23 Nov 2009

Wayne and Gail update

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This past week was very eventful. We had the privilege of visiting two other tribal locations…we bathed in a crystal clean river 30 miles from the border of Indonesia for almost a week, Wayne finally ate some grubs and Abby finally got the big M!

We also flew on the shortest flight ever in our life…a merely 10 minutes. 10 minutes may be as short as 2 songs on an ipod or a long of commercial breaks at home but in PNG, it means days of hard hiking in the deep jungle. 10 minutes separate two distinct people groups, each with its own culture, history, customs and language. Amongst the tribes we visited, some used to be enemies, warring almost to the brink of extinction, some have rarely made contact with others. It was eyeopening to see that after we came back to Sinow, the first question people asked us was…”what are those people like?” They asked about what they eat, what kind of animals do they hunt in the bush, what kind of house they build, what do the people look like? It is hard to imagine the degree of separation of merely ten minutes.

We saw first hand the commitment and dedication of veteran missionaries laboring for years in bible translation, literacy, discipleship, all for the goal of planting a mature tribal church. It is a reminder of the magnitude of the work ahead and the need to depend on Him in all areas of our lives.

First case of malaria! Sorry guys, it sounds almost like a celebration…and it is one indeed since it is in the “past tense”. Abby started showing signs of malaria over the weekend (spikes of high fever, headaches and other symptoms) and we quickly treated her for malaria. She showed improvement in the next day and is completely over it now. We are glad to get the first one over (and it wasn’t as bad as we had feared) but please continue to pray for our health.

I had the privilege last week to sit in on a men’s discipleship meeting in one of the tribes we visited. They switched from their tribal language to the trade language (pidgin) so I could follow along. One young man was sharing about his weekly outreach trip to a neighboring village…he said

“The walk is not an easy walk. It is a six-hour hike. Sometimes if I go with my family, it’s even longer. Every Wednesday I leave our village and go to this other village to share God’s talk to them. I know God wants me to go. God wants me to tell them about His talk. There are other things I can do around the village, like hunting, gathering food or just sit around but those things “belong to the ground”. Telling others about God’s talk is not something that belongs to the ground, it is God’s work. Sometimes when I go, I don’t have any food. I don’t when I will get to eat. I get very hungry during the hike. But I remember Jesus tells us not to worry about our life, what we will drink and eat…so I just keep on going and trust in God. The people there need to hear God’s talk.”

It’s only a summary of what he shared and I wished I had a voice recorder. It was such a privilege to just be a learner amongst these brothers in Christ and let them encourage me with spiritual truths and what God is doing in their lives.

Alright, this update is getting long so we’d better stop. Our bush orientation is quickly coming to an end. We’ll spend two more weeks here before going back to Wewak in the first week of December. After four months in PNG, we are encouraged and excited about what God has in store of us. We are well aware that behind every cultural adjustment and language improvement stands your faithful prayers. Thank you for allowing our family to represent you here in PNG. Happy Thanksgiving and God bless!

In His Lamb,
Wayne, Gail, Abby and Kala

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