At times, it can look very different from what you might expect.
One month into our work at the Lae Regional Centre, we have cleaned guesthouse rooms, washed linen, repaired leaky plumbing, serviced vehicles, paid bills and shopped for supplies. That may sound just like your weekly routine.
Much of this work was during the centre’s Christmas period shut-down, where we host a limited number of guests from SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) staff members only, and give our PNG national paid staff a much deserved break.
We had another Wycliffe family sharing the load, and a ‘full house’ in the air-conditioned family units on site. This provided opportunities to meet a number of the people serving God in Papua New Guinea.
We had families from the Morobe province translation teams purchasing supplies for the coming months (20kg bags of milk powder and flour, for example), some fellow POC’ers taking the opportunity to visit us – and Lae – while Ukarumpa is essentially closed for Christmas, and others in need of a break and a relaxing soak in the pool.
We have visited several local churches, always receiving a warm welcome [you end up shaking hands at least 50-100 times] and encouraging comments about the work of SIL in PNG. They have no trouble picking us as visitors – there is hardly another white face in the congregation most times!
In our last staff devotion time, Keith shared from a passage in 1 Peter 2, noting that all of us – foreign expatriates and national staff alike – are known as part of SIL, and we are to conduct ourselves in a way that reflects positively on the organisation and, more importantly, brings glory to God.
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 1 Peter 2:12
Please pray …
- that our team aims to glorify God, even as we sweep floors and wash sheets!
- for patience as we build relationships with the national staff, laying a foundation for good management and ongoing training
- thankful for much improved health now that we are settled in Lae
- praise God for the warmth of local churches. Pray that they be salt and light to the community