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Showing posts from 2021

Gospel Rally

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A week or so ago, we helped host a Gospel rally at the church plant where we are assisting….Makia.  Seeds were scattered onto the heart's soil of many.  Did any take root?  Not that we know of….there were no salvation decisions that were made at the time, to our knowledge…..but the timing and work of the Lord is not measured in the same increments as we, the people, measure it.  Please join us in praying for rain, sunshine, and other needed variables to help the seeds go deep in the hearts and minds of the people and take root.   God  is able!  There is a desperate need as death crouches at the door of many and the darkness is thick. It was a learning experience for us.  It felt 'last minute' in many ways to our American mindset.  Prep and planning are viewed differently here than they are in the States.  We live in the "land of the unexpected" and sometimes?  That is the only explanation that makes sense.  Brian did a lot of driving bringing people to and from an

Water Flows

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One of the many ongoing projects we have been helping with here at GBBC is trying to control the rain water flow.  Not one of those flashy and exciting projects, but one that is greatly needed.  Coming from the Midwest, I can't say I ever really understood the power of water and the damage it can cause.  Now living in a tropical place on a mountain gives me a new definition.  Thankfully there is a dry season to try to accomplish a task like this, however the window of opportunity can close at any time.  They say water is a snake here as it flows where it wants….we are trying to master that snake!   While it may not be the most exciting project, there is much we can learn from it.  Just as in life it is not a matter of if the rain comes, but rather when the rains comes.  Hardship and trials will find each one of us at some season.  Just like the rain water if we aren’t prepared for it, it will wind through every part of our lives and cause havoc.  Eroading our lives, destroying infr

School's in session!

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Today was Gunner’s first day of 1st grade in a classroom.  I think we were all a bit nervous….thankfully his teacher had a meet & greet on Friday for the students and parents.  This helped us all and assured Gunner that it was going to be ok!  He even said today “I never thought school could be so much fun!”  We pray he keeps that attitude as there are many years to come.  Hopefully he gets his mom's  love of school and not his dad’s hatred of it 😉 . He is in a small class of 5 other missionaries kids, and we are excited for the many ways he will grow.  It is also a Big change for Moriah as one of the main pillars of her world will be gone during the day.  It will take some time for her to adjust, but on the first day we had to celebrate by taking her and mom to get haircuts and donuts! Phyllis has also begun teaching a class here at the Bible College.    I think we may have mentioned before but there are two majors at the college: One is Bible (Training Pastors and lay leader

When Loss is Gain

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This weekend, Gunner lost his first tooth!!!  It has been loose for weeks and has caused more than one tearful nighttime routine….Gunner was afraid he would lose his tooth in the night and the tooth fairy wouldn’t understand.  I love that boy!! After Dad pulled it out, Gunner put it in an envelope to put on his dresser…..he anxiously awaited what would become of his envelope the next morning!  He wasn’t disappointed!  Turns out the tooth fairy has residence in PNG too!  While Gunner might have lost a tooth, he gained coins with monetary value in exchange. A good friend of mine once shared with me her take on the verse Job 1:21.  It says,  And he [Job] said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The  Lord  gave, and the  Lord has  taken away;  blessed   be  the name of the  Lord .” This particular friend is an avid fan of nature.  She sees God in the world around her.  She shared that the principle of God giving and taking away reminded her of the ocean and

Preparing

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Our days have been busy with the constant change of needs. They have ranged from continuing to fix broken equipment, find supplies, do schooling for the kids and the many other daily tasks of life. This last week it was necessary to travel to the port city of Lae in order to get some needed supplies. For us, this about a 170-mile trip one way on the Highlands Highway. It is not the typical road we would expect from a national highway as it took us about 6.5-hour drive to get there and an 8-hour drive to get back. I (Brian) went down there with one of the GBBC students and a missionary couple that has joined our team from the Philippines. We spent a couple days shopping for supplies and trying to stay dry in the constant rain that was falling. It was a productive trip overall, but it always makes me thankful to be home!  This week we also started down the road to a very big milestone as Gunner took a placement test this week to begin 1st grade at a local mission school. He was a

Freedom

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While July 4 doesn’t have any significant meaning here in Papua New Guinea, it will always hold memories in our hearts.  As many back in the USA take part in Independence Day celebrations, it is easy to get caught up in the fun fireworks, great barbeques, and awesome times with friends and family….all of those things we miss.  To be honest, we feel a bit bummed as when we were in the USA last year for the 4 th   nothing took place because of the covid situation.  We did get to do a bit of grilling here with our diverse team in PNG…that was enjoyable!  We have been thinking about the many that made the 4 th   a celebration for us…..    Dying for a worthy cause is not a new idea.  In fact, it’s a principle that our country was founded on.  While those in the past have died for the physical freedoms we enjoy, there is a greater freedom to be had.  There is a greater sacrifice that is often overlooked, but it is universal for all mankind regardless of your location.  Jesus Christ, God’s So

Shaped By It

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This past week, we had the privilege of meeting with all the full-time missionaries on our team here in Papua New Guinea. We discussed many different things. Some things were discussed out of necessity. Other things were discussed to confirm unity. Still other things were meant to encourage, edify and help us all keep looking for what our Savior is doing in, through, and around us.  One comment that was made that particularly got my attention was, “Our ministry this past year wasn’t determined by the pandemic—it was shaped by it.” As our team reflected on the complexities that Covid-19 brought on campus, into various churches, around the country, and around the globe, I couldn’t help but marvel at this perspective. We all start out as a lump of clay in the hands of the Potter. It is HIS will, HIS way, in HIS time that we become the vessel HE desires for us and with the purpose that HE intends. Can we argue with that?    Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why d

Coming Back

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We are in our home in Goroka!  The last few days have been filled with unpacking our luggage, rediscovering treasures that we packed when we left PNG, and trying to sort, organize and regroup....doesn’t sound like much, but it has been a good feeling to be able to SEE progress!   Another blessing has been to reconnect with friends and ministry partners on this side of the globe....in person!  Seeing someone through a screen or on the telephone is a good way to communicate, but when you SEE someone across the table and are able to communicate and share a meal together, it brings on a whole new depth of appreciation!!!  Our team welcomed us back with a meal and some super sweet fellowship!  Our hearts were blessed! Today we had the privilege of going to church at Makia...the church plant that we were assisting before we left PNG.  It has grown in big ways while we have been Stateside.  The church is still struggling to obtain the land where we have been meeting, but there is a PNG style

Quarantine acomplishments

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 We have reached the half-way point through our 14 day adventure!  In our time of quarantine, we have had plenty of time to think….as it is one of those rare times when there is not much we can do.  So, a few weeks ago we were able to watch a few individuals from our home church follow Jesus in a believer’s baptism.  As a general practice they give their testimonies first and one individual referenced a poem that can continues to play in my mind.  It goes as follows…… Marriage is hard.   Divorce is hard. Choose your hard. Obesity is hard.   Being fit is hard.   Choose your hard. Being in debt is hard.   Being financially disciplined is hard.   Choose your hard. Communication is hard.   Not communicating is hard.   Choose your hard. Life will never be easy.   It will always be hard. But we can choose our hard.   Pick wisely. We can all probably relate to one of the things if not many that are written in this poem.  It is easy to fall into the trap that says “things will be

Within Borders

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Within Borders We made it within Papua New Guinea borders!!!    To God be the glory!!!    We arrived in Port Moresby, PNG on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021, while those in Minnesota finished out their Wednesday, June 2nd, evening activities.    Crossing that international dateline is such a unique experience.....essentially, we 'lose' a day coming West to PNG and gain a day when we travel East to the United States.    So weird.    Not to mention, a challenge to adjust to! Gunner was up at 3am PNG time the next morning ready to build his pirate lego ship...I tried to get him to sleep, but it was to no avail.    So?    It was a good day for an afternoon nap!    We did some school work in an effort to get back into a groove and retrieve some sense of 'normal.'  One habit that I feel is important to teach is the art of journaling as a way to remember, relive, and reevaluate.    This morning, our journal prompt was, "Today I feel..." and then both kiddos had to fill in t

Countdown to take off

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This month has been one of pursuit, preparation, and perseverance.   We are pursuing God’s purpose for our lives. It has found us in prayer and fervently seeking that God would make His way clear....and though we have faltered, God’s steady hand has held us fast.  We have visas in passports, passports back in our hands, tickets purchased, PNG entrance approvals and we are almost packed.  As we have sought the Lord together, our Good God has confirmed that moving mountains is sometimes more arduous work than it seems at first sight. And ya know? While we have been caught up in ‘moving the mountain’ (aka getting back to PNG), we have discovered that God is less interested in the task at hand and more interested in sifting our hearts.   We have been preparing for the trip back to PNG with greater fervor.  The suitcases are scattered around our living room and dining room in organized chaos.   The digital scale has made its appearance and the weighing and repacking process is underway!  We

The waiting continues......

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It’s been a few days.  It’s taken some time.  And now?  I’m ready to share. We need your prayers.  Our May 3rd leave date is moved to May 31st.  The airline canceled again.  Our paperwork is still in process.  How are we doing?  We are somewhere between hopeful acceptance and undeniable disappointment.  I don’t know what that place is called in and of itself.  Rebooking is an inconvenience....an interruption...a feeling of failure. However?  We are thankful that we are able to rebook at all.  We are choosing  to trust God's timing is perfect EVEN THOUGH It is not ours.  He sees something we don’t.  He knows what is for our best as well as the best for those we desire to serve and serve with. Thanks for your prayers, care and patience with us.  This journey to get back to PNG has been a roller coaster ride FOR SURE!  We are grateful for each of you as we navigate these ups and downs.   How the current roller coaster of our life feels!

Praying one step at a time

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  We hope you have had a Wonderful Christmas and are wishing you a Great New Year!    We are so thankful that you have joined us and are taking the time to read our updates.   Sometimes communication is overwhelming.  There seems to be so much going on in our lives and around us that it is regularly difficult to know what to share, how to share it, and in some way capture the essence of our lives. One of my favorite times of the day is spent journaling....just writing letters to Jesus and trying to bring my thinking under His Lordship.  I have been at such a loss for words this year.  I often have recorded very little as I sit and contemplate what I want to say.  I have struggled because I want to record stories and thoughts that will have lasting impact when quite honestly, sometimes I’m just trying to figure out the next meal of the day.....doesn’t sound too significant, right?  I would agree!  I’m not trying to down play that it’s a very real thought.  However, it can seem very tri