Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm dreaming of a Green Christmas.....

...just like the ones I've never known
where the banana trees are drippin'
and the Thompson's are wishin'
to be, back home in the snow

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas
with every blog post that I write
may your days be merry and dry
and may all your Christmas's be White

It doesn't really seem like Christmas since it's 75 degrees outside and we haven't seen a flake of snow since last march, but I guess we will just have to suffer through it :)
Please pray for us and our feelings of home sickness as we spend our first Christmas without our families. Even more importantly please pray that the people in America, PNG, and all around the world would celebrate the truth of the Christmas rather than materialism.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who is John Rambo?

If you ask a Papua New Guinea native, who is John Rambo? some will tell you that he is a film maker who came to Papua New Guinea to make a documentary. Others may only know that he is a film maker. So why ramble on about this John Rambo guy? Well... apparently I am easily mistaken for the man known as John Rambo from the 1980's blockbusters Rambo 1 through 4. I haven't gotten a hair cut for a while and being a big white person has lead to the idea that I not only look like him but could be mistaken for Sylvester Stallone (the actor who plays John Rambo). Just this morning a man near the grocery store approached me, shook my hand, and said good morning John Rambo. It wasn't a question at all, he sincerely thought that I was the one and only Rambo. It took a little convincing from Rachel that I was not Rambo, and that I just looked like him.

An interesting note is that the people here can not wrap their mind's around the idea that Rambo is only a character being played by an actor, and if he is real it must be a documentary. Also the setting for the Rambo movies is in the jungle, and to some nationals if it looks like a PNG setting it must be in PNG.

The man near the grocery store was not the first to mistake me for John Rambo, people from far away bush churches who have extremely limited access to TV and movies have seen the resemblance. In the more remote area's of the country their are small huts called picture house's where someone has acquired enough money to get a generator, a tiny TV, and an old used VHS player. In these huts they charge a little money for people to watch an old VHS from America and apparently Rambo 1, 2, 3, and 4 are very popular. So everyone seems to have seen at least one Rambo movie.

At first I didn't mind people thinking I was Stallone, in fact it was quite flattering since he is ripped in all the pictures I've seen (I looked at plenty of pictures on Google images of Stallone denying any resemblance to the seeming dim witted actor). But the more I hear from people saying hello John Rambo..., the more I worry about them always identifying me as the man who looks like Rambo rather than the man who preached that sermon or who helped build that home in the name of God. Those are the impressions that I want to leave on the people here, not that I look like a guy from a movie.

The thought of pretending that I actually am Rambo did cross my mind. I thought that maybe they would be so impressed with the heroism of Rambo that they would respect me so much that they would hang on every word I had to say about God and salvation. But I pretty sure God doesn't want our evangelism to be through or based on a lie.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Rachel vs. The Spider

I’ve always taken some pride in the fact that bugs didn’t scare me or gross me out. In fact, I seem to have had a special place in my heart for worms and caterpillars. Mom has told me that when I was little, if I found a caterpillar or earthworm in the yard, I would put them on my arms and “take them for rides” on my tricycle. Apparently, I thought they enjoyed this. Spiders, on the other hand, I didn’t feel the desire to offer a thrill ride to the end of the driveway, however, I’ve never been afraid of them…until now.

In our house we have a backdoor that doesn’t get used very often. We really only go out there when we are taking out compost, burning garbage, or doing something in the garden. On this particular day, I was taking out the compost. As I opened the backdoor, I was looking down, noticing how much the little porch needed to be swept off. When I finally looked up I realized I was about an inch and half away from walking into a gigantic spider (NOT just the spider WEB….the ACTUAL SPIDER). He was at the perfect height to land directly on my forehead!

Now, let me tell you a little about this spider (since we were all “up close and personal” I got a pretty good look at him). His body was gray and about the size of my thumb. He had a black head with red pinchers and little black eyes that I just knew were looking at me…wondering what I tasted like. His legs were skinny and long. If you included his legs, he was about the size of my hand.

My neighbors should be thankful I’m not a screamer. Instead, I gasped and stepped back very slowly. What happened next is probably what caused the death of this horrible little creature…I just stood there! I was about a foot away from him now, unable to move, and letting my imagination run wild. I thought about what it would have been like to have actually walked into him and have him on my head right now. These thoughts sent chills up and down my body. Once I had finished playing the scene through my head I knew that, unless I disposed of this spider, my imaginary spider attack could eventually become reality. So I grabbed the tool that was closest to the door, our bush knife (basically a large machete). Without thinking, I sliced at the top of the spider web that was holding him and he fell to the porch near my feet. Then, another wave a panic swept though my body as I allowed my imagination to picture him running into the house through the open door behind me. After composing myself a little, I positioned my hands on the bush knife with my best golf grip and chipped him into the grass (Dad should be so proud…I had my pointer finger and pinky linked and everything!).

Now, if you ask Jordan (who wasn’t there at the time), he will tell you that I hunted down the spider to kill him in cold blood. I would like to defend myself by saying that, while I do believe I hunted him down, I did it for the good of the entire mission station! Anyways, I found him in the grass and poked pretty hard with the point of the bush knife. BUT he started to run away so I knew I was going to have to take drastic measures. First I chopped him in half, but would you believe that the front of that little stinker was still trying to run away. So, I proceeded to hack at him with the bush knife (a tool that was probably a little bit larger than the job required) until he was definitely dead. Again, it was for the good of the ENTIRE mission fact, probably for the good of all PNG. Who knows what that spider was capable of?

Moral of the Story: Next time you have a little spider in your house, be thankful you don’t have a giant spider on your head!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Saturday I experienced something very new. It was exciting, entertaining, and weird all at the same time. Myself and a volunteer, who is here for a month, took a long hike up one of the near by mountains with a national friend of mine. The hike was up a decent sized mountain so it was fairly tiring but any exhaustion was well worth the view of the the large valley below and the feeling of just being deep in the jungle. As we hiked we picked up a few more nationals who wanted to tag along, like women and children. Now, before leaving on this hike I was under the impression that it would be fairly long and hard, not a trip for women and children to come on. But they came, and made me feel like less of a man. The kids were running up and down the path playing games while some of the women were carrying trees they had cut down for poles in their home. All the while, here I am going at a decent pace but with no extra energy to play games or carry anything more than my 15 pound pack. I guess it is their home and has been their entire life. And I've lived in Illinois my whole life so I'm sure I could have smoked those kids on flat ground, so I gain some man points back, right? Anyway, aside from my shame, the hike was a great experience.
We were not just hiking for the sake of seeing the bush, we had a goal to see and explore a cave near the peak of the mountain. Along the way up we picked up Pastor David, who's family owns the land that the cave is on, without him we would have had to pay the owner of the land to go in the cave. As we got closer to the cave my anticipation was growing, not only to explore inside, but to stop walking uphill, which we had been doing for 3 and 1/2 hours. Also as we grew closer to the cave the nationals started cutting down branches with lots of twigs on them, I wasn't sure why they were doing this but I didn't ask questions.
After crossing over a fallen tree and stumbling down a small hill we we finally made it to the cave next to a small mountain stream. After a short rest we got our headlights on and went in. The only real climbing we had to do was at the beginning, repelling down a waterfall to get into the cave. Once inside, my national friend handed me a tree branch and told me to spread out from everyone else. I complied not thinking to ask why because I was busy checking out the first room inside the cave. What I hadn't noticed while checking out the cave was that Pastor David went on in the cave deeper on his own to scare up the bats, and he did a good job, because soon after he went in there were bats flying everywhere. It seemed that they liked to fly right at my face and turn at the last second because of their sonar. After recovering from the shock of bats flying at my face I noticed that everyone was swinging their branches attempting to hit and kill the bats. They wanted the bats for food since their protein intake is limited so they will eat what ever animal they can get their hands on, even bat. I started in on the swinging, not because I was hungry but because I didn't like them flying at my face. Soon swinging at the bats was less protection and more sport, we were counting to see how many each of us could kill (I only got 4). We must have killed around fifty bats between the five of us, at least thirty of the kills were Pastor David, he has been killing bats for food since he was a kid so experience must help. (You may ask yourself..."So did they put the bats in a bag and carry them home?" Oh no my friends, they stuffed their cargo pockets full of dead bats. As many as they could fit!) The bat killing was merely a side activity to climbing down the cave. We went through holes that were no more than 2 feet square to enter rooms the size of our house. Through underground streams, up and down guano (bat poop) covered rocks, and to the back end of the 600 ft deep cave. The air was cool and my pants were wet as we sat down at the bottom to take a break. As we sat their we decided to turn all of our lights out. The pure darkness and silence at the bottom of that cave was so peaceful, for that minute that our lights were out I was completely alone.
We climbed back out of the cave with minimal wrong turns and got out safe and sound with nothing more than a few scratches. Once out we dusted ourselves off, refilled our water in the mountain stream and began the long walk home. We had planned to stop and make a fire to roast our bats on the way down the mountain but a thunderstorm rolled in quickly so we had to skip the bats to make it home before we had a Mount Humbolt experience (inside joke for the Sauder family)
The whole day was an exhausting one, but like anything else in PNG the pain is well worth the reward. Seeing the deep parts of the bush and having so many new experiences made it well worth while and I will go back again soon for sure.
Oh, by the way, for all those serious animal lovers out their who might have a problem with us killing fifty bats... we were merely controlling the population in the cave.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Engage Magazine

Here is a link to an online magazine that has a few articles about the new hospital and the transition that is taking place from November 4 through November 6. Also there are a few nice pics from the old hospital and construction of the new.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday October 25

Earlier in the week I was asked by a pastor to speak at a church on Sunday, he told me that I could give a short devotion for about 5 min and he would preach the rest of the sermon. As the week went on every time I talked to the pastor he talked me into speaking just a little longer until he somehow got me to agree to preach the entire sermon. Now I would have been happy to preach without any reservations if I were able to speak in English. But my reservations laid in the fact that I have only been here for 7 weeks and I barely know their trade language. The church we were going to was a church way out in the bush where the members barely knew pidgin let alone English. But none the less God was with me and encouraged me to take another leap and go to this place to preach his word. The process of getting to the church could be a whole blog post in itself but I will spare you the details. In short we took the PMV (public motor vehicle) with the pastor down the road from the hospital about 10 miles for 1 kina (about 40 cents). Then we walked up a small mountain till we got to the church; interesting side note, the church was such a bush church that they didn’t even have a building, they just sat on the grass outside. This is pretty neat because they didn’t seem at all concerned with the fact that they didn’t have a building, and it was a great model for the church all over the world. When Paul talks about the church he is not talking about a building he is talking about a body of believers in fellowship with one another. Today we tend to think of the church as a building and not a body of people, but at this place all they had was their fellowship, no building yet they still call themselves a church. As we were walking up the mountain together the pastor sprung new information on me. He let me know that once we were done speaking at the church without a building, we would be going to another church that was a 30 min walk farther up the mountain. It was funny how I had first agreed to talk at a church for 5 min and it grew giving full on back to back sermons. As we were waiting for the service to start at the first church we got news that the church I was going to speak at second was coming down the mountain to the first church to combine services. So I only preached once. Once the service was over and I was all out of pidgin words to say we sat around and talked with the people there. Their pidgin was not that good since they rarely use it, they were much more comfortable with their tok ples (native/tribal language) so having conversations with them was difficult. But through the language barriers we still had a great time and the people of the church at Tombil seemed pleased that we came (Rachel and I were, somehow, the first missionaries to speak at this church and the first white people some of the children had ever seen).

This experience was both exhausting and exiting all at the same time. There are so many frustration things here in PNG yet for everything that is frustrating or emotionally draining there are three more things that can make you smile or lift your spirits.


Sorry it has been so long since our last post. This past weekend we had plans to write you all but this weekend was just crazy. Friday Rachel’s students we’re all on weekend getaways with their parents so Rachel got to shadow a doctor for the morning. She got to see all kinds of weird things, people, cases, and some crazy stories from the patients. In the afternoon Rachel worked with me, helping me with my lists of things that need to be done to finish the new hospital. It was nice to have a helper that spoke fluent English. The date for the hospital move is set for November 4 and there is still a lot to be done. So myself and the other workmen have started working much longer days to make sure the new buildings are ready for the move.

On Saturday we went to our first Mumu (moo-moo). A mumu is a traditional feast here in PNG to celebrate just about anything. The main food is mostly pork, a delicacy, along with chicken, cooking bananas (really gross and starchy), and lots of greens. That morning we left our house at about 8am (very early for a Saturday) and walked down the road about 2 miles to a village where a fellow workman lives. He invited us to come to the mumu to celebrate the naming of his new granddaughter. We arrived just after they killed the pig and they had just started to kill the chickens (talk about fresh meat). We were encouraged to watch them operate (gut) the pig, which Rachel found very interesting but I could only watch half of it. After the pigs guts were everywhere and the pigs fat was cut out and laid on the ground in front of me they started a huge fire. When the fire was hot enough they put stones from the river on the fire to heat them. Once the fire burned down to ashes they placed the stones in a big hole with fresh cut green banana leaves. Once the stones were in and the leaves were set they proceeded to pile in the Kaikai (food). A huge pile of greens went in, then some bananas, then more greens, then some cowcow (sweet potatoes, a staple food), then the pig (that’s right all of it, everything but the guts and bones), then more greens, more bananas, more cowcow, and more greens. Once all of the food was in a giant pile in the steaming pit, they covered it all up with more banana leaves. The banana leaves have a lot of moister and evaporate easily, this causes a lot of steam inside the pit and that is what cooks the food. 60 minutes, a hike up a mountain to see a waterfall, a tour of the 500 person village, and a baby naming ceremony later, the food was ready. Before I talk more about the food I have to mention that the baby girl was partly named after Rachel. Rachel and I were with another missionary couple named Mike and Diane Chapman, they wanted to name the baby after some missionaries (which is a common thing to do) so they made a hybrid name from Rachel and Diane to name the baby, Dichel (they pronounced it Dishel, they can’t make the “ch” sound very well). So Rachel has half of a namesake. Ok, back to the food, since we are missionaries and white people they insisted that we eat first and gave us a giant plate piled high with food. The natives know that Americans like the meaty parts of the pig so they happily take the fattiest parts they can get to let the missionaries have the meat (it’s kind of gross watching them take massive bites of pure fat and chew for minutes.) There was no way we could eat all of the food given to us and we were told that we were expected to take some home. So we pulled off all the meat we could, took a few gross bananas, left the nasty greens and a pile of bones and fat (which they love), thanked them for everything, and went home. We got home around 3pm exhausted, and I went to the new hospital to work with some of the guys who were working on their day off. I was so tired but I couldn’t let them slave away while I’m napping and sipping cool water. I got home from work at about 5:30, and thankfully someone had invited us over for dinner that night so neither of us had to even think about what to make for dinner. We enjoyed our Chinese dinner that night and played a quick game of settlers (a popular missionary board game) and went home early to gear up for all that Sunday had in store.

More about Sunday October, 25 in the next post

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


To almost every Papua New Guinean their garden is their life. A woman’s full time job is tending the garden to provide food for her family. Typically, a family’s only source of food is their own garden. I was first under the impression that the unemployment rate was nearly 85% primarily because people chose not to work and that they were content with living a subsistent lifestyle. I recently learned that most Papua New Guineans would much rather work and buy their food like you and I do, but there simply are no jobs for them. Because they are unable to work they are forced to garden/farm what they need to survive. Thankfully the ground here is very fertile and the rain is more than plentiful. If it were not for the ideal farming conditions and the 365 day growing season I don’t know how the people here would survive.
Rachel and I recently started our own very small garden, laughable compared to the fields of fruits and vegetables that a national tends to. In America we do so much to make sure our crops and plants get enough water to survive, sometimes we even build ditches and large sprinklers to get water to our crops, plants, and grass. In PNG we do the opposite, there is too much water! We dig barrets, small ditches, along the edges of the gardens to take the massive amounts of water away.

Though the nationals here say they would much rather buy their food, they have become accustomed and happy with their lifestyle. This is such a testament to God’s provisions and blessings each of us. The people here are not able to work but God has provided the resources, tools, and knowledge to produce food for themselves.

An American may observe the lifestyle of a Papua New Guinean and say they have so little, how can they consider themselves blessed, and if they could observe my life they would say God has truly blessed me. Yet a national friend I work with named John said that he and most Christian nationals consider themselves to be blessed because of the salvation from sin and death God gave them. He went on to explain to me that they do not consider worldly items to be blessings, and that he sees having a lot of things as the contradiction of a blessing. John’s point was simple yet powerful. The things we have and consider blessings from God may be the opposite of a blessing, something that hinders our relationship with him.

This post is now far from talking about gardens or subsistence farming, but there seems to be a lesson in faith around every corner. Today’s was John’s simply profound words that the one true blessing we have is the blessing of Salvation.

Friday, October 9, 2009

We’re not in Kansas/Illinois anymore!

I’m not exactly sure what culture shock is. I don’t know if I’ve gone through it already or if it’s waiting somewhere ready to strike me when I least expect it. Perhaps I’ll never go through it at all considering our house and all the missionaries here make life seem very similar to life back in the States. BUT I do have a story in which I was quite “shocked” by this culture.
Let me start my story out with a few details. First of all, Liz Hollenberg told me similar story before I left for PNG but I guess I had to see it happen myself in order for it to have an impact. Secondly, there is a very common tool used here called a bush knife. Basically it’s a machete. It seems as though EVERY male and some females have one with them at all times. From what I’ve been told, they use them to cut their way through brush, clear land for gardens and such, build houses, and if needed…they will use them as a weapon in a fight. (Don’t worry mom and dad…they don’t fight around us!!)

The second Sunday we were here one of doctors at the hospital was invited to speak at a “bush church” (a church in a fairly remote area). Since we were some of the newbies at the time, we were invited to go with. We jumped at the chance to go out into the bush and “experience” the culture!! The church ended up being a small hut of a building with woven walls, a thatch roof, and dirt floors covered by a grass mat. There were no seats so we sat on the floor (which I have come to prefer over hard wooden benches with no backs). Typically, women and children sit on one side and men on the other…so I found myself sitting next to a little boy. On his other side sat a woman who I assumed was his mother. After all the singing was over and the pastor began his sermon, the little boy began to get a little whiney and fidgety. (It reminded me of the days when we would get a little cranky in church and mom would pull a Tupperware container of cheerios out of her bag…or maybe even a coloring book) Since this was what I was used to it didn’t surprise me when the lady started to rummage through her bag. In my head I was even thinking, “See, this lady isn’t even that much different from my own mother.” When she apparently found what she was looking for, she pulled out a pair of scissors. For a moment, I was a little disappointed. She wasn’t looking for something to keep her child quiet…she must have found an out of place thread. BUT to my shock she handed the scissors to the boy!! This is what she had decided would keep her child occupied. (Important point: these were NOT some plastic fisher price scissors. They were big and metal and sharp). Of course the little boy took them, happy to have something to play with and put them directly into his mouth while his mother turned her attention back to the sermon. I tried to do the same but the boy began to swing the scissors around and eventually I began to fear for the boy’s fingers, my skirt, my skin, his mother’s arm, etc! Finally the mother moved the boy to the other side of her so that my life was no longer in danger, but I did feel the need to look over at the boy every once in a while to make sure that none of his fingers or toes were missing. I’m happy to report that we all left the church with our appendages intact.

I’m not sure why this shocked me as much as it did…especially considering I now remember seeing very young boys a little older than this fellow carrying bush knifes. BUT, for some reason this is the moment I remember realizing…”This culture is very different from ours!”

Friday, October 2, 2009

A whole month? No way!

It’s really been 4 weeks since we arrived and the time has flown by. Yet looking back on the past 30 days, a lot has been accomplished. Rachel and I are both well acclimated, not only to the mile high elevation, but to our new lifestyle here. After getting settled into our new home, recovering from 15 hours of jet lag, and meeting all the new people here we are starting to feel at home. Though we are beginning to feel somewhat comfortable we are still looking forward to the countless things this place has to offer.

Truly God has shown us that big homes, nice cars, and the American dream is not the place to find happiness. It is in relationship with him. The thought that keeps coming to mind is that we are equal to each person here. I may have a car, a bank account, and a computer but the man I am working next to whose pair of new boots is his most prized possession is my brother. God desires the same from us both, to honor him in what we say and do.

The new hospital is very close to being finished. The project has been finishing for nearly 4 months now. The anticipation of moving the hospital instruments and supplies into the new buildings is growing. Giving an estimated time of when the new hospital will be done and things can be moved seems to be a running joke around here. I have heard estimated times from October 1st to November 15th of when things can be moved. The Hospital move doesn’t concern Rachel at all, but my job is now focused on finalizing lists of small projects that need to be done for the hospital to be ready.

Rachel’s job is going well. She’s got her teachin’ “groove” back and seems to have a really good handle on her classroom and how it runs. She is most excited about the series of art projects we are doing with the students every Friday afternoon. Rach decided to go with a theme on Surrealism. The kids seem to really like the projects. Surrealism is something that the students have never done before, so they not only have a creative outlet but they are learning something along the way.

Please let us know how you all are doing, we love getting emails from people back home. Updates on what’s new in the family, news from church, or just a funny story, we want to hear it all. Our email is

Sorry no Melanesian Pidgin translations this week. But I do have a puzzle for you all! The following is a bible verse from the New Testament in pidgin. Take a guess and let me know what you think by email, or you can just enjoy the jumble of letters below.

“God i got wanpela pikinini tasol i stap. Tasol God i laikim tumas olgeta manmeri bilong graun, olsem na em i givim dispela wanpela pikinini long ol. Em I makim olsem bilong olgeta manmeri i bilip long em ol i no ken lus. Nogat. Bai ol i kisim laip i stap gut oltaim oltaim.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

3 Weeks

It’s been 3 weeks!
If you so choose, throughout this post you shall receive your first lesson in Melanesian Pidgin (the trade/common language in Papua New Guinea). The words in parentheses are Pidgin for the English word or phrase that proceeds.
Jordan’s job
On Wednesdays and Friday afternoons I work at the High School writing American History lesson plans and helping Rachel (Meri bilong mi)grade. The rest of the week I work (mi wokim) with the construction crews, working on various projects. Most recently I built a shed for the Generator (haus bilong generetor) to power the new hospital’s operating room (operatim rum bilong nupela haus sik). The electricity goes out a lot so a reliable generator with high output is a must. All of the guys I work with are nationals, native to PNG, and speak only a little (lik lik) English. Communicating with them is very frustrating and slow (isi isi) but it has forced me to learn (skul) Pidgin, their trade language, quickly. I’m nowhere near fluent yet but I can understand them if they talk slowly (tok isi isi) and I slowly can get my point across to them. My grammar is terrible because I only know Pidgin words, so I simply say the Pidgin (tok pisin) words in the same order as I would in English. Apparently when I talk like this, it is hilarious to them because they know what I’m trying to say, but I’m nowhere near the correct grammar. At least we can communicate and I’ve been told that everyone appreciates Americans attempting the language even if it sounds terrible.
The wood (diwai) here is ridiculously heavy! I carried some timber(diwai) to a site and I could only carry two 10ft 3x2’s at a time. The wood is still wet and seems to be about three times the weight it would be dry. Another “joy” to the wood being wet it that it takes forever to cut. I’ve never seen a blade create smoke until I got here. Also, driving a nail takes about twice as many hammer swings as it would with dry timber. And when you drive a nail the wood bleeds a clear/white liquid. The first (pastaim) time I drove a nail a few drops of liquid hit my face and I thought it was raining till I realized it was just the wood’s juices splashing on me!
There are 4 construction projects going and enough tools for 2 projects. So there is a lot of walking (wokabout) back and forth between sites to find and trade tools. All of these small (lik lik) setbacks make things move very slowly. It gets frustrating to work a whole day and not get much done. But for every aspect that is frustrating there is something refreshing or pleasant (amamas o amamas).
All of the nationals are so nice to us and are eager to meet us, shake our hands, and have a good laugh (lap). We (mipela) can walk anywhere without someone saying good afternoon (apinun) with a big smile. And all we have to do is look up to see and amazing view. It has been three weeks since we arrived and I still can get over how beautiful this place is. We are surrounded by mountains that are in the clouds. Pictures just don’t do justice to the beauty of this place.

Things I miss from home:
-The comfort of Family and Friends
-A hot shower for more than 20 sec with enough pressure to wash my hair
-Restaurants (making every meal from scratch is getting old)
-TV (I haven’t seen a Bears game this year or a Cubs game since we left, and we are going to have to wait to see the last season of Lost!!!)

Things I will miss when we leave PNG:
-The people and their unbridled willingness to talk with you
-The amazing scenery and landscape everywhere you go
-The Pineapple (mmmm… so fresh and juicy, we could eat a whole one every day!)
-The Coffee (The valley we are in is full of coffee and tea plantations, it is so fresh and so good!)

Please Pray for:
-Jordan’s patience
-A man named Boni Guli, a fellow carpenter, who had over a year’s wages stolen from his home Monday.
-The ministry done here in Kudjip would be more than a healthcare provider, that we would inspire people to be strong Christians and further the Kingdom of God.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Week

I just finished my first week of school. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. The first three days one of the missionary moms, Kathy, (the one who had been doing my job until I got there), was in the classroom with me showing me how everything worked and where things were at...I was overwhelmed for a while. There are only four students (who are very smart and polite) but they each have 6 or 7 subjects. I'm responsible for doing their planning, grading, and answering questions for each of their subjects. Most of the lessons are on DVDs that the students watch and they are responsible for following my plan (doing which lesson I tell them to do that day), getting their homework to me, and letting me know if I need to give them a test or quiz. It's been funny because the first day I was like "No problem...this is the easiest job ever! I only have 4 students...I'm used to 120...piece of cake!" But the next day, Kathy i think let me take over a little more and I felt like the whole day I was constantly being asked for a test or quiz (that I had no idea which of the fifty books it was in) or was given homework assignments that needed to be graded before they started the next lesson(and wasn't sure where the answer keys were), all while trying to plan our their schedules for the next 2 weeks (without knowing for sure where they were in the books). It was crazy! But now, they have their schedules, I know where things are a lot better, and I have more time to grade things as they get turned in. I'm enjoying it a lot more now than I did the second day. I'm even begining to plan a semester long art lesson/project for them. Jordan got his assignment the other day...he will be working with the building guys for most of the week, helping to finish up the new hospital so that they can get moved in! Right now his job is to go around and find mistakes that were made (which apparently there are a lot of) and fix them. Plus, he is going to be in the high school a little bit helping me grade and possibly doing a history projects with the kids. Later he will a be leading a bible study with the HS boys and helping with some history related things at the MK elementary school.
Other interesting things:
- We began our Pidgin lessons this week
- Cockroaches here are the size of my thumb and like to crawl into the middle of our bedroom...roll over...and play dead.
- We haven't gotten sick yet! (well, i had a cold but that doesn't count)
- We went to our first "bush" church. It was awesome...we were greeted with lais (flower necklaces)...we sat on the ground...the church was a grass hut...we didn't understand a word...children were staring at us the whole was fun!
- Our neighbors have all the seasons of LOST! So we borrowed season I and have been watching them on the laptop.
- The view from our backyard is amazing! I'll send pictures later...don't let me forget!
- I played basketball in a skirt for the first time the other day...and I helped with PE on Tuesday which was tennis! (tennis is very exciting here, there are so many cracks and holes on the court you never know where the ball will go!!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We're HERE!!!

We arrived on tuesday afternoon. And have had a whirlwind of things to do since then. Tuesday we got a little settled in to our new home and got to eat dinner at the Radcliff's home. The Radcliff family has been here in PNG for nearly 25 and are highly regarded among all missionaries in the country. Yesterday(wednesday) we experianced something very new, food shopping. Since the store is 45 min away we can only go once a month for food. This means we not only have to figure out what we can eat, we need to buy enough food for a month. The whole process took several hours and was suprizingly draining. Today we are about to get a tour of the Hospital grounds from the children, so we are looking forward to accually finding out how to get around this place! Please continue to pray for us and the people serving here in Kudjip PNG.

Monday, August 31, 2009

In Port Moresby

We're here in Port Moresby waiting on our last flight to Mt Hagen. The feild office worker from Kudjip is here in the capital with a few doctors for a conference, so we are on his laptop now. Sorry if my writing is uncreative or drab but we are really starting to feel the jet lag. We're are about to head out to lunch with some of the doctors at a hotel near by and then we have our 1 hour flight to Mt Hagen and will get to Kudjip at around 5pm. It's a funny feeling, being so exited and anxious as well as being sleep deprived and stressed all on top of seeing all there is here in Port Moresby. We'll be sure to put a new post up soon after we get settled in Kudjip. Until then...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

In Singapore

We finally made it to Singapore!!! after a 16 hour flight to Hong Kong and a 3 1/2 hour flight to Singapore we are here and exhausted. We are lucky enough to stay with the Ward family here in Singapore. The Ward's served in PNG for 21 years and are now here in Malaysia as directors for Missions in this region. I would love to write more but I'm pretty tired since we left at Eureka at 7am on Sat. the 29th and we just arrived here at 1am Monday the 31st (Crazy time change=massive jet lag). So good night, or good afternoon, whatever it is in your neck of the woods!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Got our Tickets

We finally have all of our visas and our plane tickets! Rachel and I will be leaving on Sat the 29th and getting to the Hospital in Kudjip Papua New Guinea on Sept 2, which is sooner than we recently thought. Rachel and I are both exited and nervous the the adventure that is so close but once seemed so far away. It is only by the grace and love of God that we are able to embark on such a mission. We have seen that God works on his time, not ours, and learned a great deal about patience in the last few months. Wow, we haven't even left yet and God has taught us so much already. Also we would not survive with out your prayer support from our family, friends, and church families, for that we say thank you!
This is the first of many posts on our blog. We will be posting here and sending emails regularly, so please feel free to check out how we are doing any time and let us know how you are doing back in your neck of the woods.