A day in the life of the Hoveys....

We have gotten this question from several people....what does a normal day look like for you guys?  Well, as much as we would love to share about a 'routine' day, there is one factor that throws the whole equation off....PNG is known as "The Land of the Unexpected."  So, while we can share some routine things that take place, there is really SO much of our days that require flexibility.
This last week, we were supposed to start our language studies on Tuesday, and we did start studying....but it wasn't until Friday we met with our tutors.  We just have to chuckle and go with the flow!  We are SO thankful to have started our studies as language is something we have been lacking.  We have a LOT to learn though, and we would ask for your prayers in this matter!  We started off with some basics such as pronunciation.  While the language here uses an alphabet similar to English, the vowels all have different sounds!  It will take us a bit to get used to that!
Our days typically start around 5:30am unless the kids decide to get up earlier.  By 6:00 Brian is meeting with many of the leading men of the college for prayer (3 days a week).  After that we do our family devotions and by 8:00 the classes on the campus are started ,and Brian is off to work on the house or off to buy parts or numerous other things as they continually come up.  For me (Phyllis), there is never a shortage of things for me to do at home or with the kids.  For example washing vegetables and preparing food.  What seems like a quick process in the States can be more time consuming here because extra precaution is taken to make sure the food is prepared without getting extra protein (aka bugs) and many other unwanted bacteria that are on the food.  We have to clean all the veggies and fruit that isn't peel-able with a diluted bleach water solution and then re-wash it all with purified water that we are able to drink.  Finally, we lay it out to dry, but we can't leave it dry TOO long because if we do we will have an ant infestation!  
With small children, there is also playtime, nap time , snack time, more playtime, story time, song time, and so on.  We are learning how to do those activities in different orders and with great flexibility, but we enjoy our time.  Gunner loves catching geckos and spiders with anyone who will help him.  We have started quite a collection, much to this mother's dismay.  I am thankful that Gunner is finding joy in the little things, but I much prefer his fascination with rocks and dirt than his love of spiders and creepy, crawly things.  Moriah is walking better these days, but she still is a little wobbly.  She entertains the Nationals with her attempts to speak the language.  She has two words down well....."morning" (moning)...and "afternoon" (apinun).  Everyone loves her effort!  Gunner also asks everyone he comes across lots of questions.  The people find this fascinating that this little boy is so inquisitive.  He has learned many names of students and staff.....probably better than mom and dad.  He loves finding mud puddles to walk through and rock piles to climb. 
Life in many ways here seems to go at a slower pace, however rarely does a day go by that we do not hear of a heart breaking circumstance and are reminded of the great need of our God's intervention in our daily lives.  Security has also been a greater issue as of late as we have had several intruders break through the fence in the night and have heard of plans for more.  To God be the glory nothing has been taken or anyone hurt.  However we remind ourselves often of God's protection and we greatly covet your prayers!  
While we have no stories yet of souls saved or lives we are discipling from the people here, we have been struck in our family devotions how God uses the 'ordinary' to shape character and grow us.  We have been reading from the book of Acts and of the early days of disciple making and missionary journeys.  What is fascinating is how much time is spent waiting (such as when Paul is in prison) or how God directs through 'green lights' AND 'red lights.'  We see God working in our 'waitings' too and through our daily starts and stops.  We see Him shaping our character and growing us, and we have been struck with the conviction that the GREATEST work we can accomplish is not outward at all, it is inward.....to know God, to love Him and submit to His work in OUR lives first....THAT is what God is teaching us in the 'ordinary!'  May we remain faithful in our obedience to Him so that He can continue to work on us and hone us into His likeness!  To God be the glory!
Gunner making a new friend while digging for bugs in the dirt!
Moriah prefers the grass....not really but we prefer her in grass over following her brother!
Gunner showing his sister one of his geckos.
On our way to church!