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 washing dishes. She tries to rinse them, but she has more fun just playing in the water....
Brian was given his first opportunity to preach this past Sunday too!  He taught on faith and although it was a mix of Tok Pisin (the local trade language) and English, he did a great job of sharing from his heart, but more importantly, God's Word.  He used an AMAZING illustration to show how Christ takes care of our sin problem when we have faith in Him.  In the picture, you can see him using some glass jars filled with fluid to illustrate his point.   There was one jar with clear fluid labeled "You and Me."  There was another jar with clear fluid labeled "Christ."  Finally, there was a dark fluid jar labeled, "Sin."  Brian talked through how sin in our lives causes us to turn dark too, and then he poured the dark liquid (sin) into the clear liquid (you and me). Then Brian shared about the best part of the story....Christ is the solution to our sin.  When he poured the clear liquid (Christ) into the now dark liquid of you and me with sin inside the liquid miraculously became clear again!!!  It was a blessing to many and seeds were planted in hearts so please join us in praying that God gives them growth!
I, too, (Phyllis) have had many firsts this past week.  I have been a mixture of joy and struggle as we have transitioned Gunner to going to school.  It has broken me out of my bubble a bit too to have him attend a school where he is a minority.  It has brought back memories afresh of my first missions experience overseas at an orphan home school in which I was the only Caucasian.  How thankful I am for that experience to draw upon to pray for my son!  I pray he feels he is different, BUT I am also praying he uses those differences for God's glory and to lead and be an example.  I am praying his eyes are opened to the reality that EVEN WHEN there are differences, there is still ONE Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who can unify us all!!!  Big prayers for one so small, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's not too early or too much for him to handle.  "The task before us is never as great as the Power behind us..." -Unknown 
Pray we use our 'firsts' to grow and stretch us and help us become the next step closer to Christ's likeness that we can be!

Mom and Gunner on his first day of school.
Dad and Gunner on his first day.
Moriah was guarding the door as her brother wasn't going anywhere without her.
Brian preaching at Praise Baptist Church
Water demonstration of the effects of sin and Christ power.

Family picture with our "bilums" or net bags.....the normal way everything is carried here.


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