Blessings and Work

 We had a wonderful gift of having some visitors from home for a couple weeks!  It was jam packed with all kinds of activities and adventures.  We were able to start the time off with a milestone event at Goroka Baptist Bible College.  We had a 50-year anniversary to celebrate the faithfulness of God in this small part of the world.  We were then able to go right into the 41st graduation and celebrate with those who are being launched into the ministries God has called them to.  Nolan, Bre, Doug, & Pastor Gene They were able to see some of our landscape..... They were able to experience some culture.... They had "epic adventures" with games, movie, pizza, beef jerky, popcorn with chocolate and fun that our children will not forget !! One of the big goals of the team was to start work on our new clinic project.  While the building materials are still in process and things are not ready yet for the main structure, they were able to start another part, the septic system.   W

The God We Serve

There are some times when God’s grace feels like deliverance.   There are other times when God’s grace is simply sustenance.   Still other times, God’s grace is mysterious and cannot be identified.   Still, it can be trusted.   This week alone, we have seen God’s grace show up in these ways, and doubtless, there are myriads of other ways that God’s grace comes to us in our lives.   Deliverance.   God delivered us from needing to evacuate.   Gunner came home and got sick last week on Thursday.   He had vomited a time or two that evening and complained of belly pain, but I didn’t think too much of it.   Friday came and he seemed to be doing alright so we thought it may have been something he ate.   The evening came and the puking started again through the night.   Saturday morning he watched cartoons like normal and laid low until he started throwing up again in the afternoon.   By Sunday, he still wasn’t eating much and drinking little as he would throw it up right away and things be

Reflections on Blindness

  I want to have a candid conversation for just a minute.   As I’m getting older, I am faced with the hard reality that my time is growing short.   Of course, I have no idea if I shall live to be 45, 72 or perhaps into my 80’s…my days are numbered and ordered by My Savior.   I don’t KNOW how much time I have.   And, in the face of that?   I want to use my time wisely!   So?   Let’s cut to the point…. On my morning commute to school with kiddos a couple of weeks ago, one of my passengers commented that there was a broken playground slide ahead in an area beside the highway. “A broken children's playground slide?” I questioned, “What’s broken on it?”   As we sped by it, I was tempted to stop.   I couldn’t believe my eyes.   It was a straight sloped slide with the bottom half of the slide missing…yes…MISSING!!!   I was speechless.   I haven’t even shared the worst of it.   Slides are a hard thing to come by in PNG.   Local parks and/or trails are practically nonexistent here

In the Face of Adversity

  There is great debate around the globe as to if children are inherently good or inherently bad.   Contrary to popular suspicions, I would side with the latter.   The Bible says clearly in Romans 3:23 that “…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”   There is no room there for a maybe.   We ALL fall short and that means our kiddos do too. Though, children can learn through adversity and struggle…it does NOT need to be crippling….the question I am wrestling through at the moment is how am I responding to adversity and thus modeling it for my children?   I’ve faced some unique challenges as of late, and I must confess, I haven’t always dealt with them appropriately or how I wish I would’ve when I have looked back at them.   God has granted grace and mercy along the road, but writing in general about the principles I’m learning helps me to feel like I’m doing something about it, and solidifying the lessons so as not to need to repeat them again. In 2 Samuel 4, there is

Need a Laugh?

While teaching kindergarten can get a bad rap for being a job with 'needy' littles, I find it enjoyable!  Kids truly say and do funny things quite a lot.  Here are a couple examples from this year thus far…. 🦩 We were decorating our memory verse for the week, and I was encouraging the class to draw a picture of something that they like in creation because our verse was Genesis 1:31.  It says, "God saw all that He had made and it was very good."  One of my little gals raised her hand and asked me how I would draw a flamingo. "Well?" I began, "I think I’d probably use pink, and it would be on one leg."  She quickly grabbed her pink crayon and stood up behind her desk.  I nearly busted out laughing when I saw her raise one leg to produce her artwork of a flamingo!    I guess my communication hadn’t been quite clear…. 🍌 🧁 Another time, while I was teaching PE class, I was taking attendance and noticed that there were two boys who had the same first

SO Grateful

Brian and I have been involved in missions now together for over a decade.  We landed in Santiago, Chile, South America in July of 2013.  I was to teach Kindergarten that year at the ABWE Christian School, Santiago Christian Academy.  Brian was to do maintenance and handyman stuff on campus.   Chile came up in conversation this week.  I asked Brian if he remembered when it was that we started our weekly “marriage time” with affirmations.  While we differed slightly in time frame in our memories, we agreed together that it was a stake in the ground in our marriage that we have come back to time and time again.  Words of appreciation matter.  Spoken words of gratitude acknowledge being seen and known.  Words of thankfulness are a Biblical command.  “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thes.  5:18 ). I used to read that verse with an arrogant and haughty response.  “What?” I would counter the Lord, “How can I give thanks if I don’t FEEL

Not bad. Not better. Different.

By God’s grace and mercy, we have been in Minnesota since Thursday morning!  Yesterday, we had the privilege of fellowshipping with our sending church family.  We also got to rub shoulders with family as our niece, Makenna, had her graduation open house.  I have SO many thoughts and they are SUCH a garbled mess!  Transitional stress has hit me this trip in an intense way that I don’t recall experiencing quite like this before. What do I mean?   In Papua New Guinea our church doesn’t have power or a means to amplify volume during singing time.   We sing with just our voices from a song book of Pidgin hymns.   When worship started at church yesterday, one of my children leaned over and asked, “Why is there so much NOISE?   Why aren’t they just singing?”   Our church here in the USA has a band and a song leader and a worship team.   With all the instruments and amplification, my kiddo was on auditory overload.   It wasn’t bad.   It wasn’t better.   It was different . At the dinner tab