Monday, February 13, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Yucky

A lot has happened since I last blogged, we celebrated Jesus' birth, welcomed in the new year, and began a new school term.  In the midst of those things, we've encountered some Good things, Bad (at least from a human perspective) things, and some downright Yucky things...

First the GOOD...

In January Sydney, Calvin and I had the privilege of ministering to hundreds of Papua New Guinean children through a week long Vacation Bible School (Holide Baibel Skul-- in Tok Pisin). Here is a report from the organizer of the event.  God is Good!

We are hearing exciting reports from local valley residents who say their children are singing the Scripture songs and reciting the verses they learned at VBS.  This year’s theme was “Kamap Nupela” (becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus.)    Pray that the children will keep making an impact for Jesus in the local villages!  Here are some final statistics:  There was an average attendance of 540 children per day from 10 different villages.   One hundred forty-five people served in some way at VBS, from baking banana bread (over 200 loaves) to teaching the gospel.    Fifty-five of them were students from the International School on our center, and about 20 were church workers from 13 different churches in the surrounding valley.  Forty teachers attended training events prior to VBS to help them be well-prepared to teach the verses, the gospel and application activities.   We know of about 150 children who prayed to receive Jesus as their Saviour, but there could have been many more.  Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.   God is SO good!
Another GOOD thing that has happened in our family in the last few weeks is that Sydney took another step in her faith and was baptized. She had talked about wanting to do this when we were in the US on furlough, but "didn't want to do it in front of a lot of people."  A few weeks ago in her youth group she came to understand that being baptized "in front of a lot of people" is kinda the point to baptism!  So on Jan 29th (along with 18 other youth from our community) Sydney was baptized by her Dad in the Bae river (it's a good thing the washing of sin is symbolic when it comes to baptism because nothing could get clean in that river!)
The BAD...

We've seen some tragedies recently in PNG. We are mourning with PNG as a ferry carrying several hundred people sank off the coast on PNG a couple of weeks ago.  It is feared that hundreds list their lives in that accident.

Many here are struggling to raise needed support to return and to remain in PNG.  We know that these are uncertain times for many, please know that we often pray for our family and friends in their home countries as well.

Much closer to home... a sweet friend and classmate of Sydney lost her sister this month.  Judy (the sister who passed away) was a young wife and mother.  Judy's parents work with BTA (Bible Translation Association of  PNG) and are among the Papua New Guinean nationals working hard to bring God's word to all the languages of PNG. please join us in praying for Stacey (Sydney's friend) and her family as they mourn this loss.  

And finally the YUCKY...
One of the not  so great things about living in a beautiful tropical place like PNG is dealing with the yucky, but unavoidable things like mice, cockroaches, and rats.  I put them in that order because, while all three of these things are things I wish I didn't have to deal with, their is definitely a hierarchy of yuckyness (I know that's not really a word).  
Mice--we get them in our house sometimes. They are annoying, but they have a certain cuteness to them, so while I don't really want them in my house, they don't completely gross me out.  
Cockroaches-- these are just gross.  Especially when you wake up it the night and step on one in your bare feet. I can't stand that crunching sound! 
Rats-- these are the yuckiest of all!  

Why do I bring this up, you ask?  Well, we recently discovered that our storage area under the preschool building was infested with rats!  The other preschool teachers and I have spent the last few weeks going through everything in this storage area. We threw away lots of stuff that had been chewed on and peed on by the rats, we cleaned stuff up, we re-organized the storage area, and we repacked stuff into rat resistant (hopefully) plastic bins.  In the process of this clean out, we encountered not one, not three, not five, but EIGHT rats!  If that isn't yucky, I'm not sure what is!

So, there you have it... the GOOD, the BAD, and the YUCKY!