They Couldn’t Pay Me Enough to do That!

You want me to do what!!!

#missionarylife = it is something that is not normal, not comprehensible.  You literally couldn’t pay me enough to do that!

And yet…..

I, and all those I work with, willingly do things that one would never have thought they could or would do no matter how much they were paid.

This is not a job.

Missions is a calling not an occupation.  You won’t hear these people saying “That’s not my job!”  They simply say “Yes Lord.” 

Monday was a holiday here in PNG, their Independence Day – that is a big holiday back in the US and it is here too!  But……. we as MAF are a mission and the #missionarylife is to serve – no matter what the day.  So planes flew, people worked, both expats and Nationals, and we did so out of love for our Lord.  Including the wives.

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Nicki & Yvonne prepping the house for guests

Several of us ladies went over to the Wesleyan House, a guest house we rent, to clean and prepare for 3 PNG Doctors who are looking at joining the new HARC initiative and will spend a week getting to know the program. We spent several hours scrubbing the gunk off the ceilings, prepping and putting up new curtains, scrubbing bathrooms and then trying to remove all the dust and grime from a house that has sat vacant for weeks.  We vacuumed, swept, and mopped, and rearranged to try and make it a little more comfortable. This included running an extension cord from the downstairs laundry room up to the refrigerator as there was not power in that part of the house until just before we left the house. Then we had to put back the extension cords!

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“Issue” on the street outside our gates recently – the reason for the gates and razor wire on top.

While we were doing that, Gordon Bland, the Property and Vehicle Maintenance Manager spent most of the day trying to repair the two gates on the compound we live on.  The small man gate on the side yard across from our 2nd compound was opening even though locked just by a very slight pressure on the door.  Not a good thing here!  Then the main electric-open vehicle gate broke and Lois, who lives below us, was not able to get it open to go pick up food items to prepare for her Hospital Visitations that she does at noon on Mondays.  The small gate is now fixed, but after spending hours and hours, the big gate needs parts that have to be ordered in.  As I took Gordon cookies to thank and encourage him, he had such a positive attitude and willing heart to help fix our gates even though he had a big list of things he planned to do that day in his other ministry at one of the local orphanages.  Todd had looked at the gate with him up until he had to go and pick up folks to take them to the airport for their flights out and then he spent the next 9+ hours working in his office at the airport catching up on things that he has trouble getting to during his normal office hours Monday – Saturday.

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Mandy’s bags prepped in record time, to go stay at an outstation for a week

Sunday, as we gathered as MAF staff for Family Church at the Walter’s residence on the Kagamuga compound, we were just wrapping up our potluck fellowship when we received the call for an emergency med-evac which required the departure of the planned relocation of a couple from the Hagen Base to a remote base for a week to  be bumped up by a day!  Needless to say, they were not completely ready to go at that moment, but within an hour, Mandy had the bags packed and things prepped to leave for a week in the lowlands.

The availability and generous spirits of the people we work with overwhelms me.  They selflessly give and give of their time and talents and change their plans continuously to accomplish the tasks at hand that will serve “to see transformation of isolated people spiritually and physically in the name of Jesus.”

This is just a small glimpse into #missionarylife here in PNG. There is so much more that goes on every day by each member of the MAF Team.

I am so blessed to have a small part in this incredible organization and amongst these incredible people!  As I read my Bible each morning and have my personal devotion time, I continue to pray #yeslord #usemelordtoday

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Manna – Stepping Out in Faith

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Good friends Troy & Wendy Johnson

I am reading a book called Manna by Kevin Stirratt.  My friend Wendy, a pastor’s wife from a small church in Oregon sent it to me, as we were preparing to move from Manila and missions with the Church of the Nazarene to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea in a position with MAF International.  The book had been a real blessing to her as she struggled with the daily needs and demands of life, and seeing God’s provision.

 

As I read about trusting God for our daily needs and how we should trust Him in the difficult circumstances  being assured that He has our best interest in mind, my mind started to wander…

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Papa Todd helping Noortja walk

My granddaughter Noortje as a baby was learning to walk.  Her parents would encourage her and hold her hands, letting go at just the right time to help her be able to take those first steps alone.  There were a lot of bumps and bruises along the way as she learned and then perfected walking and running.  Her parents knew that walking would give her so much more freedom and independence.  They knew she would love it once she learned.  They allowed her to get some bumps and bruises along the way because that is the only way she would learn to balance and because they knew the end result was worth it!

 

I felt overwhelmed that this is exactly how the Lord leads us!  Holding our hand until just the right time to allow us to take those first baby steps, allowing us to get a few bumps and bruises by life’s circumstances which help us to balance our faith, because He recognizes that they are worth it for the end result of us walking closer to Him.  This process continues until we are confident in our walking with Him.

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Noortje learning to ride her balance bike

Then comes the next challenge, learning to ride a bike.  The degree of pain and injury increase 10 fold over just learning to walk, but the joy and exhilaration of riding fast, of getting where we need to go outweighs the potential risk of injury.  This is a challenge not just for Noortje, but for her parents, to allow her to endure the risk of a higher degree of injury and to encourage her to not look at the potential pain, but the potential rewards!

 

If we choose to play it safe and not get hurt, we will never walk, ride, drive – live!

Choose to take those risks for the benefits that come,

But if we choose to take those risks for the benefits that come, we will live to a much greater extent, with much greater accomplishments, activity and enjoyment.  We will encounter problems and difficulties and injury and possibly even a higher degree of bodily harm or even death. (bike/car accidents) But those things are necessary risks in order to truly live life to the fullest!

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Goodbyes are always hard on everyone

As I reflect on this, I recognize God’s loving hand in allowing me to endure hardships, separation from loved ones, sickness and threats of bodily harm.  As I endure these things, I learn to walk by faith.  I learn to depend on Him and His love for me, and His care for me in allowing me to go through these things in order to have more freedom.  Freedom from the sin that so easily entangles.  Freedom from the love of earthly things and wealth, which allows me to more easily give and bless others. Which in return is a blessing to me.  I wouldn’t trade this life for anything! Learning to walk by faith and learning to ride fast – recognizing His hand in the midst of obstacles seeing them as opportunities instead of just frustrations has given me a new level of spiritual insight and freedom!

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Noortje running her first 1k race at 3 1/2 years old

It really is a choice, do you want to learn to walk?  Let go of the furnishings, and step out in faith.  Choose to look at the bumps and bruises you encounter in following Christ, as necessary to learn to walk in faith.  Choose to see the negative things others may say to you or about you, as a stone not to be a stumbling block, but to step up on to move to higher ground.

Take my hand and lets run this race called life together!