Village Report Part 1 (of 3): Family

As we wrote in our April update, there is so much to process and tell about our most recent stay in Sivauna village! We were there for nearly two months, from February 12 to April 10. We had plans to stay a few weeks longer, but with domestic travel shutting down in response to COVID-19 reaching Papua New Guinea, we needed to leave while we could. This post has taken many days to write and has become too long to ask you to read in one sitting, so we’ve decided to break it up into three parts by topic: Family, Community, and Work.

Our village trip was long and sometimes stressful, but God did great things in our family. Without many places to go, and being almost completely disconnected from the outside world, we had a LOT of time together. We played games together, read books together, fought with each other, worked on projects, celebrated a birthday, worshiped and prayed in English, and faced the complex challenges of COVID, all together. When talking to people about what it’s like to live in the village, I often say something like, “It’s a rare week when our family doesn’t share 21 meals together.” This is part of village life that our family treasures, and we’re glad to hear reports that many of you are finding similar joy and togetherness in your forced isolation these days.

One of the highlights of the village for our kids is, of course, their friends! As they get older, there are less and less peers for them to spend time with in the village. Teens are often away at school or have many responsibilities to help their family survive. Judah, Zeke, and Silas, however, had many friends they could run around and play with almost any hour of the day.

Zeke always looks like he’s dancing, even when throwing a frisbee!
Silas playing frisbee!

We were so grateful for the kids’ attitudes about homeschooling during this time. The older ones carried on independently while the younger ones spurred each other on to continue learning. With a baby crawling around, needing our attention and time, this was quite a feat! Their focus and drive even allowed us to take an extended Spring Break when we arrived in Ukarumpa. Thank you for praying for Evie, Abel, Judah, Zeke, and Silas!

Meet adorable little Abel, our first village namesake!
All Judah wanted for his birthday was a cowboy hat, so he’d look more like a Texan!

This was Boaz’s first time in the village, and he was a HUGE hit with everyone! He was the first white baby many of our friends had ever seen, and they absolutely loved him. Bo enjoyed going around the village, meeting people, seeing all the new things, and ESPECIALLY looking at dogs. His first words included the Mamusi words koni (dog) and mang (bird). People got no end of delight when he would point to a dog walking past and shout “KONI!” or hear a rooster crowing somewhere and ask “mang?” while looking around for the source.

Taking Bo with me when I walked around to talk to people in the morning gave me great opportunities to learn more about the Mamusi language and how it’s used in different contexts. He was an ice-breaker to begin conversations with people I’d never spent much time with before, because we could always start by talking about the baby and how much he loves koni.

We know many of you pray for us daily, and we can’t tell you how much that means for us. Here are a few family-related prayer points for you to join us in:

  • Please pray for continued peace in our home. In our family we love each other deeply, but living so closely for months can be trying on our relationships. I know many of you are experiencing the same thing right now, so you know how to pray this way!
  • Please pray that we re-integrate well into life in Ukarumpa. Because of the pandemic, many things are different now than times we’ve lived here before. We need discernment to navigate opportunities to love, serve, and develop good relationships here. Our leadership here would certainly appreciate your prayers.
  • Please pray that Boaz would continue to grow, thrive, and sleep. He’s been very healthy and learning new things every day. He wants to be around people (and/or animals) all the time, and he lights up any room he’s in. We believe the Lord has huge plans for this little guy, and we appreciate your prayers for him.
  • Please pray for each individual in our family’s relationship with God. He has plans for each of us here.
  • We always appreciate your prayers over our health, but now more than ever. Travel is very limited, making any potential medevacs even more difficult.

Thank you for reading, dear ones. Your love and support mean the world to us! We’d love to connect with you, especially if it’s been a while. Please reach out in the comments or send us an email and let us know what’s going on and how we can be praying for you.

Last term, one of the kids’ biggest reminder that they were loved and not forgotten were cards and gifts from the USA. If you’d like to mail our family a card or package, please reach out for the kids’ wishlists and details about mailing us things.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in a couple of days!

9 comments

  1. Cindy Cato · · Reply

    I would love your address and the wishlist. It doesn’t just have to be for the kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Katie Dickard · · Reply

    We would love your address and wishlist! Love y’all!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Naomi Boone · · Reply

    Love your updates. Prayers.

    Naomi Boone

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keith & Charlene Barker · · Reply

    It’s always good to hear news from the Wade tribe and see what God is accomplishing through you on the other side of the world. We are surviving here with the burning question on everyone’s mind being, “Does anyone know how long toilet paper will last in the freezer?”
    We are trying to stay in and stay safe and Texas is beginning to open back up. If we could just get the hair salons open, a large part of the population would breath easy again, including Charlene. We think of you guys and pray for you often. We love you very much and know God is working in and through everyone of you. Happy Mother’s Day, Rebecca!!!
    Love, Keith & Charlene

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ken Lasater · · Reply

    Assign me some goodies to gather and send!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you friends! We’ll be in touch.

    Like

  7. Paul and Sheri Harris · · Reply

    It’s always wonderful to hear how all the kiddos are doing and how they are growing! You two are so precious and we pray for your dear family. Thank you for all the news! And Love the pictures, too!

    Like

  8. […] This is the second installment of a 3-part post on our most recent visit to Sivauna village from February to April of this year. If you missed Part 1 (Family) a few days ago, you can find it here. […]

    Like

  9. […] recent time in Sivauna village from February to April of this year. If you missed them, here is Part 1 (Family) and Part 2 […]

    Like

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