Sorry we have been a bit quiet recently, but we have had Duncan's mum visiting, been celebrating Christmas and preparing to attend a twelve week Pacific Orientation Course in Madang. It is on the east coast of PNG - think incredible beauty, incredible heat/humidity and incredible range of insect life... It will involve cultural training, outdoor living skills training, Tok Pisin lessons, hiking, swimming and a four week village living phase. We were meant to attend this course in January 2013, but Reuben came along and changed everything, so this will be our second attempt. We have been cleaning, sorting, packing, panicking...there is a long list.
In the midst of all of the above we are also trying to prepare mentally and spiritually. I have never pretended that I relish the thought of POC. In fact, when we first found out that it was a requirement, I told Duncan the whole being missionaries in PNG thing was off. In my high heel wearing, 'Hello' magazine reading, comfort loving, heat hating, bug hating, camping hating, risk averse mind there was no way in the world that I could survive. But, I was persuaded it was necessary, that I would get through in God's strength rather than my own, that I might discover I was the female version of Bear Grylls after all, that it would be entertaining for others to watch, that in short I would survive and might even possibly enjoy it, or bits of it anyway. I felt ready, I was determined. Actually, I was still terrified, but somehow or other I got on the plane. And then out of the blue we weren't going anymore, because a miracle struck and suddenly Reuben was in our lives. So here I am, two years later, with a gorgeous, bouncing, teething boy in my arms and I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous... I have heard so many stories about the 'adventure' we are about to undertake that I am overwhelmed by possibilities. God has proved himself bigger than any of my fears so many times in my life and yet, prepare to be shocked - I am faltering. Panic is setting in. I know how I should feel, even what a 'good attitude' looks like, yet once again I don't have the words to explain in the 'right' way how afraid I am. I know, I know, I'm talking a lot about feelings and they are not necessarily reliable. But God is. God is. I am convinced of that, but as we head to a place and an 'adventure' that will prove it again, my knees are still knocking. I am craving peace - that sometimes elusive blessing that will help me put one foot in front of the other, that will quiet the panic and remind me that God is with me, with us. If you are a praying sort, could you ask God to help us? Thank you!
So there will be stories, no doubt many stories, but our internet access will be very limited, so don't expect to hear them until April. God is about to give us another opportunity to testify to how big He is and it looks like we have to take it. In fact, even though we are frightened we want to take it. There is a part us (yes, even me) that is...wait for it...EXCITED. Is it possible to be panicked, scared and excited at the same time? It would appear so. So let's go! Bring it on! We will go: faltering forward, excitedly scared and panicked, but trusting our great big God.