My fingers are much better now, so I can type all I want. I don't know if you are excited or disappointed, but here goes...
While my fingers left me unable to write, we had some very sweet and amazing friends come in and help us do a bunch of projects around our house so that we can just focus on learning language these last few months. I am now the proud owner of some beautiful kitchen cabinets and drawers after 15 months of storing my kitchen utensils and tupperware in cardboard boxes.
Raymond and Odessa Dunwoody are from Northern Ireland and they run the guesthouse for missionaries here in Goroka, PNG. They are an amazing couple who love and minister to everyone they come across, but they have been especially caring to us. As you know we have had a lot of medical issues since we've been here, so we have to go to Goroka a lot because that is where the missionary medical clinic is stationed. Odessa and Raymond are always there to welcome us with a hot comforting meal and place to stay. They treat our kids like they are their own and our kids love them dearly. Raymond also happens to be a very gifted carpenter, so they agreed to come in here and help us with our house. Raymond built my kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, and did a number of other projects around the house and Odessa helped me with all my sewing projects. On top of all that we had a great time just hanging out with them and listening to the stories of their amazing life in the beautiful Irish lilt that I now secretly try to imitate when no one is around. It was also nice to be able to just relax and use our own Southern accents without worry since all Americans sound alike to them.
When the day came for them to go back home we were all very sad as we realized that this would be the last time we would see them for a year. We leave for America in May and won't come back to PNG until January 2015, and as I said before we don't plan on going to Goroka again before that. There were lots of tears all around as we said goodbye and it brought me to the realization that we are getting ready to go through that rough phase of too many goodbyes all over again. While sometimes I physically ache to see my family and friends back home, I will also really miss the friends and new family that we have made here. Our co-workers and the Hewa people especially. In fact, we will only get a couple months with the Kopf family between the time they return from America and we head out. And when we come back, we will only have a couple of months with the Dunn family before they leave. It is the vicious circle.
Sigh. This is the life we lead. It is all part of the strange package that is missionary life, and definitely something that every missionary goes through. But…that doesn't make it any easier. Our hearts are torn between two places and people living all over the globe. It makes us very much look forward to heaven when we can be with all the people we love- all our brothers and sisters in Christ at one time and one place. And we will never be separated again.