Our last days in Lae were quite humbling, as people showered us with thanks, bilums (woven string or knitted woollen bags) and expressions of appreciation for us giving assistance, offering hospitality, providing training, and simply showing kindness.
The warm thanks in the cards shown here came from members of our regular Huon Gulf Multi-Language Project team, in Lae for a workshop during our final weeks. Perhaps the thoughts that mean the most to us are those that express how we have encouraged and served the PNG national translation teams.
At an afternoon tea, Elisa Kiputang (pictured below) led several speakers from the national teams in sharing how they had enjoyed coming to Lae and being accepted as a vital part of this ministry. All of them noted being greeted with warm smiles and handshakes, and how they felt comfortable approaching us for practical help at any time. They are a tremendous group of men and women and we will miss them greatly.
Even more, we will miss our beautiful staff. We had a farewell lunch with them at a local restaurant on our last Friday workday, but they wanted a follow up on the Tuesday before we left for Ukarumpa.
They hosted a sausage sizzle lunch – we’ve trained them well in Aussie culture – sang two praise songs, and served a farewell cake. The speeches expressing their appreciation for training and encouraging them, or for simply giving them a chance when they felt that they may never find permanent employment, had us all in tears. Even writing this brings on the emotions.
Overall, these events represented everything we have come to love about our work in Lae, and we couldn’t have thought of a better way to finish.
Please pray …
- for the Lae staff, as they transition through temporary management to new permanent managers around March 2020.
- for Larua ( third from right) in her leadership role between managers.
- thankful that our desire to ‘finish well’ turned out God’s way and not ours – there were plenty of unfinished tasks around Centre.