We made it to Goroka, Papua New Guinea on March 21st safe and sound!
New Tribes Mission Aviation sent some guys out to come and pick us up. We had 20 pieces of luggage so they brought 2 vehicles. It took 20 minutes to get to the Lapilo New Tribes Mission center, where we got settled in the guest home. We were very well taken care of by the staff here with groceries, meals, tours of the town, and the local market. So many new things to experience here!Jon has been to PNG before, but for me and the boys this is our first time. I (Adie) honestly experienced culture shock as soon as we got off the plane. Feeling a little shock and awe as I see, smell and feel what has been home to so many church planting missionaries and support staff.
It is beautiful here, lush, tropical and mountainous. But as we drove to the center, there are nationals walking along the streets ducking in and out of the road, trash piles, little fruit and veggie stands, stores, gas stations, so many things to take in all at once.
The NTM center is gated with guards and it feels safe here. They have simple but nice homes set up all over the center. We’ve been so blessed to be invited into some of the homes for meals to meet the staff. It’s been so humbling to hear the stories of the work going on here in PNG, planting churches and discipling nationals. It’s incredible to see all of the individuals that have dedicated their lives to this ministry! And to think, we get to work alongside these amazing people, is humbling!
We leave for Ukarumpa, where the JAARS/SIL center is located on Monday, March 31st. Jon’s first day of orientation is April 7th. We found out we will live in a guest house first. A fully furnished home is available in June so we won’t get “settled” settled just yet. At least we know we have a place to stay for a while and we are so grateful!
- Our travels went relatively well. Our luggage had some issues with being too large between Brisbane and Goroka, and because of that we had to check our carry on’s and be rushed through to the gate. It was a little stressful, but we are praising God for His getting us through that ordeal!
- We were SO happy to meet the team here and just love the staff! So excited to work alongside all of these folks.
- The boys are loving PNG! It’s warm all the time, the random rain storms and families with boys are some of the things that have made it a fun transition for them.
- We got to see some folks here we met while we were stateside and it’s just amazing to be able to see a familiar face in an unknown place.
- The staff has made us feel SO welcome and we can’t wait to get to know everyone better.
- We are adjusting to the humidity and the elevation so we are a little more on the sleepy side, but so far adjusting well.
- We have to go through our things to see what we need in Ukarumpa (Ayura) and what to leave in storage.
- We have more paperwork we are taking care of here. And figuring out the details for moving. Pray for clarity and for all of the details.
- Pray for me (Adie) as I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at all of the changes. I wasn’t expecting to feel as out of sorts as I do right now. Pray that I will have peace as I take it all a day at a time.
Thank you all for your love and prayers for our family during this adventure,
Jon, Adie, Jaeden, Levi and Jace Leedahl