You may be old enough (or young enough) to remember the 1979 disco hit from Sister Sledge. For those that don’t, you didn’t miss much.
Let us introduce our PNG wasfemili (watch family), who help us with learning Tok Pisin, introduce us to village culture and customs, and generally watch out for us.
We found out during our second visit, that two of the six pikinini (children) belong to waspapa’s sister, and live with them during the school term, to be close to the local school.
This is the way families often function in PNG, and they have accepted us with the same warmth and generosity. We have visited their home for meals, and to sleep overnight. Each time there has been extra people for the meal, with many stories and much laughter [usually it’s the children laughing at our Tok Pisin].
Their garden provides food for the family, and a surplus to sell at market to fund other necessities. Growing up on a bikpela gaden (farm) has helped telling stories of sugar cane and veggie patches in Tok Pisin – and everyone here loves a good snake story!
“Yu tok stori?” is the common conversation starter after a meal, and our new papamama (parents) correct our mispronunciations and poor grammar with much patience and grace. The children laugh… and we laugh along with them!
“Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10 v 40 – 42.
Please pray …
– that Christian families maintain a positive witness within the villages of PNG
– thanking God for the good relationship SIL maintains with the national churches, and the local communities
– that the families who are welcoming the students would be richly blessed. Particularly pray for good health and sufficient harvest from the coming season