This is a very brief update, with an emphasis on currency.
Our mission community is meeting tonight (Wednesday) at 7:30pm for an open information and discussion on the implications for all of us of the COVID-19 issue.
Many of our friends have already been impacted – holiday leave in Cairns has been cancelled; stopovers in Australia to renew decade old friendships as folk complete their PNG assignments have had to be forsaken; translation staff in remote assignments have been requested to return to the home base in Ukarumpa. These are all regrettable disruptions, but I cannot help but think of the thousands who have lost loved ones already, who may be undergoing quarantine and treatment, or who may be in genuine fear of contracting the virus.
We have been effected in terms of Keith’s father, Ross, and a family friend, John, having to cut their visit short by several days to avoid getting trapped without a flight back to Brisbane. We are thankful that an earlier commercial flight was able to be booked, and that our mission organisation could find seats on a connecting flight to Port Moresby.
Please be praying for wisdom for our mission leaders, here in PNG and in the home countries, as they determine the best course of action for all of us.
It has been suggested that we should consider returning to Australia, but we feel secure and supported here – no COVID-19 cases have been reported in PNG to date – and would hate to see our work grind to a halt as a result. That said, we also need to respect the position that our supervisors are in.