How long will we be there?
We will be in Konomala for 2-3 years at a time then come home for an alloted time: typically 6 months to 1 year. Then after our time in the U.S., we’ll return to PNG. That rhythm will continue until our work there is done: typically around 15 years.
Are we there alone?
We live right next to our friends & teammates: Luke & Ellenie Hodgdon, along with their two boys. We’ve been friends with the Hodgdons for over 10 years!
In the country of PNG as a whole there are dozens of families that serve with Ethnos360. They will all play a critical role in our lives as they make it possible for us to continue functioning in an isolated community in Konomala.
What is our house like?
Each of our families built a home about 100 feet apart from each other. We had a few builders come from the U.S. to help, and we had a few dozen people come from a neighboring people group. There had already been a church established in their community, and they were excited to be part of seeing the same thing happen in our Konomala community.
Our house is a fully functioning home with electricity & running water. We have a solar electric system and a rain water collection system. Our goal is to serve in that location long-term, so we took the necessary time to build a home that our family can safely and healthily live in for the years ahead.
What is our community like?
Our specific community is set pretty much in the middle of the Konomala “boundaries”. There are about 1000 adults that live in our local area called Marinsuan. It’s pretty spread out for the most part and people tend to live in small hamlets with their close family relatives.
How long did it take to learn the language?
It took around 18 months to learn Konomalan.
There are three main “levels” in learning language. The “basic” level is pretty much at a word level and very small sentences. The “progressing” level involves larger sentences and the ability to communicate most everyday things. Then the “capable” level is when we are able to properly connect all of those sentences and tell complex, abstract stories.
Now that we have reached “capable-high”, we are done with full-time language study and will begin full time teaching and discipleship.
Are the people of PNG receptive to the gospel?
The government as a whole is very open to having foreign religious workers coming into their country. That attitude towards Christianity is very rare in our world today. Open doors and open invitations make PNG an opportune place to see people reached with the truth for the very first time.
In Konomala specifically, God has been preparing hearts long before we arrived. There is quite a number of people in our community who are really excited to hear, understand, and study God’s word for themselves.
How do we get supplies and food?
Roughly every 8 to 10 weeks we put together a list of what we need then make the trip out to our supply town, Kavieng. It’s about 9 to 10 hours by road. We have an old 4×4 truck that can handle the bad roads, and we make the trek up to Kavieng as a family.
It usually takes about a week to make the trip, buy what we need, rest for a minute, pack the truck, and make it back to Konomala.
Is there good healthcare in PNG?
There is not much available in PNG in regards to healthcare.
We are able to deal with most of the little issues that would come up on a day-to-day basis. For things that we’re unsure about, we are usually able to get access to a couple of American doctors through email & phone.
In the case of an emergency, we’ll have to travel to Australia for treatment. A trip to Australia is realistically a full day (or two) travel.
What communication do we have available?
It depends on the day.
Some days our signal is just enough to get emails / texts. Then a lot of days, the tower is down. When that’s the case, we use a satellite GPS device to send texts in the case of an emergency.
We thank God each time that we wake up and still have a connection to the outside world.