We recently welcomed new missionaries to our family. After 9 months of paper work and more paper work, the Kerrs finally received their long awaited permits for living and working in PNG. David will serve primarily at Melanesia Nazarene Bible College and the adjoining teachers college, just down the road from Kudjip. Rosie is a family practice doctor. She will be full time mom, and will also work part time at the hospital. The have two beautiful daughters: Grace is 6 years old and Anna is 4.
In the normal way that things work around here, new missionary arrivals are almost immediately whisked away to a "bush experience" as part of orientation. Because single women cannot just go to the bush alone, that part of my orientation was put on hold... until now. I was able to join the Kerr family for five wonderful days at a former EBC mission station called Mondomil. Mondomil is about an hour further into the bush than we are at Kudjip. You take the same road that I described in my previous blog entitled "Road to Tumbang," though thankfully the road has been worked on since then and was much more drivable.
The Mondomil guest house is situated on a hill overlooking the river valley where you can hear the soothing sounds of the Wara Minj (or "Minj River") flowing below. The wide picture window is a wonderful place to sit and drink tea and just be, or study Pidgin as in our case. The view is breathtaking. I never tired of sitting there. There isn't any regular electricity, though a diesel generator somewhere on the station provides electricity from 6:30 to 9:30 PM every night. The stove and fridge run on gas. A fire place provides warmth from the chilly mountain air and also heats water for showers.
By the time that I arrived on Sunday, the Kerrs had been at Mondomil for a few days. They had become friends with Mitspar, a young woman who serves as the women and children's pastor for a local church. She was a wonderful blessing to us, as she spent several hours each day conversing and helping us to learn Pidgin. She took us on a tour of the village and we were able to visit some traditional homes and gardens. Mitspar taught us to cook some traditional PNGian foods such as banana cakes and kumu. Rosie and I spent some time together in the kitchen, experimenting with banana bread and pizza dough. I also played with my two new nieces. Grace and Anna are such a joy!
It was really a wonderful few days. Though I had previously covered Pidgin basics, helping David and Rosie and working with Mitspar helped me to refine some of the tricky grammar points. I especially enjoyed getting to know the Kerrs. It is great to have them a part of our PNG family! And I appreciated the time to sit by that window, where I reflected on the beauty of this place and remembered why I am here. Thank you, Lord, for this time of renewal.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn--
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
~ Psalm 98