Showing posts from 2018

Character at Christmas Time

To read our Christmas Letter please click HERE!

There are some experiences that leave a permanent mark.....we call them 'scars,' but I like to think of them as more like 'character.' (Borrowing that thought from Sara Groves' song "Less Like Scars."). We've had those this week in the Hovey household.  Gunner is the first in this Hovey family to have 'accidental' stitches.....he cut himself with a knife.  Now, before you think machete or bush knife because we live in Papua New Guinea, let me just say that it was a butter knife.  Just a common, kitchen utensil but it carries potential to cut too.  Gunner had been outside working in his garden and came inside with a flower bud.  Without permission and while I was occupied answering the door, he went into the kitchen to get a knife and cut open the bud so as to do some exploring as to what was inside this 'big seed' as he called it.  Well, he came to me (Phyllis) screaming for a bandaid and …

Navigating Change

Recently, Gunner and Moriah have discovered the joy of 'change'....They love coins in their hands, coins in their pockets, and coins hidden away in safe little hiding places.  😁 While it has been a bit trying for me to entrust these valuables to our children (because I’m afraid of choking hazards), it has also been eye opening.  Coins hold such riches (literally and figuratively)!  They can make music in your pocket.....if there are enough of them.  They can spin on one side for a long period of time and provide entertainment while they spin!  They can be stacked and played with until they fall over and even then?  It’s fun to start all over again.  They can be counted with number value or face value and be great tools to teach too.  The possibilities are endless!  
As I was thinking on discovering the joy of change, I was struck with the fact that it is a discovery in our adult lives too.  Change can be tough.  Change can mean moving to a place of betterment orr detriment.  C…

The Angels in Heaven Rejoice!!

It's not EVERY day that I sit and think about the Angels rejoicing, but last week? I am certain they were!  Why, you may wonder?  Well, let me tell you....Gunner gave his life and heart to Jesus!  Now, let me also share that he has been asking questions for weeks about what happens after we die.  He has also been asking me to read him the story about Jesus frequently in his children's Bible and when we finish?  He has asked me to read it to him again....and again!  It's been fun as well as challenging to answer his questions and gain fresh, new perspective about heavenly things.  He made the decision last week Monday on his own accord, and although I'm a little slow at sharing, it doesn't mean that there was any less rejoicing!  The Bible says plainly, "Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).  We, too, rejoiced and gave GOD the glory!  Gunner was so excited he was telling everyone.  We had a fr…

Everyday decisions

Well the last couple weeks have been exceptionally busy as we had a pastor's conference, GBBC graduation, GBBC board meeting, Thanksgiving.....(for us Americans), and lots of other things that have filled every moment.  The last week has been the piecing of things back together after the craziness and refocusing on what needs to be done.  It is an interesting challenge to pick and choose what “needs to be done”.  Our lives, much like many of yours, are filled with constant demands, people in crisis, things breaking, limited resources, and very little going as planned.  So how do we pick what is the Most important to do each day?....that is the question I (Brian) have been struggling with.  The thinking was spurred by a quote I read a few weeks back that said... “If Satan can’t make you bad, he will make you busy”.  As I have thought about this quote it is interesting how true it actually is.  I could easily fill every waking moment of every day with stuff to do...but is the stuff …

What are we Building?

I have had to ask myself this question more than once this week.  What ARE we building?  So many things....but? The number one aim is that God gets the Glory in whatEVER we build.
This week there has been construction at our house of a blacksmithing shop.  It isn't finished, but it's well on its way thanks to many helping hands!!!  While from the outside it seems that we are just building a structure, there is SO much more going on behind the scenes!  This is Brian's classroom to teach and equip nationals with skills that, Lord willing, will serve them for a lifetime.  He is building into the lives and hearts of the men that are taking the Word of God to remote places in PNG.   Not only that, but do you see that little guy in the red and black hat that is in the midst of the construction?  That's our son, Gunner.  While Brian is working with these students on a construction project, he is also imparting to our son value and work ethic!  That's something that isn'…

A Rough Road

As of this last month I (Brian) have traveled a couple different times to the coast.  There is only one road that goes to the coast and all of the supplies travel this road.  It is called a highway.....but I would label it more as a minimum maintenance road.  It is only about 180 miles but takes at least 6 hours to travel.  It will either grow your prayer life or make you sick to your stomach with all the dodging potholes (some you don’t drive away from) and twist and turns.  My favorite part were the road signs...they are few but some will say (one lane closed) but as you get close you see one lane is not closed it’s got washed down the mountain.  There are maybe 6 or 7 bridges that are all one lane and every one is compromised in some fashion.  This road is a very difficult drive and adding to that, since it is the only road to the coast, there is a high probability of robbery and other criminal activity that takes place.  To God be the glory I didn’t have any trouble but…

Childhood Dreams Revisited

This last month Brian had a week of night meetings and traveled to the coast for a week to get supplies so I (Phyllis) have had more time in the evenings.  I watched a DVD series by Laura Story entitled, "When God Doesn't Fix It."  One night the questions leading up to the session were,"When you were a child, what did you think you would "be" when you grew up?  How has God led you toward or away from that childhood sense of what your future would hold?"It didn't take me long to respond to question #1--I dreamed of being a writer or a musician.  Question #2 took more time to reflect and ponder.  After responding to the first question so quickly, there was a little time to grieve what I thought my life would look like.  However, our God is SO faithful.  God has led both towards AND away from these childhood dreams....they are in my life, but they are packaged differently than I thought they would come....gloriously different!  Writing this blog is s…

Ebb and Flow

Growth in a child is something to not only be praised, but remembered.  I share this out of my own shortcomings and the conviction of things that really matter.  I have had many trying moments with my children lately.  Sometimes during the day, some at bedtime, some in the night, and that's how our story has been going lately.  Now in spite of my trying moments, I have also had moments of great fun with my children.  We have laughed, cuddled, played and worked together in deep, rich ways that are rewarding.   I think there is constant ebb and flow in the life of 'family.'  The tide comes in and the moment is full of fun, laughter and lots of splashing....unless of course you had just built the most amazing sandcastle and the tide just ruined your masterpiece...and then?  The tide goes out and there are two perspectives there too.  We can be crushed by the water going down or we can rejoice in the treasures we can now discover along the shoreline.   This week in the Hovey hou…

Lasting impact

The past two weeks have been very busy in the Hovey household.We have had visitors (YAY!) and others who have come for various reasons this past month. It has been delightful to welcome fellow servants in the Lord here!Our routines changed slightly though and so we weren't able to blog last week.A HUGE thanks to those of you have been praying for us extra in spite of our lack of communication.It has been a BIG week here in PNG!There was the First of its kind Bena men's meeting (bung) that saw 33 men give their lives to GOD be the glory!!!This may not seem like much to some of you, but let me tell you it is a true miracle.These men are warriors at heart and even their own government considers them hard headed and problematic people.Will you join us in praying that they will continue to grow in their walks with Jesus and transform their families and ultimately the Bena region of PNG with the light of the Gospel??We are believing and praying that God will continue t…


Sometimes test time comes and there is success.  Sometimes test time comes and there is failure.  This past week found me feeling both success and failure in the same evaluation.   We had our first language evaluation after being in class for a little under eight weeks.  There has been a lot of growth and progress.  However, there are still those areas that need to be improved.  
I (Phyllis) felt pretty good going into the test.  I have grown in confidence and have been out among people more.  However, I still have a long ways to go!  Honestly?  I broke down crying in the middle of the whole thing and couldn't seem to recover.  Failure.  That's all I could hear in my mind.  We've been here for how long and I'm still no where near proficient?  I told myself all sorts of things like, "I'm never going to get this....this is supposed to be an 'easy' language....I've never been a bad student, so why is this so hard?....."  As you can see, not produc…

The reality of Ministry

I (Brian) have been thinking about how much stuff is covered under the blanket of "Ministry". It is really hard to comprehend if you have not experienced it first hand.  In my mind it is a bit like running in a marathon or a big sports event.  Generally people only get to see the end result.  They don't get to see the training that takes place everyday, the sacrifices that are given up in order to accomplish the goal.  I am not a runner....unless someone is chasing me of course, but I can only imagine the hundreds of miles someone puts on in their preparation for a marathon.  I am sure there are days they don't want to get out of bed to run or have aches and pains, but they press forward because they keep the focus in mind...the end result.  
When people think of missionaries is generally about preaching, winning souls for Christ, starting churches, and so on...however those are all end result things and we seldom think about all the "training" that is done …

Hero for the Day

To define a 'hero' is a matter of perspective.  There is usually criteria that needs to be met to obtain the title.  In the Hovey home, Gunner was our hero of the day.  Why? Let me explain.... Today we had team meetings in the morning at another missionary family's home.  Gunner and Moriah were to stay at home with a friend and national partner that they are quite comfortable with.  Meetings started at 8:30 this morning, and we stopped for a break around 10:00 am.  Not too far into our break we were all surprised to hear little footsteps running up to the house and a little hand knock on the door.  It was Gunner!  He had run through the morning drizzle and was clearly out of breath.  "Mom!" He exclaimed, "Ms. D. is locked in the bathroom and you need to come quick to let her out!"  I put down my snack foods and ran after him back to the house (which thankfully was next door).   Moriah was getting shoes on and preparing to follow Gunner outside, and sure e…