Friday, January 10, 2014

... and back again

About 20 hours ago we arrived at our new home in Papua New Guinea.  Though it seems this journey stalled frustratingly along the way, I look back at the past season of preparation and see God's hand at work in it.

After spending Christmas at home with my parents, we began our earnest preparations for moving to Kudjip.  Packing and repacking, confirming baggage allowances, buying or replacing items to take with us and, most difficult, saying goodbye to our familiar haunts as well as our loving family and friends.

 12 pieces - which all eventually made it into our new home

 Our send-off at my parent's home before leaving

Esther and I have both felt somewhat overwhelmed these past couple weeks.  I remember approaching our wedding and feeling that we lost track of the marriage ahead of us in the logistics and details of the wedding plans.  Our move to PNG feels that way to me.  While we've been in various stage of preparing for this the better part of 8 years, I feel that getting luggage sorted, paperwork in order, tickets purchased, etc has affected the amount of time I would have wanted to prepare my heart.  Esther said it more poetically - "The burden of the urgent crowds out the important"

Now that the journey is behind us, the real adventure begins, and I covet prayers that I would approach this time with a focus on what God wants for me, my family and our work and ministry here.

On our arrival, the kids quickly bonded with several other children on the station.  We got a very warm welcome, with banners, flowers, visits, groceries in our home and a wonderful meal with Bill and Marsha McCoy. 

Anna spent a good chunk of the morning with Reegan, another 4 year old girl here.  They pulled fruit from the trees and then snuck under her bed to eat chocolate Maltesers. 

 Anna and Reegan pulling down lemons.  Fresh bananas hanging on our back porch.

They have both adapted well, but Anna woke up from her nap yesterday to say that she wanted to go "home."  I'm sure I should have taught her that his is our home now, but we were both so tired that I just curled up into her bed alongside her until she fell back to sleep, and has since been enjoying the time.

 Our living room.  About 500 pounds of luggage are just outside the frame of this picture.

Today we leave for a mission station about 45 minutes away from Kudjip to begin an immersion experience for language / culture acquisition.  We feel at peace about this now after some initial reservations given Esther's pregnancy and Levi's recent illnesses, but things have worked out that we can study our language in safe setting.  We will be gone for six days and then return to our house to finish settling in while I orient at the hospital and we set up bank accounts and get driver's licenses.

Pray that our family transitions well and that we can teach the kids the importance of following God's call even if it means we are far from "home"

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