August 08 - Leaving 23 August

Gratitude


Fourteen years ago I left home, but for the last month I have been based in Wanganui, living with my parents. I NOW HAVE TICKETS – LEAVING 23 AUGUST.

Water blasting, painting and carting firewood have kept me busy as my parents prepare to sell their beekeeping business, farmlet and home of 27 years.

It’s great to be around during all these changes, but I have to say it has been a real struggle to negotiate living with my family, kind and loving as they are. I realise how much my expectations of how to relate are formed from years of independence, and living in a family is completely different. Space and time for reflection is something I could well struggle with in PNG too.

What does this have to do with gratitude? God really spoke to me from Paul’s letters in the Bible. His thankfulness in all situations is a powerful corrective to my criticisms, and I’ve found that starting the ball of thanks rolling has led to an increasing peace.

On another level thankfulness is really easy, because the month has been full of answers to prayer. Pledges of financial support are now at 80% of budget, so I now have tickets – leaving 23 August.

I’ve had opportunities to speak to several church groups in Wanganui, and appreciate their partnership. An oxygen concentrator I sent to PNG via airfreight has arrived and is busy saving a girl with pneumonia.

I’ve also got a village to stay in! I’d been anxious about how to find an Aekyom village for my language learning phase (Dec 08 – Sept 09). The expatriate who was going to organise it is in the UK due to family illness. However, responsibility was given to Pastor Mase of the local church, who has organised it. How good it is for nationals to take charge of my orientation! God answers prayer.

I’ve been surprised to meet up with so many old friends in the North Island, and have really enjoyed making new memories with them, sometimes even going on some wee excursions – my favourite. They’ve been real highlights in between all the other administration tasks.

This coming month is looking to be busy; making decisions about what to take, continuing to plan shipping goods, and speaking with more partners. It’s a strange sort of busy for me: a far cry from being an emergency doctor in Dunedin, and I’m really looking forward to being in PNG.

Please let me know what’s going on in your lives too! Current address 176 Mosston Rd, Wanganui, New Zealand, sharonb@msbx.net

Praise

VSAT (satellite broadband) is finally available in Rumginae courtesy of MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship), stopping 2 months of silence from them while phone lines have been down. My support base is growing and I have enough to get going. The ultrasound machine in Dunedin is now ours.

Aekyom Language

Papua New Guinea is a diverse country of over 500 languages. The map shows Western Province, with 52 language areas. Rumginae station is on Aekyom land, but patients come from everywhere.

There are 8000 Aekyom speakers, and one of those will be my language helper as I stay in Dande, just 12km from Rumginae. It is easily accessible along the gravel road going from the river port of Kiunga to Tabubil.

Prayer Points:

  • I need a visa and work permit!
  • Good goodbyes with family, and wise packing
  • James, one of the PNG community health workers has had a head injury in a football accident. He is improving after an operation to drain bleeding around his brain, but is still paralysed down one side.

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