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When missionaries first came to these islands, news did not make it back to their homeland for months. Sometimes years. Sometime never. And here we are, just two months into our work here in Mawerero, and already we get to send updates out via email and this blog. But in this modern age of high-speed internet, Google, and smart phones, waiting 2 months for news can seem like ages.

The delay has been two-fold. Settling in to life in the jungle has taken up the majority of our time and energy. And we haven’t had a reliable connection with the outside world until a week ago.

Here’s what you’ve missed:

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Two days before our families would join us, Matt and I loaded up a Twin Otter, run by Mission Aviation Fellowship to fly the bulk of our remaining supplies into the tribe.

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Of course, this meant saying goodbye to our wives and kids again. But it was sweet knowing we’d see them in our new homes in just a couple days.

Our move into the jungle, like most of our work here, was quite the operation. Here is our entourage landing at the airstrip in Saidor:

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Cass, Jude, and Oliver preparing for their flights into the tribe.

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Cass and Oliver on the Kodiak flight to Saidor.

Jude hailing the Helicopter as it lands in Saidor to pick up our families and bring them into Mawerero.

Jude trying to direct the helicopter as it lands in Saidor to pick up our families and bring them into Mawerero.

An unusually fun way to head home.

Jude, Mary, and Onesimus enjoying helicopter travel… especially the headsets. Oliver on the other hand hated the helicopter. He still hates it. He literally cries on supply run days because he knows it coming.

Arriving in Mawerero.

Arriving in Mawerero.

Day one in the village with our new neighbors, the people of Mawerero.

Day one in the village with our new neighbors, the people of Mawerero.

Eki, one of the village leaders, speaks to our giant welcome party. About 600 people came from many of the nearby villages to welcome us to the Finisterre Mountians.

Eki, one of the village leaders, speaks to our giant welcome party. About 600 people came from many of the nearby villages to welcome us to the Finisterre Mountians.

And to see the helicopter too.

And to see the helicopter too.

The first days were a little chaotic. Boxes were everywhere, electrical wires were sticking out of unfinished sockets, and our refrigerator did not work. Of course, the kids loved it! Boxes to climb on and banana bread to snack on... basically, paradise.

The first days were a little chaotic. Boxes were everywhere, electrical wires were sticking out of unfinished sockets, and our refrigerator did not work. Of course, the kids loved it! Boxes to climb on and banana bread to snack on… basically, paradise.

It was pretty cozy those first few days until we managed to make enough beds for everyone.

It was pretty cozy those first few days until we managed to make enough beds for everyone.

In those early days we took our first family hike to the soccer field... 1000 feet down the mountain from our front steps.

In those early days we took our first family hike to the soccer field… 1000 feet down the mountain from our front steps.

The boys love trips the the waterfall with our co-workers, the Dodds. Their friends from the village always help them navigate the slippery, muddy trails.

The boys love trips the the waterfall with our co-workers, the Dodds. Their friends from the village always help them navigate the slippery, muddy trails.

Oliver loves his new backyard... and his new pink shoes. Thank you, Mary Dodd, for the hand-me-down.

Oliver loves his new backyard… and his new pink shoes. Thank you, Mary Dodd, for the hand-me-down.

About one week into our time in Mawerero, we started laying the foundation for the satellite dish.

About one week into our time in Mawerero, we started laying the foundation for the satellite dish.

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We could not have done many of the projects here without the ingenuity of some of our dear Mawerero friends. Guys like Nelson, Namu, and Eki, who helped us build a frame for pouring the cement.

Matt and Cameron let us put up the team dish in their backyard since they live furthest from the fierce winds of the helipad. Thanks guys!

Matt and Cameron let us put up the team dish in their backyard since they live furthest from the fierce winds of the helipad. Thanks guys!

Then began 6 weeks of trying to get a signal lock with the satellite. We probably spent a total of 5 work days trying to find satellite E172A. But to no avail.

Then began 6 weeks of trying to get a signal lock with the satellite. We probably spent a total of 5 work days trying to find satellite E172A. But to no avail.

We ended up flying a technician out from Port Moresby to get it set up. It turns out that we had a faulty modem and receiver, as well as a transmitter that was too weak for the system.

We ended up flying a technician out from Port Moresby to get it set up. It turns out that we had a faulty modem and receiver, as well as a transmitter that was too weak for the system.

This blog is brought to you by our working V-Sat system. Complete with a fence made by our local police office, Pais.

This blog is brought to you by our working V-Sat system. Complete with a fence made by our local police office, Pais.

Throughout the month of March, Matt and I worked on a variety of final house projects... from plumbing to electrical, and from flooring to roofing. Many villagers, such as Mr. Kais (pictured here), have lent a hand during this process.

Throughout the month of March, Matt and I worked on a variety of final house projects… from plumbing to electrical, and from flooring to roofing. Many villagers, such as Mr. Kais (pictured here), have lent a hand during this process.

Besides fighting the random bugs and spiders that venture into our home, we’ve also caught a number of mice with our nifty rat trap.

Besides fighting the random bugs and spiders that venture into our home, we’ve also caught a number of mice with our nifty rat trap.

Ultimately, we are happy to be home and settled here among the people of Mawerero. Here we are in front of our house with a brand-new bamboo wall that some of our neighbors fashioned for us.

Ultimately, we are happy to be home and settled here among the people of Mawerero. Here we are in front of our house with a brand-new bamboo wall that some of our neighbors fashioned for us.

As of this month, we’ve finished the house-building and move-in phase of our mission. Now we begin the two-year journey of learning the Ndo language and the culture of the people here in this corner of the Finisterre Mountains. Our goal is still to proclaim the good news of God’s Word in their language and make disciples of Jesus among this little nation of Ndo speakers. Please continue to pray for us and the people of Mawerero. They have loved us so well through these seasons of house-building and moving. And we have grown in our love for them. Pray that the people here would come to know and love the Lord Jesus, knowing full well that it is not because they loved him first, but that he loved them and sent his son to be a propitiation for their sins (1 John 4:10, 19).

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