BY JILL SANDERS
Exactly one year ago, we made one of the hardest decision…to leave America, our family, and everything we know and move to Papua New Guinea to be church planters. This year has been full of tears, joy, hard work to learn a language, lots of prayer, homesick, new friends, lots of moving, more tears, and more joy!
Here are some things to recap the year:
The hard things:
*Saying goodbye to our family
*Flying with 3 small children 20 hours (2 of which threw up on the plane)
*Getting acclimated to a new home where we don’t understand anyone
*Putting on sunscreen every…single…day…
*Having “stomach issues” quite frequently
*Saying goodbye to new friends in Madang
*Moving to a tribal home (360 square feet!)
*Learning the hard way how to order enough food (and diapers) for a month
*Saying goodbye to more new friends
*Struggling that my mom has colon cancer and must start chemo L
*BJ’s gone for a long period of time surveying and building our house
*Being a single parent while BJ’s away to Wantakia
*More home sick…
*Finally being able to understand and communicate the language
*Seeing our family can thrive in a tribe
*God growing us and showing us that He’s enough
*Getting to 100% of our monthly budget!
*Learning about Wantakia
*Spending time with support workers in Goroka
*Creating our house plan
*Seeing my mom find joy even though she’s going through treatment
*Hearing my sister and brother in law are new believers!!
*After 5 years of praying, we are finally know our people group-Wantakia
*Our whole team is finally together in Papua New Guinea!
*Getting care packages!
*Putting posts in the ground for our future home
*Graham turned 1 and started walking/talking, Sophie turned 3 and is just a lovable girl, and Olivia turned 4 and just wows us everyday! BJ turned 28 and I turned 29.
*Planning our workteams and family coming! Counting down the days to see them!
*Seeing the Lord provide, yet again, to build our house
*Riding a helicopter to Wantakia
So this year has been up and down and up and down again. We’ve had many, many hard times…but we’ve also experienced a lot of joy too! It always seems like when we are experiencing hard times, God puts just the right people in our lives to encourage us. Looking at the list, the hard times and joys are about even…but it is all worth it. When the Wantakians hear the Gospel for the first time and become a mature church, we will look back at all the hard times and count them as small sacrifices.