Green & Red


We all know the feeling:
‘I want to get there as quick as I can’, but there are a dozen traffic lights ahead. If I could just get the timing perfect, I can make it all the way through and hit every single green … or I could floor it and try to speed my way through.

Then reality sets in. You pretty much never make it through without having to slow down, stop, and wait.
In Papua New Guinea there is no such thing as traffic lights … BUT … reality is that life in PNG is full of them.

Red lights …

To recap, we first connected with the Konomala community in July. Up until then, we were moving at full speed with all green lights.

As of a couple weeks ago, we were still stuck at a red waiting … completely in the dark as to what the next steps with Konomala were going to be. They hadn’t contacted us in nearly 3 months.

We were also waiting on the elders from the Siar and Patpatar churches to contact us … but communication has proven a little challenging. We highly value the input and engagement from those churches, so we wanted to wait to go back into Konomala until those elders were available.

Green Lights!

Then out of nowhere, we got a call from one of the Siar church elders! He was in town and finally had service. He wanted to see how we were doing and if there was any plans to go back down to Konomala.

He was ready to go … so we bought the tickets. Green light!
We met him and a couple of the Patpatar church leaders a couple days later. Then right away we started the 4 hour drive down to Konomala!

This was all another faith builder for sure.

We drove straight to the main community of Konomala that we had connected with in July. Two key men were already at the house … that was huge. (It’s pretty common to show up somewhere and the right people are nowhere to be found.)
We spent the afternoon re-connecting with Michael & John — remember those names. The main purpose of the trip was to get a feel for whether or not they still wanted our two families to come.

It quickly became clear.
They pretty much said, “Nothing has changed here. We still want you to come. We lost the phone that had your numbers in it, so we were just waiting for you to come back.”

No surprise … God was giving crystal clear direction and confirmation again. It was awesome. They showed us the land that they want us to build our homes on, and we talked through many of the details of the next steps.

The next morning we were on the road and heading back up the island.

In total we spent 26 hours in airports, 24 hours in a truck, and 48 hours waiting around … all so that we could spend 12 hours in Konomala! 
Totally worth it!

TOP – the ground where we’ll build our houses!      BOTTOM – Micheal’s house

So here we go! … kind of

We aren’t able to get back into Konomala until December, so the official ball won’t get rolling until December 8th (hopefully).

On that trip we’ll plan to do the following things: 

  • Sign a land agreement
  • Bring fuel and timber lists for milling lumber
  • Begin clearing the land for the houses
  • Set a date for the first building trip 

In the meantime

Our family gets to spend 5 weeks with some experienced church planters among the Akolet people. We’ll get to hang out a lot with the Akolet church and get a further glimpse into what it looks like to disciple believers in the context of PNG culture.

We fly into Akolet on October 30th (today our time). Then we’ll fly back to Hoskins on December 6th. And likely, I (Seth) will fly to New Ireland the next day for the land agreements in Konomala.


Please Pray

That our time in Akolet will be profitable. We are glad that we’ll be able to create some extra opportunities for Kaitlyn to get more time in language study. And it’s a great opportunity to build friendships with other missionaries and churches in our region of the country.

That Luke and Ellenie’s time will be profitable in Hoskins. We are getting to a critical stage of preparing for house building in the new year, and Luke will have to do some ground work on his own since we’ll be in Akolet.

That the Lord will continue working in the hearts and minds of the people in Konomala   — especially Michael (the owner of the ground for our houses). He seems so ready to hear the truth. Every time we’re with him, we feel like we’re looking at a future elder of the Konomala church! His brother John is also one of the most influential men in the community.

That we will be proactive every day in our intimacy with Jesus, in our mindset, in our marriage, in our parenting, and in our team. It’s a choice that must be made many times throughout every single day.

That we would choose to be thankful with whatever season God has us in … whether it be waiting or planning or traveling or parenting little people. We want to be content where He has us and to learn from Him in the midst of our circumstances.

That we will be sober and alert to the spiritual battle that we are in every day. Our perspectives can quickly become very narrow and very self-centered, and Satan instantly takes advantage of it. Every day we must set our minds on things above and things to come. That’s where hope and joy can be found.


12 thoughts on “Green & Red

  1. You are all in our prayers for GREEN LIGHTS for all your work in Kingdom Building. . .Thank you for the update and I will send you an updated picture from Edders Ice cream shop next summer?

    Kevin E. Baldwin, CLU, ChFC
    Managing Director
    B&L Financial Architects

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  2. Thank you for that great letter, Seth. God is truly at work in the hearts of those people. Meanwhile, be sure to make the most of your waiting to enjoy your family and be able to rest in His peace and in His control. I do hope that you can get this “reply” to your letter. We are praying for your requests and we love you guys so much!!! Grandpa & Grandma

    On Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 3:57 PM Seth & Kaitlyn Sanford wrote:

    > Seth & Kaitlyn posted: ” We all know the feeling: ‘I want to get there as > quick as I can’, but there are a dozen traffic lights ahead. If I could > just get the timing perfect, I can make it all the way through and hit > every single green … or I could floor it and try to speed my” >


  3. it was great to read your letter Seth. we are praying that things continue to fall into place. we know the Lord desires for the Kolomala to hear of his Son so thank you and your family for being willing to be there, willing to be available for the Lord to use. I look forward to coming to see you guys and helping to build that house.


  4. It is wonderful to see the Lords hand moving His work forward. June and I will be praying through the information you shared.


  5. I’m thankful that God has driven you a green light and you are closer to sharing the gospel with these people. Praying for your family!


  6. Hey guys, Great to finally read through your update. Cool to see the green lights! Stay strong in Him! We’ll be praying for you guys and we look forward to having a small part in the Konomala church one day.



  7. Seth and Kaitlyn, We are so glad to hear your good news and continue to pray for you in your work there and also for your precious little family! God Bless You!! Tom and Charlene Fowler


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