Hurry up and Wait

Konomala leaders (middle) with Siar & Kandas church leaders (left and right)

Nearly nine months ago to the day … we arrived in country, moved around to a few different places, then did a survey of an unreached people group, and began preparing for building houses in a village … now … we’re waiting.

It’s a pretty common theme: plan, prepare, hurry up … and wait.

Our survey of the Konomala people group went very well. At first glance, things were not at all as we expected. It was more spread out than we thought with less people than we thought. But as we connected with the community and began talking with more people, we found a large community with a genuine openness and urgent interest in understanding God’s truth in their own language. It was an extremely encouraging trip, and we hoped / expected to quickly hear back from the community with an “official invitation” for our families to move in.


Nothing happens quickly here, and the Lord had different plans for us in the meantime. During this few months of waiting, we’ve gotten to plug in wherever possible on the mission support center in Hoskins. It’s been a good time of being a bit more settled as a family, getting to know our co-workers who’ll be supporting us in the bush, and getting to be helpful with a lot of things happening on center.


Our Family

As a family we’re doing good. We miss home … we might be day dreaming about food, sports, and shopping a little more than normal. But it’s all part of the process, and God is definitely refining us as we have to re-focus our perspective all the time. His grace is enough for each step.

The girls are doing great. Lauren is walking all over the place now. While her legs are waddling around, her mouth has no problem loudly communicating whatever it is that she’s feeling at the moment. She loves eating, snuggling, and doing whatever Natalie is doing.

Speaking of Natalie, she is growing up so much. She’s a great communicator. She loves reading books, helping mommy cook, and being tickled. She feels a lot of emotions … she’s getting to step into the journey with the rest of us as we’re all learning how to interact with what we feel and how strongly we feel it. It’s been a learning and adjusting process for us as parents too =)

What’s Next

Well … there’s a plan, but it’s all up to the Lord and what His plan is. For years we’ve been taking steps forward, and the Lord has directed throughout that process. It’s no different now.

So, here is the “current” plan:

IF we can get a hold of the right people, we will be making another trip out to Konomala very soon; potentially as soon as next week.
During that trip, we will re-connect with the community there and get a feel for where things are at on their end. They may have simply lost our phone numbers and not been able to communicate, or there may be a bigger issue at hand and they may not want us to come anymore.

IF that trip goes well and they do still want us to come, then we will come back to Hoskins and get rolling.
– We’ll quickly turn around and make another trip with some contracts and details in place.
– We will make land agreements for where to build our houses.
– The process will start for milling all of the lumber for our two houses.
– We will pack our other materials and supplies, ship them to the island, transfer them to a barge, wait for that barge, then unload it and transfer it all to the building location.
Way way easier said than done!
 we will begin building our houses in January. That process is still up in the air a bit, but we’ll probably have three building trips with the hope of being finished by mid March.

IF God orchestrates all of that to happen, then we will begin learning the Konomala language at the beginning of April, 2019.

IF they don’t want us to come anymore, then we are back to square one of connecting with other communities and surveying other people groups. We really feel confident that this is where God has us, but we’ll let Him make that answer clear.

There are obviously some huge things that still need to happen in these next couple months … KEEP PRAYING!! 


That we remember … individually and as a family.

Remember that God is worthy of all thanksgiving, honor, and praise. He’s still on His throne, and He’s interested in refining us to reflect His image.
Remember why we are here.
Remember to love each other and those around us.
Remember that this is not our home. The stress, frustration, and home-sickness does not have to control our minds and emotions. We have so much to look forward to … Jesus is coming back. Can’t wait!

That our team will rest in God’s timing and direction.
He has made things so clear up to this point, so we are just waiting for Him to do the same thing for the next steps. In the meantime, we have a lot to plan and organize. That can be extremely challenging in this context.

That we would be able to re-connect with the Konomala.
And that they would still be open to understanding God’s truth in their own language.
Their official invitation is the biggest thing that needs to happen in order for the dominos to start falling.



9 thoughts on “Hurry up and Wait

  1. Praying for you all!!! This is so exciting!

    Do you need us to send you a razor, Seth? 🙂

    From: Seth & Kaitlyn Sanford <> Reply-To: Seth & Kaitlyn Sanford <> Date: Monday, September 17, 2018 at 9:04 AM To: Mark Boyer <> Subject: [New post] Hurry up and Wait

    Seth & Kaitlyn posted: ” Nearly nine months ago to the day … we arrived in country, moved around to a few different places, then did a survey of an unreached people group, and began preparing for building houses in a village … now … we’re waiting. It’s a pretty common theme:”


  2. Hey Seth and family,had a wonderful visit with Jonathon and Devon and kids recently.Just sent some support to Ethnos 360.Hope to give monthly to both of you.I know it’s Gods calling but I stand amazed at the commitment.Penny and I will always have you in our prayers.Just read your “Hurry up and wait”I guess that’s how He teaches us patience .May God richly bless.


  3. We think and pray for you 4 often. So often the waiting is the most difficult but know the Lord has it all figured out. Guess it is part of that discipline Paul talks about. Know that all will B fine when you have the Lords interest as a priority. Bill Judy

    Sent from my iPad



  4. Thanks for the update, Seth. You and your family are in my prayers, and I know God is doing big things through you. All you can do is keeping take one step even when you can’t see the whole path yet. Love you guys and miss you much!


  5. Dear Seth & Kaitlyn,
    Good to hear from you guys! I know these waiting times and delays really try the patience, but as you put your hope in the Lord I know He will give you the strength to trust Him and wait on His timing. Don’t forget that He is still at work, even if you are able to do the work you are wanting to do yet.
    I appreciate your honesty and faith in God through these delays.
    Praying for strength and wisdom.
    Love you,


  6. It was good to hear from you, thanking God that things are going well. God is faithful, He is are rock and shield a shelter in the time of storm. Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthening you; surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. When things get tough the only thing we have to cling to is God’s faithfulness and His Word.

    I have a question for you, at what level of support are you presently operating at in your field? We at Plainville Baptist want to continue to offer support and prayers as you continue to carry out the Great Commission God has called you and your family to.

    God Bless,

    Elaine Mola

    (Plainville Baptist Church)



  7. I am always so slow to respond. Please forgive my bad habit. I read your mailings with great interest and joy. I am praying for you to be successful in your endeavor with the Konomala people if that is where God wants you. Here is a question: are the people fascinated by Kaitlyn, Natalie and Lauren’s blondness? I would think that they are. Thank you for all the pictures. They are great. I am doing well in my new home. It is a wonderful place. I feel God’s love here. Very Christian community. I am in a good church with 2 Bible studies and another study here that is gratifying. I will continue to pray for your success and YOUR gratification through the work of the Holy Spirit who is always present to believers and always assisting with our most heartfelt needs. Love you all. Ann

    On Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 8:05 AM Seth & Kaitlyn Sanford wrote:

    > Seth & Kaitlyn posted: ” Nearly nine months ago to the day … we arrived in > country, moved around to a few different places, then did a survey of an > unreached people group, and began preparing for building houses in a > village … now … we’re waiting. It’s a pretty common theme:” >


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