Sunday, June 30, 2013

A chicken, A Cockatoo, and an Airstrip

Who do you think would win in a fight between a chicken and a cockatoo? If you answered, "the cockatoo" you would be wrong. The correct answer is chicken. I know, I have seen it myself.

And in other unbelievable but true news, we are almost finished with our airstrip! It is crazy and miraculous and still needs to be bathed in lots of prayer, but so far we only have about 140 meters to go in our 600 meter airstrip. We think it will be complete by August or September at the latest.

It will be so amazing to see a plane land in this place! Although, it will be a little bittersweet as we have gotten very attached to our helicopter pilots and will miss having them come stay with us. We are hoping they will come with their families just for fun in the future instead of having to leave their wives and kids to come shuttle our junk around for a week.

We are praising the Lord for his provision for this project financially and for the tractor that was such a huge blessing from our friends at FIA. We are also praising Him that He keeps said tractor running during this difficult project.

This airstrip will not only relieve us of the financial burden of the helicopter, but will also give our Hewa friends access to supplies and medical care. Right now they have to make a 10 hour hike to the nearest village with an airstrip if they want to get to a hospital or if they want to get simple things like rice or soap. In fact, many Hewans from villages all over the Central Mountain Range are calling our village the "Haus SIk" or hospital. This puts us in a precarious position because if someone from outside this village dies in here, one of our ladies could be blamed for working sorcery on them and be killed as a witch. It will be a relief to have a road out for those who are seriously ill or injured.

So keep praying people! We feel your prayers and see evidence of them every single day. That reminds me, thank you so much for praying about my kids' school books. They made it in here last week, so we are all ready to start school on August 1st. (Although, I may start sooner if my oldest tells me she is bored one more time.)
Homeschooling might be giving me too much power.

Anyway, that is all for now. Just remember if anyone ever calls you a chicken, it is at least better than being called a cockatoo.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

When The Night Bird Sings

When the night bird sings here, in the middle of the jungles of Papua New Guinea, in a place called Hewa, it is not a beautiful sound or a welcomed song.

When the night bird sings, people yell, and light fires and wear special necklaces and grasses to keep it away.

When the night bird sings everyone is afraid of the evil spirit it represents and what it will do to them or their loved ones.

Yes, this is a village that has the truth of Jesus Christ. They know God is more powerful, but they also read in scripture that we are in a battle against spiritual forces that we cannot see. They've heard the warnings of Jesus that Satan is lurking around trying to destroy the people God loves.

It becomes a difficult time of discipleship for the missionary. Yes, Satan is very real, and really wants to destroy you. But, God is stronger. He loves you and cares for you and does not want you to be afraid. The power is with God and His love- not necklaces or fires or anything man can manipulate with his hands. The missionary is most terrified of something called �syncretism.� It is where the person hears God's Word and blends it with his previous beliefs. Not fully placing his trust in God alone, but mixing his faith and practices. It is basically a curse word, especially in New Tribes circles, and it means a big fat FAIL sign stamped on your work. It makes us want to squash this night bird nonsense ASAP.

The interesting thing is, that the night bird has come here singing, and bad stuff really is happening at the same time.

We have several very sick children and babies.

We had a visit from some people in our very violent and volatile neighboring tribe who know it is illegal to come here.

A man who is new to the village and not a believer tried to hang himself (unsuccessfully, Praise the Lord).

All of this has happened in the last three days and all when the night bird started to sing. It shows me that Satan really does want to fight for this territory. He wants to whisper the same doubt that he whispered into the ear of Eve at the beginning of time, �Did God really say�?� He wants God's people to question His word. He doesn't want any of the new people here to believe the scriptures they are hearing for the first time.

It is strange, but sometimes I think that these people understand the spiritual world better than we do. My first instinct when I hear about this dreaded night bird is to laugh and feel superior with my Western scientific education. I want to tell them that they are being ridiculous. I come from a world where spiritual things just don't exist. And even though many of us believe in a God who is Spirit, we somehow push that thought to the back of our minds and focus on the Man instead. We read the things in His word that apply to our daily lives in the physical world- the eating, the drinking, the money- the things we can see and taste and touch, and somehow pretend that the other stuff doesn't really exist or doesn't really matter, anyway. It is our own form of syncretism. Sure, sure- we believe in God and heaven and all that, but we really cling to that which is tangible and in front of our faces. Too much �spirit� makes us charismatic, and who knows what that leads to.

The truth is, that we all have our own forms of syncretism, and just because someone shows signs of that, doesn't mean they are not saved. It doesn't mean the missionary has failed. It means there is an opportunity for discipleship, yes, but that is why we are still here, right? That is why we are working to give them God's Word in their language, so they can grow in their faith. That is why I, as a believer, read that same Word every single day. So I can grow and mature. So I can learn more and more about God and put away false thinking and beliefs.

It is also why I am here in the middle of the jungle. Yes, it is to bring God's Word to one of the most remote people groups on the planet, but it is also to learn more about God and who He is. I fully believe He called me here. He wanted me to do something for Him, so that I could know Him better. So I could see Him in ways I never would have at home. He wanted to open my eyes to the spiritual world and see that it truly does exist just as His Word says. He wanted me to stop listening to Satan whisper in my own ear, �Did God really says that there are demons, and evil forces trying to hurt people? You are more intelligent than that. You are educated. Sure believe God and heaven and all that, but anything else will make you sound like some weird girl from a cult.�

God wants me too see the truth, and to focus on what is real. The unseen. The eternal. I am so grateful to Him for opening my eyes to all of it. Because in the unseen world- in the eternal- God wins. Victory is His and mine in Him. It is a beautiful place of peace and rest. Because even though I know Satan is real and true evil exists. It is only temporary. And God has overcome all of it through the death and resurrection of His Son�His Son that loves me and calls me by name.

So I thank the Lord for the night bird. And I thank Him for allowing me to see the struggles of my Hewa brothers and sisters. Their struggles revealed my own and connected me to them in a new way. The family of God learning and growing together, and that is so much more powerful than Satan or Science or Syncretism.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Prayer Request

I have no idea who is still reading this blog. It is always so weird to post from email out here in the jungle and have no idea if it even makes it or not. I also get really embarrassed when I come back to town and see that for some reason all the punctuation turns into weird diamond boxes with question marks in them. So...sorry about that.

Anyway, I am starting to stress a little about getting my girls school books by our next chopper flight at the end of June. We were recently told that there is some issue with the mail in Wewak, and I have no idea when it will be fixed. Our next chopper flight is tentatively scheduled for October,and although my kids would be thrilled, but we would be really behind if we had to wait until then.

We are actually still doing school now due to house building and coming out of tribe in the Spring. There is only so much weight we can carry on our flights in and out of the tribe, so it is usually a choice between the books and Mia, and well, our offspring always wins out.

I am also wondering how well school will go this year since I will be teaching two kids instead of one...yet another reason why I don't want to start off behind. Who knows how long it will take to get two kids educated all the while trying to learn a tribal language, and wrangle a toddler at the same time. Are you praying for me right now? I hope so. Are you also praying that my kids won't be illiterate? Me too.

So there is it. I would truly appreciate those prayers from whoever is still reading this! Thanks for hanging in there with me!