3 months … 4 homes


We’ve been in Papua New Guinea for just about three months now. We’re in our third home right now and in another two days we’ll be moving to our fourth.


Our first home was in Madang for 6 weeks. We started out by simply getting acquianted with general life in PNG. Then we had about 3 weeks of studying Tok Pisin (PNG’s trade language).

Our second home was in Goroka for a quick 2 weeks. We had a full schedule of medical training and conversations with some key support staff for New Tribes Mission here in Papua New Guinea.

Our third home has been in Hoskins for 3 weeks now. We got here a few days before the “area conference” began. All the current missionaries in the Eastern area came to Hoskins and connected for a 4 day conference. We heard reports from each work and received a challenge to stay on mission making disciples with God’s word as our authority. It was a really good time of connecting with people and re-centering our minds on the mission God has given.

Immediately after conference, Luke and I (Seth) took a week trip to visit the Siar church. (more about that trip in our next post)

Now in a couple of days, we’ll all head out to the island of New Ireland, move into a missionary’s old home, and live in a village with the Patpatar people for “bush orientation”.

“Bush Orientation” 

So far almost everything we have been doing in PNG has been fast paced with a lot of transitions. Now we’re heading into a stretch where life is going to look pretty different. We’ll spend roughly 3 months living in a bush location so that we can finish our Tok Pisin study.

Along with Luke and Ellenie, we’ll be neighbors with the Patpatar church in the village of Bom. We have a long way to go in our Tok Pisin study, so we will be working hard to finish while we can be completely immersed in the context of the village.

This is going to be our biggest transition so far. It’s amazing how stress, change, and the unknown really reveal what’s going on in our hearts. We are so deeply in need of God’s grace and power in everything. From the little simple things to the big unknown things … it all comes back to God’s grace in each moment and His Spirit giving us all that we need for this life.

An awesome part of our specific situation is that we’re going to get to build close friendships with one of the churches that we will be engaged with for years to come. The Patpatar church is located on the West side of New Ireland, and we are likely going to be serving on the East side of the same island among the Konomala people. The believers of the Patpatar church will have a direct effect in our lives for the next 12 weeks of language study … and they’ll continue to play a key part for years to come as together we model the body of Christ to the people in Konomala.

This is us

Our family is doing well. Life here has had a few more stressors than back in America, and we’ve felt that affect in our family, bodies, and team at times. Our hearts are revealed every day as we react to different people and situations. And to say the least, our hearts have revealed that we need Jesus … a lot =)  He has given us everything that we need for a life in godliness no matter what the context is. His Spirit is living in us and is making His love & grace a more real thing all the time.

Challenges, stress, and suffering offer an opportunity for us to rest, endure, build character, and have joy in the hope of sharing in God’s glory someday soon. Can’t wait!

The girls are doing great.
Natalie is 3 now and is such a great girl. She is tons of fun. Right now a few of her favorite things are riding the daddy horsey, playing on the playground, and helping mommy with everything.
Lauren is “mamama”-ing her way around as she’s starting to inchworm everywhere at ankle height. She’s really giggly at daddy and at pretty much anything her big sissy does.
God has given us some pretty amazing blessings in those two.


Please pray with us

That our eyes would be looking up & out … up to God’s grace and greatness and out to the people around us. It’s so so easy to get turned in on ourselves and get lost in our own little stories and troubles.

That we would continue to prioritize our closeness with Jesus, our family, and our team. The tyranny of the urgent can quickly overwhelm us and leave the important things neglected.

That our families will adjust well to a new home, schedule, context, and task as we move out to the village in Patpatar. This transition can feel pretty intimidating and overwhelming as we’re fighting to keep a big perspective.


Our Current ‘Timeline’

January – March
General orientation and beginning Tok Pisin study

March – April
Continued training, orientation, and moving to the Eastern (Islands) area

April – June 
Bush orientation, connecting with the national church, finishing Tok Pisin study

Survey the Konomala people group and discern where the Lord is leading our team to live and make disciples.

August – December (depending on the survey results)
Building our bush homes and beginning to study the Konomala language

7 thoughts on “3 months … 4 homes

  1. So excited to get a new post and update from you guys! Kaden and I have been praying for you daily. Missing you tons but praying for God to keep replenishing your spirits as you continue to learn Tok Pisin and as you transition into your next home among the Patpatar people. The girls are getting so big! Love to you all.
    Liv and Kaden


  2. Hi Seth and Kaitlyn,

    Would you please change our email address to the one I’m writing from right now. That way it goes to both Linda and myself. I’ll be deleting the pastordangrocott@gmail.com address soon.

    P.S. Did you hear that we’re moving to Schroon Lake, NY in June?




  3. Seth & Kaitlyn, we (Sue & Tom) are so happy to be able to hear of your progress and understand how difficult it has been to adapt to a new culture. God is faithful and will meet all of your needs. Thank you for the updates.


  4. It’s a privilege to be able to receive these monthly updates. You are being lifted up in prayer by your family in Christ all around the country! ~ Judy Cook, Plainville Baptist Church


  5. Dear Seth and Kaitlyn, Thank you for your very informative update. You all look great. The 4 kids are super darling and look to be good friends. That is a good thing. You have been so busy with everything you need to do each day. It’s a wonder that you have time to send information to us. Only with the constant help and guidance of the Holy Spirit could you be accomplishing all of it. I jotted down your prayer requests and will pray about them. Smile a lot. People will think you are crazy but the muscles around the mouth release endorphins into the brain and affect how one feels. Trust me. Smile, smile, smile. I am doing well in my new home. The apartment is quite nice; plenty of space for me. Lots of things to pursue here including volunteering. Exercise classes daily, good walking paths. The property is huge. It is like a preserve for animals. Lots of deer, cranes, turkeys, fox etc. It is a Christian community which I love. I found a great church in town. Have started a small group with another woman who lives here and 4 women from the church. We meet here each week. I and my family are quite glad that I moved here. So it’s all good. The Holy Spirit led me to this place. He is really active in my life. I am so grateful to Jesus for leaving his spirit here to dwell within us. How blessed we are. Know that I am praying for you. By the way when you mentioned ‘the urgent’ I was reminded of a book I have had for several years The name of it is “Urgency Addiction.” Basically it addresses the use of time: how we use it, how others demand that we use it, how pressed and depressed one can become while trying to deal with time. It is a most interesting read. I bought it when the people I was dealing with in my work, both employers and patients/families began to press in on me. It was so helpful to realize that someone else’s urgency is not my problem. It belongs to them. Anyway……..I will close with love to all of you. Your sister in Christ, Ann​

    On Mon, Apr 9, 2018 at 8:50 PM, Seth & Kaitlyn Sanford wrote:

    > Seth & Kaitlyn posted: ” We’ve been in Papua New Guinea for just about > three months now. We’re in our third home right now and in another two days > we’ll be moving to our fourth. Review Our first home was in Madang for 6 > weeks. We started out by simply getting acquianted” >


  6. you guys and your partners are in my prayers often! I enjoy reading your updates!

    I was also privileged to hear how you guys are doing through the team from Hope that was recently there. (The kids and I are attending there now)

    We are all excited about what God is doing and are praying for you.

    Sent from my iPhone


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