It is with mixed emotions that I share the NEWS - - - We are flying home at the end of this week!
We prayed for God to bring us back to Kudjip, to fulfill our hearts’ desire to serve here again, and He not only answered but multiplied the blessing!
Every day here has been a missionary’s braid of challenge, blessing, and spiritual growth; one moment I am struck to the core to see a life lost so easily, frustration and grief ripping a dark chasm into the day, only then to be chased away by the warm glow of a prayer offered in Faith, and my spirit pulled out of the mire to see where Christ is glorified even in our most broken moments.
But those who hope in the Lord
Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
They will run and not grow weary,
They will walk and not be faint.
So while this time has been emotionally and physically exhausting, we have miraculously “soared on wings as eagles”, just as God called and intended for us to do here.
We will miss our beloved Kudjip missionary and national friends - their warm smiles and daily encouragement have in many ways solidified our loyalty to this place. And it promises our future return to be all the more sweet.
You can imagine there is also a bursting excitement to be released homeward; to our loving family and friends in Virginia, to our membership among a wonderful Body of believers, to the many families in my practice who have faithfully awaited my return to care for their children, to the peace and security of our first world home, to the tranquility of sleeping in our own bed, and even to the excited wet kisses of our dog Cooper.
BUT... we still have a week yet to serve here, with MUCH to do, and then we’ll need to somehow wrangle our two wild and wonderful toddlers back across the World on FIVE different airplanes... your prayers would be most welcome!
AND NOW... A FEW UPDATES:
I discharged Friel last week after his condition turned for the worse - his head size had enlarged enough to ultrasound through his fontanelle and see there was more fluid than brain in view. Obstructive hydrocephalus, due to a mass (maybe tuberculoma, maybe cancer) is a terminal diagnosis here. I had the opportunity to pray with his mother Rosa on a few occasions and ensure she understood everything. On the day of their discharge she very sweetly gifted to me a small “bilum” (shoulder bag) made of seashells.
One of my favorite PNG men is named John Gari, and I have employed him during our time here to improve the landscaping behind the house we have stayed in. The garden and flower beds were overgrown and the old campfire area and thatched umbrellas were in shambles. I wish I had taken more “before” pictures to really show how much he has beautifully restored everything, but we have loved having his regular company around the house and have been blessed to support him. I constructed another footbridge to the new “pipiya pit” (for compost) that John dug for us, and I have planted peas, squash, kaukau (sweet potato), coriander, mint, tomatoes, and carrots into the new garden spaces. I've also built flower boxes for the front and back steps, and am trying to finish a porch swing for the back porch. Hopefully whoever stays in this house next will enjoy the fruits of our labor.
I have also continued to enjoy regular F3 workouts in the early PNG gloom every Tuesday Thursday and Saturday mornings from 6-6:45am. My most faithful partner has been “Flex” (Brian Bosip) but we have also enjoyed the company of some other fine men. I will have completed 35 workouts before leaving later this week. Watch out F3RVA - I’ve got high altitude fitness coming your way!
And finally, last weekend we escaped Station with our friends the Crouches to enjoy a lunch at the Jiwaka Mission Resort. We have LOVED spending so much quality time with these dear ones!