Our apologies for not getting this newsletter out sooner, as we have been very busy adjusting to our new life here in PNG.
We are in the middle of our training at the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) and every day is an adventure outside of our comfort zone.
Going for long hikes up and down steep, skinny, and beautiful mountain trails is part of the program to get us in shape and ready for life and work in this country where walking a long way is just part of a normal day.
We've also been improving our swimming skills in the ocean, which is important in a land where crossing rivers on foot or going from one island to another in small boats that have been known to capsize is another part of life here.
Tok Pisin is the main trade language in PNG, and is very important to know in this land of over 800 languages. We have been working hard to learn it and to learn about PNG's history and cultures.
Here we are using the Tok Pisin we've learned to shop for some kaikai (food) at a local market.
On Sunday, we celebrated with a local congregation how the gospel first came to PNG over 100 years ago. Revelation 7:9, "After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands," came to life a bit more as God was worshipped in six different languages, and some of the people were dressed in white and using fans made from palm branches. The pastor spoke of losing your life for Christ and the spread of His gospel, encouraging other Papua New Guineans to be missionaries. Amazing to see the Holy Spirit at work!
Another vital part of our training here is spending time getting to know a local Nobnob was famili (host family). They are the most humble, hospitable and generous family! We have been enjoying meals, playing cards, "tok stori" (sharing about our lives) and reading the Tok Pisin Bible together. We also stayed the night at their home last week, and will do so again this week. What absolutely precious experiences we've had sharing our different lives together.
Soon our family will move to another part of the province to live for 4 weeks in a village. There we will put all of our training to the test as we are completely immersed in village life, communicating only in Tok Pisin. After that intense month, we hope to be ready to move into our assignment in Ukarumpa.
Lukim yupela bihain (See you all later), na God i blesim yupela (and God bless you all), Steve, Mindy, Karah, David, & Jonathan Clover