September 08

September 08

Change of plan

Greetings from Wanganui!

I'VE REBOOKED TICKETS FOR 6 SEPTEMBER. This is a change of plan, but I am still in NZ awaiting a work permit and entry visa for my new home. I've rebooked tickets for 6 September,hoping that the extra two weeks will be enough time for the official wheels to turn and also not too late to join he Pacific Orientation Course (POC). If it doesn't come by then, I won't be able to join the course and there will be many more decisions to make.

I think I understand the visa delay. Months ago, I sent to my "employer" the Evangelical Church of Papua New Guinea) all the application forms for medical registration in PNG, the work permit and entry visa for them to get processed. However, they had to be done in that order and my registration was only awarded 5 August, meaning there was very little time before my initial leaving date of 23 August.

Many people have been asking me how I am. Actually I'm fine, enjoying relaxing now that the busyness of getting ready is basically over. I'd like to share a special thing that happened in the frantic thick of getting ready to depart. With around one week to go, my email wasn't working, I was anxious about having no visa and overwhelmed with the multitude of things to do. One day it got too much, and I realised I just couldn't do it! At that point I had quite a special time with mum, as we prayed and asked God for his help - and things changed.

On the Sunday, my church in Wanganui sent me off with prayer and God had a special word for me. "I have seen your tears... I have called you to these people." He encouraged me to read the Bible and hear Him speak to me when things were hard. It was with the joy of God's presence that I faced that last week before "leaving". That's the kind of God I serve.

Let me tell you a bit about the Pacific Orientation Course (POC) anyway. The idea is to get some training to live cross-culturally, because as you might image, coming from an advanced technological society to a subsistence level society presents some adjustment problems! There'll be orientation to PNG culture, classes in melanesian pidgin and anthropology, and opportunities to practice what I learn by overnighting in nearby villages, conducting surveys and interacting with the multicultural group of around 30 new workers.

Of the 14 week course, I'm particularly looking forward to the 5 week village component which will simulate the conditions I'll have when I'm doing my Aekyom language learning later on, with much more supervision. I'll get experience in setting goals, handling emotions and applying newly-learned skills.

Others have said the greatest thing about POC was the opportunity to be evaluated and to evaluate yourself as you adjust to difficult situations and environments. That provided them with guidelines for spiritual growth and development to enhance their ministry. A friend of mine from Bible College did the course even after doing short-term trips to PNG, and thought it was invaluable, so it does have high praise.

Thanks for your encouragement and please join me in praying that I'll get to the course.

Sailing away...

What a team! One of my support team brought David Nunn to Dunedin to develop a link between Dunedin Hospital and Pacific hospitals. "Our clutter is their treasure." This adds to equipment already donated and a shipping container is being organised for Rumginae. May PNG people know the the full message of this new life. (from Acts 5:20)

Prayer Points:

  • I need a visa
  • Pray for the many new workers starting POC

Praise

Thanks for generous provision and transport of hospital goods.
Praise our God who speaks and strengthens.
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