Monday, January 30, 2017

10 Favorite Things

Now that we are starting to settle in…I heard recently that when a major move happens it takes two years to actually settle in, so my question is, if this is true, are any missionaries actually settled ever?
ANYWAY…I have a few ideas for more regular blog updates in a lighter vein…said the person who has probably 1/3 of her house unpacked and organized but has enough done that everyone has things to cook with, eat on and doesn’t smell musty…  So we are good for now.

BUT I would love to hear what YOU want to hear about.  E-mail or comment on this blog with ideas!

So, for the first installment I present: A few of my favorite things about Ukarumpa/PNG
…dahdah, dah, dah-da …and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles…um. Yes, back on task. 

Incidentally, musicals are one of my favorite types of movies…but that is another topic.

Stay on target…

Here goes in no particular order other than the one I thought of them in 10 of my favorite things about Ukarumpa living:

1.       The kids being able to walk to school “on their own” – for the moment I walk them a bit down our hill and they go the rest of the way to the school gate while I stand where I can see them enter the gate.
Walking to school

Special treat of riding in an autoshop truck to school
2. The school and how much my kids are loving it right now. Everyone from the maintenance staff to the teachers to the administration work hard to provide safe, healthy and fun learning environment for my boys.

Outside Liam's classroom on the first day
3.       The breeze that blows through the louvered windows of my house on a hot day --- except perhaps when the grass on the nearby hills is being burned off.  ;)
Burning off of grass during dry season, to help it rain, prep garden ground or just because someone was bored....

4.       Fresh, like literally out of the ground yesterday or today and to my table fruit and vegetables.

Market day

5.       Friends for the kids and for me and Evan. For some friends we are back just in time to say goodbye as they take their furloughs.  But we are grateful for the time with them and look forward to their return.
Liam playing with his friend Heidi back 2012 - she is in Julien's class at school but is soon leaving on furlough 
Evan with a group of people from Ukarumpa exploring a cave back in 2013
Liz going down the "homemade" water-slide last term with friends (photo courtesy of Tanya Lott)
6.       Our Bible study; we rejoined our former Bible study when we returned and we love the support and good study we get from it. We are also grateful that the attitude of the folks who are still a part of it are welcoming and open. This means that we have recently had to “multiply”, that is break into two groups so that we can continue to invite new folks to join. We are looking forward to getting to know people as with the recent split Evan and I have ended up in a group with people we were not previously friends with.

7.       “Ukaweb” is the craigslist/ebay/community bulletin board of Ukarumpa. Those who are in Ukarumpa need items, wonder about how to do thing, or just want to know what’s happening, Ukaweb is there to help connect the community and one is likely to find answers within a day. Even if what you need is a rubber chicken, there is a probably someone here who has it…

8.       Praying people all around you…on above mentioned Ukaweb there are a few boards devoted entirely to prayer of various groups, people with the community, friends and family of community members. It is a privilege to be able to pray with fellow believers about needs in the community and around the world. It was a blessing during one the most difficult times in my life – when Julien was ill (back in 2013 and we had yet to determine what was wrong).  Fellow community members would come up to me as I went about trying to have normal life; they would tell me they were praying for him and for us. To be at the clinic and have medical and administrative staff pray with us was a real comfort and help during an incredibly stressful time.

Little boy in a big bed - Julien in Brisbane for testing back in 2013 - He had lots of people all over the world praying for him. He is happy and healthy now.

9.       Third-culture living; coming as we do from so many cultural backgrounds and melding, but without assimilating into any one existing group, we benefit from new perspectives and a common purpose:  Bring the word of God to those who do not have access in their mother tongue. We get to experience a little of what it is going to be like when we get to Heaven as it says in Revelation 7:9

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb

!0. Letters and "Golden Tickets" - Everyone the world over enjoys getting mail. But I thinking living in a place where sometimes we feel a bit cut-off and out-of-touch, it is comforting and spark of joy when we open our post box and there is something waiting for us. We are remembered. We are loved.
The "golden ticket"
 Now you are probably thinking: I get the letters but what are 'golden tickets' about? I refer you to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. In the story the holders of the golden ticket were provided access to a world of fun, delicious treats and recognized as special. 

The same thing happens when we missionaries here in Ukarumpa unlock our box and see one of these lucky little pieces of bent, scribbled and tired pieced of yellow cardstock waiting for us.

It means there is a package waiting just for us at the postal desk and all we have to do is present the card...the grown-ups can sometimes be even more excited than the kids.

Like this post? Let us know, we can do more "Favorite things" or "Day in the life" posts...We want to write about what you want to hear.

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