Going to Papua New Guinea is expensive. As our team begins buying supplies and looks at buying plane tickets in the near future, we are amazed at the costs of getting three families (15 people) settled on the other side of the globe.
I’ve encountered a similar dilemma before. I had just finished one month of work in Ethiopia. Living, working, and traveling within Ethiopia had been amazingly affordable. After four weeks of travel, lodging, and food, I had spent less than $900. I was well under budget! But then I flew to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Not only were the conditions worse, but everything was more expensive. Due in large part to political instability and corruption, travel was particularly pricey. Gasoline was almost $5 per liter… that’s $15 per gallon. At one point, I had to travel from Kinshasa, the capital, to Kikwit, a smaller town in the middle of the Country. It was too dangerous to travel by road so I had to charter a plane with a few other expats. That flight alone cost more than my entire stay in Ethiopia.
The whole time I was in the DRC I kept thinking: Is it worth it? I could get so much more done for less in other countries. Why did I come here? The answer, of course, is that God wants people from every tribe, tongue, and nation to know him, love him, and worship him. He sent out his disciples to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). And he promises that there will be people from every tribe, tongue, and nation before the throne in heaven (Revelation 5:9). There is no distinction between cheap nations and expensive ones. The only price tag mentioned in Revelation 5 is that all these people from all these nations were ransomed for God by the blood of Jesus, the lamb who was slain!
It is amazing to see how God provides what is needed for the tasks he has ordained. It is not often what we envisioned, but it is always good. I am reading the autobiography of John G. Patton: Missionary to the New Hebrides, and in the midst of great costs God provided the means for the gospel to reach these tribal islands. It cost months of travel by sea. It cost people who were killed by tribes, traders, or disease. It cost money to train new missionaries, build new ships, and supply distant mission stations. It was anything but easy, but God provided what was needed.
Our team is seeing God provide in amazing and unexpected ways a well. People have given of their time, money, and talents to help send us! We just received a pallet of solar panels at a fraction of the cost we were expecting. We have had numerous people help us figure out housebuilding and help us start buying supplies. Our team just bought a truckload of tools for housebuilding for about 1/10 of what it would have cost us to buy them retail. I have included some photos of these recent purchases below. Praise God for his provision!
Above all, praise God that he has provided the cost to redeem his people from their slavery to sin and disobedience! “For our sake, God made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). God has already bought people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. The cost was his own Son. Now we get to go and fill up the afflictions of Christ by counting our lives as loss in order to find those who will trust in Christ’s atoning, wrath-removing, righteousness-providing, life-transforming payment on their behalf. May the Lamb receive the reward of his suffering!
© All Rights Reserved | Canns of Clay