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Showing posts from 2018

Trip to Simbai

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This last week I (Brian) had the opportunity to visit a team member and the ministry that takes place in Simbai, PNG.  This place is only accessible by air as all road that have been created have been washed away by landslides.   I was able to start the jouney a day later than planned as we continue to learn we live in the land of the unexpected and flexibility is key. I was able to go with Pastor Jack who is the President of Goroka Baptist Bible College (GBBC).  We wanted to look at the current ministry and assess future ministry needs. The landscape of this country is truly breathtaking!  Even through the thick jungle canopy the signs of smoke coming up from cook fires are everywhere.  I have often heard PNG has the most unreached people groups in the world for the Gospel......I understand much better now that it's not only the 800+ languages but the isolating terrain. This is the view coming into the Simbai airport....just a grass runway. We were able to stay in some mission houses …

Fighting Entitlement

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I wish I could say that this post wasn’t about me.  I would really rather focus on my children as they were what triggered the thought and realization at all.  However, that would be unfair to them and unreal to those of you who will read this.
Tonight at the dinner table, I battled with my children about eating their food.  There was nothing wrong with the food that was placed before them.  They just didn’t WANT it.  Ugh.  Entitlement.  They felt entitled to what they wanted rather than what they were given.  It’s dry season here in Gororka, Papua New Guinea.  There are families all around us and friends we know who don’t have food because it hasn’t rained on their gardens.  Not to mention, they don’t have drinking water because again, it hasn’t rained.  My children don’t realize the privilege it is to have food at all.
Now, me?  My entitlement battle was different.  I felt entitled to grateful children.  After all, my children had a mother and dad who were eating the SAME food.  We…

Gods Promises

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We were reminded afresh this week as we saw a rainbow stretched across our sky.... "I [God] have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” Genesis 9:13-17While there is a group of people who would like to twist the meaning or even the thought of what a rainbow stands for The Bible makes it very clear as to its origin.  This is the truth with so many of God's promises.  The words of God saying "I will never leave you or forsake y…

A Rookie

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A rookie, by definition, is someone in their first season of a professional sport.  Man, do I feel like that sometimes.  The game?  Life.  The team?  Hovey.  The stakes?  High.  The coach?  God, Himself.  The first season there is a lot of fresh, new spark and love of the game, but there is also the steep learning curve that comes with how to manage a familiar sport on a public basis.  To a watching world, the rookie can either make it or break it for the rest of the team.  As I have been reflecting on that and my own sense of feeling like a 'rookie,' I have also been struck with the idea that while I can't 'bring in the win' for my family, I can bring heart, soul, and passion to the ranks.  Success or failure isn't necessarily based upon who 'wins' the game.  REALLY winning can be accomplished in the attitudes of the heart, the integrity of the players, and the overall inspiration to the crowd. For example, in the classic Disney film Cool Runnings that …

Firsts

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Firsts....we all have them.  These past two weeks marked a couple notable 'firsts' in the Hovey household.  To start?  Gunner.  He had his first day of school in PNG!  He is attending a play school here on the Goroka Baptist Bible College campus with PNG national children.  So far, so good!  It was a bit of a rocky start as Gunner had to come home several times to go to the bathroom, but he is doing very well.  He is starting in the middle of the PNG school year, so his first letter he learned was the letter 'M.'  However, he is starting at the beginning of a term, which helps.  He is making friends, learning rules, remedial reading skills as the school is taught in English, and we are pleased.  Today is his first 'sick' day too.....he has a bad cold, so we kept him home.  It was Moriah's first time being an only child for awhile now that Gunner goes to school in the mornings.  She has adjusted well and has become quite a helper!  Her favorite task is washi…

The Ordinary opportunity

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Life here is full of ordinary things that give us opportunities to learn.  For instance, laundry....clothes inevitably get dirty.  However, washing here is more involved than it was back home.  You don't just put the clothes in the machine and then transfer them to the next.  You scrub them in needed spots (which are plentiful with two littles), then you put them in the machine, it soaks up soap and sloshes them around, then you rinse them by hand and spin them with a machine.  Lest you think that's  it, then you hang each piece to line dry and then you wait to fold and put them away before the process is complete.  Whew!  Since we are entering dry season, we have decided to do laundry once a week to conserve water.  However, that makes for a full day of laundry when the time comes!  We know it can be an easier process as our experience in the States has been, but we also know it could be more difficult too.  Many of our neighbors don't have the luxury of a machine to help…

Lessons from Littles

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The greatest.....who is the greatest?  If Jesus were sitting at the table and you and a group of friends were discussing it, who do you think he would say would earn that title?  Maybe someone from the Old Testament? Maybe Moses?  Maybe Elijah?  Perhaps John the Baptist or Peter, his contemporaries?  Or maybe, just supposing it could have been the Apostle Paul?  No.  None of these would do.  They weren't 'qualified' enough.  They didn't minister 'effectively' enough to earn it.  Jesus taught that the greatest in His Kingdom was the least expected.....children.  “and [Jesus] said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 18:3-4 ESV Brian and I read another passage in Luke this past week.  It, too records this account saying,  “An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus,…

Dedicated to Prayer

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One of the things I deeply respect and appreciate in my husband, Brian, is his dedication to prayer.  My children are blessed with a praying father.  Almost every night, he prays with one or both of the kiddos (depending on who is putting whom to bed).  Usually, he puts Gunner to bed while I put Moriah to sleep.  I so often get wrapped up in trying to get her to rest that I forget to pray with her, but I am gently reminded by my husband as I hear him praying with Gunner in the other room.This year for Father's Day, Gunner, Moriah, and I decided to get Brian a prayer box.  Well, it was me, but it is an idea that Brian has talked about before and I thought it was a winner.  We are going to try to keep it on our dining room table and pick a name or two from our box at meal times to pray for those back home.  I so respect and admire Brian's thoughtfulness and intentionality in this area.  The truth is, we can't keep up with all of our precious relationships back at home as we …

Ministry snap shots

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Ministry here can have many faces and look very different from day to day.  We thought we would give some snap shots into our week.  While the places, projects, and people may be different the goal remains the same...to Glorify God!
Moriah demonstrated our feelings quite well, how much can we fit in our week!!  Or in her case how can I fit in this pan.....  We all have the same 24 hours each day and for us it is a constant struggle how to best manage the time.
I (Brian) was able to finish up a project that I have been working on and off on for a couple weeks.  It was an all metal stair case....seems easy enough, except I have never made stairs before.   It was a bit of a challenge to design it and make it work out correctly, but a good learning experience.  It could have been made out of wood, however it would not of lasted long given the climate.  This was made possible by a generous family in one of our supporting churches who gave us their engine driven welder.  A project like this w…

Obedience

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Q: Why didn't Noah fish while he was in the ark?A:  Because he only had two worms! Hahaha!  This joke is found in Gunner's collection that he likes to share.  A good friend of ours shared it with us as we left for PNG.  This past week Gunner's interest in the Bible story of Noah and the flood (Gen. 6-9) has resurfaced.  We typically read from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones before heading to bed each night.  Gunner has requested the story of Noah more days than not this past week.  I will come back to this thought. This past week also brought a new wave of disobedience by our three year old.  While I could give several examples, that is not the point, so I will refrain.  The other night, we decided to put him to bed early as a consequence for deliberate disobedience.  The conversation went like this.... Me (Phyllis)-- Gunner, you are going to bed. Gunner--Why? M--Because you are not listening. G--But Mom, I can't listen. M--Why? G--Because my ears are broken. M--…

Memorial Day.....STILL

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Many people may not know this, but Memorial Day weekend marks the anniversary of my (Phyllis') dad dying unexpectedly 17 years ago.  It's amazing to me that some of the memories are still so fresh and real....almost palpable....and others?  Others have faded with time. It is always sad to realize that the good memories are fading.  However, I am thankful that some of the uncomfortable memories have become gray in color rather than stark black and white.  The vividness of both of those kinds of moments are now lightened with God's grace and time.
I was surprised this year to miss my dad and the fact that my husband and children will never get to meet him.  It caught me off guard, and I was tempted to have a pity party, if I am honest.  In the quiet moments, another thought caught my mind too.....but this one?  It tempted me to put a stake in the ground, a visual, tangible reminder that I can come back to and lay ahold of to recall the lesson I learned.  In the Old Testament,…

Moving In

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One of my (Phyllis') all time favorite songs by FFH is entitled "Lord move, or Move me."  I love how it speaks to the idea of pleading and asking the Lord to move in a certain way, and yet humbly realizing that maybe the Lord doesn't need to move at all......maybe the I do.  It isn't easy either way.  However, I'll admit that generally, my way is the most attractive to me.  I share those words in light of our recent move into a new house.  While the Lord moved me (literally), He was also working behind the scenes and in ways I can't even comprehend to accomplish His purposes for our family.  There is such beauty and hope in realizing that this side of things.For example, ideally we were supposed to have the house finished before arriving on the field.  For many reasons, that was unable to be our reality.  However, there have been a great group of PNG students at the Bible college that have helped Brian and the other guys to complete our home.  What an opp…