Thursday, June 28, 2012


On Monday my whole family boarded a plane and flew into the middle of the jungle, only to meet a helicopter and fly even further into the jungle.

This is Chopper Mae. Do not mess with her.

Then we landed. I was glad we landed. I did not like flying in this thing.

We hung out with some people. The white lady is Susan. Everyone thought I was her sister. I took that as a very nice compliment.

We actually got a little cold. While I enjoyed feeling the cooler dryer air on my arms and face, my kids thought they were in the arctic tundra and wore jackets the entire time.

I got to hold my first little PNG baby. Most people in the Sepik (where we have spent most of our time this past year) teach their kids that white people are their dead ancestors and that we will eat them up or something like that. These people do not do that, so this precious baby girl reached her arms out to me! I held and snuggled her with great joy and did not even care if she peed on me. She didn't though, she is a lady.

I met some amazing ladies that I will hopefully get to know better...soon...

No official decision yet as we want to talk and pray about with our sending churches. I think they will be thrilled as we feel the Spirit all over this, but if they don't agree then they will have to pay the helicopter fee to go back in and retrieve my heart.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where There Is No Doctor

One of the biggests concerns, doubts, topics of conversation that we come across in this work is, "what happens if you get sick?"

Like when your kid get a 104 degree temp and you have no idea why...

Or you get a crazy rash that spreads all over your arm, stomach into your bellybutton and eye and you can't stop it...

Or when your kid wakes up with a huge swollen eye for no apparent reason...
**please notice that all the other read marks on her face are either kool-aid or markers, thank you**

Or when your husband falls off the top of a ladder and lands on top of said ladder right in the ribs and back. (sorry, no picture of that one, people- it just happened yesterday) Well, you just wait it out, mostly. You have to calm the beast inside you called "mom" who violently urges you to get a plane, train, bus, car, canoe, camel, whatever to the nearest doctor and have them "fix" everything. 

We are blessed here in Papua New Guinea to have a team of medical professionals who have given up the practice in America and to come here to treat missionaries and local people who wouldn't otherwise have access to good medical care. The only problem is they are about $1,000 flight away (unless you can go with someone else, or catch someone else's back flight, but it is all to complicated to explain flight costs here, so I will skip that if you don't mind). And if you have something really major then you are flying to Australia and that is what emergency evacuation insurance is for.

Anyway, sometimes people judge us for this. "Who cares about the cost! It is your kid/husband/life we are talking about here!" We sort of have this idea in America that we have the right to have our problem fixed instantaneously. When most of these things were solved by either time or medicine or some combination of the two. And we can always call or email the doctor anytime. We also have a little more freedom with medicines here and each missionary usually has a small pharmacy in his or her home. 

This has actually been a huge life lesson for me, as I tend to freak out pretty quickly about medical stuff (I come from a long line of hypochondriacs). But through all these minor medical maladies I found that it is amazing to be able to wait on the Lord. Trust Him to guide us in what is emergent and what will heal without major assistance. And know that no matter what happens, He is good. 

Yesterday when my husband fell off that ladder, I immediately thought we are about to have to book a flight out of here. But then that Still Small Voice simply said, "wait", so we did. 3N1 is pretty sore but is up moving around, so we know it is not an emergency. And that trip we were supposed to take into the tribe last week got canceled because of a problem with the plane (see, I knew I had a reason to write that letter! Luckily they discovered the problem before we took off, so my kids won't actually have to read it). But the trip was rescheduled for this Monday, so we are really hoping to still be able to go. And as it turns out one of the other guys on the trip will be going to Goroka (the place where the dr. is) from the tribe, so if we still feel like 3N1 needs and x-ray or a note from the doctor or a lolly pop then he can catch a ride there after our visit. 

So, there it is. We get sick, we have no doctor close by, but somehow we survive. It is a miracle, I know, but it is true. The Lord looks after us, hypochondriacs and all. 

P.S. No, there are not actually camels in Papua New Guinea, so you don't have to google that one. I just wrote that to make a point.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Prayer of the Paranoid Mom

Tomorrow 3N1 and myself along with a bunch of other missionaries are going into a tribal location to see about the possibility of us working in this area. There is already one couple working there, so we are going to spend the night with them and chat it up. We hope and pray that the Lord would make it clear to us if this is where He wants us to serve or not. Right now we are pretty pumped up about this possibility.

We will have to travel by plane then helicopter to get there. How does a woman with a fear of heights and a fear of flying get onto a helicopter and fly into the middle of the jungle. Through the grace of God for sure!

The big kicker, though is that I have to leave my kids for the night. I know I should be thinking, "Woo-hoo, freedom!!!" but I am a paranoid mom who thinks that if I leave my kids for one night and get on a death trap helicopter then it will crash and their father and I will die. Before you judge me, please know that I had this fear before we left the good ole' U.S. of A. Whenever 3N1 and I went out on a date I always had a tiny fear that we would not come back home. And I know I am not the only mom with this fear.  After all the moms I have talked to about this, I really should form some sort of club. Only out meeting place would have to be the planet Earth because I am pretty sure that every mom in the world has this same fear. But I have learned that I just have to trust God with my kids futures and that if their father and I die then God can work good things out of that and out of their lives. In all honesty and joking aside though, my absolute biggest fear is that if we die our kids will blame God and rebel against Him. And I seriously cannot think of anything more tragic than my daughters not following Jesus Christ.

So, I decided that I should just write them a little note- just in case and maybe that will ease my fears a little. Somebody let them read this when they get like 12 or 13.

Dear Girls,

Sorry I'm dead. Sorry Dad is dead. Please don't blame God. He loves you and wants only what is good for you. He can take the most horrible circumstances in life and make beautiful things out of them. The ONE THING your mom and dad wanted for you in your life is for you three to follow Jesus. With your whole heart and life. Read the Bible everyday- not because you have to, but because it is an amazing story of the love of God for His people, and that includes you. Read books like Radical, Crazy Love, and Kisses from Katie. Also read every single thing Elisabeth Elliot ever wrote. Beth Moore is great too, even if she does have big hair. Give Jesus every single part of your life and everything else will fall into place (Matt 6:33). And when bad things happen (and they will because we live in a sinful, fallen world) remember that this world is temporary. It is not your real home. This life is not your real life. It is only a poor representation of the life that you will have in eternity with Christ (1 Cor. 13:12). Actually, you should remember this in good times too. In times of prosperity think about the unseen (2 Cor 4:18), the eternal and invest your life and your resources in those things (Matt 6:20).

If you must rebel, rebel against the world and not God. If you feel the need for tattoos and piercings and crazy hair color do it- but do it all for the glory of God. ***just a side note- if you do get a tattoo think very carefully about what you are getting and where you want to put it on your body. You may think you are just getting a small tattoo that you chose from the Bible in a place that is easily concealed because you work in a Southern Baptist Church, but 5 years later a tattoo in that spot will be labeled a "tramp stamp" and it doesn't matter that you were a virgin until your wedding night, that is what people call it when they see it, and there is nothing you can do about it.***

Please know, that your father and I love you and think you are the three most beautiful girls on the planet. Hands down. But whatever you do, DO. NOT. ENTER. ANY. BEAUTY. PAGEANTS. EVER.

Ok, those are the basics, other than we love you three more than life itself! You three are the greatest things to ever happen to us. EVER!

With all our love,
Mom and Dad

P.S. I am serious about the beauty pageants!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Toddlers in Paradise

While my mom was visiting we took her to a tiny island off the coast of Wewak to enjoy some amazing snorkeling and give her just a taste of tribal life. We went with some friends who also had their mom visiting, and we all had to pile into this tiny boat for the hour and a half boat ride out to the island. I was pretty scared about getting into this boat at first, but it was actually a nice and we could see land the whole time, so if we sank there was a least a small chance that we could swim to shore and survive.

I know many of you will look at these pictures and think that it is a tropical paradise and that we are very lucky to get to live where we do. Well, it is a tropical paradise and we are lucky to get to live where we do, but please remember I said we went there to share a little bit of tribal life with my mom, so it's not like we stayed at a five star resort. No we stayed in a tribal house, granted it was a very very clean tribal house, but it was a tribal house none the less. What does that mean exactly?

It means that it was HOT. There is of course no air conditioning and no fans, and there was sand...everywhere. Also we had to sleep under mosquito nets. Mosquito nets are the hottest things in the world. I am pretty sure that people in hell will have to sleep under mosquito nets. So you better repent and turn to Jesus now, people!

But the most annoying special part of the trip was that we had to bring this little demon angel along. As any mom anywhere knows, toddlers and the beach only mix well for about 1 hour. Then there is sand in their eyes, mouths and diapers, and they ARE.NOT.HAPPY. Add in the fact that there is no possible way for her to take a nap, and you have one of those movies where the family goes on a dream vacation, but is kidnapped by terrorists. Only the terrorist is a 1 year old with sunscreen in her eyes and a sand rash on her booty. There aren't enough crackers in the world to pacify this angry toddler.

Of course I did have some help. My mom was there, and my good buddy, Candace. If not for them I probably would have swam back to Wewak myself, but they definitely offered some much needed relief.

But there were some really great things about this trip. The best thing by far was the food. We brought all our food in with us, and the hosts of this wonderful island excursion (the "king" of the island and his family) cooked it all and brought it to us. Then cleared all the plates and washed them for us. It was amazing. Three meals that I didn't have to cook or wash one single thing.

They even caught lobster for us at 2 am and we had it the next day for lunch. Score!

All we caught was this little guy...

Oh, and only the most poisonous snake in the ocean...

But we did see some amazing things under the water...

And I would totally recommend this place to any of my Wewak friends. Only, if you have a toddler I would wait a year...or six and then go. It would be way more fun.