Well … Buckle up! The holidays have flown by. Covid is still hovering over us all. And the day has arrived for us to board the plane to PNG … [puns all intended!]
It feels like it was just yesterday that we packed up and left Konomala … and at the same time it feels like years ago. Finally, all the government paperwork is done, the tickets are printed, and all the official approvals are in.
We’ve had the fronts of our brains touched with the COVID Q-tip, and we are officially NEGATIVE! Our eyes are still watering from that joyful 20 seconds.
Normally, we would like to have everything finalized months in advance so that there’s no questions once it comes time to leave. But this new world that we live in is filled with last minute craziness. There were forms that couldn’t be completed until 24 hours before the flight; the final set of tickets got emailed to us about 48 hours before the flight; and any number of things could cause hassles throughout travel and transit through different countries.
Our faith is constantly being stretched and gray hairs are unveiled each step of the way.
We’re so thankful for the time that we’ve had in the U.S. It’s been a restful and motivating time. Being with our family has been such a good gift from the Lord. And He’s deeply encouraged and challenged us through our church family as well.
We feel ready to be back in Konomala. We have to take deep breaths as we anticipate the challenges and uncomfortable-ness ahead, but we’re so looking forward to being with all of our friends in Konomala again. And we’re looking forward to being out there with our teammates again.
Luke and Ellenie and their boys have been back in Konomala for a couple weeks now. It’s been really encouraging to hear from them that everyone one in Konomala is doing well. Our friends are healthy and still excited as they anticipate stepping into God’s word for themselves. Keep praying that God would protect them from the enemy’s attacks and prepare their hearts for His truth!
Okay, kids … It’s time to go
The see-ya-laters are almost done, the house is empty, and the car is loaded. The bags are all under (or at!) 50 pounds. We have a folder with dozens of pages of documents that validate our itinerary, exemptions, and permissions. Then we have a backup folder with all those documents again … just in case.
Natalie made a little countdown paper this week. As she crossed off each day, she would do the math and announce how many more days until the airplane. Yesterday she hit zero … she wasn’t really sure what to do with that. “If it’s zero, why aren’t we getting on the airplane yet?!”
So here’s the plan:
Leave the house on Sunday afternoon
6 hours later – leave the U.S.
13 hour flight – land for the first quick 2 hour stop
8 hour flight – land for a longer 15 hour stop
7 hour flight – land for a few hour transition to the last flight
2 hour flight – arrive at our quarantine location (a mission support center)
PRAY that the airlines agents would NOT find any issues with our COVID testing
or our documentation for travel.
Pray that we (especially the girls!) would be able to sleep on the flights.
Pray that we would be gracious, patient, and gentle as parents.
Can’t wait for Heaven
No matter where we are in the world; no matter what the circumstances are … we’re only passing through. We are looking toward the perfect city with Jesus as our friend and king. We can’t wait for the perfect together-ness we will get to have with our creator and with each other.
The see-ya-laters are hard. The transitions are not fun. But we’re looking forward to things that are so much bigger and better. Jesus IS worth it!