Back to work

I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post! Sori tru– one of these days I will get on the ball and be more regular. 🙂

Speaking of my last post, I realized a couple of days after sending it that I had gotten two PNG foods mixed up, Marita and Karuka. My last post was titled “Karuka” but I was really talking about Marita! It’s the season for both, but Karuka is a nut. This doesn’t matter a bit to most of you, but for the few who do care– there you go!

School started again on January 3 but has been very different because four of my nine students are still in town! It’s been almost a little dull having only one grade… instead of having another class to teach while the first one does their seatwork, I have to sit around and wait for them. We’ve been getting out around 12-1:00 every day– once even at 11:30! The extra time has been nice to do some projects around school and home and for the Smiths. I’m thankful, too, to be able to teach both Bible classes and free up Jeff for work on his house. He had to switch back to that from the airstrip project because the weather was damaging his wood. It sounds like it’s coming up really fast and may even be under roof today or tomorrow! Then he’ll be working on the airstrip again, which is coming excitingly close to completion. Having an airstrip will totally change life in Kiari. It’s so hard to believe that maybe, just maybe, it will be done soon! Please pray for Jeff as he juggles these big jobs.

Karen Hall, our newest teammate, has been a huge blessing! Her main task right now is learning the “tok ples” (village language), but she’s also having clinic on Mondays and Fridays. She’s had upwards of 40 patients many times. Pray for her also as she carries these heavy responsibilities. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing my house with her and “rounding” with her around Kiari.

And lest you think the Smiths aren’t busy or in need of your prayers– think again! Mr. and Mrs. Smith have the burden of leading and caring for not only their own family, our missionary team, and the mission ministries but also Kiari Baptist Church. They are also preparing for furlough beginning, Lord willing, late this summer. Please pray for them as they try to schedule meetings (under the same limited communications system that I have!) and pray that the Lord would allow the paperwork for their furlough replacements to be granted quickly.

On Sunday I was in the nursery and was thinking about how very different that job is in PNG than America! Another lady and I watched the kids– about 15 of them, baby through age 5 or so– in the Sunday School building behind the church. It has a dirt floor, and there were some logs smoldering in the middle that one little girl was particularly interested in! A five gallon bucket and plastic net bag contain all the toys, and we (or the kids) bring them over each Sunday from the storage rooms in the church. Boy oh boy, what a difference from sanitary nurseries in the U.S.! And it’s not just dirt… it’s the absence of diaper bags and in many cases even diapers of any sort! I’ve decided that least-favorite American nursery task really is most preferable to its alternative! However, damp and dirty and fussy as they may be, the kids are sooo cute and I just love them! Actually relating to kids has been one of the hardest things for me here, because they’re all scared of “whiteskins”. People tell them stories such as, “See that plastic bag she has? She’s going to chop you up and put you inside and take you home for dinner!” So, their fear is most understandable! I’ve been most tickled, though, to finally see some signs of a breakthrough the last couple of weeks. A couple of kids let me cuddle them in nursery (without screaming their heads off!), and last week at fellowship a two little girls even wanted to sit with me on their own accord!

Well, it’s 8:33 pm which is most definitely an appropriate time for going to bed in PNG. 🙂 I probably won’t have an opportunity to send this out for a couple of days but at least I have it written now! Hope you have a great rest of the week. Thank you so much for praying for me!


P.S.– Please don’t be distressed if you’ve emailed me and not gotten a response. For some reason I’m receiving things several days to a week after they’ve been sent– hopefully I’m getting it all then but I really don’t know! The Smiths are planning to take Karen and me to town with them for the supply trip at the end of January/beginning of February (my first time out of the bush since I arrived!) and I’m hoping to be able to get all of my computer/email issues straightened out then. 🙂 I appreciate your patience!

“O use me, Lord, use even me, Just as Thou wilt, and when, and where….” -Frances Ridley Havergal

Due to my limited connection in Kiari, I have to limit the file size of incoming messages. Plain text—even a long letter—will come through just fine, but I may not be able to receive an email with pictures or attachments. Thank you for your help with this! ☺