Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Construction is Underway!

After three years of planning, praying, and waiting, construction of our village house in Enga is finally underway! As you read this update, I (Adam) am in the village of Immi in Enga Province, along with a small construction crew, where we are building our house in the middle of the sweet potato garden in the picture below.

The site where we are building our house in Immi village
Because much of the construction was completed ahead of time in Ukarumpa, the main construction phase of the house should only take three or four weeks. During that time the construction crew and I are staying in homes with the local villagers, who are kind enough to host us and cook for us. Martha and the kids are staying back in Uka-rumpa because there is nowhere for them to stay as we work.

Because we will be living in a place without electricity or running water, our house will include a large water tank that stores rain water collected from the roof as well as a solar panel system to provide basic energy needs such as lighting, refrigeration, and a washing machine. That means that we are dependent upon getting lots of sun and lots of rain. Fortunately, Enga has both. When it is sunny, it is very sunny. And when it rains, it rains hard. It’s funny—when you depend directly on the rain for your water supply, it gives you a whole new attitude towards rainy days!

Our house site is situated right along the Highlands Highway. (You can see a small portion of the highway all the way to the right in the picture above.) This makes it very convenient as it is about a fifteen minute drive to Wabag town, which is where the Enga Bible translation team works. Yet it still very much has the feel of a remote village with beautiful mountains and streams.

Please pray for us during this time as I will be separated from Martha and the kids. Pray that the construction process will go well without any major problems, hindrances, or unexpected delays. Please pray especially that everything will be completed within the time allotted.

The truck loaded up to transport our house materials to Enga
Why Immi?
Many Engans wonder why we would choose to build our house in the village of Immi among the Dyuapini tribe. The Dyuapini tribe has a reputation for being the center of tribal fighting in Enga. And it is true that they have a long history of fighting reaching back to 1972. However, they recently paid compensation to their (former) enemies, and the new generation that has arisen is trying to turn over a new leaf. When some Engans express concern that we are building in Immi, this is what I tell them:

“When we were in America, many people were concerned about us coming to Papua New Guinea because it is not a safe place. Once we arrived in Papua New Guinea, we began thinking about working in the Highlands, but many people told us that the Highlands was not a good place. Then, when we decided to work in Enga, many people told us that Enga was the worst place in the Highlands. Now, you are telling us that Immi is a bad place, and we shouldn’t live there. But if I had followed that sort of thinking, we never would have come to Papua New Guinea in the first place. Besides, if missionaries are not willing to go to the more difficult places with the good news of the Kingdom of God, then who will be?”

The fact is that it is precisely places like Immi that are most in need of a witness to the good news that “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Equally important is the fact that Martha and I both feel that Immi is exactly where God wants us to be. We know we have no guarantees (Martha’s heart attack in 2010 showed us that we don’t have any guarantees in America either), but we trust that the Lord is leading and guiding us, and we pray that our presence will somehow be a part of God’s work to transform Immi from a past of violence to a future of peace in the name of Jesus Christ.

Signing the agreement to build our house in Immi
Special Thanks!
When we first asked for prayer about the decision to build a house in Enga, one couple, without any prompting from us, donated $40,000 for our house. At the time we did not know them very well, and we were amazed that they were willing to invest so generously in our ministry in such a meaningful way. We would like to thank them again for their loving encouragement and support. Without their investment, I don’t know how we would be able to build our house and spend time in Enga working on the translation and ministering to the people.

To view a video related to our house building and recent translation activity, please click here.