Right now we are trying to organize the process of getting our house built. I know from many friends' experiences that house building in the US is very stressful.
Here it is stressful times a million. Times trying to disarm a ticking time bomb with 30 seconds before detonation.
First, my husband has to go in and "slab" lumber. That means that he flies in on a Cessna 206 airplane with some other guys that you owe your life to for leaving their homes, families, and a small degree of civilization to come help you for two weeks. Then, you land on an airstrip in the middle of nowhere to meet a helicopter to take you even further in the middle of nowhere. Then you cut down a tree. Then you cut that tree into nice pieces of lumber that will soon be your house.
|Our friend Tony slabbing wood in the middle of the jungle.|
Next you have to fly in a whole other group of guys who are willing to help you actually put those pieces of slabbed lumber together to form a house. And also, fly in all the other stuff you need for your house that you can't make out of stuff found in the jungle. Like a toilet...and a water tank so you can collect rain water or stream water in order to flush said toilet.
It sounds complicated. But it sounds even more complicated when I tell you that NTMA has only 1 helicopter. And (right now, anyway) one helicopter pilot. So, you have to factor in the helicopter's schedule. It is currently busy for the entire month of September. And the helicopter pilot's schedule. He also flies missionaries around in the Cessna 206, and has a family. So all of these things have to come together to make this thing work. Oh, and then there is weather. There has to be good weather. And if there is too much bad weather then you miss your chance entirely and have to wait until October to even start chopping down trees that will eventually become your house.
We plan to bring another team in, in October when the other helicopter pilot comes back to PNG for one month. You see he is now in the US because his wife is going to have a baby. But they agreed that he could come back for October to help families move in to helicopter only locations (that's right- we are not the only ones crazy enough to do this...there are more! not many more...but some more). This family is pretty amazing! That is serious sacrifice, people! Anyway, this is a perfect opportunity to actually build and move into our house because this pilot can stay in the tribe with us. Meaning that we only pay the $3,000 positioning fee for the helicopter once! During that time he can shuttle our stuff from our container (like our freezer, stove, washer, batteries, etc.) into our house. So, if we do not get the wood slabbed this month, we will be set back a lot of time and a lot of money.
So needless to say... we are a little stressed right now. On Friday, 3N1 and a group of guys will fly into the village to start the slabbing process. Please pray for good weather and for safety (especially considering our track record as of late).
We would really like to live and minister among the Hewa people...soon. Really soon. Like yesterday. And we really would like to have a house. It would make life and ministry a lot easier on us.
You can help us with that by praying for all these pieces to fall into place. Because if it actually happens...it will be a miracle.
Speaking of miracles. Our friends, The Chens...remember them? All of Gail's tests came back with great news that the lump she found was not cancer! So they are returning to Biem island in a couple weeks to finish teaching the Biem people God's message of redemption for the first time ever in their language. That is a true miracle, that I know a lot of you were praying over. Isn't awesome to be a part of a miracle???