turns to dance in and out of the gate and in front of the stadium. The dancers seem to wear traditional clothing.
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There was something said from the stadium before each group and after each group.
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After a while the people became tired of not seeing because the groups performed right in front of the stadium – so most people couldn’t see much the people moved into the space in front of the gate.
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After continuing to watch from here a man came out and asked us to come with him and invited us to sit in the stadium.

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They asked us to sit down and even offered our kids a bottle of water (we had forgotten ours in the car :-)). The dancing and singing continued for a while.
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On the road we also saw trucks that were decorated and driving around celebrating.
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After a couple hours we drove back. Not sure how much longer the singing and dancing continued.
Please pray for us as we continue to get to know PNG culture! Pray for us as we work on building relationships with the people here and work to learn Tok Pisin!

Busy for God

We are super excited to be at our next destination! We are in the islands right now, at West New Britain! After our 3rd move within the last 3 weeks we are very happy to be at our destination for the next 5 months!

Looking back at what we did the last three weeks we are so thankful that we got to spend so much time in two different centers in PNG! We met lots of people who gave us insight in what God is doing through them in their ministry location. We were encouraged to meet the people who do all the leg work to keep the bush missionaries out there where they are. Without them the work would be almost impossible to do.

There were teachers who teach the kids at school,  pilots who fly the missionaries and supplies to their bush locations, the mechanics who fix those airplanes when they need it, the supply buyers who shop for the missionaries in the bush and load all their groceries into an airplane and ship it off to them in the tribe. There are consultants who travel to the various ministry locations in the bush, visit the missionaries and guide them in their work. There are doctors and nurses who are on call when somebody needs help, and there are finance people, IT guys  and many many more people. They all play a vital role in church planting, they are just as important as the missionary in the bush who learns the language of the people and lives with them.

Sometimes I wish I could take a look from heaven at all the work that is done on this earth for Christ’s sake, seeing what God is accomplishing through his children who probably often are not even aware of it. It really encourages me when I think of the time when we will stand before the lamb and it all comes together.

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—

to receive power and riches

and wisdom and strength

and honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev 5:12 NLT)

What a great day this will be when all of us believers see the end result of God’s work through his children: His Son receiving all the glory and power that He deserves!

What a privilege, to be a child of God and being blessed to do His work on earth, wherever we are!

Now back down to PNG. 🙂

Since we were the only ones coming this July (the intake for new missionaries) we were asked to work on the support side of tribal missions until January comes around. We are very thankful that we get to know Papua New Guinea a little bit better before we start our official training in January.

We are at our location for the next 5 months right now and are looking forward to what God has in store for us! We are not sure yet as to what exactly we will be doing these next months, but we know that there are many roles that need to be filled!

So please continue to keep us in your prayers! You can pray this time of transition, that God would help us to adjust quickly and be a blessing to others!

Here are the impressions from our first three weeks in video:

Finally in PNG – the Land of the Unexpected

We are here!!! So grateful for God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives in bringing us this far!

Thank you for all your prayers for our trip! Everything went smoothly and we were able to catch all our flight connections. We also had the chance to spend a few days in Australia to get over our jetlag. This was also the perfect time to prepare ourselves for our time in PNG and to refocus on God! About a week ago we finally arrived in PNG! Another missionary family picked us up at the airport and took great care of us during our first days here! We’re spending the first weeks in the Highlands of PNG. The first few days were filled with lots of new impressions: right after we arrived at the airport we saw a group of mourners standing behind the gate as they were waiting for a coffin that apparently had been transported with our airplane. At first we did not know what was going on, until another missionary filled us in.

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From the airport we drove to the base that would become our home for the next couple of weeks. The main road here has lots of potholes, and we saw lots of cars full of people. Our friends told us about some accidents that had happened lately, some of which involved some other missionaries, too.

This is our house for now:

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We are staying on a smaller base in the mountains, which is only 10 minutes from a much bigger base. There they have a small grocery store which carries a lot of things that we didn’t even expect (just at a much higher price than we’re used to of course :)). There is also a medical clinic on that base. On Sunday we went to church there and had the opportunity to share our testimony. We really enjoyed seeing some old and new faces and were even able to speak a little bit of German 🙂

Last week Frieddy was also able to get his PNG driver’s license and survived his first trip quite well (while I was anxiously waiting at home haha).

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One morning we went out to town and to the market. Of course everybody notices you when you are white and people were trying to sell their stuff: plastic bags, bananas, watermelons, SIM cards… And everybody gets excited when they see white kids 🙂

Our boys have adjusted great so far and love to talk to and hang out with the nationals. They have already picked up on some words in Tok Pisin which is PNG’s trade language.

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In the weeks ahead we will go through some more orientation, get to know the missionaries on the base and also try to learn some more Tok Pisin. In a week from now we will be moving over to the bigger base for the rest of our orientation.

Our family is doing great and we can’t emphasize enough how thankful we are how God has been carrying us through this time of transition! We are so excited to finally be here and the boys are soaking up all the new things they are seeing and experiencing! Please pray that they would continue to find good friends as we will go through a lot more transitions in the future.

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God is good and we are looking forward to what He has for us here in PNG!!