As I am writing this it is Monday afternoon, and my roommate is taking a little afternoon siesta. It rained outside for a while after a cool morning. I am sitting in the loft upstairs in our house listening to Coldplay and writing to you. Liz and I slept in this morning until about 9am. I woke up and wandered outside while the coffee brewed. There are many nationals on campus today working: mowing the lawns, upkeeping the flower gardens, cleaning laundry and empty cabins. They are hard workers and it’s neat to be able to interact with the women here on campus. They are so interested in our lives, with us being from America and all! It’s kinda fascinating.
After sitting down with the coffee to read Liz woke up and we started our planned breakfast of eggs and potatoes. Soon I got a phone call to help with some admin stuff for another staffer and I went over to the Keung’s home to insert data for Emerson. As I was at the Keung’s home I got a phone call from Dave Cross, the missionary in charge of much of the teachign that goes on during the program. He primairly does the chronological teaching, TERM, through his brother’s book, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. Dave wanted me to come up to their home and help him on a slide show presentation for another class once I was done with Emerson’s work. So I called Dave about 20 minutes later and went up to meet with him.
What he wanted input on was the importance of Bible training when considering an education for career mission/ministry work. There was a portion of a class that he had already taught to my program and just asked me more about what different schools have to offer, what programs should be considered, and what foundational issues should be thought of in choosing a Bible education. I can’t say that I had much to offer, but the converstaion was good. I love college!! Being at Master’s was an experience of a lifetime and I would do it all over again if I could. It was interesting talking through Bible education with Dave, who graduated from Bible school as well as seminary. He was a pastor before missionary, and I think he has a well-rounded perspective of education and what is necessary when going into ministry or missions. It was neat how the Lord used our time together, too, for me to realize what an exceptional education I received at Master’s and also different reasons why Dallas wants me to be in certain programs over the one I want to be in. It’s even more neat how the Lord worked it all together in His perfect timing.
After finishing up with Dave I headed back down to our house and Meaghan and Alicia were hanging out, making dessert for tonight’s “going away” party for the Simons. Alicia left shortly after I got back and the three of us girls just hung out talking about life and working on projects. The afternoon was pretty chill, and then we shared supper with the Gass family. We had some fun and good conversation over a lovely family meal. I am thankful for the missionaries here who have opened up their homes for us to have meals with them in.
After the Gass’ we headed down to a “going away” party for the Simons. I put “going away” in quotes because they aren’t actually leaving PNG until mid-August after the final Interface program for this year. Simon and Simon are short-termers from Germany fulfilling the German government’s requirement for 1 year of service. They’re completely different men of the Lord, and we are all thankful to know them. It was really neat to be a part of things tonight, even though I only met the Simons about 2 months ago. It was like we were all one huge family. Oh wait. We are! All of the missionaries serving with Interface were present with their families as well as the three of us girls who are serving on hospitality.
Above: Liz, Simon S., Simon N. (aka Simple), me
I’ve been thinking a lot–even this past year–about Rachel Smith’s idea/workings for a Master’s Thesis. As far as my understanding goes, she is writing about being in fellowship and getting involved in community as a Christian when you know you are in a place short-term. This is geared for situations such as going away to college, or even working at a job for only a short amount of time. It’s easy to be apathetic about forming relationships and being involved in each other’s lives–the one-anohters–when you are only going to know them for a short amount of time. But is that biblical? It’s hard to think through because the Bible is clear on the issue: we are to be brothers and sisters in whatever capacity He calls us to be in. But sometimes you wonder if you’ll even make a difference in their lives due to the fact that you will only know them for 2 weeks. But surely, God gives that grace. How encouraging it is to know that I have brothers and sisters serving Him in the same country as my non-Christian family. Or that I can be praying for the MK’s that I have met here in PNG and know that prayer is probably the most effective means I have to minister to them. I may never see them again. But surely I will not be quick to forget the times we shared together. I pray that we will not grow apathetic to Biblical commands in relation to community and relationship in the short-term situations. I am thankful for the Simons and the friendship, though it has been short-lived in comparison, that we have all begun to cultivate.