One year ago today, we landed in Madang and began our work in Papua New Guinea. Since our arrival, we have been learning how to navigate life and ministry in a new country. It has had numerous blessings and challenges. And sometimes it has been hard to see the big picture through the minutiae of daily operations and logistics. Every now and then, it good to take a step back and see where we are in our overall strategy.
Below is a summary of our mission in Papua New Guinea. A more detailed description of each step can be found under the mission link. I’ve summarized what we’ve accomplished thus far and included links to pertinent stories from our blog for each of the steps. The steps highlighted in green are the ones we’ve focused on in 2015.
Step 1: Train and Prepare for the Field. This phase was largely completed in the years leading up to our departure.
Step 2: Raise up supporters. After one year on the field, we remain fully supported for our monthly needs! There continue to be one-time expenditures for moving into the tribe. If you are interested in getting involved in this capacity, let us know.
Step 3: Arrival in PNG and learning Tok Pisin. We arrived in Papua New Guinea on 6 December 2014 and made it to the city of Madang a day later on December 7th. We completed our formal Tok Pisin language study in April 2015.
Step 4: Surveys of potential tribes. Starting in January 2015, we began surveying tribes in the Finisterre Mountains. We traveled by dinghy, by foot, by bus, and by helicopter in order to survey 5 different language groups: Nekgini, Ndo, Yout Wam, Ufim, and Sinsauru. We revisited Ndo and Yout Wam to collect more information and to ask for a formal invitation to come. In June, we accepted the invitation from the Ndo language group to move into a village called Mawerero.
Step 5: Move into the tribe. We began the process of moving into the tribe at the end of June. We surveyed the land where we would build two houses. Jeremy, Matt, and I went back just 3 weeks later to lay the foundations for both houses and to build them through the floor. A building team from the States came in September to frame and roof one of the homes. Then in November, our small team of three went back to do the same for the other house. Currently, both houses are fully enclosed, but do not have running water, electricity, interior walls, or any furniture or cabinets. The current plan is to complete these with another building team in January 2016 and a follow up trip in February. Our current plan is to finish the move into the tribe in late February 2016.
Step 6: Learn their culture and language. While this stage is still mostly future, our frequent trips to Mawerero have given Matt and me opportunity to learn some of the language and culture already. And during all our work, we’ve been able to build some close relationships with some of the Ndo people.
Step 7: Prepare Bible Teaching Lessons. In preparation for teaching through the Bible among the Ndo, I taught through the Bible this year with our guards in the local trade language, Tok Pisin.
Step 8: Teach through the bible.
Step 9: Establish the church.
Step 10: Phase out.
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