Hi all. “Sori Tru” means “I am truly sorry” in Tok Pisin, the language I am learning here in PNG. I am sorry for not writing for so long, especially as I am discovering more and more how many people actually read this blog, are praying for me, and who are being blessed by the Lord and His grace from this blog! Not to say that I have anything to do with it, but I’m just learning yet one more way that faithfulness is key. Since so much has gone on since the last post about our adventure together, I will just touch base for now and write more as it comes.
Well, our team left PNG on Thursday morning, and I had the privelidge to see them off to the airport All of the team went back to the US/Canada except for 5 of us: me, Doug (staff), Heather (staff), Liz and Jennie. Doug will teach the next program as well, as he is a retired missionary from the Solong tribe in the New Britian Islands of PNG. Jennie is on the Highlands base with missionaries from her home church and will remain there until we leave on July 19. Heather, Liz and I are now serving on hospitality here at Interface until we leave on July 19.
This past week has been quite interesting. Things were definitely busy as the program was wrapping up and final thoughts were made. We had ample opportunity to visit the villages and say our goodbyes to the villagers as well as the staff here at Interface. We were provided with much time for reflection, thought and prayer as the time came to an end. I’ve been thinking a lot about what the Lord has put on my heart specifically, and I will attempt to communicate some of that with you.
There are a ton of unreached people groups, whether they are in PNG, Africa, Siberia, South America, or wherever. They have never heard the gospel message in their own language, or Tok Place, and therefore have not had the opportunity to make the choice between God and the world. On the other hand, there are plenty of people on every continent who have had the chance to hear and make that decision. Are we willing to go and tell the rest? It’s a hard decision to make, and it should be made after counting the cost. It is something that I have been thinking through a lot myself.
Am I willing? To what extent? In what capacity? Is there anything that would keep me from going? If so, is it more important to me than perishing souls? How has the Lord specifically equipped me as an individual and how does that fit into where He currently has me?
I do not have many of the answers. One of the biggest and most helpful things I have learned since being in PNG and exposed to tribal mission work is that of what it takes to get a missionary (or missionaries) into the tribe and what it takes to keep them there. There is TONS of support work that goes on outside of the actual tribal work, but if it weren’t to happen, then the tribal missionary is going to spend more time outside of the tribe than they are in the tribe. This is where I think I come in. The more I think through and pray through the missionary options, the more I am convinced that a role in missionary support work is best suited for how the Lord has created me. I do not yet know exactly how I might fit into the woodwork, but some ideas have been entertained. Opa comments almost every time I see him how he thinks I would make a great teacher. But teaching (in public school America) is one of the last things I desire. But teaching at an MK school such as the one here in PNG at Lapilo…sure! Or any amount of office/admin work sounds thrilling to me. Honestly. I would love to be in a position where I know that the work I am doing is keeping the tribal missionary in the tribe. As my notes are not in front of me, I am not able to expound on this topic much more. Anyone familiar with this concept is more than welcome to comment, please.
This week is partial rest. We have activities to do in gearing up for the next program, since the new set of students do not arrive until Friday afternoon. Some of my duties include: supply runs, cleaning, and kitchen prep. There will be some amount of down time each day, with Tuesday being almost a completely free day. I am really looking forward to taking the entire day to bask in the presence of the Lord and spend some undivided time with Him. If I think of anything else to write, I will.