Wow. It has been exactly six months since I last wrote...on my birthday.
You are probably due for an update.
1. Last I wrote, we were in Madang, and I was complaining about snorkeling. I actually did learn not to completely despise it, and actually relax occasionally while floating in the water. If I went back, I probably would have to start over, though.
2. God put us exactly in the right place up in the mountains -- because I am NOT meant for the heat.
4. A few days before Reformation Day, Jeff started saying "I think they are going to ask me to preach." Since before we arrived, he was nervous about the first sermon in Pidgin, and had been hoping to have a few months. The next day, Jeff was sitting in the living room with the principal, and the conversation seemed to be dancing around something. Jeff then said "Do you want me to preach?" "Yes!" John responded. A few minutes later in the kitchen, Jeff pumped his fist and said "It's ABOUT time. I SO need to be back in the pulpit." It was a wonderful sermon.
5. Culture shock is brutal. The first few months were ecstatic. Christmas was harsh. Packages that were supposed to come didn't come, we had been away from home for all of Advent, and when we went to church at home again, we expected something different than what was. The same ten songs that we ALWAYS sang at church. Nothing was different. Christmas was not different. It kind of threw us into a bigger spin than we expected, especially since I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays anyway.
6. Depression and anger are very normal in that phase...but it doesn't mean that experiencing it is any less shocking to experience.
7. People are awesome. People can be hell, too, and sometimes it's the ones who you anticipate should be awesome that are hell, and vice versa.
8. Satan attacks where you are most vulnerable, and God still can turn that for good.
9. The work of the Lord does go forward, despite the devil, the world, and our sinful selves, thankfully...mercifully
Probably our biggest update is that part of our challenge has been my health. I have had some incidents over the last few years that we believed were isolated and unexplainable, but have come together to form a bigger picture. I walked into a clinic in Goroka while we were traveling, just expecting to get another round of antibiotics for yet another UTI and he looked at the "acne patch" I have had on my face for several years and started asking questions about lupus. I have other symptoms that point in that direction, and so I currently am in Los Angeles, seeking medical treatment. Jeff and Chris are still in PNG, and I look forward to figuring this out and returning back home.
But with internet and the United States comes blogging. There is so much to write.
So part of my Lenten discipline is to blog, either here or at our mission blog: Gutpela Sindaun: