This is stating the obvious, but little babies are pretty much helpless. They can't talk, walk, feed or dress themselves. When they are learning to walk, they fall down and get bumps and bruises. Or they put their clothes on backwards. They cry and sometimes throw temper tantrums. Yep, helpless. Thankfully God gave babies some mamas and papas who teach them how to talk and what to eat. They have sisters and brothers who hold their hands when they take their first steps, and lift them up when they fall down. They have aunties and uncles who dry their tears. The family is always there, loving and correcting and helping them.
New missionaries are sort of like little babies. OK, maybe a lot. When my first term began in January 2009, I arrived in PNG all bright eyed and bushy tailed. I was eager to jump into life as a missionary. But I didn't know how to speak Pidgin or eat kaukau. I had never carried anything on my head. I wasn't any good about walking on the mountain paths. I have had my fair share of tantrums and tears. There have certainly been times when I have fallen down.
Like a baby, I also have a family--missionaries and nationals--who have helped on this journey. They have taught me to speak Pidgin, though I still have more to learn. Even today I heard a new phrase that I had to have someone interpret for me. They have taught me to carry a bilum, and how to prepare food for a mumu. They have held my hand as I walked along steep and slippery bush roads, although I can't say that I myself am much better at walking those road. Mi save pundaun yet. Even now they are there to pick me up when I fall. Most importantly, they have prayed for me along the way. I could not have done it without them.
Thank you, Lord, for my PNG family! I will miss them while I am gone.
"Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways."
~ Proverbs 8:32