Last weekend we hiked with one other family into a Gadsup-language village called Moropa to stay overnight. This was our last baby step before our big 3-week village stay, which is the culmination of our orientation course here.
The Papa (patriarch) of the family we stayed with is the big man of the village and the leader over all the Seventh-Day Adventist churches in the region. He was an incredible guy; he told me the first harvest of his substantial gardens always goes to ministers and missionaries as part of his personal ministry. They were so very generous to us with their time, their house, and their food.
We’ve spent the last week or so making the final plans and preparations for our 3-week village living stay in the Markham River Valley. We found out that our village (this time each POC family is placed in a separate village) is called Zumanggurun, and that they speak a language called Adzera. One of the goals for this experience is language and culture immersion; our Tok Pisin skills and comfort level should improve significantly, and our understanding of and appreciation for the culture will be deepened. Other goals include getting comfortable with living in a village (i.e. no power, indoor plumbing, etc), continuing our focus on how to build meaningful relationships with Papua New Guineans, and completing several academic assignments that will help us articulate our experiences in a structured way.
We’ll be leaving for the village early Friday morning (Thursday evening in the States). We’ll very likely be offline for the duration of our stay. Please pray:
- that our family will thrive in the coming weeks
- that we will meet our goals
- that God would be glorified through our interactions
- for health, safety, and logistics