Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Grateful list

Here is another installment of things I am grateful for…

1. The boys’ school:
Here in Ukarumpa our boys attend our center’s school. It is a mix of families with many ethnicities and backgrounds joining together for a common purpose. To support the spread of God’s word into every tongue and promote His love for everyone and His desire to see them grow and thrive.
The school provides amazing academic help but also there is a lot of fun and learning…
Ice cream class reward...can you spot Julien? Hint he's in green
(photo credit goes to Laura Young (his teacher) and Anita McCarthy for taking the photo

A few months ago we had book fair, which culminated in the book parade which has the kids dress up as a character from a book. Last year Liam was a Buckingham Palace Guardsman and Julien was Paddington Bear. This year Liam is Geronimo Stilton and Julien is Chiro from the picture book Nightsong. This is always fun for our family as we love reading and crafting.

Geronimo Stilton
 Most importantly, the school instills lessons about how to be children of God into each day.

2. Our Jeep. God blessed us with miracle after miracle in getting our car here this term. I enjoy being able to give others a lift, remembering our first term of not having a car.

Often we get several inches of rain in a few hours. With gravel roads, no sidewalks and several hundred feet change in elevation from our house to the rest of center we are reminded of God’s provision for us every time we get in the car…especially when it is raining.

Even when it’s not raining, getting around and especially being able to take trips off our center has been made more possible by owning our own vehicle
 Going to village church

 Highlands Highway
picture of the bridge which we took the river ford to avoid. The guy posing in the picture is standing right in front of the hole in the bridge that we couldn't drive over. On the way back it was patched.

Here are some videos of driving to a village church, and down to the coast for vacation and a shopping trip. There are major repairs happening on the Highlands Highway but for now we are grateful to have four-wheel drive.

3. The diversity of God’s creation. In flying down to Madang for my Thrive retreat a few months ago I got to sit in the co-pilot seat for the first time. I also got the birds eye view of the landscape going from the Eastern Highlands where we live, down to the “nambis” (the beach/coast). I was able to converse with the pilot Mike, husband of a friend who was also attending the retreat (Mike flew three plane-loads that day) about the beauty of PNG. It again made my heart cry and prompted me to pray for the people and the land we passed over that God’s word would touch them and they would grow to know Him and His will for their lives in powerful ways.

4. Unity amongst diversity. I love to marvel at our worship times here, especially during a service when there is scripture and song presented in many languages. It shows me a tiny glimpse of what Heaven is going to be like. But we also get to have some of that experience in our home too, with celebration of holidays particularly. American holidays like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July, and also Christmas here is a bit different than in the US, but we are lucky to have a great community of friends who are like family to celebrate with.

At the annual 4th of July party food traditions come from all over -- sugar cane next to the American flag cake
For Thanksgiving this last year we gave thanks for God’s provision with having not only Americans but also Romanians, Canadians, AND Americans who spent their growing up in the Philippines and other locations as MK’s, and naturalized Americans…so we have a lot of food and perspective that may not be “traditional” but it’s also awesome and truly what the spirit of Thanksgiving is about.
The lead-up to Christmas is always different here. One year the boys made cookies with an “auntie”, one year we spent Christmas Eve at an Old Testament dedication. Christmas day we sometimes have a brunch with friends…but always spend the afternoon at a potluck at the home of our dear friends the Albrights in a tradition that started for us in 2012, the first Christmas we spent in PNG.

All these things I am able to enjoy are because of the generosity you all who join with us and partner with the ministry and allow us to continue to live and work here…Thank you.

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