My First Kiss

I know, kind-of a strange first blog entry since arriving
in Papua New Guinea. Yea verily (that was for JPK), I woke
up one morning with a tiny red spec on my upper lip and by
the time I made it to breakfast the red dot had turned
into a massive bump with white around the edges. One of my
teammates remarked at the table, “Now Kate, what are you
doing going around kissing all the mosquitoes?” haha Don’t
worry Mom, it’s gone now. Suprisingly, that is the only
bug bite I’ve encountered thus far.

On to more interesting things…
From our departure in Singapore we flew to Port Moresby,
PNG. We went through customs and a little bit of culture
adjustment during our two-hour layover. Then we hopped on
the smallest plane I’ve ever been on (don’t know the
model, sorry) and flew out to the city of Garoka. The
airport at Garoka consisted of a landing strip, dirt
fields, and two small buildings. We didn’t even go inside
for baggage claim. They just handed it to us across a
folding table after we got off the plane. From Garoka we
had an hour car ride into the highlands of PNG where the
Bene-Bene tribe is, and also where the Interface campus
is. About half of the ride was on a dirt road and we fit
all 24 teammates in the back of a flat-bed truck that had
benches lining the sides. It was pretty cool riding up in
that and seeing all the village people along the way. They
were more than eager to see us.

We met the Interface staff over lunch and had our first
official orientation in PNG after that. I will try to
introduce you more to the staff as time with them
increases. Due to email size, I am not able to send
pictures. For now, I’ll take time to write about what
we’re doing.

Monday through Saturday follows the same basic routine:
8am         breakfast
9am-12pm    class
12-1pm      lunch
1-2 or 3pm  class
3-5:30pm    free time
5:30        supper
7pm         class or other activity such as campfire
9pm on      open house with missionary families

In class we are learning the basics thus far, being taught
by full-time missionaries. A lot of it is familiar to me
because of the courses I have taken as an undergrad
Bible/Missions major. But it’s all a good reminder. And
how different it is to learn it in the place of actual
participation! We are being taught by the missionaries,
and I wish you all could experience their passion with me.
It’s encouraging and exciting and humbling as we continue
to dig further into Scripture and learn more about God’s
call for believers to make disciples and teach all
nations.

We are reading a book called “The Stranger on the Road to
Damascus” by Cross as well as various articles written by
people such as John Piper and other NTM missionaries. Yes,
we have reading and written assignments. We started out
the courses with an exam (not graded, of course, but
closed-Bible) of a ton of questions about the Bible. The
hardest question for me to answer was “List at least 8 OT
prophesies about Christ.” You should take a whack at it.
🙂

Today was the first time that we got to go into the
village. We were led by missionaries Herb and Jana, and
they introduced us to the different family lines. While we
are in the Bena-Bena tribe, there are different family
lines within the tribe. For example, one of the family
lines is the Yamamato. The various family lines get along
with each other and even marry cross-family line (that was
weird, but I think you get the concept). So it’s not like
a territory or property rights thing. The natives mainly
grow crops for their income (cash crops) and the one in
season right now is coffee!!

Before I end this lengthy post (thank you for your
patience), many of you have emailed and asked for prayer
requests. Here are a few:

– humility  Please pray that we as students would have a
humble and teachable attitude toward our teachers and
leaders as well as with each other. It’s easy to let our
knowledge puff up our pride (about 1/3 of the team has
gone through some sort of Bible school/training).

– direction  Many of us in the program are continually
asking the Lord if this is an area that He may be leading
in the future. It seems as though many of us are looking
into mission work full-time, so please pray that our
direction and guidance would be clear.

– health  Praise God that nothing serious has come up thus
far. Yes, there are a few bites and scratches here and
there, but nothing serious. There are a few who are
recovering from colds contracted back home. One of our
teammates, Christina, left her dad at home in the hospital
due to cancer. It has been something he has gone through
for a number of years, and she definitely sought the Lord
in choosing to come even though he was ill. Pray for her
family’s comfort and trust in the Lord during this time.
They are all believers. Pray, too, for Christina as she is
away during what could be a crucial time.

Thank you all! I loved reading your emails, and please
continue to write! Let me know how I can be praying for
you all as well.

MHBS: please email me! and at this account–I miss it!!

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