Backyard Coffee

I promised to show you how we got from coffee "fruit" on the tree in our backyard to the aromatic, yumminess of the stuff I drink every morning. Finally...the coffee post you've been waiting for!

Our friend, Enoch (you've seen a bit about him on Facebook), picked the red coffee fruits for me. He showed me how to squeeze the beans out of the red skin. It's a very sticky job.
  After removing the skins, we placed the fruit in a bucket to "sleep" for a couple of days. I guess this loosens the flesh of the fruit from the bean so that it is easier to wash off. Then, Enoch washed and rinsed, washed and rinsed, washed and rinsed the coffee beans to remove the fruit from the seed.

We were left with green coffee beans that still have the seed coat on them. Enoch and I worked daily to lay them out on an old piece of window screen to dry in the sun. You want to get them dried pretty quickly or they will rot. We had to be vigilant to bring them in whenever it raine…

Vacation Bible School in Aiyura Valley, Papua New Guinea

Many adult and teen volunteers from our mission center joined hearts & hands with two national churches to hold a Holiday Bible School January 2-6, 2017.

Eli and I joined the team that headed out to the Lutheran Renewal Church in the village of Ba'e. Each day began with a short drive to the Ba'e River, where we would ford on foot and then take hike a short to the village church. As if often the case during rainy season, the river was too high and fast for crossing on three of the days. That circumstance required a bit of a longer drive around to cross and a bit of a longer hike. But, we really enjoyed getting to walk through some other villages that we haven't had the opportunity to visit yet.

The theme of the VBS was "Stand Strong Like Daniel". The children were encouraged from stories from the Book of Daniel to keep their lives clean, to become people of prayer, to humble themselves before the Lord, and to trust God in all circumstances.
The children who a…

Life in the Land of the Unexpected: The Story of a Truck Rollover

Joel went out as truck driver with a building team from the Construction and Maintenance Department (CAM) which will be building a home for the Boyd family, Bible translators in Enga Province. The trip that should have been about 12 hours’ drive on difficult roads, spread over two days, ended after just a few hours. The truck hit a pothole, causing the passenger-side tires to fall off the edge of the road and the top-heavy truck to turn over onto its passenger side in a grassy ditch. Thankfully, there were only two very minor injuries. The construction materials loaded in the back of the truck shifted, but were undamaged. The truck itself was only slightly damaged. EVERYTHING and EVERYONE came out essentially unscathed, except maybe Joel’s pride. If you were going to have a trucking accident, you would want it to happen like this one did.
Our mission center dispatched personnel and security resources, and a private tow truck arrived several hours later to upright the vehicle. A truck…

Baking Monster Cookies in the Village

During the month that our family lived in Awalmade Village, Papua New Guinea, I learned many things about cooking over an open fire. It's not really knowledge that you can explain verbally, you just kind of get a "feel" for it. For example, knowing how hot the fire has to be to cook but not burn, and when do you need to start "turning down" the heat in order to finish things well.

We made a village pizza by cooking the dough on the first side, then flipping it over, adding the toppings, and covering the skillet to melt the cheese. I have a feeling that if we'd been served this pizza in the U.S., we might've turned our noses up at it. But, in Awalmade Village, it tasted great!!

This is a pot oven. You put about two inches of sand inside and then set some clean tuna cans on top of that. The sand spreads out and holds the heat from the fire so that there is a more consistent temperature inside the oven. Keep the lid on to hold in the heat and you actually h…

Some Things I Learned While Living in a Village in Papua New Guinea

I don't know how many items will be on this list.

It is in no particular order.

I reserve the right to add more items later after my brain has processed this whole experience for a little while longer.

1. It's amazingly easy to forget to brush your teeth in the village.
2. You know how when you feel like you have bugs crawling on you and then you can't NOT think about DO have bugs crawling on you.
3. It gets dark quickly. Start cooking supper early (4:30 at the latest) so you don't have to cook and wash dishes in the river in the dark. If you try to wear a headlamp, humongous flying insects that you've never heard of before will be all over you.
4. Stop fighting the mud. Just stop.
5. Clean is relative. When you wash your self, your laundry, and your dishes in the same river...a stream, really...(see #4)
6. Life without refrigeration is possible. Not nice though.
7. When you finally give up on seeking comfort, you can sleep anywhere. For short, pain…

We've Arrived in Papua New Guinea!

After working and praying so long toward this, it's actually kind of surreal to BE HERE FINALLY!!

Here are a few pictures to let our family know we are well and so you can see a little bit of what our situation is like (for a few days anyway), while we wait for training to begin on June 24th.

Our Commissioning Service & Send-Off Party

The past two weekends, we experienced new milestones in our journey to Papua New Guinea: our commissioning service and a send-off open house. We are so blessed to have so many people who care for us and serve us by participating in our Wycliffe ministry in these ways!

On June 19th, the Evangelical Free Church of Marshalltown commissioned us as the first missionaries from our own church family who will go out as full-time, foreign missionaries. Our pastors and elders shared some scripture and prayed for us as we "go". Though we are the first to go as foreign missionaries, we are not E Free's first efforts in making Christ known to the nations! We are so proud of our church family and their heart for the nations; AND we feel very privileged to represent our spiritual family as we begin our work in Papua New Guinea.

And, we were so grateful to have our grown children, Cady & Lucas (& wife, Alyssa); our grandchildren, Lily & Henry; Tina's parents, Sam & Ka…