We have also received permission to complete our two-week quarantine at our own home in Ukarumpa. This is a much better option for us than having to quarantine at an expensive hotel in the capital city in Port Moresby. We are thankful for Josh and Becky Harber, friends of ours in Ukarumpa, who will prepare our house for us and make sure that we have all of the groceries and other essentials that we need during our two-week long quarantine at home.
During our extended furlough, we have continued to make great progress on the translation. We have now finished consultant checking the books of 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, and Galatians. That means that 78% of the Enga New Testament has now been checked by a consultant. Not only that, but we have consultants lined up for nearly all of the remaining books. Lord willing, we should finish the checking process within the next twelve months. After that we just need to make an audio recording of the New Testament and then prepare it for printing.
Learning to Surf
Over the past month we have had the opportunity to do a bit of traveling, visiting churches and friends in various locations. On September 17, we drove down to San Diego, where I recorded a short message for Pacific Life Church. During our trip to San Diego we saw many of the people who had come to visit us on short-term missions trips back in 2017, including two men named James and Derrick who had become something like “instant uncles” for our kids. Back in 2017, they told the kids that they would teach them how to surf when we came home on furlough. COVID nearly squashed that dream, but James and Derrick held true to their word and did indeed teach the kids how to surf. Each of the kids was even able to stand up on the surf board. In a time when there have been so many disappointments, it was nice to experience a kept promise and a fulfilled dream. Even as I think about it, my eyes well up with tears knowing just how many disappointments our kids have had, not only over the past six months, but over the course of their entire lives. Being a missionary kid is not an easy life as there are constant goodbyes and disappointments. Back in 2017, as James and Derrick were heading home at the end of their missions trip, Bella wrote Derrick a letter in which she said she couldn’t wait to visit San Diego on furlough and learn how to surf. Little did we know that Derrick had saved that letter and scanned it to his phone. He then read it back to Bella when we saw him again. It was very meaningful to us that he had kept the letter and remembered what Bella had written to him. Thank you, Derrick and James, for keeping your promise! (By the way, if you want to see a 48 second video of surfing highlights, go to tinyurl.com/y356cyol.)
|Bella learning how to surf|