Moving forward

4 months.

It’s been 4months since our family set foot on American soil. Back in May we didn’t realize we wouldn’t be returning to Papua New Guinea. We came “home” to the States feeling tired and restless and burnt out…but ever hopeful to have a quick 6 week turnaround before heading back to PNG.

That obviously wasn’t the case and here we are…

God has closed the door to our life in Papua New Guinea and we have grieved. Long, hard grief. And not just grief over the “dream” of being a tribal church planter, but the grief over a life…a whole, beautiful life we lived overseas. A grief over the last 10 years, working towards a very specific goal…and we are more than bummed to not be experiencing this goal to fruition. A grief over diminished friendships.

If you’ve had any sort of contact with us over the past few months, don’t be offended if we’ve been less than talkative…or if we’ve seemed to smile, yet slowly back away.  It’s not you.  It’s us.  No, really…it’s us.

And while most days we’re OK…some days we just aren’t.

But, we’re slowly beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Although sometimes dim, it’s the light of possibility; clear, tangible possibility. We don’t know what’s coming next, but we’re walking forward, expecting much.

If you received our most recent newsletter, then you understand a bit more the path we’re walking and the thinking that has gone into it. And even though we’re not done grieving our life in Papua New Guinea, we know God’s will for us today is to be here. And right “here,” there is a lot of work to be done.

So if you think of it, will you pray for us?  Will you pray that we’ll know what kind of work God has for us right now…where we are…right here.

 

Anyone relate?  Give us a shout out.

 


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Changes

As many of you know, we are in the midst of a big transition as a family.  Being Stateside and looking at what that means for us in regards to employment, ministry, and…well, everything else pertaining to our daily lives, has its overwhelming moments.  We’re surviving and looking forward to what the Lord might have next for our family.

First things first…Dave is headed back to PNG for 2 weeks at the end of this month.  He’ll be organizing and leaving most of our stuff there.  Some of the more sentimental items will be brought back.  Prayers for him are greatly appreciated as far as smooth travels, time with our coworkers and the Menya people, and encouragement during this closing season of our lives.

Thanks to many of you who have sent us a note of encouragement and prayers.  As we continue to process and grieve, we so, so, so appreciate the love.

 

On a side note, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m probably a prophetess considering the fact I wrote THIS about 8 months ago.

 


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New Reality

For those of you who may have not received our most recent email update, here it is.

Back in May, we returned to U.S. to have Eli evaluated by a neurologist concerning his diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Although we received a very positive report, Eli needs to have annual checkups to monitor his progress. Because of this need combined with other factors, our home church has recommended that we step out of our ministry role and return to the U.S. We were hopeful that we’d be able to return but understood that there would be significant challenges to overcome. Our home church is concerned about the best interest of our family and we appreciate their support during this time of transition.

Returning from the mission field is turning out to be a bigger step of faith than it was to go. We’ve been experiencing a wide range of emotions as we deal with the loss of our life and ministry in PNG and look ahead. We’re not sure what the Lord has for us next, but we will keep you up to date as it becomes clearer. There is a possibility of staying with New Tribes and serving at a stateside training center. If that doesn’t work out then I, Dave, will be looking for other opportunities. Your continued prayers and support are greatly appreciated as we take this unexpected (for us) turn in our lives. 

In the coming weeks…

We have a missions guest house in Santa Clarita available to us through the end of August. During that time I will probably take a trip back to PNG to deal with our belongings. If the Lord leads us to leave New Tribes Mission entirely we will let our supporters know so they can redirect their support. We are immensely grateful to everyone that has prayerfully and/or financially partnered with us over the years.


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Cerebral Palsy Update

This update on Eli’s appointment with the neurologist is way, way, WAY overdue.  Many of you we have talked to personally, so you know how the appointment went.  For many others, however, we have done a terrible job since landing Stateside, of keeping you all up to date with what’s going on with us.  Seriously…we are very sorry about that!

Eli met with a neurologist in late May.  Our main reason for having him seen by a neurologist was to make sure we are providing the appropriate therapy he needs, especially with our living conditions being so remote overseas.  While living in Papua New Guinea, he does not have the luxury of getting consistent physical and occupational therapy.  Plus, we needed to know that his Cerebral Palsy is, in fact, a mild case.

The report from the neurologist was a very encouraging one!  She confirmed that Eli’s Cerebral Palsy is, indeed, very mild.  He does not require medication, surgery, a leg brace…he does not even require extensive physical therapy.  We were very much relieved to get this report and to know from a specialist that we are doing everything we need to ensure he is on track developmentally and physically.  We will continue on with daily home therapy AND bring him back Stateside EVERY YEAR so he can be assessed by the neurologist and physical therapist.

I’ll be starting a semi-formal year of preschool with him soon (he’ll be 4 in 1 week!), which we are hoping will give us some hints as to what his educational needs will be for the future.  There is a chance that because of his Cerebral Palsy, he might have some educational learning disabilities. However, we won’t know for sure until he is 5 years old…old enough to be properly assessed.

Thanks so much to all of you who have been praying for us and our Eli.  This has been quite the trek so far.  We are finding ourselves constantly humbled by God’s grace as we have walked this journey.  This situation with Eli’s health has forced us to our knees as we try to figure out what is best for him.  We are encouraged for the future and excited about how the Lord will use our Eli for his glory.


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Home Highs

Sorry for the blog silence recently.

Most of you know we are back in the States now…adjusting, settling, visiting, processing…

Eli was recently seen by a Pediatric Neurologist for his Cerebral Palsy and we were very encouraged by the report…we’ll share more on that later.

For now, I’ll leave you with some “Highs” we’ve experienced while being home:

  • Air conditioner
  • Bacon
  • Dairy products
  • Unlimited soda refills…seriously.
  • Washing machine & Dryer
  • Target
  • No malaria medication, no mosquito nets
  • Salmon
  • The beach
  • L.A. Kings hockey

 


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We Have An Airplane

White-tail

Back in August I wrote about our serious need for a Quest Kodiak aircraft. Today I am excited to report that God has provided!

The Kodiak airplane that we asked you to pray for has been bought and paid for by two business men. They purchased a Kodiak “white tail” sitting on the Quest ramp waiting for a buyer.  “White tail” signifies that the plane is complete but unpainted since there is no purchaser to determine the paint scheme. This gift is above what we could even ask or think! The money donated by others will go towards outfitting the plane and getting it here to PNG. Since the aircraft is already built, the delivery schedule is very quick. Quest will install the extras that needed for PNG, apply the NTM Aviation paint scheme and then deliver it to NTMA in Arizona as soon as a month from now.

God has also provided for our need of more pilots. One pilot whose return was in question has already come back. And, a new pilot (and his family) recently arrived on the field and is currently training on the SIL Kodiak.  NTM Aviation is hoping that the NTM Kodiak will be ready to fly in PNG later this year.

Wow! Thanks for praying with us and now praise the Lord with us!

 


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High/Lows

High: We just celebrated Caleb’s 1 year birthday.

Low: Even though my baby is already 1, he still nurses 4 times a day and typically wakes up 1-2 times at night.  Oy…

 

High: The Osborns, our coworkers, have started house building!  We are so excited for them to finally have a place of their own.

Low: Because we will be flying back to the States soon, we won’t have the chance to see the finished product until we return!  Blast!

 

High: Caleb’s Impetigo is all cleared up!

Low: We are all sick with colds and feeling rundown…the amount of snot passing through this house is pretty remarkable.

 

High: In less than a week we’ll begin our trek back to the States to see family, friends and doctors…with a little stop beforehand for some much needed relaxation and family time.

Low: Our hearts are feeling heavy to be leaving our coworkers and the Menya people.  Please be praying for the Osborns and Chappells as they continue on with language learning, house building and relationship building.

 

Low: Keeping up with our boys, the Los Angeles Kings, only to be disappointed by their first three playoff games against the San Jose Sharks.

High: Booyah, baby!  Kings come back and tie it up 3 games to 3 games.  C’mon now, Kings…we may or may not have a case of coke riding on the outcome of this series.

 

High: Layla & Eli were not too bummed out to learn that 1). Both our chickens turned out to be boys and 2). One was attacked and killed by a local dog this week.

Low: What good is a rooster without a hen?  I’ll tell you….no good, my friends…no good.

 

High/Lows for you this week?  We’d love for you to share!


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