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Four weeks ago, Mawerero was a happenin’ place. Our team of 10 grew to 15 with the arrival of some family and friends from the states. My mom, sister Emma, and good friend Ben made the four day journey from the States to our village along with Cameron’s cousin, Josh, and her mom, Diane. It was a festive day in Mawerero with hundreds of people coming to welcome the newcomers.

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Everyone in the village, and even some from surrounding areas, came out to celebrate the arrival of our visitors.

The Cann family (and Ben too cuz we love him!) all dressed in our family reunion shirts— because nothing says we're family like matching tie-dyed t-shirts

The Cann family (and Ben too cuz we love him!) all dressed in our family reunion shirts— because nothing says we’re family like matching tie-dyed t-shirts

The Dodd family with their visitors

The Dodd family with their visitors

But shortly thereafter, the exodus began. A mere nine days after his arrival, Josh hiked out of Mawerero to head home.

Goodbye, Josh. (Photo used without permission. It was blatantly stolen from the Dodds blog... withoutapreacher.com)

Goodbye, Josh. (Photo used without permission. It was blatantly stolen from the Dodds blog: withoutapreacher.com)

And 11 days after that, my mom, Emma, and Ben took off too.

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Our final minutes together before the start of their journey back home.

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Emma and Ben were both feeling nauseous on their final day in Mawerero, so while they were in the back with their sick bags, my mom got to enjoy a front row seat to helicopter travel.

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Despite feeling a little ill, Ben and Emma both made it back to America in one piece. Praise God!

It has been increasingly lonely in the village too. It is dry season and so everyone in the village is working hard to clear and cultivate their gardens before the big rains start in September. Sometimes Cass and I will walk through the village in the afternoon and only see a kid or two playing on the steps of a hut.

And then it got lonelier. On July 17th, I left with about 10 leaders from Mawerero to hike 4 hours to the village of Rusuang for a Lutheran Church conference, where I would speak about our work in Mawerero. For me, it was a another one of those Myth Bustingmissions. This annual conference is one week long, but I only stayed for one night.

Our traditional selfie-before-departure photo

Our traditional selfie-before-departure photo

My trip to Rusuang was short partly because of the timing. The day after I left, Matt Dodd and his family (including Cameron’s Mom) boarded a helicopter and headed off to their two week break in Australia. This left Cass and the boys almost entirely alone in the village. Thankfully, our village doctor looked out for them while I made the hike back to Mawerero alone. After having been gone for only 25 hours (8 of which were spent hiking), I made it home just before dinner.

Please be praying for the four of us over the next two weeks. We have a unique opportunity to connect with the people of Mawerero, as they will be our nearest friends for next 14 days. Pray that our joy in Christ, our love for them, and our dependence on God would cause people here to wonder about the hope that is in us. And pray that we would learn their language quickly so we can share that hope with them.

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