Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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.
Our team crossing the river

I tried to keep my skirt dry!
There were lots of muddy feet
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 attended were very enthusiastic to hear the Bible stories, sing loudly, and play some wild games.

What a blast we had!! And what a privilege to bring the Word of God to these children and work alongside our national brothers and sisters!

LOTS of Muddy Feet
Me with the Grade 2-4 Blue Team

Eli in the front row

The Limbo

Children entering the Kingdom of God

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 trucking company was hired; the CAM team spent 12 hours the next day transferring the load from our truck to the commercial truck. That vehicle and the building team headed out to the village the following morning, and it looks like the build will begin just 24 hours after it was supposed to.

But if you’re like me, you start to ask, “WHY?” God, why did you allow this to happen? Why all the extra stress, worry and work for so many people? Why the extra manpower, vehicles and financial resources? Just to have the build go on as planned, if only a little delayed???

Then, I saw this photo…

That white face under the baseball cap in the midst of all of those earnest, dark faces is Bible translator Adam Boyd. He’s sitting in the shade of the upturned truck which carries the makings of his family’s home (for which they’ve been waiting for YEARS)… and he is sharing about the work of Bible translation and the importance of God’s Word in the language people understand best. Making the most of every opportunity.

*THIS* is the GLORY of God.

Sometimes God doesn’t show you what He is up to in the midst of your difficult circumstances. Sometimes He does.

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:5-6