*I just found out that sending the pics with the posts is not working as well as I thought, since the pics are going with no text. Anyway, here is the post that was supposed to go with the rainy airstrip picture. I originally wrote this on August 1st, and here we sit on August 9th with more rain pouring down on us, so the prayer request in this post is still valid.*
I know you are all probably sick of hearing about our airstrip, and to be honest, we are kinda sick of talking about it. It is such a huge project that is consuming our lives and ministry right now, but it is very necessary.
And we are really REALLY close to completing it. In fact, we would be done already if it weren't for the massive amount of rain we have been getting over the last week.
We do live in the rain forest, so we get a lot of rain, but most of the time it is at night, and we get really good sun during the day. This last week, however has been non-stop rain and clouds. The ground is muddy and sloppy and this makes the tractor work very difficult. (see picture)
We recently had a scare that made us realize the urgency of getting this airstrip done as soon as possible. Some of our Hewa friends spent a little over a week in their pig house that is about a 45 minute hike away. At one point we heard that the husband and father of the family, Kefeson, was very ill. Somebody even threw out the word, "pneumonia" which happens to be the number one cause of death in PNG even above malaria. So, when the family didn't return to the village on the day they previously told us they would, I became very concerned.
I do have to admit here, that ever since the suicide, I have been pretty paranoid and on edge about everything that goes on in the village. Every shout or sound out of the ordinary makes me very nervous and fearful. Thankfully, my wonderful husband has had mercy on me and investigates every single incident, and always comes back with comforting news. So, of course, I sent my dear sweet 3N1 on the 45 minute hike to check on our friend. The entire time, though, I am worrying about how we are going to help this man. He is a good husband and father with three young kids (all the ages of my own kids) and is a church leader. The problem is that if he is deathly ill with pneumonia there is no way to get him to the nearest airstrip to get him to a hospital. That hike takes about 13 hours and crosses slippery logs over raging rivers. It is very rugged terrain that has a person hiking up and down thousands of feet of elevation. I cannot imagine anyone carrying him on a stretcher that far, but in my mind, that is what they were going to do. I felt helpless knowing that we were so close to finishing this airstrip, but still could not get our friend the medical care he needed.
Thankfully, though my husband returned not only with good news, but with Kefeson, himself. It seems he had gotten a lot better or the reports of his sickness were exaggerated…we are not sure which.
Either way, we were very happy, but also reminded of how much this airstrip is needed. The Lord has truly blessed the work and this project and we know that none of it would have happened with out His help. We have even seen other organizations come along side us to help complete this project like Friends in Action and Samaritan's Purse, and we are so SO close to the end! Please pray with us and for us that the Lord would send us some sunny days so we could complete this project by our August 30th deadline.