Monday, July 30, 2012

When Stuff Goes Bad

A lot of stuff "goes bad" very quickly around here. It is hot and humid with no air conditioning and most foods are not packed full of the preservatives that make chicken nuggets last through a nuclear apocalypse. Fruits rot. Crackers get stale. Ants invade my sugar. And my flour smells really bad.

Food costs a lot of money in this country, so we have to figure out ways to make things last or use them even if they have gone bad.

Rotten bananas make great banana bread.

Stale cereal and crackers can be baked in the oven to revive their crunch.

My kids can have science class by checking out all the little tunnels in my clear sugar container.

And I can make play dough out of that gross flour...

I found the recipe on the internet. It was really easy and actually looks and feels like play dough you would buy in the store. And as you can tell from the picture was very hard for little fingers to resist.

A lot of other things have "gone bad" for us lately as most of you know. My kids are staying sick. My husband keeps having accidents. We are finding out that our house building fund is only half of what it needs to be now because of the cost of the helicopter. And the fact that there is only one New Tribes helicopter here is making our plans to move into the tribe stretch out longer and longer. Yesterday, I really felt like we were never going to make it. We would be sitting out here in Wewak forever waiting on timing or money or healing or whatever else my depressing thoughts wanted to fill in the blank. It felt like nothing would ever work out in our favor.

And it is not just us. We found out that our friends the Chens are having to leave in the middle of teaching the Biem people God's Word in their language for the very first time because after harsh rounds of chemotherapy and radiation and even being cleared to come back, they just found another lump.

Sure everything goes bad. It has ever since Eve took a bite of that blasted fruit. It ruined everything. Made the world stink and rot. And caused our very existence to seem stale. But since that time, God has been working in the lives of His children to make things new and useful again. To make them beautiful and fun. And His works taste sweet to the soul.

So right now, we are waiting and watching as God makes something way more beneficial to us than play dough out of the the things that have gone bad in our lives. And we are praying for a miracle for our friends, so they can return for the end of the teaching... as the people they have come to know and love on Biem Island hear about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for the first time.

We are thankful that we have hope in Christ that allows us to persevere. And we are praising Him that He makes all things new!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I (mostly) grew up in a Southern Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. Every year as a teenager I participated in a youth  retreat called "Disciple Now". I think it was supposed to be a time of discipleship for teenagers, and for the most part it was. We spent all weekend in intense Bible study with a few fun events thrown in, but come Sunday morning everyone was hoping to report that someone (or every teen at the retreat) got saved. Forget that many of them were teens who were already following the Lord and doing a pretty good job at it. Forget that this time was a serious encouragement for them to keep growing in the Lord and living for Him. That is just not exciting. That is not worth the thousands of dollars the church budget put into this. If several kids did not believe in Jesus for the first time, then that is a wasted line item.

Don't get me wrong. I love people hearing and believing in Jesus for the first time. I think it is the greatest miracle that one could ever see in this world. It is why I am where I am, but there is so much more to it than that. There is the actual discipleship of the believer that will keep God's message moving forward.

I just finished reading a horrible email from my new co-workers. They sent us word that a 16 year old boy committed suicide a few days ago. He was a believer. He was one of those kids that showed "real promise". Everyone thought he would be a leader in the church in his generation. But he fell into some sin, and he didn't know how to deal with it. He needed discipleship. Many people would probably label the Hewa as "reached" because many have heard and accepted the truth of the Gospel message. "Why would they send new missionaries there?" Well, this is a perfect example of why new missionaries should join the Hewa work. Jonathan and Susan Kopf are  in there already discipling believers, and translating the Bible, and doing medical work, and teaching new Bible lessons, and helping the believers reach out to other villages, and on and on and on. Helping a new church reach maturity is too much work for one family.

When we took this position with the Hewa people group we knew a large part of what we would be doing would be discipleship and we were and still are very excited about it. But we were worried. In the back of our Baptist brains we thought we should down play that discipleship role a little and highlight the fact that we would eventually be going to other villages to bring the Gospel to people for the first time. We thought that this is what people and churches expect of us, and they may feel they are not getting their money's worth if some people do not get saved. But the believing is only the beginning.

I finished Jonathan's book about the same time I received the email, and I realized that people need to know that the presentation of the Gospel for the first time is amazing and exciting and miraculous, but to just leave it there would be a mistake. The Kopfs and the Copleys (a family who until recently worked with the Hewa and who are now leadership here in PNG) poured their literal blood, sweat, and tears into these people and to simply see them believe and not mature would be devastating. To see a small group of believers for the first time would be miraculous, but to have those believers die out in one generation because they were not mature enough to pass their faith on to each following generation would be tragic.

You see when people are not discipled they usually do one of two things:

1. Go back to their old ways. In this case it means practicing animism and sorcery. Trying to appease spirits and killing those suspected of being witches- usually young teenage girls.

2. They combine what they have learned with those previous practices resulting in syncretism. Most of the time this just means they try to live by a set of rules that they hope will please God and earn their way to heaven. (is this sounding familiar to anyone? Didn't Jesus condemn the Pharisees of this very thing) But this is actually the case in almost all areas of PNG. In most denominational churches people are following a set of man made rules like, "you must wear clean white shirts" or "you must poop in outhouses" (that is not made up or exaggerated- our co-workers heard a preacher say these very words in a church service)

Tribal man headed to church on a Sunday morning with his dress shirt, loin cloth, and "as gras"- a perfect example of syncretism.

Is this what God had in mind when He called us to PNG? Is this what we want to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into? Is this what our churches and supporters want? I believe I can answer all three of those with a resounding NO. And I am very thankful that God has placed mature believers on our team of financial supporters who would agree.

So I am praising Jesus that He forgives me for trying to "market" His work, and I am asking all of you to forgive me as well. We are here doing what Jesus tells us to do, and there is nothing that I can say or do to make that any better than it already is.  At some point we will be seed-planters, but first we will be seed-waterers (1 Cor. 3:6) and are thankful and humbled to be called to this position.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Oh How He Loves Us

I was talking with a sweet missionary friend last night about some difficult times she and her family have gone through over their missionary career. She told me at one particularly difficult point, she listened to David Crowder Band's "Oh How He Loves Us" over and over again to remind her that no matter what happened, she knew that God loved her, and her precious family.

I have now been singing that song in my head since our conversation last night and reflecting on how much He really does love us and all the ways He has shown us that in these last few months.

Honestly, if I went into every single detail this post would be crazy long, so I just thought I would put up some of the highlights...

As you know we sort of went through a long process in finding a tribe. A lot has to come together for that to happen and we were constantly getting discouraged as one place after another seemed to fall through.

But as we were in Hewa, I became overwhelmed at all the little details that I loved about the place. It made me so grateful that God knows us better than we know ourselves. That He knows what we need before we even ask. And that He gives us even more than we could ever ask for or imagine.

I have always wanted to learn how to garden and to raise chickens. Go ahead and laugh. I am the girl who participated in both theater and rodeo in high school, so I am used to it. But God loves even my weird desires, so I will be doing BOTH in Hewa.

The village is located at a higher elevation so that the weather is cooler, but not too high so that there is always cloud cover and not enough sun. It is a happy medium.

We will live right in the village with the people. Some people like to live a little away from the village to have some privacy and that is nice too, but when you have small children it is easier to spend time with the people and learn the language when you do not have to go a long way to get to them.

Our future airstrip will be right in our front yard giving our kids a safe place to play close to our house. In many villages the airstrip is a hike or a boat ride away (sometimes both)!

I wanted to go into an "existing work", meaning a place where missionaries already were, to have some help with the language. John Michael wanted to go into a new work, so he could build our house himself and "start from scratch" so to speak. In Hewa we both get what we wanted.

And the final thing that is just too amazing, and shows God's extravagant love for me is the fact that our new co-worker has written a book about his family's time in Hewa so far. I have mentioned before that I L-O-V-E reading missionary books and read anything and everything that might even closely relate to the work that we are doing. So, you can imagine my excitement to find out that Jonathan had written a book all about life and ministry among the Hewa people and that even though it wasn't published yet, they would let me read a copy. I have been reading it all week and it is really REALLY good. And it is so good to know that God loves me enough to give me this very rare and special gift.

I know we have reported a lot of craziness in our lives lately. We have definitely had some tests and trials to go through, but I also wanted to make sure that I reported all that God, in His infinite goodness and unfailing love, has given us. He has showered us with very intimate gifts of grace. Gifts that show us that He knows us better than anyone. That He knows us better than we know ourselves. Oh, How He Love Us...

 our future airstrip :)

 my future house :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why You Should Never Lie

Well, you see my wonderful, handsome and now tip-of-his-thumbless husband turns 30 at the end of this month. And my beautiful neighbor and now-new-co-worker's big sister turns 30 the day after that. So. The two of us cooked up this little scheme to throw 3N1 and Big Sister a party on Thursday July 12, 2012. Big Sister was flying back into the tribe where they work the next day. It was a surprise party. It had an 80s theme, you know because they were born in 1982. I made a cake, and some friends made a sign, and everyone was gonna dress up in 80s garb. I also chose this theme because my husband HATES the idea of turning 30 and he also hates everything about the 80s- the music, the clothes, the hair- everything. So I thought it appropriate for the mood of the celebration.

Meanwhile, I had been teaching two of the high school girls here on base Spanish 1 this summer, so they could go on to Spanish 2 this fall at the boarding school. Their parents wanted to throw a little party to say thanks the next night (Friday night). I told them they really didn't have to do it, but secretly I was dancing a jig in my mind over not having to cook or clean up for one night, and then they said they were making Mexican food, so I said, "I'm there" with no more arguments.

Anyway, my husband walks in while I am in the middle of making the cake for the 80s party that night, so I told him that it was a cake for the Spanish party the next night. He asked, "Why are you making a cake for your own party?" I thought, "Crap. He's not dumb, he knows," but I answered, "I wanted to do something nice for the girls because they worked so hard this summer." And I seriously did. They were amazing. They did 10 chapters in 6 weeks, and learned vocabulary and grammar in days that took my former students weeks to learn! Well, he bought it, and I felt I had mischievously prepared to give him the biggest surprise and successfully throw him a party that he would hate for years to come. So what if I had to tell a little lie? Little did I know that my husband would chop off 1/4 of his thumb and would spend the night getting Hepatitis B treated at the local hospital.

Well, guess what? We did not have the 80s party, but we did have the Spanish fiesta the next night.

Here we are with the delicious spread the girls and their Mamas made....


So, let this be a lesson to you, everyone. Do not lie. Or your husband will chop his thumb off with a joiner saw, and you will have to eat a cake that says "30" at a Mexican Fiesta. How ridiculous!

***And, yes, we are all jerks for taking this picture like this, but we just couldn't help it.***

Monday, July 16, 2012

I'll try to explain

Well, after falling apart about missing my husband's birthday, the Lord was gracious to me and showed us a way to get to Goroka for WAY cheaper than our other option. Some sweet friends did all the research and even booked all the flights for us (3 separate flights between the girls and I) and soon we will all be together in time for 3N1 to turn 3N30.

The only scary part was the fact that I had to put my two oldest on a plane without me. They took a New Tribes Mission Aviation (NTMA) flight with two other families on Monday. That meant that 3N1 did have to take care of them by himself for 2 nights and I was a little concerned about that with his injury, but he assured me that he wanted them to come, so I sent them on.

Mia and I will fly commercial (Air Niugini) to a city called Madang at 6 am in the next couple of days. We have to be at the airport at 4 am to get in line because in this third world country, actually possessing a ticket does not guarantee you a seat. Madang is home to one of the other New Tribes Mission bases, and from there I will get on another NTMA flight with a girl who is heading up to Goroka for school.

It sounds crazy and complicated, but it is getting us there!

Here are some pics of the girls' first solo flight! They will actually probably do this a lot in their little MK lives. How does an MK get to a sleepover? By plane of course! So many kids jump on flights to spend a couple nights with their friends in neighboring tribes. It is no big deal to them, so I guess I should get used to it.

The girls and their bags being weighed for the flight. We pay by how many kilograms we put onto the plane, including our bodies and bags.

Waiting to board with some sweet friends.

Mae isn't so sure about getting on without Mom. 


Lu was just happy to be with her friends. I am not sure she even noticed I wasn't there. 

Mae had a great babysitter to help her on the flight!

After I loaded them on the plane I had to come straight home and start packing up all our stuff for Hewa. As I mentioned before, to use the helicopter costs mucho $$$$ and so whenever it is already scheduled to fly into your village, you jump on any chance to get stuff in there. Our new co-workers are coming out of the tribe for a break at the end of this week, so we are using this opportunity to fill the plane with some of our stuff. Some great guys will load our junk on the plane for us and it will meet the helicopter in another village that has an airstrip.The helicopter will then "sling it" into our village (they load the stuff up in huge slings and hook it underneath the helicopter). I will never complaining about moving vans or trucks again. This is saving us mucho $$$$, so even though it was less than perfect timing, it was totally worth it!

At this point I am not exactly sure when we will get to move into the tribe, but half our stuff is moving in this week! I am a little jealous of my dishes, I have to admit.

I am so thankful that the Lord is working all this out for us in spite off all the craziness that has occurred at our house. It doesn't really matter what (or who) is against us- He is for us and that gives me the confidence to keep pressing on towards His goal of making disciples of all nations!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Little Things

Everyone kept telling me how well I was handling my husband cutting off 1/2 his thumb. Honestly, I didn't even cry. I felt really bad for him because I knew he was in pain. I was a little disappointed in the fact that this was probably going to set us back with moving into the tribe (unless some great builders out there want to come to PNG and build a house in the jungle for us :) But I had the peace that passes all understanding. I had that peace because of practice.

I had some drama growing up in my family life (who hasn't?) and then since we have been married, there seems to be one thing after another that should make us fall apart or at least fall on the ground kicking and screaming. But all those times have simply taught me that God takes care of everything and above all He comforts and heals. When those times come, my emotions may be sad, but my spirit is content.

That's right. That's me. I am super Christian. Please everyone model yourselves after me. Sike. For some reason I can hold it all together when my husband might have cancer or when he chops his thumb off, but let someone tell me that he is gonna be alone for his 30th birthday and I fall apart. Dumb. I know.

You see, I found out yesterday that we were on a flight to go see him on Monday! Yay! I packed, then found out that was not accurate and actually there were no flights that had space, so I would have to charter my own flight which would cost us $1,100. Boo!

All the other expenses with this are around $1,000 so spending another $1,100 just seems irresponsible right now as we are about to spend $5,000 a trip flying in and out of the tribe on a helicopter. (that $1,100 for the plane isn't looking so bad now is it?) Anyway, so we decided not to go, and you would have thought the world had come to an end. I cried. A lot.

I wasn't even that sad about being away from 3N1 for 2 weeks. I mean we have been apart that long. When he goes in to start our house he will be gone for a month, and that does not seem like the end of the world to me. But throw his 30th birthday in there and it is Apocalypse Now.

So the Lord reminded me that, "huhum, I am here". Remember the peace that I give? It applies to missed birthdays as well as cancer scares and chopping off thumbs. "

"I know, God, but this is too much!"

"Too much for me?"

"Ok, God, you're right."

Then I realized that I do this all the time. I am fine in these major catastrophes, but let the baby spill an entire box of Rice Krispies on the floor and I am a wreck. Or when the oldest 2 won't stop fighting. And the 4 year old won't stop whining. And when I spent an hour in the kitchen cooking from scratch and something burns and there is no McDonalds to run to, and I have to START.ALL.OVER. These are the times that I am at my worst. When I fall apart. When I fall on the ground kicking and screaming. Why? Why can I not feel the same peace that I have when something truly bad happens?

Because I haven't practiced.

I read a book in college called "The Practice of the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence. He was a monk who talked about the joy and contentment he felt while scrubbing dishes in the monastery. I was really impressed then, and now I think back and wonder what this dude had to complain about. So you had to do a lot of dishes? I do that everyday. At least you get to do it in peace and quiet. But he wasn't just talking about peace. He was talking about being complete, whole, and satisfied in every situation because of the presence of God. Remember the fruit of the Spirit? Yeah, that is a result of the the Spirit of God- His presence- in your life. Peace just happens to be one of many excellent "fruits" that grow in your life when you live it intentionally with God. And although I have a daily quiet time with God and know His presence is always with me, for some reason I forget that in the dailiness of life. I forget I have the same peace I receive in times of real trouble during times of simple frustration. So, last night I prayed and asked God to help me to have His peace daily. With my kids, husband, and neighbors. He promised to help.

And just so I'd be sure to know He was serious, my baby did this this morning:

Yes, that is Sharpie. On my wall. I wanted to freak and cry and buy a ticket to jump on a plane back to America and get in my minivan and drive straight to Target where I would buy a mocha frappuccino and stroll leisurely down the aisles all by myself. Then God reminded me,

"Your peace is not at Target."

"Really, God because I remember it being nice and quiet when I don't take my kids. And it smells good, and they sell pretty things there."

"No. Only I can give you the peace you are looking for."

"Ok, God, I know you are right."

And He was. I breathed, laughed, and took pictures. Then I followed the advice of google and some facebook friends and scrubbed it out with toothpaste. It was amazing! Look at what Colgate accomplished...

Miraculously clean in like 2 minutes! And a great lesson for me to practice the peace of God in my daily life with 3 little girls!

Thanks for caring about my every minute of every day, God. Sorry I am so dense sometimes. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Ok folks, there is a lot to say, so I thought I would just update here...

John Michael is now in Goroka and the doctor has sewn up what is left of his thumb as best he could. There is still some open area because there was not enough skin to cover the entire thing, but the doctor did get the exposed bone covered and that is the most important thing. Also, he said that there was more thumb than he thought. It is cut off right above his joint, so he still has about 3/4 of his thumb left.

 He has to stay there for two weeks for the doctor to changes his bandages and clean the wound to try to keep it from getting infected. Here in the swampy Sepik even the tiniest bug bites get infected, so hopefully being in the cooler, drier air of the Highlands will help. Most importantly, though, we need prayers that the bone does not get infected. If that happens he will have to go to Australia to get it taken care of, and that will be major time and money.

Speaking of time and money...
Our plans for moving into the tribe are now going to be put on hold for a little while. 3N1 was supposed to go in on August 10th to start prep work for building our house (cutting down trees, and them cutting them into the boards we will need to frame our house). The doctor said it will be at least 2 months before the area is healed, so that drastically changes that plan.  And right now all these flying to Goroka (where the medical clinic is) and staying in guest houses up there at $36 a night is going to eat a huge hole in the funds we saved for house building. Please pray that as his thumb will heal as quickly as possible, to keep the costs at a minimum.

I say all that with full confidence in the Lord, knowing that His plans are better than ours. I want to be on His timetable, not my own. Psalm 127:1 says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." I want Him to build our house because nothing He does is in vain.

I also am fully confident that He will provide what we need, when we need it. If this depletes our building fund, then He will replenish it or we didn't need that much in the first place. He delivered me a long time ago from worry over money, and I am not about to be held captive by that sin again. If you have read the rest of this blog, you know how much He has given us, and how He has never failed to provide for us. My prayer is that He will use this too, to show us His glory.

And finally...
We are taking suggestions for nicknames for his thumb. Nub. Nubby. Thumble. You get the point. Feel free to add your own.

Not Kidding

I swear we could have our own reality show.

Here is my husband lying in an "emergency room" bed because he cut off the top half of his thumb using a planer this afternoon.

Here is the Doctor at the hospital here in town checking him out. Notice he took his gloves off for some reason.

But don't worry. He washed his hands.

Here in PNG most people are animists, meaning they believe that spirits or magic forces control every detail of life. And anything and everything you do can upset these spirits and cause them to bring all sorts of trouble on you or your loved ones. Not too long ago I told another Tribal Wife here that we have all been really healthy and hadn't gotten any weird diseases or anything like that. Since that time, 3 of the 5 of us have had malaria. And there have been 2 different stomach viruses to move through our house, along with my husband falling off a ladder and now cutting half of his thumb off. If I didn't know better I would say that I shouldn't have ever said those words- that the actual words are the reason this happened.

But I do know better. I know that we live in a sinful and fallen world and bad things happen. I know that we are flawed mortal people and we do dumb things, and bad things happen. I know that God takes every single moment in our lives very seriously because He loves us and cares for us. I know that He is there with us in all these minor sicknesses and injuries and wants us to see Him, and trust Him, and lean on Him when everything gets to be too much.

You see if I thought my words had anything to do with all my family has been through in the last 3 weeks, then that would be too overwhelming to bear. I would not be able to open my mouth or walk outside my door for fear of what I might bring upon myself. What I do know is that we have a merciful Savior who daily bears our burdens for us and who replaces them with His burden that is easy and light.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you that the weight of our sin is the heaviest burden we could possibly bear, and thank you that we will never again know what it is to carry that weight. Thank you that even though we are outwardly wasting away,  inwardly you renew us with your Presence in our lives daily. Thank you that these momentary troubles are fleeting, and that you use every one to make us more like you. Now please help us as we seek to share You with others who do not know these truths. Who are afraid to walk out of their homes everyday because they don't know that You are greater. Greater than spirits, or words, or anything and everything in this world. Help us Jesus. Help us bring this message to your children that You love and that You created in Your image. Children whose burden You died to carry. Amen.

Monday, July 9, 2012


One of the main reasons I started this blog was because of my own obsession with google before we left for the mission field. I like to read and know as much about my future life as possible. I have done it before every major change my family has encountered. Actually, even before that. As soon as I knew I was going to be a missionary, I started reading every single book by missionaries or about missionaries that I could get my hands on. I like to be prepared.

When we started to come here, I realized that there was very little reading material out there for me, and I knew that I couldn't be the only obsessive compulsive freak stalker woman who wanted to be as prepared as possible for this great new adventure, so I thought I would do all those women a favor and start blogging about my everyday existence here in PNG. And you know what. Some ladies who are currently in training with NTM have written me to say that they love getting the heads up, so this post is for them. Now they are not all coming to Papua New Guinea, but having lived or visited several different 3rd world countries, I know that this advice applies to anywhere they might choose to serve our most gracious Lord and Savior. Here goes:

The two most important things that any missionary should bring on the field with him/her are

1. The Word of God. Because, well, duh.

2. Imodium. I am serious. If you could pack an entire suitcase full of the stuff, then do it.

You're Welcome.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A few more details

Well, we got the official word from our sending churches that they are on board with us joining the Hewa work, so I thought I would share a few more details about the Hewa people and how we got to this point.

We are actually leaving our team and joining one couple who are already in there (remember the house 3N1 helped move- it is those people). They are the Kopf family and they are awesome. This latest move was the 3rd time they have done so as missionaries to the Hewa people. The first was because of safety reasons, and the second was because the people were moving to a place where they could build an airstrip. The crazy thing about these moves, however, is that with each different place, the dialect of the Hewa language changes. This time it has changed so much that they are starting all over again to learn the language. And before we committed to join them, they were going to do it all by themselves. God not only gave us a burden for the Hewa people, but also for the Kopfs. They needed help, and we feel privileged to be the ones to help them. There might also be another family joining us as well, but they just got to PNG and have to finish their Pidgin study first. They are also amazing, and we would be totally blessed to serve alongside them. There are mostly believers in this particular village that we will help teach and disciple and will eventually go with them to reach other villages in the Hewa language group.

It was a tough decision to leave our previous team, but it actually came about by one of our team members asking us to pray about going to Hewa. The team was considering going to one of the other Hewa villages that have such a different dialect than the one where we will be that the people cannot even communicate with each other. As we began to pray, the Lord showed us that it would be totally unbalanced to put 7 or 8 missionaries in a new village while leaving the Kopf family to work all by themselves. At this point we are not sure they will even be going to that other Hewa village, but we know the Lord used that idea to get us to this point.

This area is not only new to us, but also new to the tribal people. They are clearing land for gardens and houses just like we will. This is where my house is going. :)

This is a baby cassowary bird it belongs to one of the Hewa families and lives in the village. If you google "cassowary" you will see how crazy it is to have one of these for a pet. Although, it is really being raised more as a food than a pet. Once it gets big enough to be dangerous it will become dinner.

And I could really tell you so much from this picture. Notice the backsides of all the guys. Yes that is a bunch of leaves. In PNG it is known as "as gras", and yes "as" means ass. Just throwing that out there. Anyway, so this is the style of the people in the Central Ranges. Don't feel bad about laughing. They think your skinny jeans look stupid and are laughing at you too, so you're even.

Also, in the above picture are many young ladies. Beautiful, precious girls who are very shy and very hard working. Some of them will be marked, hunted, and then killed as witches. You see the Hewa are animists who believe that spirits control everything around them. They also believe that some can control or manipulate those spirits, so when someone gets sick or has an accident there is always someone to blame. It is a sad, but true fact. The gospel is helping to slow this down, but there are many different Hewa villages that have yet to be reached.

So pray for us as we begin this work and for our new teammates and neighbors.  If the above statement does not give you the sense of urgency of the task we have ahead, then I don't know what will. Your prayers will be essential to us!  We know that the Lord has been preparing us for this very exciting, terrifying, difficult, and amazing journey ahead, and we are ready to dive in deep!