Friday, 30 March 2012

Officially official

When I went to PNG in 2009, I was classified as an "intern missionary."  The internship was three long years long, or the length of my first term.  In February, I joined my fellow interns in Kansas City for a week of member care retreat.  The retreat included devotions with Dr. Hahn, training sessions, and psychological assessments.  We finished with week with interviews by the General Board and General Superintendents.  And we all passed!

On Monday, January 27th, we were officially made official--we were commissioned as Global Missionaries with the Church of the Nazarene.  Wow, it's so nice to not be an intern any more ;).

Global Missionary class of 2012 (from L to R):  Martin Glendenning--Eurasia Regional Office, me--PNG!, Danilo and Maria Carvolho--Angola, Gavin and Jill Fothergill--USA/Mexico Border, Todd and Brittany Leslie--Africa Regional Office, Brian and Erin Ketchum--France, Spencer and April Baggott--Rwanda

Mom and Dad, Aim, and Aaron all made the trip to KC for the commissioning service.
It was wonderful to have them there for that special time.

Verne Ward, former missionary to PNG and then regional director for Asia-Pacific, was elected as the new director for World Mission.  Now we get to share him and Natalie with the rest of the world!

The Great Commission
"Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
~ Matthew 28:18-20

Great cloud of witnesses

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, 
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
~ Hebrews 12:1

My highschool Bible quiz coach always said that if a verse begins with "therefore," there is a reason it is there for.  Hebrews 12 is preceded by chapter 11, which is also know as the Hall of Faith.  Saints from the beginning of time are listed in that chapter... from Able to Enoch to Rahab to David.  They are the great cloud of witnesses, cheering all of us on in this amazing race called the Christian life.

Those saints aren't the only ones cheering for the missionaries and national staff of Kudjip Hospital.  I bet there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of people around the world who are praying for and supporting the work in Papua New Guinea.  And I have had the privilege of meeting many of them over the last few months!  Here are just a few of the highlights...

Aunt Naomi is my 90-something year old great aunt.  She prays for us every day!

Taylor and Kevin are two of the three college guys who biked their way across the U.S. to raise awareness and money for the hospital.  I had the privilege of meeting them when I spoke at MVNU chapel in January.

Lois is a nurse living in Conroe, Texas.  Hers was one of my LINKS churches during my first term.  She has been a wonderful encouragement to me via Facebook and email.  It was so fun to meet her in person!

The kids at Livingston Christian Schools in Pinckney, Michigan have taken on Kudjip Hospital as their missions project.  They have collect baby things for Operation Warm Baby, ripped and rolled bandages, and sent medical supplies to the hospital.  The kids recently had a competition between the girls and boys to see who could collect the most coins... they gave more than $900 toward the new operating room!  (The boys won, BTW.)

When I went to visit in March, they had decorated the hallway like a PNG jungle :).  I had so much sharing with them about PNG!  This picture is of the second grade class.

Dr. and Mrs. Vore are former missionaries to Kudjip.  They served there from 1978 until 1994.  What a blessing to meet these wontoks (one who speaks your language) when I spoke at Ashland, OH COTN!

Thank you all for cheering us on!!!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


Landslides are not uncommon in PNG.  Steep and muddy mountainsides combined with frequent rains, earthquakes, deforestation, etc. = recipe for disaster.  A few months ago, a landslide in the Southern Highlands pretty much wiped out a sleeping village.  

Last week, another mother of a landslide hit the Highlands Highway in Simbu Province.  The Highlands Highway is the only road connecting the coast with the highlands.  It is the supply route for all sorts of things coming in and out--from petrol to medical supplies to groceries.  Locals are demanding almost $5 million before they will allow the road to be repaired.  Even without that complication, it will likely take months before the road is open again.

As you can imagine, this is going to cause some major shortages for the hospital.  We rely on petrol to run the generator when the electricity goes out, which happens with some frequency.  Medical supplies such as IV fluids, oxygen, and medicines are already difficult to come by.  But the situation will likely become critical across the affected provinces.

Please pray!!!  Pray for peace among the local land owners.  Pray for the road to be cleared.  Pray that God will sustain the hospital until that happens.

"Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it."
~ Isaiah 40:4-5

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Home assignment 2012

Here are a few snaps of my first home assignment! Unfortunately, I wasn't so good at taking pictures and I missed many opportunities along the way. Thanks to my sis for her contributions!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Home for the holidays

Yeah, I know... "the holidays" were like 3 months ago.  But it was such a sweet time, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to share with you :).

I arrived home in Ohio just a few days before Christmas, where the Doenges/Workman welcoming committee was there to greet me.  How special to meet my niece Emmi for the very first time and to see my little dude Grayson!  Grayson wasn't so sure about Aunt Steph, until we went on a walk and played in the water.  From then on, we were best buds.

A few days after my arrival, we were back to the airport to pick up my brother Aaron.  We enjoyed all the normal Christmas traditions--from big breakfast to piles of presents to visiting with extended family--and also a few days away in Cincinnati.  

Grayson and Emmi were both dedicated while Aaron and I were in town.  
I'm so glad we could be there for the special day :).  

Fast forward to today.  I can't believe how quickly the kiddos are growing up!  Grayson is practically a big boy.  Emmi, who couldn't even sit up by herself in December, will be walking in no time.  It is going to be hard to leave them in a few weeks.  I am so grateful for the precious months we have had together :).