That 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.