A huge praise!!!

Drumroll, please!!! πŸ™‚ In answer to many, many prayers over the past several years, the majority of the work on our Kiari airstrip is now finished!!!!!!!!!! Jeff finished final grading on Wednesday; men from the community came out on Thursday and helped put in all the ditch supports; and today (Friday) they sowed the grass seed! Please join me in praying that the Lord will send gentle rains in just the right amount (remember it’s rainy season in PNG!), and that the seed will come up quickly and be nice and strong.

Another thing it would be good to pray for is the “graun bruks” (landslides) around the airstrip. PNG, as mountainous and earthquakey as it is, is certainly the place for those. πŸ™‚ I’m particularly praying that the Lord will put His hand on the one at the top end of the airstrip and keep it from coming down again. Ever! πŸ™‚ (It’s come down many times in the past months, and each time Jeff has had to spend hours on the dozer, if not a whole day, clearing the upper end of the airstrip.) There are also a couple on one side that have come down and blocked the road several times, each time taking a little bite out of the side of the ridge of land where the airstrip is. It would be a real blessing if they didn’t come down any more, either, especially once the dozer goes back to Aibai and won’t be here to clean them out in only a few hours’ work. (To give you a mental picture: our airstrip is on a little strip of land that juts out from Mount Wama. The upper end is straight-up mountain, and the land pretty much immediately drops away on both sides and the lower end. The road goes around the lower end like a horseshoe.) As an interesting cultural note, a lady told Karen this week that the graun bruks are coming down because the airstrip used to be a matmat (cemetery) and the spirits are angry. If we’d just kill a pig and put its blood at the top of each graun bruk, they wouldn’t come down any more. Karen explained that we don’t believe a pig’s blood is “strong”, but we do know Someone Whose blood really is strong! Please pray for fruit from that special opportunity.

Keep in mind that I’m a teacher, not an airstrip engineer πŸ™‚ — but as I understand, the main things that still remain before the airstrip can be opened are for the grass to grow, as I already mentioned; the ground to settle from final grading so the strip is firm enough; and a culvert to be put in where the major drainage comes off the side of the airstrip. Those first two items are completely in the Lord’s hands and out of ours, so please remember them before Him in prayer– at this point your part is as big as ours. πŸ™‚ The third is certainly worthy of your prayers too– if for no other reason than that it’s still got to be handled by our very human hands! πŸ™‚

Can I just say how very proud I am of my Jeff for his faithful work on this project for nearly a year and a half?!? I think when he came he thought it would only take a couple of months, but through setback after disheartening setback he has kept on keeping on. I am incredibly blessed to have that kind of a man as my husband-to-be!

And speaking of that tremendous blessing (which I can’t seem to keep away from mentioning lately!), πŸ™‚ a great big THANK YOU to all of you who replied to my post last week, rejoicing with us at God’s incredible goodness in our lives. It makes me happy– if I could possibly be happier, that is!– when people are happy for us. πŸ™‚ Just to clarify (since some of you asked): we are indeed officially engaged, and we’re planning, Lord willing, to leave ASAP after the school year ends (July 1) for a short trip back to the States to get married. Please pray for the Lord’s clear direction as we wade through all the details. πŸ™‚

This is already a long post (congratulations for making it this far!), but I’ll close with just one more prayer request that really is kind of urgent: Please pray that the Lord would send another teacher to help me at JCS– soon! When I’m married (and living a half-hour walk away) I won’t be able to devote the extra-extended hours to the school that I do now. Eventually I might not even be able to devote any. πŸ™‚ The Lord knows our need; please pray that He will work in the heart of one or even two teachers and send them here. The new school year will probably start in mid to late September, and as you remember from my own situation, paperwork can take months and months to go through (though some folks recently got theirs in only four, compared to my twelve!)… so ideally if someone was to be here for the next school year they’d apply for their visa… well, last month or before! Kiari is the most beautiful place in the world and I would argue that we have possibly the best group of students you could ask for, so I don’t see why it would be such a hard choice :-), but for some reason I don’t know of anyone at all who has shown interest in coming to help us. Please join me in bringing this before the Lord as well.

Thank you so much for your prayers. Hope you have a blessed Easter weekend! πŸ™‚

Joyfully in the His service,
Elizabeth E.

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