This is the first entry in a series of short posts we will be providing on our journey through Papau New Guinea (PNG) and back.
This was taken in the Cairns International Airport. Here we are preparing to board that little bitty plane you can see in the background. We were being hurried along by a stewardess to board the plane so we didn't linger. I just love this candid, quick snapshot of our family. We all look happy and ready for adventure. About two hours later we were standing in Port Moresby International Airport in PNG and being told our next plane was too heavy to take off and we were not being allowed to board it. The rest of our team including our leaders had already boarded the little plane to Kerema. So we stood at the counter being informed that we would be given "priority for a flight tomorrow." That left us wondering what to do about being left behind. We would be stranded in a strange town all by ourselves while our team left. However, we were not alone and the peace of God was upon us. In the end, some of our fearless YWAM leaders and other team members switched seats with us and we left for Kerema more or less as planned if not a bit tested!
This is PNG by air. Notice the amazing reefs! We flew pretty low over the ground for the hour long flight so we were able to check out the amazing coast line on the southern end of the PNG mainland. (If you look at a map of PNG, follow the coast west from Port Moresby and you will enter the Gulf Providence and find Kerema where we were about to stay for the next 6 weeks.) Truly PNG is a place of rare natural beauty; a beautiful land cared for by beautiful people, blessed by God to be a blessing.
When we arrived we had a nearly 30 minute walk in really excruciating heat and humidity uphill to this church where we received some much needed, refreshing snacks! What an amazing welcome to this town. This open air church building is the place where all of our conferences took place and I (Steve) preached my first sermon in PNG. We had many good times getting to know our new Papuan friends here and have amazing memories of all that God did in the lives of many in this place, including us. I like this photo as it makes this little church in PNG look like paradise. Now if only we could turn down the thermostat.
Here I am preaching on our first Sunday in PNG. What's sort of remarkable about this shot is that it is not posed. It looks posed making me wonder why I'm grinning so goofily. Nevertheless, I preached on Psalm 67. Thankfully, the congregation's response was very enthusiastic, which encouraged me to be able to preach and/or share testimonies in church many more times in PNG.
Allyson gets in on the action by sharing a powerful exhortation from the same pulpit. Allyson exploded in women's ministry awesomeness in PNG, encouraging many women throughout the town in well prepared talks and memorable dramas. I am incredibly proud of her and even more so after seeing her walking in her God-given gifts in PNG! I kept saying to her "If only your parents where here to see you do all this amazing ministry!"
Next to the church was our new home-away-from-home and here it is! Sam and Allyson did an amazing job hanging our four mosquito nets up using only one very long piece of string in a feat of impressive mozzie net engineering. The second window from the right was our room. At night I could stand underneath our room and pray for our kids, while warding off frogs, chickens, dogs and mosquitoes.
His and hers deluxe toilets! These are called "long drops" because it's basically a wood box over a hole that is a long drop to the bottom. It's always a good idea to take a flashlight to the long drop, especially at night, in order to identify the large spiders that sometimes decided to pay a visit. It's also handy to bring a dry roll of toilet paper.
This is a shot out the back window of our house to reveal the neighborhood. I like this one because of the fun composition (which makes me feel artistic) and reminds me that we were not in Kansas, or even Massachusetts, anymore. We were very blessed by God and all of you to have the privilege of visiting this truly beautiful land.(To see more photos like this visit us on Facebook.)