Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Prayer Request

Tomorrow morning Adam will leave on a short trip to Enga to seek God's wisdom and look for a suitable and available piece of land where we can build a house. Having a house in Enga will allow us to spend a lot more time there, working on translation, distribution, scripture use, and building awareness about the translation project. We are sending this brief message to ask that you all join us in prayer for safe travels and for God's clear direction and favor. Pray that the Lord will provide a good place where each member of our family can thrive. We are believing and trusting that God will provide. Your prayers are much appreciated.

Children at Jacob, Bella, and Asher's school praying for our house
while building a model house with blocks

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Transition Blues

I have come to recognize that feeling. It is a mild sadness and depression accompanied by a sense of unease and disorientation. It is the transition blues. I (Adam) go through it every time we go to the village and come back, and I am going through it now after our arrival back in Papua New Guinea. At first it was scary. I would think, "What's wrong with me? Am I ever going to feel any better?" But I have come to recognize that it soon passes, which helps me get through it each time.

Now don't get me wrong. We are happy to be back in Papua New Guinea. Although our bodies aren't used to life here anymore. We're having to adjust to the altitude again. (We live at 5,500 feet.) We have to get used to walking up steep hills again, which, in all honesty, we never fully get used to. And, most of all, we have to get used to the extra work of cooking everything from scratch (and having to wash all the extra dishes that come with cooking everything from scratch). Couple that with having to unpack our entire house, we have been so tired at night, that we don't even mind not having Netflix anymore (which we couldn’t watch anyway since our Internet connection is about as fast as a carrier pigeon).

This transition blues is not fun but lasts for only a short while
But each difficulty of life in PNG has a silver lining, and we cling to those. All of the walking up steep hills is great exercise. Cooking things from scratch is a great excuse for Martha and I to spend more time together, and we enjoy the challenge of trying to make our own mayonnaise, bread, and Greek yogurt. All the extra dishes to wash provides a great opportunity for the kids to learn responsibility and contribute to the family. Not having good Internet is a great reason to spend more quality time together as a family and less time staring at our individual screens. And the transition blues causes us to seek the Lord more fervently for the joy that only He can provide. And when we seek Him with all of our heart, He is so faithful to respond in His great love.

Hebrews Epistle Course
Ten days after we arrived back in Papua New Guinea, the Enga translation team came to Ukarumpa for the Hebrews Epistle course, which is a four-week course lead by an experienced translator to guide us through the translation of Hebrews. We have now completed our first two days of the course. We are so thankful to have guided help in translating this difficult book!

How do you make your own yogurt?
It is easier than you might think. Just mix powdered milk with cold water, sugar, and a little bit of yogurt starter in a container and then let it sit in a larger thermos-like container with boiling hot water for about 12 hours and voilĂ , you have yogurt. For thick Greek-style yogurt, line a colander with a big coffee filter and let the yogurt drain overnight. Not only is it good for you, but it is a great way to keep your digestive system healthy (a very important consideration for long-term living in PNG).

Homemade Greek yogurt!
How are the kids?
The kids were very excited to return to Ukarumpa and see our dog Yana. Since getting back they have been asking for play dates incessantly (although we have encouraged Jacob to start asking instead if he can ‘hangout’ with his friends). Asher, who is our worrier, has been a bit nervous about going to school, particularly as it relates to who will drop him off, pick him up, and how he will get to his classroom when the bell rings. Bella was so excited to get back to Ukarumpa when we were still in America that Martha started to say that Bella thinks Skittles grow on the trees in Ukarumpa. We were worried that she might be disappointed when she got back. But on our first day back, she just kept talking about how much she loves it here, and she has been very happy to be back. Jacob, on the other hand, has mentioned that he misses America, although he is quickly making friends with some of the new boys in his sixth grade class. He has also joined band and is learning the clarinet.

Prayer Request
We are currently scheduled to build our home in Enga in January of 2017. While God has provided the funds for the house and it is halfway put together in Ukarumpa, we still do not have a place to build. Please pray that God would reveal a place for us to build where we can have good relationships with the community and thrive as a family. I (Adam) am planning a short trip to Enga this month to find a location.