Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Good-byes and Good Hellos

Well, we have officially finished the first transition in our journey to Papua New Guinea! We have sold and moved out of our acreage home and have moved into a cute little rental home in Marshalltown. When we were at our Equip training in Orlando in June, they taught us the importance of saying good good-byes so that you can say good hellos. So far, so "good".

Here is a little of the photo record of this part of the journey:

We said good-bye to the swing set, rope swing, barn, camp fire and our house of 8 years.

Good-bye swing set

Getting ready to jump onto the rope swing

Good-bye camp fire
Wonderful friends from church helping us move
Good-bye acreage & home
We have enjoyed our hellos to our cute little rental home in Marshalltown. We get to attend last-minute programs at the library, 40 minute grocery shopping trips (as opposed to almost 2 hours), walks on a sidewalk, chatting with neighbors, and a 10-minute drive to church! We have already been able to host two different couples in our home for dinner, in just the past week!
Our temporary little place
Eli chatting with our across-the-street neighbor

Eli is enjoying long summer days playing with friends for the first time in his life. I think this is his favorite part of the move (and it blesses his mama's heart too). These boys are almost as crazy as he is!! He spends as much of every day as he can with them.
Eli with Charlie & Kyan...his nearly constant companions!



And...HE GETS TO GO OUT FOR FOOTBALL!!! That is one happy boy right there!

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
Isaiah 43:18-19

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

One More Step Down the Road...

Joel digging with the backhoe for the septic tank



Eli looking on while they work




The septic tank is installed...













Our portion of the house 
trim is done... 












Most of our things are packed...


Must be time to move! We will be moving to our temporary, rental home in Marshalltown this Saturday. 
One more step on our journey to Papua New Guinea!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"We've Never Heard This Story Before!"

At a Good Friday service in 1980, Leonard Bolioki stepped to the front of the church he attended in Cameroon and began to read the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Always before, this passage from John’s Gospel had been read in French, but this time the priest had asked Leonard to read it in the local language, Yambetta.

As he read, he became aware of a growing stillness; then some of the older women began to weep.
At the end of the service they rushed up to Leonard and asked, “Where did you find this story? We have never heard anything like it before! We didn’t know there was someone who loved us so much that he was willing to suffer and die like that… to be crucified on a cross to save us!”

Leonard pulled out his French New Testament and showed them that the story was in the Bible. “We listen to this Passion Story every year during Holy Week,” he told them, but they insisted that they’d never heard it before. That, says Leonard, is what motivated him to translate the Scriptures into the only language his people could really understand—Yambetta!

Leonard had to work full-time to support his family, and for many years, he could only translate when he found free moments. By 2008, Leonard and other Yambettas had drafted just 35% of the New Testament.

And then in 2008, the Seed Company picked up the project and began providing funds for training, equipment, and living expenses for Leonard and his team of translators and literacy teachers. In addition, SIL Cameroon was also able to assign someone to work alongside them as a consultant. Completion of the New Testament is anticipated in 2016!!!

Leonard says, "I took it upon myself to translate for my people this Word of God that gives life. From 1980 on, this goal remained uncertain. But now, I can see the realization of this dream and I can only be happy--VERY happy! May this Word of Life that has saved many people from other language groups also save the Yambetta people!"


Wycliffe Bible Translators, with its many global partners (including SIL and The Seed Company), desires to see God's Word accessible to all people in a language that speaks to their heart.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Story of How God Sold Our House

It was a Friday evening, around the middle of March, and we had just sat down to eat dinner. A pick-up truck that neither of us recognized pulled into our "farm" yard. Joel got up from the table and went outside to speak to the two men who came to the door. They walked out to our outbuildings and looked around for about an hour.

When Joel finally came into the house, I asked, "Who was that? And what was that all about?" He went on to tell me that it was a local farmer who was interested in renting & modifying two of our hog buildings for raising bottle calves. Joel said, "I told him what we will be doing with Wycliffe and that the whole place will be for sale soon...I told him he should just buy the whole place."

To make a long story short, we had several conversations with the farmer over the coming two weeks which resulted in us agreeing to rent the buildings to him and him agreeing to put the word out for us that our acreage would soon be for sale.

Well, it didn't take long! The very next day after that final conversation, the farmer's partner called us to ask permission to give our phone number to a young man who was looking to buy an acreage. We said "yes", the young man called five minutes later and set up an appointment to see the house two days later. He really liked the acreage, but had just graduated from high school and didn't really have the means or credit to get a mortgage.

But...about 10 days later, he told one of the employees of his family's farm who came right away to see the place and made us an offer about a week later. We asked God to make the negotiation easy and the answer to that prayer was that this young couple offered us exactly what we wanted to sell the house for!

Some of our friends "adopted" our goats & chickens
We have really enjoyed getting to know this young couple who will be buying our place. We are so pleased that they are going to use it as an active farm for their small cattle operation. We feel like we are leaving our place in great hands!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Life-Giving Shadow

This morning, I was standing with my hands in dishwater, look out the kitchen window at the tractors driving by, the new greenness of the grass and the leaves and blooms coming on the apple and pear trees we planted last year. My mind was all over the place: how will this meeting to negotiate the sale of our house go tonight?...well, we're never going to get to enjoy the fruit from those trees...I love this time of  year, except missing my husband...just think, you'll have to wash all the dishes by hand in PNG...dang, I was going to start laundry first...


The view out my kitchen window
(see those baby trees back there behind the big one?)
Then, in the midst of this whirlwind in my brain, I felt the warmth of the sun shining in the window and saw its brightness and the beauty and life it brings to everything. I was overwhelmed with the thought that God's glory and warmth and life giving power make the sun look like a shadow. Is His glory the sun magnified 100 times? 1000 times? more? He created that sun for life and as a shadow-image of Himself. It is REALLY His glory, light and power that gives life to all things.

We are on the cusp of selling our house about 4 months sooner than we had planned. But, we can't just pack everything up like we're moving to a new house and life goes on as normal after we unpack. We have to decide on every possession: what are we getting rid of? what will we put into storage in the U.S.? what do we need to have to live for the next six months? what will we ship to PNG?

Then there's the phone calls and e mails: dealing with the county sanitarian's office; scheduling septic inspection/installation; setting up new bank accounts; oh! by the way...here's the paperwork you need to begin to get your work permits and visas started, because that takes six months. We are supposed to be spending at least 6 hours weekly together on an online training we have for Wycliffe, but that's a problem because Joel is working 12-15 hours daily. Get stuff ready for ABF this week. You didn't email about small group meeting this week (that's not going to happen).

Yeah. And I feel like I'm alone because my husband is working 12-15 hours daily. (Did I already mention that?) I wept after talking to one of my grown kids on the phone this week. WEPT. Could not stop.

And to top it all off, Eli says to me at bedtime, "Mom, last year's Christmas was the last one we'll have in this house." I answered, "Yep, buddy. It sure was. It was our last one and we didn't even know it."
All our kids at Christmas (2011)

Where will we spend next Christmas? In our "temporary" rental house in Marshalltown? Will we be staying with friends or family by then because we will have needed to get rid of all of our belongings?

I don't know.

But what I do know, is that the God who created the sun to be a shadow-image of Himself will be with me and will be give me light and warmth and LIFE no matter where we are and no matter our circumstances.

I need to keep SONbathing.

"The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory." Isaiah 60:19


Monday, March 2, 2015

It's Official!

Well, it's official! As of yesterday, March 1st, we are officially members/employees of Wycliffe Bible Translators! Now the work begins! We have begun getting e mails about our ministry budget, coaches, Equip training and I'm sure there are many more to come! To tell you the truth, it's a little overwhelming. But, we are trusting that Wycliffe has excellent, professional and capable people who know what they are doing and will help us along the way. And there is a looooong way to go!