Craig and Sara Noyes
If the answer to the question in the title is “Yes!” Then do I ever have a deal for you! I am, of course, talking about helping build our bush houses in the tribe.
Let’s talk about what that might look like. First off, when I say “bush house” Don’t picture a village hut. I’m referring to a house that our family (and one for each of the other units working with us) will be living in for 10-15 years in a remote jungle village. This house will be a hybrid between the houses the villagers live in and a North American house.
If you come to help build them, you must understand that it will be an expensive, physically demanding, very remote trip in the village of an unreached people group. It most likely will involve some hiking, boating, small planes and/or helicopter rides. It will be rough living. We will be eating the same bland village food 3x a day. By the end of the trip, you’ll almost certainly be happy for it to be over and will long to go back to your family. Yet, it will be exciting to be part of opening things up to get the Gospel, the Word of God and a mature church where it hasn’t been!
We won’t know when the trip is going to be until, at the earliest, a couple months before the building starts. The earliest reasonable time for building to start would be August but there are many variables that will affect that. We also don’t know yet if we have to mill all our own lumber with an Alaskan miller or purchase lumber in town.
Ladies, if you are interested in helping during the house building process there are PNG cultural limitations that will greatly restrict you. Due to the fact that we will be entering a tribe we do not yet know well, we must be very careful about how the people may interpret a woman’s presence during a time when we cannot stay in the missionary houses. If you are interested in helping, we will need to have conversations about how/if you could help serve and in what ways.
As you consider if this trip, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have a fitness level that will allow you to work hard in very high heat and humidity all day, for a couple weeks in a row? If you were to come but were unable to work, or worse, got injured due to lack of fitness it would be counter-productive.
- Am I willing to pray and work to spend about $5,000 to do this trip? (most of that is airfare and helicopter costs. The cost is not set at this point.)
- Am I able to spend the time and money to get all the needed vaccines, meds, visa applications, and pack in preparation to go?
- Are I and my family confident the risks involved in this are worth it? (primarily the fact that you could be several days away from modern medical care).
- Can I take at least 3 weeks off work?
- Has God given me some level of building experience? This doesn’t preclude a few people who can swing a hammer and follow instructions, but most of the group needs to come with skills.
- Am I able to work on a team without being the leader or go-to person?
- Am I able to graciously hear, “Thank you for being willing to come, but we have all the help we need ?” (We are looking to create a couple of small work teams to come over and help, probably no more than 4 per team.
Now that we’ve scared and maybe motivated you, here is a questionnaire for you to fill out to let us know you’re interested and give us some basic info. We understand you don’t know yet if you’ll be able to do everything it will take to come. But we are looking to answer two basic questions:
- Do you have enough interest in possibly helping with this build that you’d fill this questionnaire out?
- Is it conceivable that you could be able to come and will you pray God would open that door if He wants you to come?
That’s it for now. Filling out the questionnaire is not a commitment to come nor is it a guarantee that we’ll have room for you on a build team. At this point, we’re simply trying to get a feel for who is interested so we can start thinking through this. Please fill out the questionnaire below by replying in the body of the email. If you receive this email from both the Miller and the Noyes families, please just reply to just one. We will be in touch with you. If you are reading this on the blog, copy and paste the questionnaire into an email and send it to me, firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
Pastor’s name, phone number, & email:
Level of Interest: 1 = “If I have nothing else to do” 10 = “I would sell my house to get the money!”:
Briefly describe any building experience: framing, painting, finishing, dirt-work, electrical, plumbing, etc:
Briefly describe your international travel experience:
How challenging does it seem for you to be able to take the time off work, raise/spend the money and be away from your family for at least three weeks? 1 = no problem, 10 = It will take a miracle? Please briefly describe. We want to pray about these things with you.:
Two weeks would be the minimum time in the country for a build trip. It may be very helpful for a few people to stay longer. How long could conceivably stay if it makes sense for the build? The entire building process can take from 4-6 months depending on lots of factors.
Please share any other thoughts or comments: