“From Sarah Price’s Sister”

img_0370That was the subject of the most interesting email I have received since I have been here, beginning one of my best adventures in PNG.  Sarah Price and her husband, Eric, go to my church.  I have known that Sarah’s sister is married to a Papua New Guinean, but this is a big country with a not great transportation system, so I never dreamed we would be able to get together.

However, we did exactly that last Saturday and Sunday.  Ruth and Simon, her husband, were staying at his village about 90 minutes away from CLTC, so after a few emails, they arrived with Trevor, their one year old son, to spend the weekend with me.  It was an adventure from the very beginning as I walked to the gate and security finally gave permission for the vehicle which brought them to come into the campus and drop them off at my place.  We had a good lunch and tour of part of the campus before Dan and Janet came for dinner and a meaningful visit in the evening as we got to know each other.

Most of the time Simon and Ruth live in Port Moresby doing Community Development Mission work, helping widows and orphans and contributing to the church there.  A few times a year they come to the village where Simon was born and raised, to do Community Development work as well, but with a slightly different emphasis — they have started a children’s library and have over 400 books already, through the kindness of many donors.  Simon is also working to get a well in the village so the women don’t have to haul all their water from the river.

Both Simon and Ruth have fascinating backgrounds.  Ruth was raised on the mission field in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  She has traveled and worked around the world after she graduated from Moody Bible Institute.  Simon walked an hour from his village, one way, just to get to a road for another hours’ travel to his secondary school.  After graduation he served with OM and YWAM and attended a Bible College in Northern Ireland, where he met Ruth, who just “happened” to be passing through. 🙂

During the campus church service they were introduced, and soon a student came over to Simon — they had known each other from OM days!  Cooper and his wife and family joined us for lunch and I loved listening to their memories!  What a small world we live in!!  Even discovered that when Ruth was young, she lived almost next door to the brother of one of my very good friends from an area south of Chicago.  Our God is so BIG and SO GOOD!!!

The “bus” picked them up about 5:00 Sunday afternoon, and since Simon’s brother is the owner of the bus, they brought as many family members as the bus would hold.  It was amazing to see all of them piling out to greet Ruth and especially Trevor, whose feet probably never touch the ground in the village where he is surrounded with numerous cousins.

Since they live in Moresby and will return there before I pass through in a month, I will see them again.  And In May, they will be in and around the Chicago area for a few months, so I will connect with them there!  Needless to say, it was a memorable weekend.  Having a one year old, just learning to walk, was so much fun.  And when people share a bond in Christ, the fellowship is always extra sweet.  I got a “crash course” in “Highlands” culture from Simon, but that will have to wait for another time.

Advertisements

The Great Adventure Round EIGHT!!!

Just realized today that I have been in Papua New Guinea a month already; today begins Week Five for me. I have seven more weeks to finish this term, then will be on my way home a few days after that! I always used to think old people were crazy when they said time goes so much faster after one retires, but since I have joined those ranks, I have to heartily agree!

The English Intensive went very well this year, partly because there were only 12 students, a dramatic drop from other years. Travel here has been hampered by the rain and the school fees have risen, so not as many are able to come. However, now that Term One has begun, I have eighteen, which altho’ it is lower than usual, is a better number for doing group work, etc. The first week of the term went quite well and I am ready for tomorrow to begin Week Two. I have five hours of English, four hours of Study Skills and meet two hours, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8:00 a.m., with the Year Two wives every week.   I had all their husbands last year so it is fun to get to know the ladies now. Already one has brought me a huge “pumpkin” (we would call it squash), and a heap of green onions. Both are very tasty.

First week of classes

First week of classes

My dear friend, Joe, from last year, is here again with all five of his kids this time. Not sure about his financial status; we are to get those lists this coming week. But he is as sweet and eager as ever to learn and grow. His wife is in my class and her smile couldn’t be broader. When I took them to the library on Friday, she selected several books for her children to read, even though her English needs some work.

I have entertained every week so far, and Janet has fed me well, too! 🙂   We can now get cheese in thin, separate, wrapped slices so my second favorite simple meal is grilled cheese. (Still have to put Spam at the top of my list! 🙂 ) Friday night there were six of us and I was grateful for Janet’s help with the chicken. We greeted our Australian friends, Don and Heather, back from their holiday.

Christmas decorations left over first Sunday I was here.

Christmas decorations left over first Sunday I was here.

img_0287

In the month I have been here, we have gone from me being the only expat to nine of us from the States, New Zealand and Australia. So much fun to see everyone again and be able to serve the Lord here together.

Joyfully Serving at Joni and Friends

Not really in PNG at the moment, but at Family Retreat for Families affected by disability.  Training and preparation of crafts yesterday and today; families arrive tomorrow.  Here are some photos of the setting for this fabulous opportunity!  IMG_0001

Families are welcomed in a dramatic way!  IMG_0004.JPG

Each family is greeted with a bag filled with goodies especially selected for their family by a volunteering church.  So fun for them!  IMG_0007.JPG

This is the craft room where I have and will spend the most time.  More on that tomorrow.

Back in Chicago in time for Spring

Found this and wanted to share it along with two photos from yesterday at the Morton Arboretum.  Such a wonderful Creator!  (No real connection between the two!)

A Nun’s Prayer

(attributed to Teresa of Avila, 1515 to 1582)

Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.  Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.  Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.  Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful but not bossy.  With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end!

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.  Seal my lips on my aches and pains.  They are increasing and the love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.  I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other’s pains, but help me to endure them with patience.  I dare not ask for an improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.  Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet.  I do not want to be a saint; some of them are so hard to live with, but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.  Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people.  And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.   Amen.

 

IMG_7382IMG_7385

 

Meaningful moment

I must share the very meaningful time the Lord gave me this afternoon.  Through several conversations, I was able to share with a first year student that someone who supports the College was able to pay for his not-quite-seven year old son to come and live with the family at the College.

Way back in January, on the very first day of the Refresher Class, Joe shared with us that at the last minute he did not have the necessary funds to bring all of his children and had to leave three of them at home.  With tears he asked us to pray about that situation.

Yesterday he told me that the youngest of the three who are at home with Joe’s parents has been very sick, mostly because of missing his family.  So Joe went home on Sat. and brought him back here for a few days.  I made some inquiries and was able to tell Joe this afternoon that some anonymous person was willing to pay the $200 for the child to stay here for the rest of the year!  Imagine — $200 — AND — he gets half of it back month by month to buy food.  (So many of us have no clue, right?)   That also covers his school fees.

Believe me, it was a sweet time; both of us crying as we thanked the Lord for bringing this about.  I was simply a conduit, but Joe was grateful and I was amazed to see God answer a prayer from nine weeks ago.  Within ten minutes of his leaving my office, his wife was here to thank me and give me the gift-of-choice in PNG, a beautiful belim.  God is overwhelmingly GOOD!!!!

Here’s a photo of the family.  The tallest child is the one who has been at home and now gets to stay.

 

IMG_7274.JPG