Joy To The World

Sunrise, taken next to our house.
In the early hours of the morning, I hear these particular birds 'singing' repeatedly the first four notes of the tune "Joy To The World." It's very clear, always in perfect rhythm, and pretty!
(Ok yes, granted, after the 200th chirp I most definitely listened more intently, and perhaps longingly, for the bird who would "wise up" and sing the next line- "the Lord is come"...)

But I found it interesting, no matter what tune these birds are really singing, that The Lord should give such a friendly reminder of Himself and of His Presence- upon our arrival to PNG! No matter the day, no matter the events of each day, no matter this or that: still, JOY to the world. Why? The Lord is come. Indeed He has come, and indeed He offers us the fullness of His joy in abiding in Him.

With the tragically high attrition rates of global missionaries, we've been strongly exhorted by those who have 'made it' for years and years on the foreign field to draw closely into Christ. Individually. As a couple. And as a family. But it certainly starts with our individual walks with Him. If that falls apart, everything else may fall apart as well. (Because after all, "in Him we live and move and have our being.")

So would you join us in praying that in the midst of acclimating to this new climate and new culture, and in the midst of learning language and preparing for future tribal ministry, that we will each draw closely into Christ? That we will abide in Him, that we will find our joy in Him? (After all, the birds just can't help themselves! Why do I have more trouble than they?)

Praise and Prayer:

Praise: the ant invasion has been successfully squelched! Not only are they now scarce in our home, but Jocie is sleeping in her bed and seems much more at ease.

Thanks to The Lord also that Jocie is beginning to warm up to being here in PNG. She never resisted coming, but she's had a slower and more difficult transition than Naya.

Naya is doing great, praise The Lord! She is bold at meeting new people and asking what something is called in the national language, Tok Pisin. She is learning the language quickly and was complimented by some ladies in a village recently. :)

Pray that The Lord would orchestrate who our language helpers might be for these next 4 months.

Cultural Experiences:

We have enjoyed getting to know quite a few families in a nearby village called Savolon.
The girls with some new friends :)

Last week on an impromptu visit, the girls and I (Lisa) got to help a lady who was making a broom for her porch out of coconut leaf stems. She showed me how, then she helped me try, then I did it myself. Then she and I both showed the girls how ( yes my girls were using knives), and then I supervised as the girls tried doing it themselves.

Also last week, Noe and the other men went out in the morning with some men from the village called Tagog, and they harvested some morota, saksak branches. That afternoon, several of us went into Tagog and helped weave the morota branches into roof "panels" for someone's gathering house.

This week we were invited to cook and eat with a family in the Savolon village. It was a great experience learning to do things their way and with their resources. Together ( ok mostly them, but we ladies helped) we made a wonderful meal- a coconut milk based soup with fish, kau kau ( sweet potato), taro, banana, kumu (greens), carrot, onion, and tomato. They also smoked some of the fish whole and made a pot of rice. All of this was cooked in the "haus-cook" (cooking house) over the fire.

The meal we helped make in the village
We are really enjoying building relationships with the people who live in this area. Pray that we will all be good testimonies of Christ during our time here. We are learning more of the national language every day, mostly through conversation at this point. Next week we will dive into some even more purposeful language learning sessions.

Thank you for your incredible support! We hope to keep you updated regularly, and we want you to be able to somehow embrace this with us. Each one of you, whether you pray or give or encourage: YOU are a part of this team and a part of this task of taking the Gospel to the unreached people groups in the world today!

With love,

Noe, Lisa, Naya and Jocie