Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mysterious Ways

Most of you have probably heard that I have not been feeling well the last few days. I had a lot of stomach aches and then two days ago I started having some sharp pain on my right side. Yesterday the pain was a lot less and only hurt when I pressed down on my right side. We went to see a doctor in Madang. She was concerned it might be my appendix. She highly recommended that I wait to go to village living until I met with the surgeon. Thankfully today I got an appointment with the surgeon. Today the pain was virtually gone and he said I very well could have been my appendix and gave me some very very strong antibiotics to take. He thought it would be fine for us to go to village living as long as we weren't in a very remote area and could easily contact help. So we are so relieved!
Meanwhile the rest of the POC students were being dropped off at their village allocations. It turns out that out of the 11 allocations ours was the only one that wouldn't have worked out today. Our wasfemeli hadn't vacated the house that we were to live in and they didn't even have the hole dug for our 'liklik haus' (outhouse). This is a bit of a red flag for our village allocator. If we had gone today we would have had to have come straight back to POC. When we got back from my appointment we found this all out. The Lord definitely had this all planned out and knew that today would've been a big disappointment and very stressful if it would have gone according to our plan. Another thing we found out is that the police were in this village less than 2 weeks ago on a drug raid. A riot broke out and the police ended up burning down their market.
Ray (the POC director) left shortly after 4:00 this afternoon to try and find us a new allocation. He came back with some very great news. He found a family that was willing to take us in. They were a wasfemeli for someone about 1 1/2 years ago. Ideally they try not use a village that frequently for village living allocations, but they were desperate to find us a place. This family just happened to have a vacated house and liklik haus for us (which is a miracle in itself!). This village is even closer to the beach than our last village allocation. Ray said he saw a bunch of fishing boats out on the water and our wasmama and waspapa were in the middle of drying cocoa. Hopefully they will put us to work! Our house is an older house, but it has a metal roof - ideal for collected drinking water. We are the closest village out of everyone's to POC and Madang, which is a good thing if my pain should flare up again. The family is a wonderful family - they attend a four square church, which is a charismatic type church. We are very excited and it just feels right! The Lord is so good and he does not give us more than we can handle - it's true! I feel like he's really keeping me in the shelter of his wings. He knows I am weak right now and he's protecting me from added stress. He's a such good father. Yesterday and this morning I spent some time reading Psalm 121. This scripture has come to life for me today.
Tomorrow at 1:00pm we will be heading out to our new village, Sarang.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mirap, Drum Ovens, and BEYOND

It is difficult to convey to you what we've all done and been through in the last 2 months at POC. We've learned a lot about the culture, learned to speak Tok Pisin, completed a lot of assignments, conquered a 3 day hike in the jungle and made a lot of great new friends. It hasn't been easy - in fact this has been some of the most challenging times we've been through. We have little privacy and communal living can be stressful at times. God is definitely our strength. Little Jester has been finding life at POC very difficult. He is quite moody and clings to me a lot. It's been getting better now, but it has been a strain on our family. Please pray for him! William on the other hand has loved his experience at POC thus far. He's enthusiastic as always.

This week we'll be leaving for our village of 'Mirap'. Our little family will be living there for 5 weeks trying to learn all we can about Papua New Guinean culture and improve on our Tok Pisin. We'll have our own village house and our own 'liklik haus' (outhouse). We'll have no electricity, wash our clothes by hand, and be cooking over the fire. Our village is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the ocean. Andrew is hoping to get in some fishing! We feel excited and nervous, but up for the challenge. We 'waitskins' have so much and we're used to a pretty cushy life compared to most Papua New Guineans. It will be quite an experience to say the least.

We will be putting out a new newsletter shortly before Christmas. We will be back in Ukarumpa December 3rd. Thank you for praying for us through this difficult time!

Here are some prayer requests as we head off to 'village living':
*Quick adjustment for the boys (especially Jesse)
*Marital Unity
*Divine appointments with fellow villagers
*that we'd be a blessing, not a burden
*meaning relationships with the villagers
*that our Tok Pisin would improve
*good Health!!!!

Stay tuned! I'll update again after village living (5 weeks).

We were able to celebrate PNG's Independence Day with the local people. It was so great to see the traditional dress and dance.

This is Andrew with our 'waspapa'. He taught Andrew how to weave mats out of coconut branches. While we've been at POC we've been 'adopted' into a local family that we call our wasfemeli (was means to watch). We've shared meals together, gone to the market with them to sell fruit, and even had an overnight at their house.

There is an endless number of bugs around here. We saw this baby praying mantis on this bright flower. Other bugs we've seen: Millapedes, stick bugs, bugs that look just like leaves, and many amazing butterflies. We've even seen the biggest moth in the world (I'm not kidding).

This is a drum oven that Andrew made for us to take with us to the village. With this great little oven I will attempt to bake bread and cookies.

This is W & J with our 'wasfemeli'. This is taken at their house the time we spent the night with them. The little boy beside William made the kids little balls out of coconut leaves. He even made William a little wrist watch! Who needs toys?